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Old 11-11-2011, 10:57 PM   #1 
downerbeautiful
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Female Betta losing fin color

Housing
What size is your tank? 5gal
What temperature is your tank? 78f
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? 1 baby rainbow shark, 2 African dwarf frogs

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Nutrafin max
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x/day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1x/5-7 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner

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

Ammonia: <.25ppm
Nitrite: <.5ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
pH: 6.5
Hardness: gh- 180 kh- 0-20
Alkalinity: ??

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? yes
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? no
When did you start noticing the symptoms? today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 months?

Is it possible for my female betta to be losing color in her fins? I noticed today that she had a huge halo of white/clear where it used to be all red. I even double checked old photographs of her to make sure I wasn't crazy. Can her fin colors change over time, or is there something wrong with my fish?

For pictures, these are the best I have.

Thanks.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:25 AM   #2 
Pataflafla
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I believe your tank might be a bit overstocked with the rainbow shark and the 2 ADFs.

I don't know the healthy level of nitrates and nitrites, but I think 20 ppm is a bit high.

I suggest doing a 75% as soon as you can to see if that improves anything.

Maybe more than 50% change weekly is needed for the bioload too. I know the filter helps, but you've got quite a bit of ammonia production from the betta, the shark, and the ADFs. Is there any way you could rehome or get a new tank for the shark? I think they grow to be relatively large for a freshwater aquarium shark.

I think I also read that a 5 gallon is usually only a suitable size for 1 ADF, but I could be wrong on that.

For now, up the water changes and see if anything improves.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:33 AM   #3 
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the rainbow shark needs a HUGE tank, and will get very aggressive as it grows up. x: she might be being harassed by the shark and/or froggies(i've heard they can be nippy sometimes), and she's losing color because of that...
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:41 AM   #4 
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The rainbow is half her size right now. I'm using the tank as a grow-out so that he won't get harassed by a couple of the other fish who were picking on him in the larger tank. I don't anticipate keeping the shark in there for too long, just enough to let him gain some size before I put him back with the big boys. The ADFs are also in the tank for grow-out. They weren't getting picked on, but I wanted to make sure they got used to their surroundings and consuming the food I feed them. I lost track of them in the large tank because they're young, small, and were very prone to hiding.

My female betta and her tank mates seemed fine. It was the fist time in ages she wasn't showing stress stripes (she and another fish didn't get along at all, but the other fish died recently). I've only seen signs of stress and aggression with two fish, and one of them is dead.

I did move her back into the large community tank, having her trade places with the other fish with whom she fails to co-operate.

20ppm's a total guess. The color was really faint so it was somewhere between 0 and 20. I don't mind doing water changes, though. It gives me something to do.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:42 AM   #5 
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do you have a smaller tank you could move her to, to see if she colors up any? nothing smaller than a gallon, just to see.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:45 AM   #6 
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I have two or three smaller tanks, none of which are less than a gallon. They aren't filtered or heated, though. I sleep with the window open, so tanks need to be heated; it's getting nippy at night.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:47 AM   #7 
Luimeril
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hhmm. :/ it reminds me of when Scout gets stressed. he turns grey, and the black seems to seep out of his fins like that.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:52 AM   #8 
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I've considered getting one of those fry nets for her so that I don't have three surge strips going and so that the water stays at a consistent temperature. Most of them, though, only go to half a gallon in volume.

Does a color-return take long? I know she always healed quickly when she had damaged fins. If it's a relatively quick turnaround, I'll determine whether she's best in the community tank or elsewhere.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:06 AM   #9 
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Other than the overstocking that others mentioned...

Your KH is a tad low for my liking (I am assuming your test is in ppm). I'd be inclined to believe that pH swings are also causing stress

Oh, also KH = Alkalinity (I suppose)

If your KH test is in dKH, then disregard my previous sentence, BUT 0-20 dkH is a very very very wide range, xD
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:56 AM   #10 
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once she's feeling better, she'll color back up within an hour. one of those net things would work great. :3 you could float her in either tank, preferably in with her sorority sisters. :d
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