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Old 03-09-2011, 01:54 PM   #1 
Pete1burn
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New Betta owner, small white spot near eye

Hello all. I have a 5 gallon tank, heated to 78-80 degrees and filtered. I cycled the tank for about a week and added in my Betta and four ghost shrimp after checking water levels (nitrite, nitrate, ammonia) for three days, all of which were safe.

For a couple of days he was fine. Now he's mostly been floating above the thermometer not moving around much, and I've noticed that he has a white spot next to his gill now. Itís only on his left side. He also isn't eating very much, and his fins seem collapsed. I feed him Betta pellets, and have some freeze dried bloodworms on the way in the mail to try. He'll look at them when I drop them in and even swim over to them, but then just takes a gulp of air and goes back to his spot over the thermometer.

Does this white spot look like Ich? I took a picture of him the day I got him and it was not there. Or could it be a fungal infection?

If it is Ich, I know I can just raise the temp of the water. Will the Ghost shrimp tolerate 85 degree water if I do this?

I took care to prepare everything very well, and I'm concerned I did/didn't do something that I should have. Thank you in advance.

PS: The first picture is the day I got him, about 3 days ago. The second picture is today, with the white spot.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:40 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry your Betta isn't well...

Can you post the water pram numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH...also what kind of testing product are you using.....strips or liq reagent

How many days has he been in the tank and have you made any water changes, if so, how much did you change, what kind of additives do you use and how much, if any.....

If you are referring to the large white area at the gill plate-that looks like normal pigments

Right now, I would go ahead and make a 50% water only change for a couple of days and see if this won't perk him up....make sure the water temp is within a couple of degrees between new and old water with the water change and always use dechlorinator with any new water added to the tank...

Keep us posted....
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:58 PM   #3 
Pete1burn
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I was using strips to check the water quality, so they were just matching the colors up. Everything looked great though. The ammonia was the same color as 0, etc.

He has been in the tank since Monday with four Ghost shrimp. I haven't changed the water yet since it's only been a few days. I was planning on 25% changes per week. I use a Betta water conditioner I got at the pet store.

So do you mean change 50% of his water and see if it helps? I can definitely do that tomorrow when I get back to work. Thanks very much for your reply.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:18 PM   #4 
turtle10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete1burn View Post
I was using strips to check the water quality, so they were just matching the colors up. Everything looked great though. The ammonia was the same color as 0, etc.

He has been in the tank since Monday with four Ghost shrimp. I haven't changed the water yet since it's only been a few days. I was planning on 25% changes per week. I use a Betta water conditioner I got at the pet store.

So do you mean change 50% of his water and see if it helps? I can definitely do that tomorrow when I get back to work. Thanks very much for your reply.
I suggest that if/when you can afford it, get a liquid test kit. The strips aren't really reliable or accurate.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #5 
Pete1burn
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I did a 50% water change this morning with treated water at the same temperature as the tank. He seemed to swim around a bit more than usual, but that may have just been from the disturbance. He's back at his normal spot right next to the filter (which I've shut off thinking it might be a water current issue). I'm getting a sponge filter tomorrow to help with the current.

Anyway, he's still not eating and just hangs out in his spot 98% of the time. He looks at the food pellets, but doesn't seem too interested and they eventually drop to the bottom. (Where the shrimp go for them.)

Not sure what else to do. If it is ammonia, the water change should have reduced it. Perhaps I just need to wait longer. Just feel bad for the little guy.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:15 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Since he is new-it may be an adjustment period- some take longer than others.....keep up with the water changes, monitor the temp and keep offering him food like you are doing....you may want to get a different brand or type of food and see if he will eat that....Bettas can go a fairly long time without food...if he hasn't eaten by day 10...try some fresh crushed garlic juice on his food or even live food if you have any mosquito larva around...good luck and keep us posted.....
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:28 AM   #7 
Pete1burn
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Thanks. I have some freeze-dried blood worms on their way which should get to me tomorrow with the sponge filter. I'm just worried if he's not showing any interest in the pellets, he won't show any interest in the blood worms.

How often should I be changing his water for now, and what percentage? 25% every few days? 50%?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:40 AM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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In a 5gal filtered tank-while you are establishing the nitrogen cycle (4-8weeks) I would do twice weekly 50% water changes...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include substrate vacuuming....once the nitrogen cycle has established 1-50% with vacuum weekly should maintain water quality

Don't leave your filter off for longer than a few hours or all the nitrifying bacteria will die...if you do leave it off too long-be sure and dump the water and rinse the filter media before you re-start it...however, it looks like you are getting a sponge filter which is good...they are much easier on both the Betta and for the shrimp...be sure and check the filter for baby shrimp when you dump it out.....
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:06 AM   #9 
Pete1burn
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Ok, I added in a sponge filter last Friday with an air stone for better air movement. I came in to work this morning and one of my shrimp has died, and me Betta is still not eating or moving very much and was kind of hanging diagonally. Not quite on his side, but not straight up.

I did another 50% water change with water treatment and took out the dead shrimp. I've also noticed the water looks a bit cloudy.

I can see bits of stuff floating right next to the sponge filter without being sucked in to the side of it. I thought these things were supposed to be great for small tanks.

At any rate, I'm not sure what else I can do. He hasn't eaten (that I've seen) since I got him last week, and now one of my shrimp has died from unknown causes. The other three shrimp seem to be perfectly fine. Could he have been sick from the store?

I've spent quite a bit of effort trying to make sure he's happy and has everything he needs, but it doesn't seem to be working. I guess it's a waiting game now.

Anything else I can do in the meantime while I wait for him either to die or to eat?
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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It sounds like a bacterial bloom...good that you did a water change after the death......keep up with the 2-3 50% weekly water changes for now....once the sponge filter establishes a good colony of beneficial bacteria it will do a good job for you....but it takes time.....

Ghost shrimp are short lived shrimp to start.....also-they molt and sometimes it can appear that you have a dead shrimp when it is really the exoskeleton......

What is your water temp?
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