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Old 02-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #1 
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He's not lookin' too hot...

Hey there,

I've been perusing this forum to try and figure what to do to help my new fishy friends before posting something to bother you all with. However, I haven't really been able to figure out (even with leafing through all the problems and suggestions here) what's going on with my second betta, Jubei.

When I got him, he was kept in a tiny cup about 1/3 the size of the containers betta are sold in Petsmart, but the pet-store workers seemed very knowledgeable about how to take care of them, and his water looked very clean. The main issue I noticed was that Jubei's dorsal fin was curled, but I thought it was simply because he was cold and in a tiny space. I've had him for almost a week in the smaller 'Betta Cube' that I was able to find at Walmart, and I'm hesitant to move him to the gallon tank I have on standby before I know what's going on with him.

His fin coloring seems to be fading near his body, but the color on his body seems to have gotten better. I haven't seen any fuzziness on his body, signs of bloating, weight loss, or growths, but today I noticed two small holes: one on his tail, and one on his anal fin, both near his body. Plus, there's a 'clear' spot at the front of his anal fin. I've tried putting a mirror and my red VT betta's bowl next to him, and all he's flared is his 'beard,' very rarely. He's been fairly skittish since I got him, but he's perked up a little in the last few days.

After the form, I'll include a couple pictures I took of Jubei in the cup he came in while changing his water today.

What size is your tank? Uhm... half a gallon, if my half-empty jug is any indication. (the Betta Cube didn't tell me how much it holds...)
What temperature is your tank? pretty cold... that's all I know... I haven't found a heater suitable for less than a gallon tank
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? TetraBetta pellets, an occasional freeze-dried bloodworm (not daily)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3-5 pellets/day


How often do you perform a water change? for the moment, daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? right now, 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra BettaSafe Water Conditioner, and for the last few days, Aq salt

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

(using not-too-specific testing strips right now)
Ammonia: <.02 (just changed the water)
Nitrite: n/a
Nitrate: n/a
pH: low
Hardness: very low
Alkalinity: low (0-40)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Color has gotten slightly better
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's perked up and become a bit more interested in his surroundings. Also, he's eating much better now
When did you start noticing the symptoms? immediately
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Aq. salt (mixed in a gallon jug), daily 100% water changes
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He's been like this since I bought him, so...
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him last Wednesday... Other than that, no clue.

Kipposhi, my red VT from Walmart, on the other hand is doing wonderfully, even though it looks like he's started tail-biting... One small chunk was missing from his tail yesterday, but he hasn't made any sign of chasing it or biting it more since I noticed it. I'm going to do my best to keep his water clean while it heals.

And sorry... I know this post is really long...
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:50 PM   #2 
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I am in no way an expert, but I would definitely put him in a bigger tank that you can heat! He is probably waaaay to cold.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:05 PM   #3 
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Fin curling is usually due to hard water or from high concentrate of ammonia... it CAN go away, but in most cases there is still a slight curl left....
the pinholes are usually a sign of finrot... he needs to be in at LEAST a 1 gallon tank for QT (so he can under go treatment for finrot) and after that he really should be in at least a 2.5 gallon tank, this will make it easier for you on water changes and makes it easier to heat the tank.
Treatment should be 1 tsp of AQ salt per gallon of water.... keep up treatment for 7 days, then stop them, continue with 100% daily water changes throughout this time, after that, as long as you keep up on water changes he should be good... if you decide to keep him in the 1/2 gallon though you will need to continue with at MOST water changes 100% water changes every other day... daily being prefered.

For your other boy, Im going to assume he is in the same sized tank... you will want to upgrade and heavily decorate his tank... this has been known to hel pwith some tail biters... but, to make it easier, you could buy a 5 gallon kit and divide it between the two...
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #4 
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Thanks. I went ahead and started setting up the 1 gall tank I had.. Jubei's acclimating to it right now before I complete the transfer. I'm planning a trip to the store soon to get a larger tank or two, anyway, but I'm hampered by not having a vehicle until my mother gets off work. And she's not that fond of my getting dedicated to the fishies.

To distract the biter, I changed up how his home was set up, and after looking through other threads, dropped a pop cap in there to distract him, as well as putting a mirror next to him for a bit. I'm not too worried about him for now...But I'll feel better after I can get larger tanks.

Thanks for the tips!

Last edited by hidenogensou; 02-07-2012 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #5 
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No problem!!!! and good luck! look forward to more pictures!
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #6 
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Hello there!
Love the color of your betta, great find!

I wouldn't worry about those two little holes, they are likely blown-outs and usually quickly heal within 24 hours unless he continues to "thrash" around a bit and the holes can get bigger, but usually they come and go quickly. Have you got any pointy fake plants in the bowl? Sometimes they are the culprit for doing that. In addition, I wouldn't bother with the aquarium salt as I don't see any rots or infection happening. Just keep the water super clean like you are doing now is good.

For your reference, since you are shopping for tanks, you will easily find heaters for tanks 2 gal and above. However, keep in mind that for a 2.5 gallon, you will likely do a 50% water change mid week, and a 100% end of week. If you go for a larger one like 5 gal, then the water change can be done probably at 100% end of week. Or you can cycle the 5 gal tank and water changes can be partial and usually once a week, you will know when you check your ANN (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates). Go to the habitat section if you have specific questions about what heater or tank to get.

As for fin curling, people speculate that it's due to hard water, and some thinks it's the minerals in the water, and of course the genetic factors. Everyone is still trying to figure out what the exact cause is. I don't have hard water, but mine also curl, so I can only blame it on genetics for now

Happy Betta Keeping!
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:41 AM   #7 
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Have to agree, those pin holes don't show any signs of rot- and they tend to appear more from high concentration of ammonia and pointy plants. Rot forms on the damaged fins, so the rot would come after the holes.

Go ahead and you can either continue the salt treatment for no longer then 10 days, or take him out, as he has no signs of rot that the AQ salt is needed for.
The fin curl most likely won't go away- it comes from bad water quality, which he would of gotten from the little cups. I have one who has a very pronounced curl that he had when I got him, and in ideal conditions it has never gone away. Have yet to know of a curl.. uncurling itself.

You won't find a heater for a tank that small.. since it's not considered an actual tank. Too dangerous to heat it up, as a heater would most likely cause it to get too hot. I suggest placing him in the 1 gallon, and finding a 10 watt heater for it.. as they don't make heaters for tanks that size. There are three different betta cubes, a .3 gal, .50 gal and a .8 (there may be larger, but Walmart I believe sells the .3, possibly the .8). Any of those cannot be safely heated, and would require 1-2 50% and 1 100% per week water change.

He will change colors, so don't worry too much- it's when he goes pale that you will want to pay attention, and when that happens there are usually other signs of illnesses. The change in color on his fins is normal, and once he is in a bigger home with heat you will see an increase in his coloration as he will be happy and healthy.

Good luck, you have a cute looking boy :)
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:58 PM   #8 
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I thought he was a looker, too! He really stuck out at the pet shop I got him from... I couldn't walk away until I picked him up!

I did have a small plant in his cube with him, but I had tested it with some nylon, so thought that it wasn't too much of a danger... And like I said, the ammonia levels had been low. Also, he hadn't flared his tail or anal fins at all, so I'm not sure if he could've blown them... However, it's possible that the holes were there before, and I just never noticed them.

I have Jubei in the 1 gall bare tank for right now, and it does have the dosage of Aq. salt. I'm only going to continue that for a couple more days, though, then just keep him in clean water....

I'm rather miffed about the heater I did have... It was one of those mini betta bowl heaters, that only warm up 5-10 degrees over the normal water temperature, and I plugged it in for the first time yesterday... Today, it wasn't working at all. He's now sharing the best small-area heater in the house with another tank: a desk lamp of mine. I have a thermometer in his tank that I check periodically to make sure it doesn't get too hot, but so far, it's kept Jubei's tank and another tank between 77 and 80 degrees F.

At the moment, he's showing a lot more energy, and I'm taking that as a good sign. :)

Thanks for the continued advice!!

Last edited by hidenogensou; 02-09-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:17 AM   #9 
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And checking before I go to sleep... Jubei seems quite happy in his bare (mostly) 1 gall tank... And much better. He does have a tear in his caudal fin that looks clean... but I think I just didn't notice before because he wasn't letting it spread out....

HOWEVER.... It looks like he's started building his first bubble nest under this roof. I'm taking that as a good sign. :)
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:39 AM   #10 
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Thanks for the update, and glad to hear he is doing better
I know what you mean...I noticed mine with a "bite mark" on his anal fin and o_O what did he do this time....but it turned out that when I dug out the old photos , he already had it when I got him, but just didn't notice it cuz it's always folded within all the fins. Thank goodness it's healing, slowly but surely

Good luck with yours...bubble nests always make US happy
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