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Old 02-29-2012, 10:31 PM   #1 
Fritz
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Unhappy Sad Sick Betta and Cluless Owner

I have had my Betta for around six months now and he was shy at first but then he opened up. However for about a month now he has stopped eating as far as I can tell and he now has these black patched on his scales and inside his gills. I have included a picture.

I used to think that I knew how to take care of bettas, but now I'm not so sure. The guy at the pet store said to feed him every other day. some people say to do full water changes while others say to do 10%. I heard that salt baths might help, but I'm not real sure.

I'm lost and could really use some help.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:47 PM   #2 
earthworm88
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I am sorry to hear about your trouble. I am not able to see any photos of your said betta here. Please fill this questionnaire out as detail as possible so that we can try to understand you and your fish history and to determine what can be improved and what can be done now.

Housing
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?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

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?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

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)?
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:13 PM   #3 
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I'm new to this and as I am finding out while looking at this site I have been doing it all wrong. This is the situation he is currently in.

Housing
What size is your tank? Was in a 2 gallon, but yesterday I moved to a 1/2 gallon tank. I thought it was cute. Now I realize it was a bad idea.
What temperature is your tank? room temperature 64ish (I now know that that is bad as well)
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? I previously had ghost shrimp with him, but now he is alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top fin Color enhancing Betta bits (pellets)
How often do you feed your Betta fish? every other day, but he has not been eating.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? monthly (Now I know this was really bad for him :( but that was in his old tank. now weekly)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
API stress coat+ fish and tap water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?yes, his color has faded and he now has black patches on his scales and in his gills
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
Yes he is lethargic and not eating. Always hiding in the same plant.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The black in his gills has been there for a couple months but I recently noticed it on the scales of his body.
Have you started treating your fish?
no
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
no
How old is your fish (approximately)?
1yr
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:02 AM   #4 
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Thanks for answering the questions and including a photo. We all learn from scratch at some point, and sometimes we were fed the wrong info (esp. by pet store staff) and sometimes we were careless, the only thing we can hope for is that we can try to reverse the damage we have caused. Don't beat yourself up over this, the only thing we can do is move forward

Initially the tank size was 2 gal and now you have moved him to a half gal, just think of it as putting him in the hospital tank. The only problem with either one was the water change schedule. Just for your future reference, a 2 gal should have at least a 50% water change midweek and 100% wc end of week. (I personally would do 2 100% wc a week). As for the half gallon, since he is now sick, I would probably do 100% wc every one to 2 days, every day if doing treatment. They should be fed every day, 2-4 times a day (based on your schedule of course). Temperature wise, ideally should be 76 to 80, and most importantly it should not fluctuate by more than 2 degree to avoid shocking their system.

So for now, change his water daily. Get a heater that is adjustable. Try to adjust the heater by slowly increasing the temp, ie 2 degree per day until you reach 78 or so. Are you able to get some frozen blood worms or brineshrimp? They like these type of food. You need to help him keep his strength up which means he needs to eat.

I am sure others will come along to add to whatever i have missed. Are you able to take a close up (upright) photo of these black spots?

Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:13 PM   #5 
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Here is a better picture. He is afraid of the camera. I'm not sure why that last one got flipped around.

Could it be possible that he is just dirty because I was not giving him proper water changes? should I add salt to his water? What kind of salt should I use?
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:51 PM   #6 
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He is a handsome boy! That patch of whitish area by his side, is that normal for him? Or has this area slowly getting larger? Can you see the scales clearly? I am not able to determine exactly what is wrong with him, so I would be hesitant to use anything (including salt) at the moment. We know for sure though that the imbalanced in water chemistry was probably the initial cause for his issue, so for now change his water daily in the hospital tank, keep him warm and let him adjust first. Were you able to look for a heater and find frozen food for him?
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #7 
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The heater is in it's way. I bought aquarium salt but have not used it yet. The guy at the store suggested the freeze dried blood worms, but he is not eating those either. I should really stop listening to them. I also tried Tetra Betta plus pellets, still no response. I will get the frozen tomorrow.

He has always been white and somewhat transparent. It is just the red splotches that have faded. It's the black on his scales that has me worried. Here is a picture of when I first got him.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:11 PM   #8 
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I can see all of his scales clearly. It seems at though the black is only on the seams where one scale overlaps the other.

Thank you so much for all your help. I have been learning a ton about this little guy the past day or so. All of your information really helps. I just want him to get better.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:25 PM   #9 
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I wonder if the color changes is just part of his marbling. He is just so cute! I am sorry I am not able to answer about the blacken seams as I don't know of any diseases that could have caused only that (well...I am still learning myself).

You are right, always take the advice of the pet store staff (probably ours too) with a grain of salt. Whatever they say, research it online first and get a general consensus so you know what to do. Freeze dried is fine but they are used as treats as they have the tendency to cause constipation. Some suggest soaking them first before feeding, so that it doesn't expand inside the stomach of the betta causing constipation or bloating. I personally don't use them, as I can get the frozen kind which my boys love to death! For the pellets, you may try to mince some garlic (or buy ready made Garlic Guard at your LFS) and quickly soak the pellets in it and try to feed. If you are doing it yourself, just make sure it's not too much as it might be overwhelming for the betta. The first time I did it myself, some of my boys just had the most comical reaction so I was thinking to myself it might be too "spicy". So try soaking pellets or freeze dried (since you already bought this) or frozen bloodworms into the Garlic Guard to entice his appetite.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Hopefully others will come along and give you suggestions.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #10 
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Ok i have the heater, but I'm afraid to put it in his hospital tank considering it is only a 1/2 gallon. Also the only one they had at the store small enough for a 2 gallon does not have a dial on it. any suggestions on how to acclimate him to the warmer water. I don't think he has ever been in heated water.

Also the blood worms come in cubes about the size of Fritz's body. Do I cut them up or thaw them first?

Thanks again for all your help.
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