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Old 08-08-2012, 04:57 PM   #1 
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Question What's wrong with my betta?

I'm brand new to these forums, even though I have read through them as a guest quite a bit, and am hoping someone can provide some insight as to what is wrong with my betta (if anything).

He has developed a spot of blue on his side that has some unusual looking scales (raised? dead? peeling?).

Background: I bought a black skirt tetra from PetSmart a few months ago and after I got him in my tank he seemed to not be right. He looked deformed and he would swim into the glass and decorations as if he were blind. He also developed swim bladder. I immediately took him back to PetSmart. After this my small community of fish began to die off one by one-my algae eater, then my otto, then my black kuhli loach, then one of my black skirt tetras. They all had developed white fungus. I treated the tank with 2 rounds of API Triple Sulfa and it finally seemed to get rid of the fungus. But my betta's skin in the area where the fungus had been turned blue (which wasn't alarming to me because he has had fin rot in the past and grew back his fins in different colors than they originally were). But then his scales began to look like this and have ever since.

He was originally in a 10 gallon tank but about a week ago I upgraded to a 20 gallon tank with a tank-side filter, air rock, moss rock, some plastic plants, and live plants. I have 1 dwarf gourami, 6 pristella tetras, 6 black skirt tetras, 5 white clouds, and 2 ghost shrimp in with him.

He seems healthy otherwise-he swims around but is shy and a lazy betta. He has always liked to hide in his cave and lay against the plants on the bottom of the tank. He has never been one to hang out near the surface much.

I have treated the new tank with a round of maracyn 2 and he still has shown no improvement with his scales.

None of my other fish have developed any problems or sickness. He is the only one with this on his scales.

Does anyone know what this could be? Is it some sort of illness or infection? Or is it just scarring from the fungal infection he previously had? It doesn't seem to match any symptoms for any of the typically known diseases and it is not changing after treatment so I'm at a loss.

I don't want to keep medicating the tank unless I absolutely have to, especially since medication can be hard on labyrinth fish.

And on a side note, does anyone have any idea as to what type of betta he is? I got him from PetSmart a year ago and he was sold to me as a half moon. His fins and tail have grown incredibly long since I first bought him and he has gotten fin rot twice in the past year.

Pictures of the troubling spot:

This one is a little blurry because he was swimming:
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:17 PM   #2 
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i think he either could have a tumor, or maybe lymphontis? i don't know if i spelled that correctly...hope your little guy gets better!
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #3 
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Hmmmm i think it could maybe be something fungal or simply his scales healing but I'm definitely no expert at this xD

And if you could post a pic of him flaring it'd be easier to distinguish tail types for you.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:44 PM   #4 
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I could be wrong but he looks like a marble colored Betta and they do change colors. Also I am pretty sure he is a half moon. I dont think there is anything to worry about if he is a marble its normal for them to change colors. You should search for Marble Betta and see if thats what he is. He is a beauty !
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #5 
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Any tips to get him to flare? My guy is not aggressive and has only flared twice the entire time I have had him-When I first added fish with him and once again when I added a new fish. Otherwise he has never flared, not even with a mirror. He even hangs out with my dwarf gourami side by side. He forms the half moon but his fin edges are a a little jagged and not rounded like the usual half moons I have seen. I'm still a beginner with only this 1 year with my betta as experience but I'm trying to learn more.

I looked up betta lymphocystis and the things I read said that the spots were white. It is hard to tell in the pictures but his aren't white. He has a natural sheen to him (always has) and it reflects when I take pictures so it looks white. In reality they look like dull, dried skin and are more transparent looking around the edges.

If it is fungal, 3 treatments have not cured it. What would be my next step? I fear over-medicating him as well as my other fish.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #6 
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He is a neat color! I cannot be of any help, but I hope he is well soon!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:56 PM   #7 
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Did he have anything in that area that you know of? Maybe a injury from a decoration...?

And I use any reflective surface I can to make mine flare. I use a mirror to help, and once, a spoon xD
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #8 
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He never had anything in that spot before other than the fungus I treated for 3 times.

After posting here I tried several times to get him to flare and he just wouldn't. He's so docile lol! Anyway, when I tried to get him to flare he did spread his fins a little and I noticed tiny white spots of fungus on a few of his fins. Also, with the mirror next to the tank my gourami got aggressive at his reflection and I noticed a tiny spot of fungus starting on his head. So I guess I've just got a very stubborn fungus. I started treating with API triple sulfa again immediately. I may just have to treat with it a couple more times until I see results.

I also looked up the marble bettas and when I did I came across all sorts of other betta types that I didn't know about. He seems to resemble a half moon marble and/or half moon grizzled cellophane more than any others I saw. He has changed colors in his fins and tail and has changed between translucent and white with blue tint in his body so I'm guessing he's either a marble or a cross between the two.

Thanks to everyone who replied! He is my first betta and I've grown far more attached to him than I thought I would. I don't want anything to happen to him :)
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #9 
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Another possibility that no one has mentioned is ammonia burns. You recently moved the tank and are likely going through a mini-cycle. You should be checking ammonia levels daily.

I do feel the need to mention some other major problems in your tank. The nicks you mention on your betta's fins are from his tank mates. Gourami and betta should not be combined. They are both anabantids and are aggressive. Fish aggression isn't just nipping; a lot of it is hormonal in the form of stress and fear hormones. You can read more about fish stress here: Stress allows disease to take a stronghold. I am willing to bet it's been contributing to your disease problem.

The black skirt tetra should also not be in the tank. They are a highly aggressive fish and notorious fin-nippers. You can read more about them here: Black Skirt Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) Profile

For the sake of your betta, I would remove him from the tank and give him his own tank.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:39 PM   #10 
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My betta had this spot before I moved him into the 20 gallon tank. Previously he was in a 10 gallon tank with 4 black skirt tetras. He has done perfectly fine with the black skirts for a year with no fin nipping or aggressiveness on either side. I started with him and 3 black skirts. He only flared at himself in a reflection when I first got him and put him in the tank (the 10 gallon tank) and once when I added the fourth he flared once at it as soon as I added it. After that there have never been any problems.

The dwarf gourami, white clouds, pristellas, ghost shrimp, and 2 black skirts are all new.

When I did the 20 gallon tank upgrade I cycled the tank for 24 hours with no fish in it. Then I added Microbe-lift special blend, which is an ecosystem bacteria treatment for both salt and fresh water aquariums to help cycle them and prepare them for fish.

Then I added 4 of the new pristellas, 2 of the new black skirts, and the 2 new ghost shrimp. Then I waited 24 hours and added 2 more new pristellas, 1 more new blackskirt, a corey catfish (who didn't make it), and the dwarf gourami.

Then I waited 2 more days before I transferred my betta and 3 black skirts he had been living with for a year over to the 20 gallon tank.

After treating the 10 gallon tank repeatedly and this spot on my betta not going away (although my tetras were fine after one treatment) and doing the water changes I was concerned that there may be something in the water itself that just wouldn't die off. So I decided rather than doing a 100% water change that I would upgrade to a larger tank and prep it for the move to alleviate stress on my betta and tetras and reduce chances of them getting sick or dying from the tank change.

I have been testing all levels (PH, amonia, nitrites, nitrates, etc) in my tank since I first started cycling it. I tested the 10 gallon tank as well so I could compare the 2 tanks and waited until the PH levels were the same to transfer them. I have tested the new 20 gallon tank a total of 4 times in the last 11 days (which is how long I have had the 20 gallon setup) and all of my levels are good. My temperature also remains between 78 and 80.

My betta actually became more active and seems happier since I put him in the 20 gallon tank. But even after treating the 20 gallon tank the spot still didn't go away, which is when and why I posted here asking for help.

As you can see in the pictures I have plenty of hiding spots and room for them all to live together. I researched quite a bit and spoke to the aquarium store (I got my new fish at an aquarium store, not a chain pet store) before deciding to get the dwarf gourami.

I prefer not to go by the standard scientific view when it comes to mixing fish. I prefer to go with others' experience. We are dealing with living creatures after all and they each have their own personalities. Just like people, some bettas will have bad tempers and fight easily, others are more docile. I happen to have a more docile betta. I know his personality. I did not make my choice to buy the black skirts or the gourami on a whim, nor did I make it lightly. I discussed it with the stores before I purchased them and both stores gave me the option to return the fish if a problem arose with the betta. No problems ever arose. Now that's not to say that I would put angel fish or fancy guppies in because I have never seen mixed reviews on fish like that. There are mixed reviews on black skirts and dwarf gouramis, though.

I have read the mixed reviews about mixing dwarf gouramis with bettas. Some people mix up gouramis with dwarf gouramis. Dwarf gouramis are less aggressive than normal gouramis and tend to be more shy. They usually do well with other dwarf gouramis in their tank but can get territorial with other males dwarf gouramis if they don't have enough room or hiding spots.

There are mixed opinions and experiences with putting dwarf gouramis in with bettas. Some people have had problems and others have had no problems at all. I have had no problems with my gourami and betta at all. In fact, they like to hang out together sometimes. They will both chill with each other peacefully in the plants. Other times, they part ways and each has claimed a cave for himself. My betta uses the sphynx cave and my gourami uses the pyramid cave. I also have plenty of plants for both of them to utilize and they do. My betta never even flared at the gourami and the gourami has never gone after my betta. This is my personal experience and I see no reason to remove my betta or gourami if they are living in harmony together. If a problem does arise then I have another tank ready to house one of them.

As for the black skirts, I feel the same as I explained with my gourami. I've had great success with my black skirts and betta together. If you research you will find that black skirts typically don't fin nip or act aggressively if you keep them in a large enough school (of at least 6). In my 10 gallon tank I only kept a school of 4 but they kept to themselves and I never had problems with them. In my 20 gallon tank I now have 6 and they also school with the pristella tetras. They completely ignore my betta and my gourami. They tend to hang out in the middle of the tank both horizontally and vertically. My betta likes to hang out on the bottom and always has. He comes out and swims up to get air, to eat, and when he sees me. Again, I see no need to remove my fish if they are living together in harmony.

On another note, I'll add that every website I came across that listed companions for bettas I saw white clouds listed. Yet the girl at the store told me she wasn't supposed to sell them to me if I had a betta and insisted that bettas would kill them. But she did sell them to me because I frequent the store and she wanted feedback on how they did together. I've also found some sites say that gouramis will kill them. Well, my white clouds stay in the middle with the tetras or at the top of the aquarium level, school together, and I've had zero problems with them and my betta or my gourami.

I believe compatibility depends much more on the fish's individual personality, the tank size, and how the tank is set up with plants, decorations, etc. This is something I have read, was told by an aquarium expert, and have experienced myself personally so I'm sticking with it. If I run into a problem, I am prepared with a plan B to separate them.

Here is my aquarium setup:

Front view

Side view

Other side view

Betta and Dwarf Gourami together

Betta and Dwarf Gourami swimming together (he is not flaring here)

Betta and Dwarf Gourami together

My betta in one of my live plants

My betta in one of my fake plants
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fungal infection, scales, scales flayed out, sick betta

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