My roommate and I got a violet/blue/pink crowntail last night at PetCo! He was one of the happiest and prettiest ones there, and he had even built a little bubble nest in his cup! His picture is my avatar. As you can see, he has two horizontal stress stripes along his body. Is it usual for new bettas to have stress stripes or am I doing something wrong? His tank is 5 gallons, water temp is 78*F, ammonia is between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm, but I've already done a 25% water change today. I tried to pick the food he didn't eat out of the tank, and I got most of it, but some got pushed down under the gravel. Is this a problem? Also, I just noticed a piece of food/fuzz hanging out of his gill area. He keeps opening his mouth as if to get rid of it. Is this a sign of illness or stress? If not, can I do anything about it? He's not flaring right now, so I can't get him to flare and see if it'll fall out. Sorry this post is so long and rambly! I'm just worried about Gunter!
It is pretty common for them to have stress stripes due to the poor conditions they were in at the store, but they should disappear unless there is something wrong with your own water.
As for the fuzz, is it possible for you to get a clearer picture of it? The best way to take pictures is to get him into his petsore cup so he can't move very much, and it would be easier to take pictures. Is it a white colour? I would keep an eye on it.
I assume with the ammonia readings that your tank is not cycled, and/or your tapwater has source ammonia in it. I would recommend purchasing SeaChem Prime, or any dechlorinator that removes chloramine.
His stress stripes were much less noticeable in the store. I think the drive home half in a stickshift and half in a city bus may have stressed him quite a bit. :(
The fuzz is a white color, it looks almost like a feather or cotton. I took some more pictures, they're attached below. If you stare at him long enough it looks like he may have a bit of it on top of his head. :( It wasn't there this morning before I did the 25% water change. I took some high quality pics with my good camera, and you can't see any sign of it, but I can't find the cable to hook my camera up to my computer. :-/
I'm in the process of cycling the tank, and I'll test my tap water right after posting this. I have Tetra BettaSafe conditioner, and it removes chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals. It also adds a protective slime coating. Could the slime coating be the fuzzy stuff?
A good water conditioner will removed or convert the ammonia that is in your tap. I recommend Prime, but NovAqua is also pretty decent. Ammo Lock seems to be kind of hit or miss for me. More water changes are probably your best bet. Are you cycling the tank (IE, does it have a filter)?
It sort of looks like the slime coat, but I cannot be sure. I recommend purchasing the following:
- Stresscoat+: This type of conditioner removes chloramine and promotes slime coat health with aloe vera. It is safe to use in the event of a health emergency, you can add a very heavy dose and it will not harm your fish in Quarantine.
- SeaChem Prime: This conditioner is guaranteed to remove chloramines and reduce ammonia to ammonium which is non-toxic. A lot of people on this forum use this conditioner with high praise and success.
- Aquarium Salt: This is very good for treating common problems such as fin rot and mild forms of ich. It has very easy directions on the side of the box.
For now, since you have ammonia in your water, I'm not sure how effective your conditioner is at reducing it...so just do additional water changes until your tank cycle can handle the additional ammonia. The silver lining in having ammonia in your tap water is that your beneficial bacteria will have a constant supply of "food" :)
Alright, I had to pay a bit extra for 1-day shipping, but aquarium salt and Prime are going to get here Friday, and Stresscoat+ is getting here Monday!
So do you think I should add aquarium salt on Friday or not? I don't have a quarantine tank for him, will it be ok to add it to his normal tank (My plants are just silk ones)?
You know, for the first week I had the tank set up without Gunter, the water got really cloudy. That was probably a bacterial bloom due to the tap ammonia, and I thought it was just gross old water so I dumped the water, lol oops. :P
It technically is okay, but salt doesn't evaporate out of the water, so it will stay there forever. BUT...extended periods of time with salt in the tank can damage his kidneys, so it's not recommended unless you are willing to do a 100% change after his treatment.
Maybe you can try to find a large tupperware for him to stay in. You can float it in your tank to make sure it stays warm :)