So i'm new to the whole betta thing. My mom has one and i absolutely loved it, so a friend of mine bought me my own betta about 3 weeks ago.
I got him a 1 gallon tank and put rocks and soft plastic plants in it that i was told would be safe for his fins. I've been doing a partial (1/3 to a half) clean of his water every week.
This last week i started seeing this strange filmy stuff all over the top of his water. Now tonight i've noticed what looks like shed scales floating in his water too... I did my best to clean them up but he even looks like he's lost color on his body.
He's acting normal in every other way. He always follows me around the room and watches me, and he's eating fine. I guess the only other thing i've noticed is that he keeps rubbing himself on this flower and i'm watching a skin sort of thing come off of him.
I'm guessing this isn't good, cuz i've never heard of fish shedding their scales and couldn't find anything about it on the internet. So what is this i'm seeing and what do i do about it?
I've been feeding him 4 pellets twice a day... but i'm guessing i'm over feeding him? So i'm going to start cutting back tomorrow.
It's been a little chilly in our area the last couple of days too... but i don't know what the best means for warming his water up would be. Any suggestions?
Also, i haven't tested his water parameters cuz my mom has never had to with her fish. But i'm wondering if i need to check Darci's parameters?
My husband won't let me buy anything for Darci.... he says it's not worth it... All i can do is clean the bowl out as best i can and do it more regularly... how regularly should i do it? Is there any way to sanitize it safely without killing him?
Is the Betta Fix that you get at pet stores good to use?
Looking on the internet at various betta sites it seems to me that he's got Velvet. I started seeing shiny little gold flecks on him today when he's in the light, and that was a symptom that a website had mentioned: http://www.bettatalk.com/betta_diseases.htm
Is the Betta Fix that you get at pet stores good to use?
Never had to use it myself, Not sure what its good for, you'd have to read on the bottle what its good for...
I started seeing shiny little gold flecks on him today
Different problem, May very well be Velvet,
Guess I've been lucky, never really had any problems with any of my betta's
Good clean fresh water, High water temps (80) and the odd salt baths has always served me good...
Velvet is a disease caused by protozoa that infects the fins and body of the fish. The disease is not that uncommon but can easily be treated once diagnosed. Some fish species such as Danios are more susceptible to velvet then others, and once infected they can infect other fish species in the aquarium that do not attract this disease as easily. Species that attract this disease easily are usually more resilient toward its negative health effects and can be infected without becoming seriously ill or die. The fish should regardless of this be treated, since an infect fish as earlier mentioned can infect other fish in the aquarium. The disease is extremely contagious and is usually fatal unless treated.
The main symptom of velvet and what has given it its name is the presence of golden or brownish dust on the body and fins of the infected fish. The disease can in fact look rather good on some fish. The golden dust often first appears around the gills as that often are the first place the disease infects. Other symptoms include clamping of the fins, shortage of breath, scratching on the décor, and infected gills.
Velvet can be treated with Acriflavine (trypaflavine) or copper. Both substances have potentially serious side effects and it is therefore important not to overdose and to gradually change the water in the aquarium once the treatment is completed. Copper can poison and kill a fish while Acriflavine (trypaflavine) can cause infertility in fish. Use 0.2 mg copper per litre aquarium water or 1 ml Acriflavine (trypaflavine) per litre aquarium water. There are some information that increased temperature 80F + /27C + might help cure this disease but this has not been confirmed and using copper or Acriflavine (trypaflavine) is recommended.
Adding a little aquarium salt is also a common remedy for a lot of problems... although its effectiveness on various diseases is not really a fine science. xD It's something of the 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' methodology, for tanks.
Iodine is fine in the salt (iodized salt) because natural salt also contains iodine. It is not toxic to the fish unless it is presented in extremely high doses (which you aren't going to get unless you are pouring a full cup of salt into your tank, or something ridiculous like that. And the fish will probably die from the salinity shock first anyhow) What you should NOT have in your salt is any caking agents, which can make your fish sick and clog their gills (fishy not able to breath = dead fishy very quickly), hence why normal table salt is not recomended. However, kosher salt does not contain caking agents if you are unable to buy aquarium salt (although this is really the best) and kosher salt can be found at any food market (wal-mart, publix, win-dixe, albertson's, etc). Oh and be sure if you're getting salt from a pet store that it is aquarium or pond salt, and NOT marine salt (kalkwasser). This is a very different kind of salt which contains many other trace elements, and is only for use in marine (salt water) aquariums. This sort of salt will make your betta ill and probably kill it.
Betta fix is okay, but be careful in your dosing of it. I find it's really only a preventative, and not that great. Salt seems to do more. However, if your fish does in fact have velvet, then start salt treatment promptly. Also, raise the temperature of your tank's water (keep it at 82-84 this is above the parasite's threshhold to survive, but still good for the betta) ... if you haven't got a heater yet, now is sure the time to get one, as one, bettas like warm water, and two, if it is velvet, they don't survive in warmer water. Also, if its velvet, keep the tank light off for the next several days to a week as ou are treating your fish. If your fish is in a room that normally has a light on a lot, throw a towel or sheet over your betttas tank to make it darker for them. The parasite that causes velvet contains chlorophyl (yes, the same stuff that makes trees green) and it need light to help synthesize food. Keeping the tank dim will help to stunt the growth of the velvet and kill it.
Do you have a filter in your tank? If so, you need to turn it off for this and remove it. Tanks with filters and activated carbon will suck out any medicines you put in the water before it gets to the fish, and has a tendency to do the same to the salt. Also, many of the parasites may have taken up residence in the filter, so it needs to be washed out and let dry to kill them off.
Copper sulfate is also a commonly recommended treatment for fish with velvet, but I do not recomend using this on a betta fish because they are intolerant of heavy metals, and you are just as likely to kill the betta with the treatment as you are the disease using that stuff.
A good way to help prevent velvet from ever happening again is keeping up on frequent water changes (twice a week, not once in a tank that small, the water is becoming fouled too quickly, which allows disease to spread easier) and adding salt to your tanks every once and a while with water changes, as remember, salt does not evaporate with water, and if left to add up in the tank, will raise the salinity to toxic levels for your fish.
If you could get some good pictures of your fish to show us what you are talking about, we could help you more easily identify whether you do have velvet or not.
I'll go get some aquarium salt today... i've been trying to spot the gold flecks on him and they've disappeared since i started the betta fix. I didn't think about taking pictures of him until it was too late.
He's in just a 1 Gallon fish bowl so i haven't put a heater or water filter on his bowl. I'm not going to be able to get a heater for him until next week... but i'll see what i can do about keeping him a little warmer.
Thanks guys for your help!! I really appreciate it!