What's the white spot on my betta's head? Is he sick? Injured?
I just moved my new betta to a 5 gallon tank (from a 1 gallon) last night. He was just fine for a few hours, but then this morning when I checked on him, he has this little white dot on his head and he's holding his fins close to his body (clamped fin?). He's been pretty still and is hanging out in one spot, where he usually is pretty active and swims all over. He also spit out his food this morning, where he is usually really excited to eat. I tried to get a picture - sorry it's kind of blurry. What should I do here? Is he sick? Is he injured? Should I use some sort of antibiotic just to be sure? And if so, what is a good medication? I'm kind of new to being a fish mommy, so any help would be appreciated!
Generally don't use an antibiotic unless you know what you are treating for.
That said, it's hard to tell from the picture. If you fill out these questions, it will help. Sometimes, knowing about the fish can clue us in on things that could be affecting your fish.
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
What size is your tank? 5 gallon (just put him into this tank yesterday)
What temperature is your tank? 79F
Does your tank have a filter? yes, a whisper that I have baffled
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 mystery snails
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta food (tiny pellets)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2X per day 2-3 pellets
How often do you perform a water change? Now that I know better, I will be doing it once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Now that I know better, I will be doing 50% w/ a syphon
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I haven't tested, not sure
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? one small white spot on his head showed up this morning
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? listless, just stays in one spot most of the time, holds fins close to body
When did you start noticing the symptoms? a few hours after putting him in his new tank (late last night)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no treatment yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have had him only a week
Hard to know what the white spot is. He may have been exploring his new tank and got something stuck to him. It looks too big and alone to be ick (tiny white spots all over his body). It could be an injury or an external parasite... but I'm not convinced by the picture.
He may be feaked out by the new tank and all the open space. Do you have a cave or plants he can hide in?
Were the snails in the old tank?
The only other thing I can note (other than you need a test kit to watch your water chemicals as the new tank cycles - no test strips - they are unreliable) is that you may be overfeeding your betta.
A betta's stomach is only as big as his eye... so no matter how he begs you, one or two pellets is all you should give him each day. The pellets should be presoaked in water at mealtime, to help prevent bloat. It is also adviseable to let your betta fast one day a week. I know it sounds cruel, but feeding your betta too much will cause illness and poor water quality (which in turn leads to lower immunity and more illness).
Can you give us a better description of what the white spot looks like?
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy - thanks for the heads-up with feeding him - I will cut back to 2 pellets/day and see if that helps him. Oh, yeah, he also refused food this morning - he ate a pellet, then spit it back out, which he has never done before.
Yes, the snails were in the old tank. They seem very happy in their new environment and have been happily exploring.
I do have some fake and live plants in there, but no cave. Should I get one?
I also have a test kit to test the water, but I haven't used it yet. I will get on that today...
If your betta was used to a small tank, he might be a bit intimidated by all the space he now has. So a cave-like item (terracotta pots are fine, once you plug up the drainage hole - you'd be surprise how many bettas stick their heads in those holes and are injuried) will give him a place to go if he's feel insecure. :)