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Old 08-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #1 
tlou5
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New Betta Owner/ Color change

Hello- We have just gotten our first Betta, Plum. We have had him about a week now and I am concerned about his color. When we purchased him he had a primarily black body with some blue and fins were blue with red edges. His black seems to be fading to blue and he is gray under his chin. His fins are in good shape but he doesn't flare them ever really, they sort of just float behind him. He does have a few white spots on his body as well. (?ICK). He is in a 2.5 gallon tank that has a mini heater which maintains it at about 78-80 degrees. We have done six partial water changes (about 30% each time) and I did add salt the last two days in case it was ICK. I have not tested the water yet for ph/ etc but will go back to PETCO and buy a kit later today. He seems pretty perky, comes forward to greet us at the tank, likes to eat, swims, and rests on his favorite leaf near the top, but color is so dramatically different I am worried something is wrong and there is such conflicting information on the different web sites I am unsure what to do. Should I do a full water change? We are planning on getting a 5 gallon tank with a filter as reading here (vs the book on Betta care I bought at PETCO) indicates that is better for them, but would moving him again this soon shock him and make things worse? Any help will be appreciated. He is our first fish and I want him to be with us for quite awhile.

Oh- In regards to food we feed him 2-3 pellets 2x daily and have given him 2 blood worms for treats. We also fasted him one day.

Last edited by tlou5; 08-20-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:51 AM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Most likely it's just him coloring up! It frequently happens to Betta's who come home for the first time, they stress out and then they color up to their true colors when they're content in their living space. So that's one possibility, another could be Marbling which is something known as the jumping gene which makes betta's scales turn different color but usually it's a little more dramatic like white turning to blue!

Sounds like you've got him on a great schedule so far! I do have to note though the bloodworms if they are freeze-dried should only be fed once a week. I assume they are since you haven't specified, however if they are Frozen Bloodworms those can be fed 2 or 3 times a week with a few little worms. Fasting is great!

Also I suggest you read up on Cycling tanks; aka the Nitrogen Cycle and we've got a few sticky threads here in the Betta bowl, tank and habitat section (just the articles at the top) so those would be a good read to start and then ask questions about it in new threads if it's not quite clicking. It will take a few reads to really understand how the process all works but you and your fish will be much happier in the end!

I would like to see a picture of him and his little spots to see if it's Ich or if it's something else he may have since there could be a few different things
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:32 PM   #3 
tlou5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilnaugrim View Post
Most likely it's just him coloring up! It frequently happens to Betta's who come home for the first time, they stress out and then they color up to their true colors when they're content in their living space. So that's one possibility, another could be Marbling which is something known as the jumping gene which makes betta's scales turn different color but usually it's a little more dramatic like white turning to blue!

Sounds like you've got him on a great schedule so far! I do have to note though the bloodworms if they are freeze-dried should only be fed once a week. I assume they are since you haven't specified, however if they are Frozen Bloodworms those can be fed 2 or 3 times a week with a few little worms. Fasting is great!

Also I suggest you read up on Cycling tanks; aka the Nitrogen Cycle and we've got a few sticky threads here in the Betta bowl, tank and habitat section (just the articles at the top) so those would be a good read to start and then ask questions about it in new threads if it's not quite clicking. It will take a few reads to really understand how the process all works but you and your fish will be much happier in the end!

I would like to see a picture of him and his little spots to see if it's Ich or if it's something else he may have since there could be a few different things
I have just taken several pictures- where do I send them? Thank you!
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:36 PM   #4 
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You can do a few things with them. You can click on "Go Advanced" then on the upper right of the text box there's a paper clip. You click that, then browse to find your pictures in the folder on your desktop and click "Upload" and then they'll go at the end of your message.

Or you can use a Image Hosting site such as Photobucket, TinyPic, or Imageshack.com and then you click on the IMG Coding, copy and paste it to the text box and that uploads your pictures here so I can see them
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:41 PM   #5 
tlou5
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Plum pictures

OK- here are the pictures (or so I hope). I apologize for the blurriness but he was in a mood to swim and not pose. If you need a better quality picture I can try again. Thank you so much for your help.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:47 PM   #6 
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He's a pretty little thing ^_^ young too. And yes he's got Ich. I'd say bump the temp up to 85-86 but I know your heater isn't adjustable. So I suggest, if you can, to get either Kordon Rid-Ich/Ich-Attack or you could use salt but ONLY at 1 teaspoon per gallon so if he's in 1.5 gallons use 1.5 teaspoons all together. Please, please, please, DISSOLVE the salt before you put it in, salt gives off heat when it dissolves so you don't want to burn your fishie.

Do a full 100% water change every day while you use the meds/salt and make sure you replace the salt/med's that you took out. So say you took out only half the water (50%) then you have to replace 50% of the salt as well which means .75 tsp. But doing 100% water changes will get rid of free floating particles of ich so it won't effect your fish again. The salt will help invigorate his slime coat so that he can shed the parasites off himself, however do NOT use salt for more then 10 day's as it can cause serious side effects if used long term. If you go to 14 day's my accident, it's not going to kill him but it's just better to stick to 10 day's.

So 100% water change everyday, salt/meds, and well, normally heat haha but he should be good in about 2 weeks.

Continue to do water changes and salt for another week after you see the last spot go away. However if the salt has to go more than 10 day's, just stop it at day 10 and continue with the water changes and he'll be fine.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #7 
tlou5
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Thank you so much. Will head to the store and get the meds now. Just want to clarify- should I use salt AND meds or salt OR meds? When you say 100% water change do I do it all at once or 50% two different times throughout the day? Also, even though you say 100% change I still should save a little of the water I take out to climatize him right?

Also- is this due to something I have done wrong? What should I be doing differently to prevent this in future?

Last edited by tlou5; 08-20-2013 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #8 
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Just Salt, or just Med's not both. Combining meds and salts is something for more serious cases but it's much more stressful on the fish. So use either or, not both. I like Kordon just because it's a more natural remedy, the directions are for 10 gallons unfortunately but since it's more natural, it's okay if you use a little too much. I did double dose on my sorority a while ago.

And when I say 100%, usually you can just scoop him out with a plastic cup. You may have to chase him the first few times but once you get him in there, leave the cup about half-3/4 full and feed him a pellet or two so he associates cups with good things and eventually you won't have an issue cupping him And then, you can shut the heater off and bring the tank to the sink and dump it, careful not to dump the gravel out. For that you can just add a little water in, swish around in the tank and pour out as much water as you can without the gravel coming out. You can also use a collander with tiny holes so the gravel doesn't go through but you get all the water out.

So you want to take all the water out for a 100%, if you were doing 90% then you leave a little water in. But you want to get rid of as much of the Ich as you can. You don't have to wipe down the tank or anything, just rinse it out in tap and fill up with water again. Make sure to try to keep it around 80 degree's. If you have a glass thermometer you can run it under the tap to get just about 80* to make it easier on you, less time waiting for the heater to heat the tank water.

Then condition the water, put in your dissolved salt or meds and then to acclimate you you can float his cup in the water, it will tip over a little but he'll be fine to rest there. If you haven't changed the temp much from the original water, you can add in 2-3 Tablespoons of new water into his cup every 8-10 minutes or so until his cup is full or it's been about thirty minutes which is a good time. And then you can gently tip him into the tank and he's good to go

And this most likely isn't something you did, all your care is great! Many diseases lurk in the water waiting to attack the fish when the fish get's stressed or otherwise compromised. Moving to a new home and a new tank is very stressful for fish so I'm honestly not surprised he got it, Ich is one of the more easier ones to cure though so it's good to start off with so to say lol. But it's nothing you did, it's just things that happen even to the best of fish and to the best of keepers
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:13 PM   #9 
tlou5
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Thanks again- this clarifies things so much. I did buy the medicine as well, but it was a different brand than you suggested as it was all our local pet store had. However, since I am already using salt I will just stick with that. I did buy some new silk plants to put in his tank as well when I do the water change. Will that stress him out changing his new home so soon?

Also I do want to get him a bigger tank with a filter (will read the info you suggested first), but what would be a good time frame to move him? I don't want to stress him more, but it sounds like that is a better long term choice for him.

Lastly, how long until he starts to look better? Do they usually respond quickly to treatment or does it take awhile?

Again thank you so much for your help!
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:47 PM   #10 
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Oh great! Yeah, mind as well continue with the salt anyway As for adding things, actually no the addition of more plants and hides will make him feel more at home and he'll thoroughly enjoy it! See the thing with Betta's is that they're afraid of big open spaces and that big open space can be in any tank. If you have a bare 1 gallon, yeah they're not going to feel very safe as if they were in a 33 gallon that's heavily planted with hides and tall plants everywhere. It's just the way they are, so having more plants (real or fake doesn't matter) will really benefit him and make him much more comfortable so go right ahead and throw them in!

You could get the tank now but it's going to take a few weeks to cycle it. The thing I told you to look up is the reason. Basically there are three levels of chemicals in the tank (there are more but we focus on these three); ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Ammonia and Nitrite are harmful chemicals which come from fish waste, uneatten food, dissolved and other non-dissolved organic compounds. We take them out with water changes but to help us along there's a little thing called Beneficial Bacteria.

Beneficial Bacteria or BB, takes the ammonia and converts it to nitrites and then finally converts it to nitrAtes which are less harmful. You can have up to 20ppm of nitrAtes in the tank and your fish will be fine. So these BB essentially keep your tank healthy and your fish safe. But there's a catch, we have to grow these colonies of BB, that is what is called Cycling a tank; growing your colony.

So there are a couple different methods; Fish-In (the old way) and Fish-Less (new way). Fish-less is much safer for your fish obviously and will take usually about 2 weeks only to get it fully cycled and you can instantly put your fish in there! Fish-In will take about a month and causes lots of stress to your fish because in order for the BB to grow you have to go through an Ammonia Spike and a Nitrite Spike which sometimes fish don't make it through the process. So I suggest the Fish-less method

And for starting to look better, he may take a week or more to fully settle into his home, however being sick, he might just be dull looking until you can get rid of the Ich so he will color up, it will just take time since each Betta is different you'll never really know until one day you come in and he's a whole different, brighter color!
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