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Old 09-09-2011, 02:25 PM   #1 
dogmom
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Pigment Loss?

My female betta has suddenly lost most of her pigment. I've owned her for 1 1/2 years. She is active and eating well. It started with her head and moved back. Now the area in front of her tail is the only part that is still the original color. Her fins look clear now too. Anyone know why this is happening to her?
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:26 PM   #2 
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Here is another photo.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:36 PM   #3 
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Should have added this info too:
Housing
What size is your tank - 2 gallon bowl
What temperature is your tank - 78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter - no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration - no
Is your tank heated - yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with - none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish - top fin betta bits
How often do you feed your betta fish - once or twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change - every 1-2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change - 100% - guess that is too much?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change - Betta Safe water conditioner
Water Parameters:
haven't checked, but I have noticed the past few water changes that the water has some gritty stuff on top and on the sides of the bowl - I scrubbed it well last water change - but still see the gritty stuff floating - not sure what that is - feels like mineral deposit??
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:46 PM   #4 
Pataflafla
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In a 2 gallon bowl, you'll want to do a 50% and 100% water change weekly. She could be getting some ammonia burns from the every other week schedule. Her temperature is good though. And as far has the crusty stuff, your water might just be hard, if that's the case it's most likely just calcium deposits.

When you scrubbed them off, did you use any soap or bleach? If you did you'll need to very well quite a few times to make sure there is no residue since soap and bleach are very harmful for fish.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:10 PM   #5 
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Thanks, I did not use anything but water and a plastic scrubber to clean the bowl. Here's a better picture. Does this look like ammonia burns? Would this happen suddenly after a year and a half of the same care? Her fins didn't have all those clear areas before and her body was all dark - same as the rear is now. The change was so sudden - over a week or two. She is acting as frisky as ever. The guy I called at the fish store told me not to do 100% water changes, but you think I should?
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:01 PM   #6 
Pataflafla
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Doing 100% changes ruins the cycle of the tank. But in anything less than 5 gallons, cycling is unstable and has multiple ammonia and nitrite spikes. Most pet store employees actually do not know much about what they are doing since caring for so many species leaves little room for indepth study. What they know is basically the bare minimum to have the pet survive in the store.

She could also be marbling, which is a genetic trait carried by some bettas, but being that you've had her for so long and she hasn't shown anything like this prior, I doubt it is. The build up of ammonia can cause discoloration, discomfort, and bad fins as well as bad general health.

If it is 100% ammonia burns then she should regain some or all of her color with a few weeks of clean water.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:08 AM   #7 
Sakura8
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I'd just like to add that it's a possibility she's just showing her age. You've had her for 1 1/2 years and if you consider that she as most likely 6-12 months old by the time you bought her, she's quite an old lady for a betta, as their life spans average 1-3 yrs. As bettas get older, they do often change color and lose pigmentation. If she's still acting healthy and eating, then I would just keep her on observation and watch for any changes in behavior. And also change the water as Pataflafla suggests. Good luck with her, she's very cute.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:47 AM   #8 
dogmom
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Wanted to post some follow up photos. The dramatic pigment loss has continued in the past week and a half. We now have a parctically clear fish! She continues to be active and has a great appetite. I've been doing the 100% water changes every 5-6 days since I first noticed the pigment changes a few weeks back. Does my fish have vitiligo?

The original photos were taken on September 6th. This one was taken September 12th. The pigment from the rear of her body is gone and the fins have larger clear areas.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #9 
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Here's a photo taken yesterday September 20th. She started out entirely dark blue with a little red and stayed that way for a year and a half. Now is less than a month she is almost clear.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:51 AM   #10 
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One more photo taken yesterday September 20th.
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