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Old 08-10-2011, 12:30 PM   #1 
tf1265
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Join Date: Jul 2011
VERY pale betta

The Tank:

I have 2 female bettas in a divided 5 gallon tank - no heater as I got them over the summer and it's been so warm so far, and no filter. I tried a filter but the current was just way too strong for the poor things and they got blown to the other side and struggled constantly when it was running.

I feed them BettaMin Tropical Medley flakes, they seem to love it. I do 25% water changes every other day and 50% on Mondays (office tank- they are alone Saturday and Sunday). I go a gravel clean at least once a month. I age the water between changes

They have been very happy in their new home for weeks - deep, vibrant colors, playing and diving, rushing to the glass when anyone comes near it looking excited because they think they'll be fed, etc. They have normal interaction with each other through the mesh divider, a fair amount of hiding and a fair amount of "chasing" the other.

The Problem:

I was out sick a chunk of this week and a coworker was feeding them. They hadn't had a water change in a few days because of it so I did that right away.

One of them is extremely pale. Almost no color at all, and she is usually dark, dark red - almost tiger striped at times. I know they get pale from stress, but I can't figure out what would be stressing her out.

The other fish is still very dark and vibrant, actually almost more so than usual. She does, however, look a little fat. I don't know a lot about fish gestation periods, but I've had her for 3 months and she hasn't seen a male betta the whole time. I don't think she's pregnant.

It's very possible that they were overfed the last few days I was out. But would that cause one of them to get so pale?

I don't have water parameters as I don't have a test kit in my office, however since only 1 of them seems to be so stressed I feel like it's not water conditions making her that way. Neither of them have any spots or any of the usual disease signs.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:07 PM   #2 
tf1265
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Update:

Noticed that pale betta's breathing is very labored and heavy, I can see the inside her her gills each time she breathes. Not in a way that's gross, like her insides are coming out, but in a way that shows me she is breathing VERY heavily.

Should I take her out? The other one is still fine. I have several tanks at home that she could go in temporarily if it's just stress, but if she has a disease I do NOT want to put her into a home tank - they are established tropical tanks with a variety of fish. THese are cycled, filtered, heated, treated with water conditioner, etc so I bet she'd do great there, like I said I just don't want to spread a disease if she has one.

Please help!
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:29 PM   #3 
Sakura8
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If it's still pretty warm, you can put her in a big bowl or even a large Gladware container. But it sounds like she needs to be isolated right away just in case. How much do you think they were being fed?
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:38 PM   #4 
tf1265
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I asked, and was told twice a day - once in the morning, and again right before she left at 5. I don't know volume, but she did say that she got excited about how excited they were to be fed all the time. She's had bettas in the past that have lived for years, so I doubt she was giving them handfuls of flakes, but it doesn't take much for their little stomachs.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:42 PM   #5 
Sakura8
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I would say they both overate. Fast both girls for a day or two. For the sick girl, put her in 1 tsp of epsom salt per gallon. If she has any internal parasites or is constipated from overeating, the epsom salt will help get things moving.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:44 PM   #6 
tf1265
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Thank you. I think they were already fed this morning, so I will wait until Friday morning to feed again. Will the epsom salt do any harm if used unnecessarily? I'm tempted to use it on both if the other one still looks bloated tomorrow morning.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #7 
Sakura8
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No, the epsom salt won't do any harm. Good call, you might want to use it on both girls since they both overate.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:08 AM   #8 
tf1265
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I forgot about the epsom salt last night and didn't pick any up before work this morning. I did isolate the pale betta though, in a half gallon bowl with some of her leafy fake plants from the larger tank. Within 10 minutes she was back to normal.

I'm wondering if it's the water in the big tank that freaked her out (she used to love it in there- she had been in a small bowl for a while until I upgraded and moved them both into the 5 gallon divided, and she immediately seemed happier in there)? I'm having trouble accepting this because I do change the water frequently and the other one doesn't seem to have a problem with it.

Maybe she just didn't like the extra room to swim? But she only had 2 1/2 gallons of swimming space, it's not like I dumped her into a 50 gallon tank. Not sure what my next move should be. I'll probably change all the water either today or tomorrow (office tank, so unfortunately i can't make it a top priority), but if that doesn't work...should I keep her in the small bowl and give the other one the whole 5 gallon tank? Or should I take her home and see how she likes it in a better equipped community tank?
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:18 AM   #9 
Sakura8
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It's true some bettas do seem agoraphobic. Is the tank in a high-traffic area? Maybe she is stressed by the traffic and feels more exposed in the bigger tank. If the other girl seems fine in the 5 g, you could definitely consider letting her have the whole tank to herself. You can keep the other girl in a small tank, but I would recommend something at least a gallon. She might like a 2 gallon bowl because it will have a good volume of water but still seem "small" to her because it's a bowl and not a tank. You can also see how she does in the community tank, depending on what kind of fish you have. Some fish may be too hyper for her. I tried one of my girls in my tank with danios and she got stress-stripes within minutes (being teal, she looked like a danio herself when she did that).
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:29 AM   #10 
tf1265
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I have a couple tanks at home, one has danios and cories but it also has another single female betta. THe other has neon tetras and sunburst platies. I think she might do OK with the tetras, I know those can be iffy with bettas but since she's going in last she might be less territorial.

Please tell me more about stress stripes. I've never heard of these before, or at least not referred to with that name. Do they lose their color when they get stress stripes, or keep it?
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