Am I over-reacting again? I hope so, because there's a weird white patch on the base of Jude's fin, as well as some on the top of his head and I'm freaking out.
Housing What size is your tank? 5 gallons What temperature is your tank? 79*F Does your tank have a filter? No (Old one broke, new one on the way)
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? No animals, partially submerged lucky bamboo
Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta flakes How often do you feed your betta fish? Once/twice a day
Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? Daily What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20% daily, 100% once a week What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat +
Water Parameters: Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm Nitrite: 0.0 Nitrate: 0.0 pH: 6.0 (!!! It was 7.6 about a week ago) Hardness: n/a
Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? I noticed a small white-ish patch on the top of his head a few days ago, but figured it might be nothing more than aging. Now there's a white patch at the base of his caudal fin as well. The patch on his head looks slimy and a little raised, the one on his tail looks like a solid sheet, maybe like he scraped away a layer of skin or had a piece of paper glued on. How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's been lethargic since I moved him into the 5g a month ago, I thought it was old age & depression (He had been in an active community tank before moving) When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today (5/11) Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I added rooibos tea to his tank about a week ago, which probably is why the pH is so crazy. I've done a 70% water change tonight and added ~1tsp/gal of aq salt. Does your fish have any history of being ill? One outbreak of ich over a year ago, I thought he was sick about two weeks ago but it seems to have been nothing How old is your fish (approximately)? 1.5-2 years
I just got over my paranoia of him being ill, when this happens. I really hope it's nothing major because I don't want to stress him (or me!) anymore than I have to. :c Is this maybe just color loss because he's getting old? Or maybe he scraped himself on something in the tank? (It's basically bare, but he does love wedging himself in weird places like behind the heater)
The tail spot doesn't really show well up in any of the pics I took (It's much brighter in real life), but it definitely wasn't there a few days ago.
I thought the white near his eyes/mouth was color loss from age but now I'm not sure anymore.
This fish is going to be the death of me, let me tell you. e_e
I've been doing small but frequent water changes (1g at a time), adding back in 1tsp aq salt and my pH is up to 6.6, which is better but still less than my tap water. I guess I have practically no natural buffers, so either no more tea or I'll get some pH corrector. Is it possible that I burned him with the acidity which caused the white patches?
Continuing to do water changes daily, but I stopped the AQ salt since I started wondering if it would do more harm than good. I don't want to stress him by adding medicines or doing frequent 100% water changes if it's unnecessary, but I just don't know what is wrong. And if this all is honestly just signs of aging I'd really like to have that closure.
The patch on his tail looks like it is flaking off, the one on his head has split into what almost looks like ich spots. And his upper lip is now partially white, but it doesn't look fuzzy to me. He looks super skinny from above and hardly eats, so I've been doing less food more often. He's lethargic, either floating with his head at the top of the water and his body dragging down or resting along the bottom.
Parameters continue to be good, some ammonia because the tank isn't cycled but nothing anywhere near danger levels (~0.25ppm max). Temp has stayed at 79*F, I've been feeding him as much as he will eat several times a day & siphoning up the excess, discontinued aq salt after four days but have added an extra dose of sc+ every other pwc.
Have you tried to PM somebody knowledgable about betta diseases who could help you? (Sakura8, logisticsguy etc.)
I'm afraid 0.25 is still too high for ammonia and the pH change must have been a lot of stress for him - sometimes it's better to keep your pH as it is, really.:( Has the salt helped any? Are the white bits fuzzy or not? Definitely keep the water changes going for now, I'd say.
Hopefully somebody will help you out! Good luck, wish I knew more.:( xxx
I wouldn't give him more food, only give what he eats and take out the rest. Don't let anything fall to the gravel because that's going to make the ammonia spike and you really don't need that right now.
You don't need to do a 100% water change on a 5 gallon unless something was severely wrong. I assume your tank has not been cycled since your ammonia is not at zero.
Only do a partial water change when any of the ammonia or nitrites get above Zero. But only a small one like 40-50%, test again after an hour. Keep doing this until you no longer see Ammonia levels, but only small changes at a time. And for his safety you need to have the water as close to his temp as possible and pour it in gently. I use a cup, scoop out from the bucket and gently pour the water from the cup. It helps keep Mercury's stress levels down since he's prone to stress.
Aquarium salt should only be used no more than 14 days, then it starts to effect their liver and kidney's. When used at 3 teaspoons per gallon, only 10 days. So it's good that you stopped.
If you can get ahold of Prime Water Conditioner this will help. You might have ammonia in your tap water so you should test straight from the tap. Prime will take care of any chlorine, chloramine and ammonia which will help him a bunch.
So get some Prime and stop using Stress Coat. Sometimes fish have adverse reactions to Stress Coat or having too much of it so I generally only use it while healing up fins and then use Prime when they aren't healing fins. So it's possible that the Stress Coat might be bothering him.
But from here, it still looks like he's getting old, if this is the case the only thing you can do is make him comfy and keep his water pristine :) I know it doesn't feel like you're doing much from him, but believe me, it's worth worlds when you do that :)
Thanks for replying! The ammonia is only as high as it is because that's the first bracket on my test kit, so if the test is even a tiny bit green I just round up. For the pH I plan on getting crushed coral/shells and adding them to the filter, to add some buffering to the water so it stops swinging around. Apparently my water is pretty soft, so after a while it naturally turns acidic ugh.
The reason I've been feeding him more is that he eats so little now, when he used to be a pig so I want to make sure he's getting enough. The tank is bare-bottomed for now so I suck out food and waste if he hasn't eaten it in a few minutes.
I wouldn't normally be doing 100% water changes but he doesn't have a filter right now, so there's no cycle to protect. Once the new one comes in the mail I'll be back to just pwcs. That's a good tip for how to do the water changes though, I usually just pour treated water from a gallon jug which can be a strong flow at times.
I started using SC after my other conditioner got used up, since it was on a good sale and I hadn't heard anything about it not being okay for regular use. But I can definitely understand how it might be annoying/stressful after a while; I'll see about getting a different conditioner as soon as I can.
And yeah, logically I know odds are he's just getting old; but I really hoped there was something 'wrong' that I could just treat and make him all better again. I tend to panic and since I spend so much time with him, it's really easy to freak out about little things. I'll check out that site you linked to and start getting mentally prepared I guess.
Don't worry, I know it's not easy when your friend is not well and you can't exactly do anything to treat him :( But it's better to just give him fresh, clean, warm water instead of medicating which would only stress him out more :)
Stress Coat doesn't usually bother them, but in some cases it can.
But so far your care does look good :) I had forgotten about the filter thing so I apologize for that.
Originally I was going to say that it shouldn't be turning pH that quickly but after doing a quick reading, I revised my judgement lol. So apparently soft water is prone to pH swings and rapidly which is no good, as you know :) Here is an interesting article on Soft Water, more on how to change water to soft but the beginning is a good read if you've got time to skim it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwsoftness.htm
Lol I was just looking at another site and one person suggested "Freeze it! It's the hardest water you'll get!" I started to literally laugh out loud XD Silly comments.
Also, do you get water from your tap or is it distilled water or regular Spring water from a market?
What a great article, btw! :D Thank you, linaugrim, you are really knowledgable, it's amazing! :) I have soft water also, so I can totally see how you could be having issues with it. It's so difficult to maintain, isn't it! I know that I managed to stress him out with a fluctuation two weeks ago or so (added a cuttlebone for the snail and it apparently messed up the water sightly). I'm embarrassingly still laughing at that joke about hard water, btw.xD
Awww I'm so sorry that you can't treat him, I can imagine it must be so hard, but at least you know he's not suffering and we can tell you've given him the best home you possibly could and you're doing great. xxx