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Old 12-21-2012, 06:51 PM   #1 
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Drastic change in my betta

I got Bruno about a year and 4 months ago and at first kept him in a .9 gallon tank. As time went on I got him bigger tanks and he now resides in a 2 gallon tank with rocks, a castle, and a couple plants. He didn't last the bright blue color for very long, maybe only a few months, before he started turning darker. Over the summer of 2012 he was almost black and now gained a little bit of a navy blue back. Recently he started changing colors more towards red, but not too quickly. He acts completely fine and is a very active betta and always is swimming around and gets very excited when he sees me and when it's food time. I'm concerned because of the drastic color/size change of Bruno over the year I have had him. Any help?

This is Bruno when I first got him in August 2011

This is him today

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Old 12-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #2 
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He is very clamped and has some serious fin rot.. maybe even some body rot there on the top.. is that white bit fuzzy? I don't know about the white and red patches.. They don't look good to me but I'll let someone else comment on that.

More info would be helpful:

Last edited by callistra; 12-21-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the quick reply! I will look into the fin rot, the white does not appear to be fuzzy at all.

What size is your tank? 2 gallons
What temperature is your tank? not sure, under a lamp for heat during the day
Does your tank have a filter? no
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? Wardley betta food
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets once a day

How often do you perform a water change? once a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Safe water filtration

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? discoloration, clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not at all
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 4 months ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I was thinking he was just changing colors or getting old so no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought him August 2011 full grown
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #4 
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Yikes. Fin rot if left untreated can kill a betta in about 2 months. Treat with some AQ salt. See if that helps.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #5 
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You have a very hardy little guy there. The stickies in this forum are full of a lot of good info you might take some time to scan through.

First off, your tank needs at least two water changes a week.. one 50% and one 100%. The 100% should include a rinsing of all decorations and gravel. After a month the ammonia will very very high in a tank that size and he is suffering from ammonia poisoning at the very least. So right now he's going to need a water change.

When you say "Betta Safe water filtration" what is this? Are you using Tetra BettaSafe conditioner with filtered water? What kind of filtered water.. do you mean RO water? This may be another thing we need to fix, but I'll wait for your reply to go further.

You need to get a in tank thermometer. The cheap glass ones with suction cups work nicely. Unless you're keeping him in a room that remains 80F+ year round he also needs a heater. The best kind you can get is an adjustable one like a marineland visitherm with a dial that you can set because the preset cheaper ones tend to overheat, fail and fry fish. Add the thermometer first, see what the temp is. Set the heater several degrees below where the tank water is and very slowly click it up until it comes on. From there you can increase the tank temp one or two degrees an hour and no more than about 5 degrees a day. Only at this point, I would keep it low. Don't let it go over 74 degrees, just for now. Eventually we'll want him 78-79 but I don't want to jump start any potential bacterial infection we're dealing with here.

At this point.. he could have anything and everything. To be honest by the pic it looked like he has septicemia and now that I know about his water quality I'd say that's a distinct possibility.

So no fuzzies.. any sprinkles of salt? If you shine a flashlight does it look like he's dusted in gold or copper color? Those would be parasite infections. If not, I'm going to assume it's all bacterial and ammonia poisoning.

To deal with the ammonia poisoning I'd do a 100% water change right now and rinse everything off. You want to cup him while you're changing it out.. use like a plastic solo cup - something you'll use just for him and never have any soap or anything but pure water touching it. You want the water you put in the tank to be the same temp he's in now - which for him at this point will be room temp. Normally I would premix it in a bucket or gallon jugs (like you buy ro water at the store from) and let it sit in the same room overnight, or stick a thermometer in the running tap to make sure it's the right temp. Then put your conditioner in. If you're using jugs of RO water already then presumably they're already sitting around the room and temp won't be an issue. Acclimate him slowly to the new water by adding a couple tablespoons to his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour before dumping him back into the 2 gallon bowl.

Also for the ammonia poisoning I would give epsom salts. They need to be pure, 100% with no additives. Make sure they are by checking the ingredients label. They can be found at CVS Pharmacy or in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores. Add 1 tsp per gallon, and predissolve it before adding it to his container. I would have him remain in this for 2 weeks. Any time you make a water change you will need to add more salts. If you do a 50% water change add 50% of the salts in. If you do 100% water change add a full dose.

To treat several possible advanced bacterial infections including possibly septicemia I would get a good internal antibiotic like Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or Furan 2. They will need to be premixed and diluted for the 2 gallon. Depending on which you can I can help you do this.

Last edited by callistra; 12-21-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:50 PM   #6 
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Ooh..Yikes. Follow the instructions the above poster has given to the T. I would have said the same thing. He looks very clamped and ill but he must be a trooper to still be alive. Please get a heater and a thermometer as soon as possible. Also it's okay to not have a filter in a 2 gal but you should definitely be doing 100% water changes a couole times a week on a regular basis. Oh and is that betta water filteration stuff the same thing as conditioner? If not you need to use water conditioner that will detoxify and remove chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals. Good luck and please keep us updated.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #7 
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Thank you guys so much! I am going to get a heater right away for him. And yes it is conditioner I use in his tank, sorry. He is definitely a trooper I can tell you that much! I will change his water now and get some salts that hopefully will help. I shined a light on him and I didn't see any copper coloring on him. I will keep you guys updated!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #8 
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It's good you use conditioner. For a tank that small I would switch to Prime - 2 drops per gallon, as it will help with ammonia toxicity in a way that the conditioner you are using can't. Also what is the source of your water? Tap? RO? Other?

Good luck! Hope the guy starts to feeling better soon.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:10 PM   #9 
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I will look into that conditioner, thank you! And I do use tap water but I use the conditioner in it and let it sit out for a good 3 hours before putting him back in the tank. He has never had an issue adjusting to the tap water before since he really is far from a delicate fish in other words he has always been a trooper.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:12 AM   #10 
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An update about Bruno. He is still eating fine and swimming around cheerfully and actively as usual! I went out this morning and got the Prime conditioner for Bruno and I am going to do a 100% water change and use the new conditioner. I also got API Bettafix used to treat bacterial infections it got pretty good reviews so we will see how that works during the week. If you guys have any other suggestions or comments it would be much appreciated and thank you for all your help so far! I will definitely keep you all updated!

Last edited by katlin729; 12-23-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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