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Old 11-26-2011, 11:14 PM   #1 
katiem
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Male betta with black lines on body?

Hi,

I recently rescued a betta from a pet store and tried to get him healthy again. When I got him, he looked like he'd recently had fin rot - one of his pelvic fins was almost completely gone, and the rest of his fins were looking very shabby. But he's gotten a lot better, and he seems to be in perfect health. He eats pellets twice a day, swims in and out of his plants, and comes up to the side of his bowl whenever he sees me. His water gets changed twice a week (he's in a one-gallon bowl until I get paid and can get him a bigger one) and he isn't around any other fish - the other bettas are across the room, out of his sight. The bowl isn't filtered or heated - I live in Hawaii, so temperatures are usually in the high 70s-low 80s, but at night I have a lamp on right next to the bowl just in case.

Recently, though, he's developed black lines and patches on the front half of his body. They don't look like parasites - either the scales have turned black or the skin directly under them has. He hasn't been scratching himself or anything - he's completely fine except for the black lines. I know that females develop dark lines when they're ready to spawn, but I couldn't find any information on what these black areas would mean on a male. I'm not too concerned because he seems otherwise healthy, but I just want to make sure this isn't anything to worry about. I first noticed two or three scales darkening about a week ago, and now there are two vertical lines of black plus a few stray scales behind them that are getting dark.

Here are two pictures I managed to get - he was flaring at the camera so much that it was hard to get anything that wasn't too blurry. What I'm concerned about isn't the dark area around his gills (those have always been that color) but rather the dark lines just behind them.



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Old 11-26-2011, 11:29 PM   #2 
jeterfan3
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What a beautiful fish. Looks like mine before he jumped out of the bowl. Be sure to cover your bowl with something but make sure he can still get air, of course, I'm sure you know this... I will defer to the experts on this one.... Just wanted to tell you he's beautiful :)
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:34 PM   #3 
Irish Dancing Man
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What a beautiful fish!! When i first saw the title of your post i thought it would have been stress stripes, but those defenitally don't look like stress stripes.
and i was curious; Is that writing on your tank? Is it residue from a sticker?
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:24 PM   #4 
katiem
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Thanks - I agree, he's very beautiful! I have a piece of mesh covering the top of the bowl but he's been very well behaved. The stuff on the glass is residue from a sticker. The black lines almost look like mildew.
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #5 
bettafish15
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It's possible that he's marbling. :)
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:28 PM   #6 
Pitluvs
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Do they look like the lines on this betta?

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Old 11-28-2011, 12:54 AM   #7 
katiem
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Yeah, they do. Those look just like the ones on mine.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:07 AM   #8 
bettafish15
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Then not to worry, he is a marble, and is starting to change color! The black lines are his scales changing color.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:36 AM   #9 
katiem
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Ah that's good news! I thought it might be a change of color but black seemed like such a stark change from his current coloration that I didn't think that would be the case. Thanks for your help, I'm glad he's fine!
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