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.
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!