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Old 12-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #1 
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Question Potentially sick betta- not sure with what

Hi, any help would be appreciated.
I've had my betta, Oscar, since March. He's been consistently healthy until the past week or two. The picture quality it pretty awful because I couldn't get him to sit still, but on his head and some of his scales closer to his head, he has white faded patches. Some of his scales look pale and flaky. There is a rocky swim through in his tank, so its possible it is damage from running into it. But I think it looks less to me an injury and more like an infection of some kind.
I've been using Bettafix for 3 days now and I haven't noticed improvement, but maybe it is too early to tell. Also, when cleaning out his tank this Thursday, I found a compartment in the filter I didn't know about so it hadn't been cleaned out. It was filled with what I assume is algae. Could that have caused poor water quality that caused whatever is going on with him?
Also, he is on his own in a 2.5 gallon tank with a filter.
Sorry for all the information, but since the photo quality is awful I thought I'd give all I know.

Thanks in advance!!!!!!
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #2 
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I would stop using the bettafix since it can hurt its labyrinth organ. fill out the beta care sheet in the sticky it will help in figuring out what's going on with your betta.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:29 PM   #3 
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Sorry I'm not seeing anything off about him. I have a female with the same body coloring, she's developed some lighter areas but its just her color changing. I thought the same thing, that she had injured herself but it hasn't gotten fuzzy & it doesn't look infected & its "spreading", she's still active & piggie so I quit worrying.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:22 PM   #4 
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What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 75F
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin betta bits
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x a day. When I asked how much I should feed him at the store, the guy said to feed him once a day as much as he'll eat in 2 minutes. I stopped doing that because if I don't stop feeding him, he won't stop eating. I'd imagine he could have had more than 10 in those two minutes.

How often do you perform a water change? every 1-2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? full change every 2 weeks, partial change every week
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? top fin water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
no, i haven't

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? scales have become pale and flaky looking
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? it hasn't
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Bettafix, 1/2 the recommended dose
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him since March and he was full grown (or the same size then)

I've posted a better quality picture. In the previous picture, the spots are overexposed. They are also kind of in this one, but I think it is better to see. His scales used to be relatively uniform and smooth looking. Now they look kind of flaky and puffy, thought that might be entirely the wrong word. He hasn't lost any scales of course, but it kind of reminds me of when snakes begin to molt.

Again, any advice is greatly appreciated. If I need to start checking the water parameters, I definitely will. People in the fish store said I didn't need to, but I think they're used to people who don't mind buying a new fish every month if theirs dies. I wouldn't have gotten my fish if I didn't care about his wellbeing, so I'm willing to do what I need for him. What is the best way to check the water quality?
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:17 PM   #5 
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If there's a petco near you, they will test your water for free. Bring a cup of your aquarium water to them and get alll of the specific numbers.

Does he look 'pineconed' at all? Can you take any pictures from the top?

The stuff in your filter sounds like Beneficial bacteria? to help breakdown ammonia and Nitrite. I wouldn't know, though xD Just a guess, rely on someone more experienced.

Do a full change of water. I wouldn't use bettafix/anything with Melaleuca aka tea tree oil in it. Do you have AQ salt? I suggest you try some of that instead. Fred had some slimy looking parasites, I used 3teaspoons/gallon for a couple of days and it cured him, safely and better than anything else could have, imo.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:03 AM   #6 
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Do you have a thermometer in the bowl telling you it's 75 or is that your room temp? Either way he's cold. I would invest in a good adjustable 25w heater.

The best way to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is with drops test kit like those by API. I would test on at least a biweekly basis with a tank that small. Maintaining a bacteria colony is very difficult. If it's cycled it should read 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and <20 nitrate.

His belly looks like it may be ever so slightly distended.. low temps slow down metabolism and lead to constipation, as do lower quality wheat based pellets like those. Petco has New Life Spectrum betta pellets and Omega One are good as well. Can you find either of those?

Last edited by callistra; 12-09-2012 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:11 AM   #7 
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Petstores usually will do it for free but they use the strip test which is terribly inacurate and hard to read the results. If you can, I would by the API mater test kit or at least the ammonia test kit.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:28 AM   #8 
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Finally got a better picture. He isn't pineconing, at least not that I can tell. I don't know if this provides any better insight- in the others, the white spots just looked like light reflections, but I think its easier to tell they are his coloring.

But, either way, I'm going to invest in a heater and the drops. Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:54 AM   #9 
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As far as feeding goes I go with 2-3 pellets 2x daily, skipping feedings when there are signs of bloating. Get a heater, its a must with tropical fish, the temp fluctuates a lot between night and day. The temp should be around 78-80F. The warmer water will speed up the metabolism. Epsom salt will also help with bloat as it draws fluids out of the betta. As far as your concern with his head, it doesn't sound like anything out of the ordinary, a lot of bettas will change colors as they mature. Keep an eye on it for precautions anyways. And keep us updated.
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