Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-13-2011, 03:31 AM   #1 
SageMyster
Member
 
SageMyster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
Unhappy Is it columnaris or bad petstore maintenance? New Betta owner, please help!

I know that I am a brand-new member to this community, but I've been researching like a madwoman to prepare myself for my very first Betta fish (though I have owned other fish before), and I have found this site extremely helpful with considerate and knowledgeable members. Thus, I come to you... on my very first day of Betta parenthood.

His name is Harlot, and I have already fallen deeply in love with him. What you won't like is that, yes, I did purchase him from Petco (and yes, he is a veiltail, which I know you breeders are not quite fond of - but they are actually my favorite), and he does show the wear-and-tear of improper maintenance. I'm an undergrad and I simply don't have the money to buy a quality $30-$60 fish. That said, I -believe- I picked a young(er) one who was quite lively and seemed to have a personality of his own. He -appeared- healthy. I had a person from the fish department check him out, and he said all was good. However, when I called the store beforehand, I asked how often they restocked their Betta fish. The woman said once a week. Later I found out from a very kind employee that these fish have been sitting out for several months. I am utterly disgusted.

Luckily, however, at least Harlot has a good a healthy home with me, and I am taking proper care of him. But as a worried mother, I noticed some unusual signs with him.

For instance:

Notice the grey patch on his left cheek? There are two others on his right cheek. Are these just harmless freckles or greyish lesions? There are also white spots on his left cheek, but they may just be his natural coloration.

And more importantly:


What on earth is on the underside of his chin? It appears yellowish in the picture, but it seems more white in person. What I couldn't capture on camera was the white gunk beneath his gills. It doesn't look cottony at all, and as a previous fish-owner, it doesn't look like ich either. What could it be? Is it natural? He does have some natural white coloration in certain spots, but it just seems peculiar.

Here are the symptoms I can identify:
- previously mentioned weird (whatever they are) on face and gills
- fins eroding (maybe because he's young and they haven't grown fully yet, or because of improper petstore care... they are somewhat jagged and ripped-looking in parts)
- occasional rapid gill movement & frequent surfacing for air or breathing air bubbles off the tank
- seems to hiding behind the filter often (new home nerves?)

Other than that, he seems like a very happy fish. His equarium is brand-spanking new, fully equipt, and I tested everything in the water (which declared the equarium completely safe) before releasing my Betta. He moves around a lot, is very curious, ate two pellets tonight, and even gave me a few flash dances and waved his fins around! He released bubbles, but I'm not sure if they were happy bubbles or just burps. In short, this kid confuses me!!

Please ... tell me if I'm being an over-protective parent or if there is something seriously wrong, and - if you know - please explain how I may fix it and how much it would cost to fix.

Thank you so much for reading through all my rambling, and for your generous assistance! I appreciate it beyond belief.

P.S. Can any of you guess how old this bugger really is? I know he's not young-young, but I was hoping he's somewhere around adolescent. And in your opinion, will his fins continue to grow with age or are they just too damaged?

Again, thank you with all my heart. <3 Harlot thanks you too!

Last edited by SageMyster; 07-13-2011 at 03:42 AM.
SageMyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 04:30 AM   #2 
SageMyster
Member
 
SageMyster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
UPDATE: Weird funky white/grey stuff is starting to spread around his face, very prevalent at night. It -almost- looks like a fungus... please tell me it's not columnaris. ):


... his eyes are white because of the flash.

Please help. I'm very worried.

Last edited by SageMyster; 07-13-2011 at 04:48 AM.
SageMyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 04:47 AM   #3 
Sakura8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi SageMyster and welcome to the forum. It seems like your guy may have a bit of mouth rot, which is a form of columnaris. I'm not an expert so you may want to wait for a second opinion, though. However, if it is mouth rot, you can treat it with aquarium salt and see if that clears it up. If not, you'll have to try Maracyn I. If Harlot has live plants in his tank, you'll want to treat him in a small QT container, like the cup he came in from Petco (they are so handy for QT). Mix 1 gallon of dechlorinated water with one tsp of aquarium salt, letting the salt dissolve. Fill his QT container with this and put him in. If your house is warm and you think he'll stay around 76-80 degrees farenheit, then just put his cup wherever. If not, you can float his cup in his tank so it will stay warm. Just be sure it doesn't float into the filter if he has one. You'll want to change the water in his cup and redo the salt treatment every day for five days. If there is no change or the rot is spreading, you can either up the salt to two tsp per gallon or switch to Maracyn. I believe Maracyn runs about $11-15 at Petsmart. Your Petco may carry it, but my Petco doesn't carry any meds.

The spots on his cheeks may or may not be related to the mouth rot. Offhand, I'd say they are ammonia burns and they'll heal in the salt treatment. His fins will heal as well.

I have read that many pet store bettas are ex-breeders and are usually between 6 months to a year old before they reach pet store shelves.

Harlot is a very beautiful, snazzy-looking guy. You should be very proud of him. And I personally love veiltails as well. I have two VT guys and six VT girls. And one halfmoon boy.
Sakura8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 05:07 AM   #4 
SageMyster
Member
 
SageMyster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
Sakura,

Harlot has only fake plants in his tank - thank goodness - but the tank does have a filter. So do I still need to keep him in the QT container, or can I treat him while in the tank? And if so, will the plants and gravel have to be sterilized or replaced, or will they be cleaned by the salt as well?

Most importantly, if it is mouth rot and seems to be spreading rapidly, how long do you think he has to live? I wish I could run to the store right now, damn it. :/

Thank you SO much for responding! At least I have an idea of what may be the cause now. And as for the compliments to Harlot, thank you very much - and he thanks you too! I never understood why veiltails are so often thrown under the bus. Anyways, you are amazing, and thank you again, a million times!
SageMyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 06:55 AM   #5 
Tikibirds
Member
 
Tikibirds's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Warrensburg, NY
Quote:
fins eroding (maybe because he's young and they haven't grown fully yet, or because of improper petstore care... they are somewhat jagged and ripped-looking in parts)
Im guessing because petco sucks at betta care Every Betta I have gotten from them had an ammonia level over 4.0...

Are the ends black? if so It's probably fin rot which can be fixed with aquarium salt, warm water and frequent water changes. High ammonia levels can also burn holes in their fins :(


I like to use stress coat because it has aloe in it and that's supposed to be good for fin regrowth.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 07-13-2011 at 07:00 AM.
Tikibirds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 AM   #6 
Sakura8
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Sorry I couldn't get back to you right away. Harlot can be treated in his tank with the salt treatment, which should also help sterilize his plants etc. When he has been cured, you can take everything and wash it well with hot water but for now, it's probably best to leave things.

Have the white/grey patches spread even more since your last post? If so, that IS a fast moving infection and you may want to bypass the salt entirely and go straight to Maracyn. If you treat him with Maracyn, be sure to remove any carbon from your filter.

You and Harlot are welcome. He really is a gorgeous red color, like a nice lipstick. Not that Harlot wants to be compared to lipstick, being a guy and all . . .
Sakura8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 01:07 PM   #7 
SageMyster
Member
 
SageMyster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
Tiki: Petco just sucks... in every way. They don't treat any of their animals right, and they think fish can just be self-maintainedm which is all wrong! Luckily Harlot's fins are not black at the edges and his ammonia levels are safe, but I will definitely look into this stress coat you mentioned. It's a shame to see such a pretty boy so mishandled.

Sakura: Surprisingly, it almost looks like he's better this morning. I think it has a lot to do with the light and how the rot appeared on him at night, which is why I thought it was getting worse. I will stick with the salt for now. (I'm still supposed to do water changes though, no? Do I just add more salt each cleaning or let the tank get a little dirty for a few days?). And, hypothetically, if Harlot continued to get sicker and if I DID use the Maracyn and have to turn my filter off, what would I do about ammonia levels without the water being clean?

I don't think Harlot minds being compared to lipstick... his name is Harlot after all. ;) Thank you for everything.
SageMyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 01:10 PM   #8 
Luimeril
Member
 
Luimeril's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South Carolina
the gold scales are just that. :d goldish scales. i freak out over those, too, but they're harmless color. :d

as for the mouth rot, shoot a PM to OldFishLady. she's the one everyone goes to for help with columnaris. x: she tried to help me save my walmart betta, Remy. D: but, he didn't make it.
Luimeril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 01:29 PM   #9 
SageMyster
Member
 
SageMyster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
Thank you Lui, I think I will. :) And good, I didn't know if the chin scales were abnormal or just part of his coloration. Thanks for the advice! But I'm so sorry about Remy. ):


Also just a general question for anyone: Harlot seems to be hiding behind the filter a lot. Is this due to his illness, are his plants two short/not-plentiful-enough for security, or is it just because he's adjusting to his new home?
SageMyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2011, 02:43 PM   #10 
SageMyster
Member
 
SageMyster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
You'll want to change the water in his cup and redo the salt treatment every day for five days. If there is no change or the rot is spreading, you can either up the salt to two tsp per gallon...
I ran to the store and got him some salt treatment, and he already seems more lively. However, the treatment (API Aqaurium Salt) says to only put 1/2 tsp in the tank, while you say a full tsp. Which is better? And if it's in his tank (versus the cup), do I still add treatment to the tank every five days? How long should I wait before changing or messing with the water in any way while he's undergoing salt treatment? (I may have asked this before, whoops. I have a feeling this is a silly question. :P)

And before you give your advice, I must admit something that I know hard-core Betta enthusiasts loathe... he DOES live in a one-gallon tank. My uni won't allow a size much larger for my dorm at all. But here's my thing: He just came out of a petco cup that he's been sitting in for months (apparently). I keep his aqaurium as spacious as possible for a one-gallon and I'm consistantly checking the water levels. And he seems like a very relieved, happy fish. So there's my explanation for my misdeeds... since of course salt-to-gallon ratio is important. -hides-
SageMyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Oh my gawd, my petstore reached a NEW low... Terranariko Betta Chat 9 07-17-2011 11:52 PM
OMG stupid petstore!!!! briser Betta Chat 5 04-11-2011 12:22 PM
Which petstore is best? freakumDRESS Betta Chat 4 03-21-2011 06:51 PM
New Betta - Fin rot? Columnaris? Funny poop? Help? redian Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 1 02-08-2011 01:49 AM
So i went to the petstore for a new heater... Maryrox247 Betta Fish Care 11 08-17-2010 10:13 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.