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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

A month ago, we became the proud new owners of a betta fish we named Gilgamesh. This is our first fish ever, and we're learning more and more everyday, but we still have a lot of undiscovered territory, so forgive us if this is evident.

We got Gilgamesh at a pet store specialized in fish, and when we brought him home, we noticed the white spot at the base of his right pectoral fin. Googling brought up only two possible things : one being ick (which we ruled out because there are no other white spots on his body) and the other being a fungal infection, which we're not sure about, since the spot doesn't look cottony in person (on the photos attached it looks a lot more blurry). The white area also seems to have extended up onto his fin.

Organism Fish Freshwater aquarium Tail Adaptation

The first pinkish-reddish spot appeared a few days ago on the top of his head. It looked like just one scale changed colors or dropped off - we can't tell if the scale is actually there or not. (Can scales even change color overnight?) That day we also noticed a bump on the middle of his back.
Today we woke up to a bigger pink/red area, a few scales wide, right behind the original spot on his head. We're pretty sure there isn't anywhere he could have scraped himself on...

Painting Art

Fish Organism Fish Freshwater aquarium Tail

There are no other symptoms as far as we can tell, his behavior seems normal (although since we have never had a fish before there could be clues we're missing) and he's eating well. (He did have clamped fins when we got him, but not anymore now that he has a better tank, and the tips of his fins are growing back)

I should also note that ever since we got him, the gill "flap" on his right side looks thicker and sticks up more than the left side when it's closed. He flares the same on both sides though, and he doesn't seem to have any breathing issues (doesn't stay constantly at the surface).

What size is your tank? 4.3 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 78 - 81° F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No (top of the tank is opened - he doesn't jump)
Is your tank heated? Yes, with an adjustable heater
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish?
1 pellet twice a day, none on saturdays


How often do you perform a water change? Every 2 - 3 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme

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

With API Freshwater Master test kit

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0 - Shook a LOT
pH: 7.2
Hardness: N/A
- Don't know how to test for this
Alkalinity: N/A
- Don't know how to test for this

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has had a white spot at the base of his right pectoral fin ever since we got him, and now has developed pinkish-reddish spots on the top of his head and back - looks like his scales fell off or changed colors.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It hasn't, he is still as curious and energetic as ever, and eats well.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The white spot, since the beginning, thought it would fix itself with clean water. The first pink spot at the top of his head, we noticed a few days ago, and more have appeared this morning.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, only added an Indian Almond Leaf before the pink spots on his scales appeared.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Don't know. Got him a month ago.
How old is your fish (approximately)? About a year

Thanks for bearing with us, and we'd really appreciate any light you may be able to shed on Gilgamesh's well-being.

778 Posts
Hi Miabo

Right now, nothing is raising any obvious red flags. Lumps and bumps are pretty hard to diagnosis in betta when hey happen. From the pictures and your description, he sounds healthy. I'd suggest keeping an eye on the areas you circled, they could just be due to losing a scale or a color change as he ages. If the areas get larger or swell out, could you post a couple photos here? One from the side and one from the top looking down.

A sick betta will usually refuse to eat, hide or become lethargic, and/or clamp his fins.

Gilgamesh looks good so far! His fins are nice and lose, spread out. And he sounds energetic and eating like a horse. I'd just keep an eye on those spots and see if anything changes.

2,544 Posts
One thing I would recommend is some kind of cover. I know you said your fish isn't a jumper but I think would be better for an antabantoid like a betta to breathe warm, humid air. I feel that that it would be better for his overall health and make him less susceptible to problems, particularly with his labyrinth organ. Your tank would also be less likely to have temperature fluctuations.

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Zhylis, as new fish owners we may be a little "fish-o-condriac", so we really appreciate your input to set us straight! We will keep an eye on it, and post pictures if anything new comes up.

MikeG, that's a very good tip, we hadn't thought of that. A cover would probably also help with the water evaporation. We'll get one soon!
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