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Old 11-02-2011, 10:30 PM   #1 
PhantomJedi
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Ill betta: need advice on treatment

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 US Gal
What temperature is your tank? Not sure, but on the cold side
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 - mini heater
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? usually 2x daily

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? usually once per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? a generic betta water treatment

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: ?
Nitrite: ?
Nitrate: ?
pH: ?
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He now has a white growth-like spot behind his dorsal fin and one gill cover looks reddish.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He seems more listless and doesn't always react when I feed him
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The listlessness about a week ago, but I thought he was just too cold and tried to warm him up. I didn't notice the white patch until tonight when I changed his water, but I was distracted last week so it may have been there for a while.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Just a water change so far, but I have antibiotics from treating my brother's fish that I could use and could pick up some aquarium salt tomorrow.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None so far
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for a little over two years

Picture attached, though it's not very good. I can take more if needed.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:52 PM   #2 
ArcticRain
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I don't know about the other symptoms, but I do know you are not doing enough water changes. You should be doing at least a 50% water change every 2-3 days with a 100% water change at the end of the week. (correct me if I'm wrong)
You also need to buy a thermometer for your tank. 78-80 degrees is a good temp.
I am not going to start yapping at you about tank size, but I would like you to know that a 2.5 gallon to 5 gallon is recommend.
By "generic Betta water treatment" what do you mean? Is it a water conditioner? Could you please name the brand?

One thing I notice I'm the picture is that his fins are clamped. Could you please try and get a picture of him from the side? Also if you could get a better picture of his face that would be helpful too. On another note; Does it look like any part of his fins are turning a grey or ashy color?

Sorry I can not be of more help!

Last edited by ArcticRain; 11-02-2011 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:35 AM   #3 
PhantomJedi
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If you think it would help him I can try to get a bigger tank. I've been meaning to but haven't had the resources yet.

I don't know which kind of purifier I use since my brother and I split a larger bottle and I got the one without a label. It's one of those "betta water treaters" you pick up at a pet store.

The water temp stabilized from the water change and at the coldest part of the day in my apartment the cheap thermometer claims he's at 76 F.

He did eat this morning and was a little less listless (even playing our "follow the finger and jump for your food" game), but his 'flipper' fins are always going at top fluttering speed and he just doesn't seem right.

No, no grey or ashy (thank goodness...I know what that means!). He does tend to keep his dorsal fin tucked up tight while swimming, but I have seen him untuck it partway. He's a very non-flaring fish, for some reason, so I can't check him that way.

More pictures: my camera isn't working well and he's a very dark blue so it's kinda hard to get a decent shot. The white patch on his dorsal fin is actually there and not a trick of the light.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:02 AM   #4 
Myates
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What a cutie..
I'm sorry I don't see the white spot behind his dorsal fin..

As for the red gill it's most likely ammonia burns, as stated above for a 1 gallon it is highly recommended to be doing 1 50% and 1 100% per week. If you've been using the same conditioner for over a year, I would replace it as it may not be as effective. Make sure you dose the bowl for the full 1 gallon when you do partial water changes.

The lethargy and clamped fins are most likely water temp related, as they can go a while in cooler water, but in time it always catches up to him. And since he is close to mid life, or possibly a little older then mid life, he may not be able to tolerate the cooler water as well as he did when he was younger. ( Lifespan of approx 3-5 years, sometimes a little longer, and he was most likely a few months old when you purchased him)

A 1 gal is just fine for a betta- the problem with it is heating it, and that can be tricky. I would look for a 15-25 watt heater for a 1 gal. Also noticed that you are using the external thermometer and those are notorious for not being accurate. A regular old glass one with a suction cup works great.
Even if it is saying the temp is 76* at times of the day, what you are wanting is stability when it comes to the temps. 78-82* is what is idea, but it's the lack of fluctuations that make a difference. When there are constant temp fluctuations it will stress them out and if it's drastic, it can cause them to go into shock quite easily. Also a side note- they won't eat normally when they are cold due to their metabolism being slowed down, so his not eating as much is most likely due to the temp a well.

*I just read once more and you say you have a mini heater- get an internal thermometer and check the temp, as 76 is on the low end, and it's most likely lower then that. Sometimes those mini heaters don't always work all that great, so you may have to replace it with one with a slightly larger wattage.

Other then the white spot, his symptoms seem to be mainly due to not enough water changes and too cool of a temp.

(Is the white growth spot the back of his dorsal fin where it is lighter in color? Or is it on his body?)
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:26 AM   #5 
PhantomJedi
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Isn't he, though? My brother has a much flashier and showy betta, but I love my Riemann's dark blue. :)

I marked the white spot in the picture attached here (sorry for the poor quality). It runs along the edge of the fin and bulges slightly towards the base.

If I were to get, say, a 2 gal bowl or so would I be able to change once a week? I'm not trying to be lazy and do want the best for my fishie but with my crazy work schedule it's hard to always find time to do more than one 100% change on the weekend.

I may also move him to my workplace where the temperature is more constant. My apartment is pretty poorly heated (as far as avoiding temperature swings) and I tend to keep it fairly cold in there so I can sleep.

I have to get him more food today so I'll try to pick up a decent thermometer and some fresh solution. I may juggle my budget around and see if I can afford to get him a bigger bowl, too, since he might like the extra space, and the bigger ones are easier to keep at a more constant temperature (yay, physics knowledge!).
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:47 AM   #6 
Laki
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:) If you cannot find a larger bowl in the store for a decent price check the local classifieds. I find that kids who get things like hermit crabs and newts often sell their Kritter Keepers after they die. While I bought mine new at only 14$ I have seen people on classifieds selling them for way cheaper! A medium one is sufficient.
If you cannot keep up with twice weekly changes on a 1g I would highly recommend a larger bowl. As someone else said, the poison accumulated in a couple days is enough to make the fish sick.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:52 AM   #7 
Myates
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My fave little guy is just a regular, common blue/black veiltail lol.. it's their personalities that make us love them so much.

Anything under 5 gallons unfiltered you will want to be doing the 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week. You can get a small 2.5 gal kit with a filter, and that will eliminate the need for the 100% change all together and just have to do weekly 50% changes instead.

Is the white part fuzzy or cottony at all? There was a rash of blue bettas here recently whose fins have turned grey-white all of a sudden, looking for the link now.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:12 AM   #8 
PhantomJedi
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I don't think it's fuzzy/cottony, but I'm at work now and can't check to be sure.

Any recommendations on filters/heaters? And I need to find some tubing for the 50% change...thanks to my biology class, I know how to go about it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:14 AM   #9 
Laki
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Tubing?? If the pet store don't have it maybe a hardware store would? Maybe the classifieds again ;)

I don't filter mine.. The heater I use is a small BettaTherm by ZooMed. While it works fine for me there have been mixed reviews. An adjustable heater is WAY better. Though I don't know size and wattage or brands to suggest.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:24 AM   #10 
PhantomJedi
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Mhm. The way we would do it there would be to use a small plastic tube as a siphon to drain the water. It's less disruptive than trying to pour water off the top and less risk of the fish jumping out in the process. Since I've always done 100% changes up to this point, I haven't needed to do that.
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