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Old 10-10-2011, 06:48 PM   #1 
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Something is wrong with my fish.. help please!

I've had my fish for about 7 months, I keep him in a vase near a window in my kitchen and do water changes every 3 days or so. He has been doing so good until recently.

I left my fish with my neighbors for a month while I was on vacation and I gave them instructions on caring for him. I came back last week and came home to my fish looking very pale, lost a lot of color, his fins have some type of white stuff on the ends, and where his fins start they look like they turned red and pale. The water was also very dirty and cloudy and I immediately cleaned it out and fed him. Its been a few days and he is still discolored and has the white stuff on the ends of his fins and he is lethargic. He just sits at the bottom of the tank and come up for air every now and then.

Can someone help me and tell me how to treat him? I think my neighbors didn't do many water changes and must of not fed him and I dont want to loose my little guy :(

I attached a picture how he looked before I left (very vibrant and fins flaring) and recent pictures where he is just at the bottom of the tank and a close up of his fins.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:53 PM   #2 
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He probably can't breathe under that plant. Plus you probably Gould get a proper tank with a heater.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:14 PM   #3 
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Welcome to the forum, and sorry your guy is sick...
It looks like fin rot to me.. which usually happens when a fish nips/splits his fins and is in dirty water.

I recommend 1tsp of Aquarium Salt per gallon, with 100% daily water changes for 10-14 days. Add in your regular water conditioner, and pre-dissolve the salt prior to adding it in.

After that in what looks to be a half gallon or smaller.. you should be doing 100% water changes every 2-3 days at least with conditioner to keep his water clean.

Normally I don't tell people their tanks are too small, but if you don't mind a little constructive criticism on what would make him happier/healthier/thriving more?

A minimum of 1 gallon is so very highly recommended, you will need to heat it properly since winter is coming.. which is hard to do in a 1 gal as it is, but necessary since water cooler then 76-78 for any length of time will cause lethargy and lower immunity, stress, death.. as well as temp fluxes are even more harmful/fatal. They are tropical and need 78-82* to thrive.
They do like floating plants, but most importantly they need a lot of open water on the surface so they can breathe and eat. That plant covers so much, and most plants they sell for water vases such as that really aren't meant for fish. It's a gimmick and does more harm then good. He's probably not able to get as much oxygen as desired. And despite what people say who do the plants in vase thing for the fish, the bettas do not eat the plants.. they are insectivores and need a balanced, variety of a diet. (Not saying you don't feed him the required pellets, unsure if you do or not, but just mentioning that just in case.)
They also do best in medium to heavily planted tanks, the males love caves to hide in. So add in the lack of changing water to working to be able to breathe, and not have a place to go and hide when feeling ill.. just extra stress.
Bettas can live in unfavorable conditions for a while, but it greatly reduces their life spans by years.

It's a cute little thing you made up, but for the health and well being of your guy, it's best to get an actual fish tank or even a kritter keeper (Petco sells 2 gal ones for $8). I'm sorry if I sound rude or mean.. but all the myths out there that people believe, and all the gimmicks and even most pet store employees are all false and it irks me a little.. these are living animals with their own personalities that shine when you see them in their proper environment that you just don't see in small containers. They love human interaction and being where the most people are in the house to watch and dance for you.

Last edited by Myates; 10-10-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:24 PM   #4 
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Also noticed he has a small bump on the end of him towards the bottom.. is that noticeable on a regular basis? It isn't normal if it's there.. could be a couple different things. Keep an eye on it.. to me it looks like it could be a tumor, some sort of internal parasite, or possibly the beginnings of lymphocystis. Or possibly just the lighting.
Keep an eye on it to see if it grows, changes colors, or the scales start to pop out some.

Last edited by Myates; 10-10-2011 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:28 PM   #5 
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Thanks for your helpful response! I wish my local pet store would of told me it was a bad idea about the whole vase thing. I do feed him pallets and blood worms. I went out today and bought him a new tank with a heater and I also got the aquarium salt. I am going to keep an eye on him and hopefully he gets better.

I never realized the bump you told me about. After examining him I do see that he does indeed have a lump. What do you suggest I do?

Thanks again for being so helpful
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:35 AM   #6 
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The employees at most shops won't tell you anything but the barest necessity to keep one alive.

Have you started the AQ salt treatment yet? If not, you can wait a few days to see how he is doing in his new set up. Sometimes just clean water is all is needed, but if you see the black tips getting worse, or flaking/shredding/crumbling then go ahead and do the salt treatment.

The bump could be a number of things, or it could be just the way he is. Right now I wouldn't do anything until you know for certain it is something that can be treated. (You will see it grow larger) For a tumor the only thing you can do is keep him in clean, warm water and as stress free as possible. Same with lymphocystis, which can heal on it's own.

Anything 1-3gal unfiltered you will want to do 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week with tap water, conditioned for the full amount on both changes. For a 5 - 10 gal unfiltered, you will want to do 50% weekly, 1 100% monthly. For filtered smaller tanks 2 50% weekly, and for the 5-10 filtered, 1 50% weekly, no 100% for any if filtered.

Let us know how he is doing, any more questions, feel free to ask!
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