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Old 03-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #1 
Scubakrat
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Exclamation Stress Lines, Color Fade and Possible Fin Rot?!

Same stuff, different day!
It seems that I'm having yet another issue with my baby boy


I'll start from the beginning...
When I bought my little Scuba home, he was an ordinary, blue betta. Of course, as he settled into the small container I kept him in, he became brighter, but his head still remained dark.


That is, until I moved him into his 10 gallon tank...

Of course I conditioned his water, bought a heater and began running a filter with activated carbon, so I assumed all was well. However, within a few days of moving into his new home, I began to notice his color "fade". He also took on a pair of stripes on either side of his body.



In my original forum post addressing this issue, I was told the stripes were a sign of stress. So, to reduce that stress, I bought the little guy a few silk plants and some hideaways. It's been a few weeks and his color still remains faded (I often question whether they're STILL fading) and those darn stripes are still present! I can't figure it out!
This is a picture I took yesterday.
He currently appears as he does here:


I just can't figure him out!
Sometimes his color will fade even more drastically until it appears like this:

But, for some reason, when I hold up a mirror to make him flare, his dark colors will return.
Speaking of his colors, I've noticed that I can now see through his anal fin somewhat. Not all the way, but the red isn't quite as opaque as it always is! What in the world is wrong with my baby?!
I'm at a loss now, because I've done almost everything I can without involving chemicals or medications...
My heart is also breaking because, this morning, I discovered that the top of his tail and the top of his dorsal fin have began to deteriorate. His tail even has a small hole in it and it's just killing me. I feel like I'm failing him

Also, I've noticed that I've never seen him poop! Or so I thought, because I was always looking for stringy poops you'd expect from a fish... Scuba Steve seems to poop little chunks about the size of his eye or bigger. This isn't normal, is it? I've never seen a fish poop like this!
(The brown "pebble" is a piece of waste he dropped during the excitement of a mirror exercise.)



I'm sorry for such a long post, but I need to figure out what's going on with him, and the only way that is going to happen is if I dish out as much information as possible.
With that said, I've also tested my water with the API liquid testing kit and recorded the following:

Housing
What size is your tank?

-10 gallons. He is currently is a 5 gallon hospital tank though because I am treating him for fin rot.
What temperature is your tank?
-76-78F
Does your tank have a filter?
-His 10gal does, but I am not using it on his 5gal hospital tank because the carbon would remove the mediation from the water.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
-No, not unless the filter can count.
Is your tank heated?
-Yes, I am using the preset heater in my hospital tank as well.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
-None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?

-I switch between NLS small fish pellets and betta flakes with freeze dried blood worms.
How often do you feed your betta fish?
-2ce a day. I also fed him a pea the other day because he was a little bloated and I hadn't seen any waste in the tank.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?

-Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
-25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
-Tetra Betta Safe water conditioner. I also picked up API stress coat+ and added that to his new water during his last water change, in place of the Tetra brand conditioner.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

I have!

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.6 (High Range pH test indicated a reading of 7.8)
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ? My test doesn't cover these last two :/

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?

-"Loss" of color/ color "fade".
-Stress stripes on either side of the body, reaching from gill to tail. Sometimes from each eye to his tail.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
-The only thing that hasn't changed, actually! He's quite curious and such a little sweetie. He greets me as soon as I open the door to my room and follows me around the tank when I walk. He'll even swim up to the glass to watch me get up out of bed in the morning! He's so smart! Every time I put my hand over the tank he also surfaces for food. So, to me, he seems perfectly normal. He swims about normally, no darting or glass surfing.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
-The color fade/stress lines appeared about 2 days after I introduced him to his 10gal. Since then, they haven't seemed to disappear.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
-For the fin rot, I moved him to a 5gal tank and added Fungus Cure by API. I can't remember if it's the only one that treats fin rot, but it does also claim to cure mouth fungus, eye cloudiness and body slime.
My sister had used it on her fish after adopting it from a fuzzy bowl at Petsmart and it worked just fine.
It also turns the water green.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
-Unfortunately, Scuba Steve is the first fish I've ever had that required this much attention! And I've only had him for about 2 months now
How old is your fish (approximately)?
-Since I adopted him from Petco, I was never able to find out his age. I wish I knew!


Thank you for reading through this and giving Scuba and me your time. Again, I know he's just a fish, but I feel like I'm failing him by being ignorant. I don't want to be a bad mommy! I feel awful for putting him through this because I know he couldn't get this way unless it was my fault.
I know it's a random thought, but could it be internal parasites??? I have fed him thawed blood worms in the past, only 2ce before.


I will be checking up on this thread as often as possible! So please, if you have any knowledge on what could be affecting my poor fishy, I'm asking for help! I can't imagine losing him!!

Last edited by Scubakrat; 03-19-2014 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Corrected my Ammonia reading
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:11 PM   #2 
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What test kits are you using? You have a Ammonia reading of 7.6 if that is correct? There is your problem right there. You need to be doing more regular water changes when you are in the process of cycling, you need to be doing a water change every time you have Ammonia at 0.25 or above. The same with the Nitrite's.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:18 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beautiful Betta View Post
What test kits are you using? You have a Ammonia reading of 7.6 if that is correct? There is your problem right there. You need to be doing more regular water changes when you are in the process of cycling, you need to be doing a water change every time you have Ammonia at 0.25 or above. The same with the Nitrite's.

Oh no, no! I'm sorry, I accidentally put my pH results where my ammonia was supposed to be! He had measured at 0ppm and I do perform water changes whenever it's anything higher than that!
My apologies! That would be illegally high!

I am using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:26 PM   #4 
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It is likely due to his new environment they need a little time to adapt to new surroundings. If it is also a little bare in there could also be the issue, they like plenty of area's to hide quickly should he need to hide. You need to give him a good week in his new home before worrying.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:32 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beautiful Betta View Post
It is likely due to his new environment they need a little time to adapt to new surroundings. If it is also a little bare in there could also be the issue, they like plenty of area's to hide quickly should he need to hide. You need to give him a good week in his new home before worrying.
He's been in his new home for about a month now though, which is why I am worrying.
I've given him many silk plants and two good hideaways as well. :/
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:33 PM   #6 
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Also check the plastic stems on the silk plants, be really thorough I have found on mine there can be little sharp bits, that you can cut of easily with scissors or use a nail file. check the plastic ribs that support the leaves as well, its surprising that some will not be totally glued to the silk leaf, that's what I found anyway, and then I just cut the sharp point off.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:46 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beautiful Betta View Post
Also check the plastic stems on the silk plants, be really thorough I have found on mine there can be little sharp bits, that you can cut of easily with scissors or use a nail file. check the plastic ribs that support the leaves as well, its surprising that some will not be totally glued to the silk leaf, that's what I found anyway, and then I just cut the sharp point off.
Yes, I made sure to do this as soon as I purchased the plants and even kept it in mind when picking them out.
He also has some driftwood, but it's rather smooth all around so I doubt that it could've caused the problems with his fins. I took pictures of him before I even added the driftwood and it appears his tail began shortening at the tips slightly even then. It was only abut a day before I added the driftwood that I took the pictures though.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:55 PM   #8 
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I don't know what else to suggest except bigger weekly water changes, ideally you want to do a bigger one once a month. Your temperature is a little on the cold side, so I would recommend also turning the heater up, Betta's prefer 78F to 80F. The warmer water should also help his fins heal.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:15 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beautiful Betta View Post
I don't know what else to suggest except bigger weekly water changes, ideally you want to do a bigger one once a month. Your temperature is a little on the cold side, so I would recommend also turning the heater up, Betta's prefer 78F to 80F. The warmer water should also help his fins heal.

My heater is preset and has no way of adjusting, but I'll look into one that I can set myself!
Thank you for all your help!
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:25 PM   #10 
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Have you tried putting him back into the original container you had him in? Some fish don't handle large tanks well. They prefer smaller spaces, and they stress out in larger spaces (even though you'd think they shouldn't).
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