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Old 12-30-2011, 10:34 PM   #1 
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Sick Fish Help Please

Someone please help my poor little guy Alpha is sick and I don't know what he is sick with or how to treat him. I've read the disease sticky and it sounds like he has symptoms of multiple things so any help diagnosing him would be greatly appreciated.

He has pin sized holes on his fins 1 on his dorsal fin, 1 on his caudal fin towards his caudal peduncle and 1 on his anal fin. He also has some weird knot like bump on his left ventral fin and also his his ventral fin tips have been whitening.

He is turning grey fast and the top of his head has turned red with grey spots.

Earlier today I noticed I could just make out horizontal lines on his sides.

His fins appear to be deteriorating as they seem to me to be getting smaller and more jagged on the tips.

He darts around back and forth frantically on the glass but has not been rubbing on any of the tank decorations.

What is wrong with him and what do I need to get to make my little guy healthy again? Is there something at petco or petsmart I can get to treat him? Also is whatever he has contagious do I treat the whole tank or QT him and treat him alone?

He was QT-ed but the QT tank didn't have a heater so he ultimately got worse so I had to put him in the heated tank again

(The blue/green tint you see in the water was from the Betta Revive)


What size is your tank? 10 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? Black Phantom Tetras (And yes they all get along fine)

What type of food do you feed your Betta fish? Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, TetraBetta Mini Pellets
How often do you feed your Betta fish? Twice a day


How often do you perform a water change? Idk how often or how much or if anything is added you see my bf does all the maintenance for the tank

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? Yes
If so, what are the following parameters? Idk offhand my bf had the pet store test our water but when I asked him the parameters he didn't remember, just said that it was the same levels as the pet store and that our water was fine

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your Betta fish's appearance changed? Dull color, and flat out turning more and more grey each day on his fin tips and underbelly, also losing color on head turning grey and red, fins getting smaller and jagged, also pin sized holes in fins
How has your Betta fish's behavior changed? Darts around alot on the glass but HAS NOT been rubbing on the tank decor
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Four days ago with Betta Revive but he just seemed to get worse, hardly swimming around at all, Kinda floaty at times
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No not that I'm aware of
How old is your fish (approximately)?I couldn't say I've only had him a month myself he's not an old man but not a young buck either
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Last edited by Aurah; 12-30-2011 at 10:37 PM. Reason: rephrased a question and fixed spelling error
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:40 PM   #2 
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Well he looks a little pale but I don't really see anything identifiably wrong with him based on the photos.. are these recent ones? I don't see the greying or pin holes you're talking about?
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:54 PM   #3 
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Yes they are recent. His whole body was blue his head didn't have any red or silver on it when I got him. That last pic shows the knot on his fin. And you can only see the pin holes when he opens his fins they are hard to spot otherwise. It seems he holds fins tighter then when I first got him. His coloring if has turned quite dull since I got him but the flash on my camera makes everything look shiny and bright. His fins are more purple then blue but you'd never know it looking at these pics. The blue water didn't help any with that.

I'll try to get pics of the holes but it may take awhile since he hasn't fully opened his fins in days
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:56 AM   #4 
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The knot on his ventral fin looks normal. Some fish, VTs especially, with get little bumps and curls in their ventral fins.

The red on his face is normal pigmentation. He could be marbling. Since you've only had him a mont that could be the reason for the color change.

Paleness is a sign of stress. Exact water parameters and his water change schedule will help us narrow down possible ailments.

The pin holes in his fins could be caused by over flaring, do you see him flare often?
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:06 AM   #5 
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My plakat male Ares split his caudal fin from over-flaring

I agree, he doesn't seem ill from the photo, and the red/spotty coloring on his head looks pretty typical to me.

Exact water change schedule and water parameters will be helpful if you can ask your boyfriend. It might be a good idea to start writing down the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels at each test.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:59 AM   #6 
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To answer your question he doesn't flare often I've only seen him do it maybe 2 or 3 times. That said, he was a Walmart rescue and they are notorious for sticking the betta cups right next to other betta so maybe he was overflaring there.

Here are some pics, you see that spec towards the base of the caudal I know it looks like dust on the tank but it's actually a hole. I know their a little blurry but it's hard to get a clear shot when he was moving. These were taken without the flash from my phone.

(Also yes I know that's a buttload of food I had to entice him over with food so that I could get these pics and accidentally dropped in too much it was fished out after I took the pics thou so don't worry)

What inexpensive (i don't have much of money at the moment) testing strips would you recommend I get to test for all that? I live near a petco and a Petsmart if that helps for recommending one.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:11 PM   #7 
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Don't use strips use API drops test kit. Should be very easy to find. It really doesn't look bad at all from the pics.. though no idea on that odd knot..that's a whole other question I have no idea about.. but otherwise sounds like you're describing very very mild fin rot probably due to ammonia or ph issues.. can't know until you test.

Please ask your husband what he uses to treat the water and how often/how much is changed.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #8 
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My bf says he does around 25% water changes about every two weeks. We had petco run water tests and when asking the results she only told me the two that she was concerned about which was

Ammonia: 3.0
Nitrite: 9.0

Our tank has only been up and running a little over a month now idk if that's the reason the nitrite is high or not.

We also went to Petsmart and a worker there said try melafix. We'll we tried it for a few days and everyone in the tank seemed to be getting worse.

My betta's fins continue to look worse each day they look like they are fraying and I can now see thru part of them. My betta's tank mate ended up losing most of his tail overnight. As seen in the pic below. For the record he was alive when I took the pic. He didn't make it thru the night, found him dead this morning, poor little guy I feel just awful.
Now there only two fish left my betta and 1 little tetra.

I've been reading up about melafix and everyone is saying that while it does promote regrowing fins it doesn't cure the infection. The lady at petco recommended API stress zyme to help reduce their stress but what should I use to treat them?
I've heard good things about Mardelís Maracyn-Two should I get that to treat them?
Also how do I reduce the nitrite?
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:13 PM   #9 
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The nitrite can be reduced with water changes, I don't know the answer to your other questions.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:26 AM   #10 
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I'm sorry your local pet store has not been a better source of advice to you :(

Melafix should not be used with labrynth organ fish like bettas because it can harm their organ (which is how they breathe).

25% every two weeks is not enough, especially with a new uncycled tank. You should be doing a 20% weekly change once your tank is cycled but if you're choosing to do a fish in tank cycle that's another issue. If you want to do that then you need to buy an drops test kit and test your water daily and do a partial change every time you see the ammonia go over .25. Also consider moving your betta to a temporary home until the tank is cycled.

Right now with levels that high you need to do a immediate -at least- 50% change to get the levels down. With levels that high I doubt that would even be enough to get things under control but I'd be afraid a 100% water change would be too much of a shock on their system since the water has been changed so infrequently. You could do the immediate 50% change followed by as much as an 80-90% change w/ floating the betta in a cup in the tank and then spooning a little bit of the new tank water in to acclimate him slowly before fully returning to the tank.

Right now I don't think you need medication. I think you need to get your water under control.

Last edited by callistra; 01-06-2012 at 09:30 AM.
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betta, darting, fins, sick

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