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Old 12-31-2012, 09:11 PM   #1 
LexiWhits
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Exclamation My white betta is turning black. Help!

I bought two male bettas from a local pet store a little over a month ago. Actually, rescued is a better term. I also purchased a small two gallon tank with a divider down the middle. (I know that they need at least 2 gallons by themselves, but I couldn't afford a bigger one at the time.) Two weeks after bringing them home, I started noticing a black patch on my white one's side. He was eating normally (like a pig) so I wasn't too worried. But, it slowly got bigger. I can't find anything on the symptom. I did read that "marbling" does happen, but I just want to be sure. My other betta doesn't show any discoloration.

Housing
What size is your tank? I bought a new tank two days ago- 6 gallons
What temperature is your tank? No clue, new tank was supposed to come with a heater but there wasn't one in the box.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, a whisper filter that is currently on the lowest setting.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? A bubble stone on the opposite side of the filter.
Is your tank heated? Not currently, (working on that) water seems a bit cool to the touch.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Both boys are in the same tank, but I have a divider in the middle.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? It depends. I feed them when I wake up. If they do not eat, I dip out the food and try again when I have lunch. And before I go to bed. So roughly twice a day, but these flakes are fairly large.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? In the old tank, every two days. I just put the boys in their new tank today.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Did do 75%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Dechlorinator

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I have not tested my water.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? See above.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? See above.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? See above.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I haven't treated for anything yet, didn't want to cause any unnecessary stress.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for a little over a month, but before that...who knows?
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:13 PM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
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Heating and food fed seem to be a problem.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:36 PM   #3 
LexiWhits
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Thanks for the quick response . I'm planning on getting a heater in the next few days. Should I try to change to pellets? Will the black stuff go away? Do I need to medicate for anything? I'm sorry, I'm just really worried
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:42 PM   #4 
AyalaCookiejar
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Honestly, he's probably marbling if he's acting fine and eating. Do you have any pictures? I don't recommend a heater without a thermometer (in tank glass one). They usually aren't 100% accurate.
I have a 25watt Hydor Theo heater in both my 5.5 gallons and they work great. Also I recommend either Omega One or New Life Spectrum Betta pellets... The NLS ones are best. Both are nutritious for your bettas.

Edit: the reason you need a thermometer is because both of my heaters are set to 80some degrees but the water is only 78 degrees (because my room temp is about 60). The preset ones would not heat my water efficiently and they usually aren't that stable.

Last edited by AyalaCookiejar; 12-31-2012 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:43 PM   #5 
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I would look into getting a heater, ESP since it is so cold outside. (Did you get that bookshelf petco tank? Curious.)

Pellets are usually better than flakes. Try to get a pellet that has a high protein content. They also can help you keep track of how much your fish are actually eating.

The black on his side is probably marbling. (:
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:54 PM   #6 
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AyalaCookiejar: I put a before and after as my avatar. Its not very big, but I couldn't figure out how to upload a picture. My mom keeps the house super warm, about 70, and I usually have a space heater running in my room. I'll invest in a thermometer when I get a heater . I invested in flakes because my friend has a few bettas and they refuse to eat pellets (I didn't want to risk them not eating), but I will pick some up and try it out.


xjenuhfur: I bought a kit from Walmart, it came with a better filter and was wayyyyyyyy cheaper. (College kid haha).

Thanks for replying . I was afraid it was a fungus or something worse. But my other betta is all fine so now that I know it's not anything horrible, it is a huge relief.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:59 PM   #7 
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Please share photos. We can't really diagnose anything without them.. though I have a feeling it's normal marbling.

Your divider allows water to pass from side to side, correct? Is it opaque or clear? Putting bettas side by side can cause them to get stressed and sick if they can see eachother. I suggest using an opaque divider (water needs to be able to pass) and putting lots of plants up next to them on both sides to obscure their view.

I highly suggest getting a good quality adjustable heater - 50w would work in this size. My favorites are Aqueon Pro (the black ones, not the regular line glass one which are sub par), Jagar, and Marineland Visitherm. You must use an in tank thermometer along with the heater and not assume temp: http://www.amazon.com/Marina-Floatin.../dp/B0002AQITK You can also use two smaller heaters - 1 on each side. I'd put the single heater right up next to the dividers in the middle to try to keep the heat as even as possible across the tank.

I would always give any new heater a test run for 24 hours in similar size container with thermometer to make sure it will hold temp (no fluctuations) and it is fully working. To acclimate in your betta's tank, put the thermometer in first and see how cold it is. Set the heater several degrees below what the thermometer says. Then slowly click it up until it comes on. Stop. You can raise temp 1 degree per hour up to 5 degrees per day.

I also suggest pellets and flake food mucks up your water pretty fast. Some will dissolve and you can't help it but you shouldn't ever leave any in the tank uneaten. I like New Life Spectrum Betta - can be found at Petco among others - and I feed 5-8 split up into 2 or 3 feedings a day with one fast day a week. I have also had some ok results with Omega One Betta Buffet - feed 3 or 4 split up with the fast day.

Also suggest getting a prefilter sponge to keep your betta and his fins from getting snagged in the filter: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...efilter+sponge

You need to invest in a drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate if you want to cycle this tank and not do weekly 100% water changes. See cycling guide here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838Cycling will take up to 2 months. During this time you must test daily for ammonia and nitrite. Anytime you see ammonia reach .25ppm you must do a water change. Eventually you will start seeing nitrites and you must do a water change anytime ammonia or nitrites hit .25ppm. Eventually ammonia and nitrites will hit 0 and you will be left with only nitrates. A weekly water change of 50% should keep these <20ppm.

ETA: bettas should be kept no colder than 76 degrees, but 78-80 is ideal. Your tank temp will be several degrees below room temp, making him absolutely FREEZING in the 60s.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:04 PM   #8 
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It looks like normal marbling to me.
Did you get the Aqua culture kit with the whisper filter? I have two!
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:25 PM   #9 
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callistra: I finally figured out how to upload a picture. I'll try to get my hands on a water testing kit when I pick up a heater and pellets. Thank you for the extra info It will come in handy when I get everything I need.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:25 PM   #10 
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That's a drastic change, but ti does look like normal marbling to me :)
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