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Old 11-04-2011, 08:18 PM   #1 
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Please help a newbie with her curious fish!

I just got my betta, Excalibur, today from Petsmart. When I bought him, I noticed he had whiteish spots under his chin and around his face, but they basically just look like lighter scales mixed with his red ones.
I brought him home and put him in his new tank where he began to explore. After a while, I didnt see him and realized he wedged himself between a stone and the side of the tank. I wasnt sure if he was stuck or not so I wiggled my finger by the glass and he swam free.
Apparently he likes going under the rocks, (which are medium sized smooth stones) and coming back out, but it looks like he has rubbed some scales off his face in the process...
What do you think I should do for him?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:17 PM   #2 
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What size is your tank? One Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 79F
Does your tank have a filter? Not really
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Pellets and Dehydrated Bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily (I just got him today, but he wouldn't eat. I figured the pet store already fed him?)

How often do you perform a water change? Got him today
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I originally had purified water because I didn't have Water Conditioner. But now I have Conditioner and added it.

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has rubbed off a lot of scales on his head.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I noticed he had rubbed some scales off his face when he was playing in the rocks.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, I have no clue what to do! :(
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I just got him today.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Same as above.


Last edited by TheCraftyGeek; 11-04-2011 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Added pics
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #3 
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Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping....what a lovely fella you have....nice find.....

How did you first acclimate him to the new tank from the pet shop water....did any of the pet shop water get in the tank...

Sometimes-the new water can contain things that are itchy to them-usually they will adapt and be fine after some time to adjust or desensitize to it...

Right now I would recommend that you make 25% daily water changes for 2 days and dose the dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank with each water change...then get on a regular schedule of twice weekly...
Watch the areas in question and if you see any changes-like it get fuzzy look to it or he has a change in behavior like being lethargic, clamp fins...etc....let us know....

In 1gal unfiltered-twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality....don't overfed and remove any uneaten food within a reasonable time

Its not uncommon for them to not eat for a few days up to a week or so in a new environment...offer food and remove if he doesn't eat may also need to turn off the airstone if he goes longer than 5/6 days without eating...sometimes the water movement can be a cause...not always...but sometimes...once he adjust you can turn it back on if you like the look of the bubbles...the Betta doesn't need it......

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #4 
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I wouldn't worry about him not eating. Who knows how long he didn't eat in that little cup. He's probably slowing bringing himself back up instead of gorging so he doesn't get all bloated.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:46 AM   #5 
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Welcome to the forum! Nice betta!

I suggest that you move the rocks to a position so that he won't have a chance of getting stuck. Bettas are very curious, and I have heard bad stories about bettas getting stuck between rocks, and even little holes in dividers and they drowned.

Also, new bettas won't eat for the first few days. He is probably just getting used to his home. It is completely normal.

Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:10 PM   #6 
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Thanks for the tips everyone!
I started to do the 25% change, but I noticed it was pretty messy on the bottom of the tank, including some of his scales. :(
So, I ended up pouring all the water out and replacing it with tap and conditioner. (Before I had Purified Water from the jug, and I read that that wasn't the best for him)
I moved the rocks so he couldn't wedge under them, but I'll still be watching him.
I'll try and get some smaller gravel for him and maybe a little tunnel because he likes to hide...
I love my little guy and I'm just so worried about him rubbing those scales off! :( (And I'm especially paranoid because my last fish was alive only five days... I have no clue what happened.)
Hopefully this will work and he will start eating soon!
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #7 
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Okay, today he doesn't seem to be trying to scratch or burrow, but he does seem to have clamped fins and he's acting kind of sluggish. I'm not sure if it's because he isn't using his fins, or if he's just being lethargic...
And he still isn't interested in food.
I'm getting pretty worried about my little guy. :(
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:47 AM   #8 
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Excalibur passed away last night. I tried using quick cure for him because I knew he was just getting worse.
Rest in Peace my curious little boy. You were a joy to have even this short amount of time. :(
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #9 
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I'm sorry to hear about your fish. Something interesting to note before getting a new Betta is that just about every fish I've adopted from a local pet store has been constipated and brought home cotton wool disease. Though it's likely that your fish didn't have the same problems as mine, it may be worth it in the future to put new fish in a half-gallon bowl with nothing but treated water. In this environment it is easy to watch your Betta for health problems such as constipation or irritability without giving them the option of hurting themselves on abrasive objects.

My first Betta who didn't make it took to diving headfirst into the gravel to escape from my net... He lost a few scales, and died within the next few days of the cotton wool. Of course, it didn't help that I had mis-diagnosed him in the first place.

I hope you're not discouraged... My experience so far with my Betta is that they are wonderful friendly fish. They're not horribly difficult to take care of after you work out the initial kinks. Easier than goldfish, even; if you have the right equipment.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:28 PM   #10 
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Thanks for the info! Luckily, the store has a return policy, so I can rescue another for free. :)
I'm going to keep trying. My two I've had made me happy, I was just sad to watch them suffer.
Thanks again everyone.
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