Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-17-2012, 12:14 AM   #1 
bettablues
New Member
 
bettablues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Unhappy Stress stripes, pale and turning brown?

My betta Philip has been living with me for about three weeks now. When I first got him at Petsmart, he was a beautiful blue color with almost a silver tint to his fins (not in a scaley way lol). He was very active, he used his hammock leaf frequently, loved his house, etc.

Pretty soon though, I realized he was having eating issues. He would spit his food back out after taking it in. I was feeding him pellets, and occasionally a freeze dried blood worm. THOSE he would gobble up! At first I read that he may just be picky and I need to kind of take a 'you'll eat it if you're hungry' approach. But a week passed, and he still wouldn't eat. I then tried crushing up his pellets and he still would not eat them. I even whipped out my flakes that I've refused to use for a while now, and he still, spat it back out. Now he won't even eat blood worms. Note: every time I feed him, he acts very hungry. He eagerly swims toward the food and will even hunt it through the tank, but when he takes the food in, he can't seem to keep it in his mouth. When he tries the blood worms, he even tries NOT to let it out, but it comes out gradually anyway. Eventually he gets defeated and swims off.

I then noticed two days ago that he seemed extremely pale. He seemed almost a grayish brown color, maybe like a rust color. He also had two stripes down his side (I hadn't heard of stress stripes before, and they look like that to me). I checked his fins for fin rot, my last betta had that, and they don't appear to have any rot on them. I've checked him with a bright light for any fuzzy white spots, pine cone scales, or silver scales or gills. None of the above. He's just extremely pale and rust colored.

He is also having an issue with acting... a little... drugged. He acts extremely hyper and darty for a while, but then he'll rest comfortably at the bottom of his tank. Currently, I've been watching him for 20 minutes now swim in one direction, suddenly stop, and then just fall backward. He hasn't left that one area of his tank at all, acting almost as though he CAN'T go past that point. Which considering I've seen him swimming around the other side of his tank a mere hour or two ago, is a mystery.

The top two images are when he was home the first day (sorry it's so big, just want to be sure you can see everything). Even though the first two have flash I assure you, the color change really is THAT drastic. Without flash he used to appear as a deep blue with lighter blue/silver mixed in. Now... well, you see :(



Third picture: shows more how pale he can appear (it fluctuates) and the second better shows his stress stripes (what appears to be stress stripes anyway). Those stripes as you see in the first two, were not there before. They're very new.

Here's the stats of his tank:
- 3 gallon tank
- Marina i25 filter
- 25 watt heater set to 78-80 (thermometer confirms this)
- soft plastic plants (no harsh edges, I haven't been able to afford the switch to real plants yet and until he's stabilized, not sure if I should stress him out more)
- treated with Aqueon's Betta Bowl Plus and aquarium salt (I had read to use only enough to fill the center of a cupped hand, but recently read to use a tsp./gallon? Maybe this needs to be upped then?)
- feeding him mini pellets, 3 in the morning and 3 at night; every other day I feed him 1-2 bloodworms (sometimes they aren't whole so I give him 2 pieces) and fasting him on Fridays.
- 25% tank change once a week, sometimes every 5 days if I'm home to do it.

What I've tried so far:
- 25% tank changes with treated water once a day (twice now).
- Fasting for 24 hours, tried to give him a few pellets a few hours ago and he hardly even tried to hunt them this time :(
- Considering he may be skittish/afraid of me still, I've tried keeping the lights lower, covering his tank with a light cloth, not approaching him too quickly, as well as sitting on my bed and just talking to him. I figured maybe getting used to my voice and presence might help. Neither really seem to be effecting him one way or the other.

What I'm going to be doing first thing tomorrow:
- Running to the store for a test kit to check his toxin levels. I simply couldn't afford one before, I've had personal emergencies come up that sadly put a test kit on the back burner. He's first on the list for tomorrow's paycheck though!
- Looking around for any medicines or remedies users suggest (a site suggested external parasites as a cause for his behavior, though not for the color change, so I may try to find Betta Revive. I'm worried about adding it if it isn't the problem though, so I'll be checking here first!)
- A bigger tank change, probably 50% initially so as not to stress him out more than he already is.
- Creating a filter buffer (I like the soda bottle technique I've been seeing!). I'm sure that isn't the main cause of the issue but a lighter current can't hurt.

What's wrong with Philip?! I love him so dearly, I feel the same for bettas as I do for any other pet. I'd hate to lose him so soon, he deserves the best. I've searched EXTENSIVELY for this and found NOTHING that matches his problems on the web! Any suggestions or ideas?
bettablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 12:54 AM   #2 
bettablues
New Member
 
bettablues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Seriously though, I know this is long with a lot of info, but that's because I don't want to have to respond to ten posts asking for more info. Please, ANY ideas would be better than nothing, I have scoured the internet for hours looking for help and nothing matches up :(
bettablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 02:05 AM   #3 
izzyalot
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Batesvegas
http://www.bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm

You mentioned he had a kind of rust color to him, so velvet stood out to me.

I didn't read through everything on this page, but I hope this helps.
izzyalot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #4 
Shadyr
Member
 
Shadyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Georgia
First, AQ salt should NOT be part of his normal water. It can cause damage if they are left in it for too long. Treatment with AQ salt is normally for external issues like damaged fins, some kinds of parasites, and should only be only 5-10 days in length. And with AQ salt, when you are using it, you need to pre-dissolve it before putting it in the tank. When I use it, I dissolve it in hot to boiling water, then put that in with a scheduled water change and wait for the temp to be right, and then add it.

Second - that is a big filter for a small tank for a fish that really doesn't even need a filter at all.

I would recommend you get him in clean PLAIN warm water treated only with your declorinator of choice and remove the filter. The still water will probably help, at least while he is under the weather. His water temp around 80F is good, which you said was where you keep it.

With no filter, 2x water changes a week (a 50% and a 100%) is recommended.

I hope he pulls through!

Last edited by Shadyr; 08-17-2012 at 12:52 PM.
Shadyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 11:55 PM   #5 
bettablues
New Member
 
bettablues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Aquarium salt is being used currently because he is ill. It isn't something I just pour in there every tank change. As well, the filter was added in because I tried a no-filter system and he would lay on his hammock for hours gasping for air. I read that there just wasn't enough oxygen in his water. Within less than an hour of getting him a filter, he was happily swimming laps around the tank.

I tried putting a towel over the tank for the majority of the day, and sure enough, most of his darker blue coloring returned. I have no way to truly know if that was due to the towel, or the water changes I've been doing, but I'm pleased either way. I then took a sample of his water into my local aquarium store. The only thing that was off, was his ammonia level was a little high. Not too much, but enough to cause him to be under the weather I'm sure.

The specialist there helped me pick out a gravel vac, recommended continued 25% tank changes using the vac and pre-treated water, and I got him Maracyn 2. He had me pour out a packet on a table, cut it in two, then two again, then two again and add that little bit to his tank (said it's better to start small than too big, and I agree). I also bought him some frozen mysis shrimp, I figure if he won't eat the pellets/flakes/blood worms, maybe a different food type might help. I'm hoping keeping up with these changes will continue to show some improvement in him. He's still being very darty, but there aren't visible parasites on him and he isn't itching against anything. Maybe I just got a strangely ecstatic fish! Thanks for all of your help.
bettablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 12:19 AM   #6 
LittleBettaFish
Member
 
LittleBettaFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
First off I wouldn't be treating him with any antibiotics until you know what is wrong.

He looks really skinny to me in those pictures. I would try treating him with an internal parasite medication. I have had bettas with internal parasites who have looked absolutely shocking (pale, fins rotting, losing condition) and they immediately turn a corner once I treat them.

What do you mean by his ammonia level being a little high? Anything over 0ppm should be considered too high. If you are getting readings for ammonia you need to be doing larger and more regular water changes.

I personally would treat him for internal parasites (it's generally a good idea to worm your fish anyway) and then ensure his water is as pristine as possible. If his appearance still continues to deteriorate or his behaviour remains erratic then it is time to start looking into other avenues.
LittleBettaFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 12:35 AM   #7 
bettablues
New Member
 
bettablues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
The medicine I got for him does treat that, though. I did over five hours of research on medications to avoid medicating a non-existent issue, and made the best decision I could. As I said, I suspect he may have a parasite myself, and Maracyn 2 will treat that as well as his fin rot. So it makes perfect sense to be giving him a small dose to see if it helps. And 'a little high' means it was a 1, not a 2 or 3. I'm not demeaning the fact it's not okay, I'm just saying it could have been worse, and all of his other levels were perfect. And with the gravel vac and tank changes it's treatable.

He's already having daily changes, and I'm already seeing improvements (phew). Thank you for your suggestions.
bettablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 12:54 AM   #8 
LittleBettaFish
Member
 
LittleBettaFish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
1ppm of ammonia is actually pretty high. Depending on your pH it could be enough to cause irritation and stress.

However, if you have that much ammonia present it sounds like your tank isn't cycled? If so then you need to being doing more than a 25% water change once a week unfortunately. With it being 1ppm, you really need to almost do a 100% water change to get it back down to safe levels.

Also some medications will harm any beneficial bacteria you might have. I'm not sure whether Maracyn II does or not but it is something to be aware of.

I did not know Maracyn II treats internal parasites as it is not a medication we can get in a lot of places over here. However, is it able to be used as a one-off application? As being an antibiotic you need to finish the course once you start it or risk causing resistance later on.
LittleBettaFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 01:03 AM   #9 
bettablues
New Member
 
bettablues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
No I thought I had mentioned it here but must have been a separate forum, but when I had started him in his tank I had been misinformed about proper tank cycling, so he was never properly cycled. I didn't figure this out until very recently. But seeing how his test results indicate the other levels are normal and healthy, I'm going to try to fix the ammonia level first as a priority and move on from there. To avoid stressing him out (because he loses color/gets stripes from practically everything) I'm going to gradually increase his tank changes.

And yes, the Maracyn 2 needs to be used a few days, at least 5, even if symptoms seem to have disappeared. I intend to finish out at least 5 days, and if his symptoms aren't improved, I'll stop treatment and start looking for new options. The research I've done says that it doesn't seem to harm any beneficial bacteria, such as bacteria that gets rid of ammonia. I also checked about 8 stores within 30 minutes of me for Indian Almond Leaves because I heard they'll help with certain issues but no one carries them :(
bettablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #10 
bettablues
New Member
 
bettablues's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Well, nevermind. My initial research, which was more focused on his symptoms, had raving reviews of Maracyn 2 and said it wouldn't be an issue. But I just went and googled and found very conflicting opinions. Some were saying it wasn't an issue while others said it would specifically RAISE ammonia. I hate when this happens with these medications, now I have no idea what to do. I read a recommendation to isolate him in a 'hospital tank' and use the meds in there. What do you think?
bettablues is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Female betta mateing stripes and stress stripes ?? jfw Betta Fish Care 18 11-04-2011 02:20 PM
Stress Coat turning water brown? Leeniex Betta Fish Care 3 09-04-2011 03:11 PM
He is turning extremely pale!... ashleyy Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 7 09-19-2010 07:34 PM
Stress Stripes or Breading Stripes New2Betas Betta Fish Care 9 11-28-2009 09:12 PM
my betta is turning pale white what is this? 5green Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 18 08-03-2009 10:18 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.