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Old 01-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Sick Betta?

I'll try to post a pic or two tonight, I didn't even think to take one.

Our Betta has a white spot near his dorsall fin area. It has a cottony appearance to the spot. Does anyone have any ideas what this may be and how I should treat it?

We have in in a 1/2 gallon plastic aquarium without a filter. There is one plastic plant in the bowl.

Thanks for the help
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #2 
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
White and fluffy? You have yourself a bacterial infection there. In fishkeeping it is coloquially known as 'fungus' even theough it is in fact a bacteria. It it possible that he got a scratch or tear from the plastic plant which then became infected because of dirty water.

Here is a quote from something I posted on a similar thread a while ago:


The two major problems contributing to your betta's illness are:
1) Small tank. To start, you are going to need a tank a minimum of 4 times the size of your current one (2 gallons) but if this is your first betta you will want to go with a 5 gallon tank. Why? Here is a quote from a similar thread I posted a while ago:
Yeah. Unfortunately fish stores will sell you just about anything to get your money. And they make considerably more selling cheap tanks to a bunch of people than they do selling proper tanks to the few people who have actually done their homework on tank size.

Another common myth is that small tanks are lower maintenance. If you put three drops of red food coloring in your 1g bowl, it would probably turn the water bright red. If you put 3 drops of red food coloring in a 5g tank, it would only turn the water a light pink. The same goes for the waste your fish produces. The smaller the tank, the stronger the wase will be. So you have to clean it more often. If you are looking for a truly good beginner size, I strongly recommend you grab a 5g tank.

Furthermore, there are no heaters on the market that will heat a 1g to the right temperature. Since it is such a small amount of water even the smallest of heaters will often make the water too hot.

So basically your fish is getting sick because it is being poisoned by it's own waste. Which produces a toxin called ammonia. You may recognize ammonia as a main ingredient in aggressive cleaning agents and hair bleachers. Not good lol. In order to keep ammonia at a safe level in a 1/2g tank you would have to clean it twice a day! That's probably more time than you'd spend enjoying your fish!!!

2) No heat. They are tropical fish, silly! A water temp of 80 degrees is ideal, give or take 2 degrees. Maybe if you live in the Sahara you will be able to get away without a heater but for the rest of the world, well... you could always crank your heat up to 27 celsius or you could jsut get a heater. As stated above, the smallest gallonage you can safely run any heater in is 1.5g (and even heaters that low-powered are rare!). When they get too cold their metabolism will slow down, like an animal going into hibernation. And bettas don't hibernate so all it does is make them really lethargic and susceptible to disease.

So basially a combination of these factors is weakening your betta's immune system and making him prone to infection. Until you rectify this you will have little luck treating him. Here is a step by step on how to eliminate the root of the problem and cure your betta:

1) Get him a bigger tank. As stated, anything upwards of 2g will suffice but for your convenience I suggest a 5g. You can use a kritter keeper, fish tank, large bowl, vase, storage bin... anything will suffice as long as it is bigger than his current tank!

2) Get a heater and a thermometer. You will want about 5 watts of heater power for every gallon, for instance a 2 gallon would need 10 watts and a 5 gallon would need 25. Set the temperature to 74 degrees for now, as higher temps will only promote bacterial growth at this point. When he recovers you can crank it up to 80 to prevent further illness.

3) Add aquarium salt as instructed to discourage the bacteria. Observe him for a few days and see if he makes a turnaround. If not, report back and we will move up to an antibiotic.

4) Clean the tank often!

There... I hope that was of some help. My main concern at this point is that the infection will eat its way down his fin and attack his body. Just hang in there and we'll get this under control lol.

Oh yeah... welcome to the betta forum!
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:25 PM   #3 
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Thank you for the advice
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