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Old 11-24-2012, 01:04 AM   #1 
shinitakin
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Exclamation Not sure of what illness

My betta has been doing fine for the past week up until two days ago. I noticed that he swam a lot less, and yesterday, started to swim quickly while bumping himself into the heater and the thermometer. I'm not entirely sure of what sickness this is.

Here are some pictures:





Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Bio-Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? Been trying to feed him twice a day, but he still hasn't had anything in about 12 days now

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 2 times weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% and 90%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Jungle Start Right

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His stomach became white and I think the color has changed around the gills, turning gold
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He swims a lot less and some of his swimming seems frantic (bumping into the heater and thermometer)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? One or two days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I'm not sure of what to do
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Only had him for two weeks
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure, had him for two weeks

Any help would be greatly appreciated! He just looks so sick and I have no idea of what to do...

Last edited by shinitakin; 11-24-2012 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:28 AM   #2 
LittleFish2012
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Hmm....
It's difficult to say whats wrong with him. When you mention "gold" around his gills, I immediately think "velvet disease". Does the gold look like dust? Is it anywhere else on him (head, body, fins...)?
As for the erratic behavior, does it look like he's trying to scratch himself against objects?
I will say that I think you're doing a fairly good job changing his tank and keeping it warm. It's very possible you may have purchased him ill and various stressors weakened his immune system to the point where whatever sickness could actively affect him.
As a starting point, I would give him a salt bath. Dillute 1-2 tsp/gal epsom salt in a 1 gallon jug of water before adding it to his tank. Believe it or not, epsom salt is very helpful when dealing with a sick betta.
I highly recommend trying that and seeing if that helps. It usually does and he might even start eating again.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:07 PM   #3 
shinitakin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleFish2012
Hmm....
It's difficult to say whats wrong with him. When you mention "gold" around his gills, I immediately think "velvet disease". Does the gold look like dust? Is it anywhere else on him (head, body, fins...)?
Hmm... Right now, he's sleeping in a position that doesn't let me see his body well, so I am not sure. I know that yesterday night, I saw specks of gold coloring on his stomach when I shone a flashlight on him. The top of his head looks like it is a little bit yellow with two small spots of red/brown. The rest of his body just looked to be paling a little bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleFish2012
As for the erratic behavior, does it look like he's trying to scratch himself against objects?
I don't know; I just saw him swim very quickly toward me, bump into the heater (I'm assuming with his head area?), dart away, do the same thing to the thermometer, and then go rest near the plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleFish2012
I will say that I think you're doing a fairly good job changing his tank and keeping it warm. It's very possible you may have purchased him ill and various stressors weakened his immune system to the point where whatever sickness could actively affect him.
Ahh I see. I just didn't know what happened, since he seemed just fine for the past two weeks up until now. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleFish2012
As a starting point, I would give him a salt bath. Dillute 1-2 tsp/gal epsom salt in a 1 gallon jug of water before adding it to his tank. Believe it or not, epsom salt is very helpful when dealing with a sick betta. I highly recommend trying that and seeing if that helps. It usually does and he might even start eating again.

Would I have to purchase the epsom salt at a pet store or are they for sale at other stores as well? And would I have to change the water 100% after a few hours? Sorry, I've never given a salt bath before.

Last edited by shinitakin; 11-24-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #4 
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I also just noticed today that his gills and under his head seem to be completely black. Is that a sign of ammonia burn?

Pictures of the yellow and red/brown on his head:



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Old 11-24-2012, 02:52 PM   #5 
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Gold specks (make sure they're not WHITE specks- that would be ich and thats different) typically means velvet disease. Especially if it's spreading around the body. Velvet is considered a dinoflagellate. It is both protozoan as well as a type of algae because it contains chlorophyll. I recommend checking out this website for more about velvet and about treating it. http://nippyfish.net/2011/02/28/velvet-disease/
Maybe it'll help you diagnose your fish whether or not he really does have velvet (It's still difficult to see velvet in a photo unless it's in the advanced stages).

I'm not really sure if epsom salt is sold at pet stores. It's typically something that people use. It happens to be beneficial to fish as well. I believe you can get epsom salt in most grocery stores. I recently got a big package at Wal Mart. I don't recommend a full 100% water change for fear of changing the water chemistry too greatly and causing him further stress. Start out at maybe 50-75%. Personally, I would try to change his tank every other day. Some people would argue that you should change it daily and you can if you'd like, but be careful to make sure water temperatures are similar (I've shocked fish before and almost killed them when the water I added was too cold). There are lots of methods regarding the use of epsom salts and there really isn't a "wrong" way to do it. :) Don't worry.
If he does have velvet, know that whatever medication you use to treat it will likely be safe to use in conjunction with the salt. Assuming you are using the salt at the same time. So don't worry about over-medicating him, salts won't hurt.

The red and brownish colors on his head look normal. I believe that is his natural color. And the black "gills" you're seeing may actually be his beard (that he uses to flare at other fish). In that case, don't worry. Betta fish beards come in any color. :D
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:30 AM   #6 
shinitakin
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Hmm... It doesn't appear to be velvet, I don't think. The gold isn't in the form of small specks, but rather his entire belly area seems to be changing color.

I'm going to try a 10 day aquarium salt treatment--hopefully he'll be feeling better. And start eating as well. He hasn't had anything for the two weeks I've had him and who knows when was the last time Walmart's staff fed him.

Oh, I see. I didn't know if the colors on top of his head were indicative of anything. And ah, so the black "gills" may be his beard. That is a relief to know.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:50 AM   #7 
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Then the gold may just be a normal color of his body. That's a relief I'm sure. One of my girls succumbed to a form of velvet that was resistant to the medicine I was using.

I don't know much about bettas and aquarium salt, but good luck! :) Be sure to watch his progress.

I understand your concern about the head colors. I've got one boy whose got red and grey splotches, but he is perfectly normal. I try not to go by head color anymore. :)

Good luck with everything!
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #8 
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His conditions sounds like internal parasites. From the picture I see that he has clamped fins, a bit of SBD, bloat and stringy white poo. Use Epsom salt, a dose of 1 tsp per gallon. Is he darting? Such extremely fast bursts of swimming for no reason?
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