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Old 02-16-2013, 12:02 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Mississippi
Smile Is this velvet or natural coloring?

Hey everyone! I have been lurking around the forums for a while now, but I have a specific question for you guys. I just got my new buddy, a halfmoon double tail named Mr. Bubbles, from Petco about two weeks ago. When he was still in the cup in the store, I noticed a small silver-looking patch around his gill area. I wasn't sure if it was velvet or just part of his natural color, but I really wanted him, so I decided to take the plunge. He was the most lively out of the bunch and I thought he was gorgeous.
I started him off in a 2 gallon while I waited for my new tank, decorations, etc. to arrive from Amazon. A couple days ago, his 5 gallon tank and decorations/plants arrived, so I excitedly set up his new home. I noticed that these patches might be getting worse, and I suspect from doing Google searches that it might be velvet. I honestly don't know because his new 5 gallon has a lighted hood, so maybe I'm just now seeing what was already there. That's why I'm asking you guys!
I am attaching pictures. These patches are on both sides of his gills. What do you guys think? And if it is velvet, what do I need to do about it? Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from y'all! Mr. Bubbles thanks you too!

P.S. - These pictures are not of the best quality and I apologize.. hopefully you'll be able to see what I'm talking about!
P.P.S. - His fins are ripped because of the filter. :(

What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? Stays between 78-80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? I alternate between Hikari Betta Bio Gold, Tetra BettaMin, and NutraFin Max.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3-4 flakes or pellets once a day; fast one day a week.

How often do you perform a water change? I haven't done one yet; I just got his tank setup two days ago.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? I haven't done one yet, but planning on doing 50% once a week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I added 5mL of API Stress Coat+ and about 1/3 bottle of Tetra SafeStart (the bottle for up to 75 gallons).

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Once, the day after I set it up. These are the test results of my specific kit:

GH: between 0-30
KH: 180-240
Ph: between 6.5-7.0
NO2: 0
NO3: 20

...Are these numbers okay?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins have ripped a bit due to the filter in his new tank. :(
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It hasn't. When I got him from Petco two weeks he had these patches on his gill area. It seems like they might have gotten worse, but I'm not totally sure. He has been lively, hungry and curious ever since I got him. He sometimes frantically swims around the tank and into the edges, though, but ever since I upgraded him from the two gallon to the 5 gallon he seems to be doing that less.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I got him at Petco. I thought the patches may just be a part of his natural color.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I don't know
How old is your fish (approximately)? If I were to guess, about 6 months to a year, but I have no idea.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:08 AM   #2 
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Haha, wow.. the picture quality is even worse than I thought! You can see the reflection of my ceiling fan lights in some pictures, lol! Let me know if I should upload better ones!

Oh and I forgot to mention that although he has occasionally been swimming around frantically, he has not (to my knowledge) been rubbing/scratching against anything in the tank. I read that this is a symptom of velvet because the fish is trying to get the parasites off of him. Nor have I noticed any lethargy, although he LOVES hanging around his filter.. Why is that? I hope he's not rubbing against it! Please don't let it be velvet! LOL!
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:29 AM   #3 
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velvet would look lie he is sprinkled with gold dust and normally you can't see it without shining a light on him, however some bettas have a natural goldish tone to them.

I think what you are seeing is normal. Is it that silver spot around the gills? Maybe scar tissue from ammonia burns??

this is velvet
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:42 AM   #4 
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Location: South Glens Falls NY
It's normal. :) Betta's get colored stripes on their gills it's fine. The betta as my avatar picture has silver stripes
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:38 AM   #5 
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listen its weird my bubba look exctly the same as your (the blue black fishie __ HE EVEN has the weird ( ) things on his gills somethimes , mabe its jus a thing about the collor that does that
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:52 AM   #6 
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His gill colors are normal. It's common to have that pattern on blue fish. He looks very healthy in your photos :)

what filter are you using? If it's HOB, I suggest a prefilter sponge:

Here's a thread on cycling: Basically, you need a reliable drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. You should be testing daily for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see signs of either. No matter how many extra changes you do, you need to do a 50% change with siphon at week's end. First you will see a spike in ammonia, then nitrite. Ammonia will stay at 0 even after a week of no water changes, followed by nitrites. Cycling can take up to 2 months to complete. At this time a once weekly 50% change with siphon should be good.

I see a decoration with small holes he cannot fit through. it's important that anything you put in his tank with holes are big enough for him to fit in. Bettas are notorious for trying to jam themselves into places they don't fish and seriously injuring or even killing themselves in the process.

Last edited by callistra; 02-16-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:27 AM   #7 
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I'm jealous! Lol
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:24 PM   #8 
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Location: Mississippi
Wow, thank you all for such quick and informative replies! :)

@Tikibirds: Yes, the silver spots are around the gills. They sometimes appear to be gold, though. In different lights they look different colors, I think. Thank you for the picture! He doesn't look like that. I don't see any "sprinkles" anywhere, just patches. I don't think it is velvet after all. Yay! As far as ammonia burns go, well, I don't know how much (or if any) ammonia is in his tank, or how much was in the cup in which I bought him. I thought the test kit I ordered online would test for ammonia, but it only tests for the following:

GH: between 0-30
KH: 180-240
Ph: between 6.5-7.0
NO2: 0
NO3: 20

*None of these are ammonia, right? Or am I totally confused?

@xShainax: Great! That makes me so relieved. Thank you! Your betta is really pretty. :)

@brookeandbubba: Good! I'm glad this looks normal. I was worried! Thank you!

@callistra: I'm glad he looks healthy! I hope he continues to be! I'm using the filter that came with my aquarium. This is the aquarium:
He loves the filter so far. He is constantly hanging around it and playing in the current! The guard it comes with really calms the flow. I hope it lasts a while. If I ever get a HOB, I will definitely check those prefilter sponges out! :)

I will read up on the nitrogen cycle as well! I was really disappointed when I found out that the kit I bought off of Amazon doesn't check for ammonia (unless I'm missing something).. I thought that was supposed to be the main thing you test for!? I'll go to town soon and get an ammonia testing kit.

And yes, the decoration was another disappointment. I bought it online and I thought the holes would be bigger. But so far, he hasn't even attempted to go through those holes. He usually comes up into the little tree house from the bottom and goes out that way as well. I think he's more interested in the filter than any of the decorations in his tank, LOL! That crazy little thing. If I notice that he is trying to go in/out the small holes, I will take the decoration out. Thank you for your advice. That's a good thing to know!

@White Mage: Aww, thank you! I thought he was too! Yours is very pretty as well! LOL!

Thank you all for your replies! I can really tell that you guys care about your little finned friends!
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