Please help, I love my poor betta! I just got him in october for my birthday and hes been fine until recently. Neither me or my family knows much about taking care of fish so we just followed the instructions the pet store gave us and it seemed to be working fine.
My fish has a white/silver patch that started on the bottom of his chin, but I just noticed today it has grown to his gills and spreading towards his underbelly. He itches it and darts around a lot, but it doesn't appear to be fuzzy, actually it just looks like the scales have turned white. Do you think it could be ammonia or some kind of bacterial infection? Also I should mention that his fins are starting to curl up.
I'm starting to get worried, because before when the patch was small he wasn't acting sick but now his fins dont spread out, he slowly swims up to eat and doesn't eat that much, and he spends most of the time sitting at the bottom of the tank or lazily drifting around...
Heres a picture, hes fanned out here because the camera scared him so you cant see the curling so well. The curls are circled in yellow and the white patch in red. Let me know if you need more info!
try and fill this out as much as possible while we wait for someone who can help more:
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you perform a water change?
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?
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
Thanks I just saw in the sticky that you should put that, I guess I should have read them first!
What size is your tank? 2L
What temperature is your tank? I dont know. Slightly warm.
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Dried bloodworms and flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day but I skip a day once a week
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week, but I went 2 weeks without changing because I was on vacation and nobody bothered to change it for me
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin betta+ stuff that the pet store gave me
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Just tested it today for ammonia.Also I used tap water, but today I changed to water from the water jug (It's not distilled) to see if that will help any.
Ammonia: The ammonia test strip read 3.0
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Curling fins, silver belly and chin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He isnt as active and happy, no more bubble nests, floats around and eats less
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last week
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Trying to fix the water.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? He seems quite young, I he was given to me in october so I'm not sure when he was born
I just google imaged ammonia burns and the pictures are almost identical to what he has. I checked the tap water after conditioning and the ammonia level was 3.0 while the water from the jug was 1.0 so I'll stick with that for now. I wonder if the ammonia is making his fins curl? Thanks
A half a gallon (2L) is rather small.. a 1 gallon (4L) would be a little bit safer for him.
In a half a gallon you will need to be doing 2 50% and 1 100% per week as the ammonia/nitrates and such raise to a dangerous level very fast in smaller containers such as that.
Flakes are notorious for fouling up water quickly- so make sure to remove any uneaten flakes within a few minutes of feeding. Freeze Dried should only be fed once or twice a week, pre-soaking prior to feeding, also removing immediately after feeding. Pellets, live, and frozen are ideal foods.. pellets should be the staple of their diet if live/frozen isn't available. At least 2 small feedings a day is needed, as with one you will either over feed, or under feed them and not giving them the appropriate nutrition needed. I suggest picking up some pellets and feeding him 2-3 pellets per meal, twice a day.
In a container that small, keeping it at the right temp will be near impossible, and keeping it stable. Being tropical fish, bettas require temps 76 (the lowest you would want it..) and 82*, preferably 78*F (25-26*C)
You don't want temp fluctuations, as with any fish, since it can cause stress and shock- small containers such as that can't be properly heated, a heater is not idea as even in a 1 gal (4L), it can be hard to maintain proper heat.
Sadly, the pet store employees will tell you anything to make a sale.. but those half gallons are only good for QT tanks for sick fish- not fish who require room, warmth, medium to heavy planted, etc.
You caught this early, but if kept without at least the proper water changes he'll soon go downhill :( Keep us updated on how he is doing, if you have any questions please feel free to ask. But for now, all you can do is give him clean water and hope he clears it out of his system before it turns into ammonia poisoning. Do daily 50% water changes over the next 3-5 days, then afterwards do what I mentioned above, 2 50% and 1 100% per week. Good luck to you.
Water conditioners should eliminate ammonia- not to mention a lot of test kits (if not all) can't tell the difference between ammonia and ammonium- which Prime will turn ammonia into ammonium, which is harmless...
Bottled water isn't a good idea.. but using the proper water conditioner along with the proper water changes for that size should eliminate the ammonia issues without having to deny the fish of the important minerals and vitamins found only in tap water..