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Old 12-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Betta with what looks like dry skin??

So here's the story: exactly 1 month ago, I got 2 bettas, my first fish. They were fine until about 3 weeks ago, when one of them started not eating and staying at the bottom of her tank (1 gal). For three days or so that was it, I'd put the little pellets (5 in the morning & 5 at night - btw I've always wondered if this is too much even if it's what the petshop guy told me) in the tank and they'd sit for an hour without her caring, then I'd scoop them out. Then she suddenly got a lot worse - she'd go up for air and then not even really swim back down, she'd just let herself "fall" in whatever way. Sometimes she'd be nearly vertical or sort of leaning on her side...And her skin got very strange, it looked like it was peeling. It wasn't just white dots and it wasn't cottony, though I had noticed some whitish film on her fins. But I could definitely see parts of her skin flaked/raised up. This was on one day, and the next morning (Monday) she had passed :(
I had put her in a bowl separate from my other betta, and he had been fine throughout. Swimming, eating, curious. Then just yesterday he started not moving so much, staying either at the bottom or at the top of his tank in a corner. He was still eating, though he didn't seem as excited about the food as before. He was also making lots of bubbles, I wonder if he isn't lonely/bored and wanting a mate. I also noticed his eyes look strange, almost cloudy. Sometimes it seems like he can't see his food - he only eats it when he bumps into it and realizes it's there. Today I noticed some flakiness to his skin :( not nearly as severe as my other fish, but almost like he scraped himself on something across the top of his body. I also don't know if I'm seeing things but he looks like he has a mild case of fin rot - his fins don't seem shorter, but the ends look sharper and darker in a way, and more separate like there are more little "points" at the end of the fin.
He is also in a 1 gal tank with a lid. There's some gravel in the bottom, 2 plastic plants and a little plastic mermaid in the middle. There's no heater (but I live in South America and it's pretty hot here right now) and no filter. I do a full water change every other day, and put dechlorinator in the water.
* Also just noticed something when I went to get the dechlorinator to find out the name. It says 1 drop per liter, and the petshop guy told me 4 drops for 2 liters. Could excess dechlorinator have anything to do with it??
I'll try to post pictures if I can. Please help, I don't want to lose my other betta
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:53 AM   #2 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Welcome to the forum, apm, and I'm sorry you lost your girl. Let's see what we can do to help your boy. First, when you say the skin looked like it was flaked or raised up, did it look anything like this:

When the scales raise up like that, it's called pineconing and is a sign of serious illness. :(

Is your betta bloated?

The whitish film you see may be excess slime coat coming off because your betta is so sick.

What I find odd is that your betta is exhibiting all the symptoms of ammonia poisoning and yet you do a full water change every other day. With a water change schedule like that, he shouldn't be having ammonia problems. Have you tested your tap water to see if there is extra ammonia in the water?

For now, I recommend you put him in epsom salt. Epsom salt can be found at most pharmacies or drug stores. Be sure to get pure epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) with no additives or colors or scents. Use 2 tsps of this per gallon of water and predissolve it in a bit of tank water. This should help if there is a fluid buildup in your betta. Fast him for a few days and when you do start feeding him, definitely cut back on his food. Pet store guy told you way too much, 10 pellets is a lot! Start out with 4-5 pellets a day.

Extra dechlorinator really shouldn't hurt him. You'd have to seriously overdose (like half the bottle into 1 gallon) to cause some damage so I don't think that's the problem.

Let me know if any of this info helps you.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:18 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
I hadn't posted again because the day after I read that I took some pictures of him to the petshop and the guy was really helpful. He seconded that it looked like ammonia poisoning, or a fungus. I got an ammonia and pH testing kit but all the numbers were normal, so I went back and the guy gave me a bactericide/fungicide to put in his water, and recommended daily 30% water changes. The very next day my betta seemed a lot better...His eyes seemed clearer, his skin looked better, and he was eating and swimming normally. This continued until this morning, when he wouldn't eat his food again his skin hadn't cleared up completely yet, but it looks worse than ever today. And I noticed what looks like dead skin at the end of his fins! He seems very lethargic again and started swimming around less. It is not as bad as it was before, but he spends a lot more time at the bottom of the tank and sometimes I notice him lying at the bottom on his side, which worries me a lot my other betta was doing this before she died. I don't know what to do! I was so happy he was getting better. Should I continue the treatment with the medicine, or is it the medicine that is making him worse or what??
some pictures: (sorry i couldn't get them to show up here)
what his skin looked like today :(
and his fins!! this grayish stuff at the end appeared suddenly today :( is it fin rot?

Last edited by apm; 12-28-2011 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:23 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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It seems like fin rot, but you can wait until more experienced members reply. Can you get more pictures in better light? That would help a ton.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:46 PM   #5 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
What is the name of the medicine he gave you? The "dry" skin looks like maybe some excess slime coat coming off because he is a bit stressed and his body is producing more mucous to ward off infection.

Treatment for his fin rot depends on the medicine he gave you so let me know and we'll go from there.
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