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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello!

So, I have had my betta, Poseidon for a few months now in a two gallon tank. I do partial water changes about once a week, unless I have a feeling like I need to do it more. So far, he has seemed to be pretty healthy. The first few days I was worried about him because he was laying at the bottom a lot and not really eating, but he started doing much better after that.

The other day I noticed that there were what I thought to be white spots on his tail, but then I realized they might be holes. I am now certain they are two tiny holes in his tail. One seems to have something white on it though. I did about a fifty percent water change last night and rinse off his castle and fake plant in hot water. I also took out his marimo moss ball and put it in hot water with water conditioner and it is still in the separate cup. Today I also saw white spots on one side of his head and starting to go down his body. I did a very small water change because I did a fifty percent water change when I moved him into my dorm a week ago and one last night, so I am afraid too many large water changes will stress him out. But a little while ago I looked and I didn't see the spots on his head, but I saw white particle looking things floating in the water.

So, my question is what is this? I was thinking ich because of the white spots, but does ich attach and detach itself like that? Does it cause holes in fins or is that fin rot? other than the two tiny holes, his fins seem to be in good shape. They aren't frayed and haven't lost any of their beautiful blue color. What is the best way to handle it if it is ich? I have read a lot of different things. Are chemical medications good or bad? My heater has its own thermometer and regulator, so I can't raise the temperature higher myself. I really don't think I can handle him dying right now.
 

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with your daily h20 changes, maybe add a little aquarium salt (make sure to add gradually, as to not shock your fish) & add bettafix? Is there anywhere warmer in your home you can put your tank? I'm a new betta fish owner but ive been doing a lot of research
 

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Please fill in this form and upload a clear picture of the betta. Thank you.


Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?

Food:
What food brand do you use?
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
What percentage of water did you change?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner?

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Is your Betta still eating?
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am living in a dorm, so it is only one room. The room is usually around 70-75 degrees. He has a tetra heater that is supposed to keep the tank at about 78 degrees. He also has a blanket wrapped around the tank most of the time.

His tank is 2 gallons (is that too small for one betta? The woman at the pet store said it was more than enough for him?)
It has a filter
Like I said above the tank is supposed to be at about 78 degrees.
He is the only one in the tank because of how small it is.
I use just betta pellets I bought at PetSmart and I feed him a few pellets twice a day. he used to eat just fine and even showed excitement about food (jumping at it like he was attacking it) now he barely shows interest in it and most of it falls to the bottom.

I always did about 25% water changes once a week unless the water looked like it needed another water change sooner.
I just use a cup to pull out water, but I am hoping to buy a gravel vac when I go to work again.
I use a water conditioner that I bought at Petsmart. I belive it is a TopFin brand, but I am not looking at it right now.

I have not tested the water recently. Are home tests difficult to use? Or should I get it taken to PetSmart?

He does not have a history of illness that I have noticed, but I bought him about four or five months ago. He was a bit off when I first bought him (not eating not swimming much) but that changed after a few days so I assumed it was the stress of a new environment.
I first suspected something was wrong two days ago and was certain something was up yesterday and this morning.
He has holes in his fin (small ones) and HAD spots on his head, but I didn't see them a couple hours later??
He is laying on the ground and inside his castle more. He isn't eating barely anything.
I have not added any treatments, I have only done a couple of water changes to see if that helped. (50%yesterday about 10% today)
 

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Yeah a picture would be best for this, and filling out the form that ryry2012 posted. One of the things you can do to identify if it's ich is by looking at your betta behavior. If your betta is touching a item with his body and swimming close to it (like scratching his body) there is a potential that it's ich. If there is holes on the tail maybe there is something sharp in your tank making those holes, the white spots might be tissue that is growing back.
 

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I am living in a dorm, so it is only one room. The room is usually around 70-75 degrees. He has a tetra heater that is supposed to keep the tank at about 78 degrees. He also has a blanket wrapped around the tank most of the time.

His tank is 2 gallons (is that too small for one betta? The woman at the pet store said it was more than enough for him?)
It has a filter
Like I said above the tank is supposed to be at about 78 degrees.
He is the only one in the tank because of how small it is.
I use just betta pellets I bought at PetSmart and I feed him a few pellets twice a day. he used to eat just fine and even showed excitement about food (jumping at it like he was attacking it) now he barely shows interest in it and most of it falls to the bottom.

I always did about 25% water changes once a week unless the water looked like it needed another water change sooner.
I just use a cup to pull out water, but I am hoping to buy a gravel vac when I go to work again.
I use a water conditioner that I bought at Petsmart. I belive it is a TopFin brand, but I am not looking at it right now.

I have not tested the water recently. Are home tests difficult to use? Or should I get it taken to PetSmart?

He does not have a history of illness that I have noticed, but I bought him about four or five months ago. He was a bit off when I first bought him (not eating not swimming much) but that changed after a few days so I assumed it was the stress of a new environment.
I first suspected something was wrong two days ago and was certain something was up yesterday and this morning.
He has holes in his fin (small ones) and HAD spots on his head, but I didn't see them a couple hours later??
He is laying on the ground and inside his castle more. He isn't eating barely anything.
I have not added any treatments, I have only done a couple of water changes to see if that helped. (50%yesterday about 10% today)
When you do water changes, you need to take the water from the bottom of the tank. This is where all the poop and undigested food is! You really ought to get a gravel vaccuum. Doing water change by taking water off the top isn't getting rid of the "yucky" water. Also you can buy test strip kits that measure the pH, water hardness carbonate, nitrites, & nitrates in the water. Ammonia break down into nitrites and that turns into nitrates. You don't want lots of ammonia, nitrites in the water. A little nitrate is okay.
 

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First, Welcome to the Forum! :wave:

We need this information:

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Is your Betta still eating?

We also need clear photos of both your boy and his tank. Without the photos all anyone can do is guess. If he does have Ich, however, you'll need a heater that can raise the temperature to 86F and keep it there for two weeks to kill all life stages of this parasite.

As far as a vacuum, I use a piece of airline tubing whch, I believe, was around $3.00 at Wal-Mart.

Edit: You can take a water sample to a pet store and they will test for you. Make sure to get the *exact* numbers; do not settle for "fine," "safe," or whatever. If your budget doesn't allow for the full API Master Test Kit then get the liquid Ammonia test as Ammonia is the most important parameter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. One is just him laying on the bottom, one shows the holes, but in this picture they look more like small pinkish dots, and the last picture is supposed to be of his white spots that were on his head. I realize that they are not the best pictures, and I will try to take better ones when I get home.

I believe the first signs of the symptoms were yesterday.
The only appearance that has changed are the holes and spots. His coloring is still normal, eyes are still normal.
He is much less active. Lays on the rocks or inside the castle more. Does not get as excited about food. He pushed himself between the marimo moss ball and the side of the tank and laid there for a little while.
He is not eating nearly as much as usual and does not show excitement about it like he did before. He used to jump at it as if he were attacking the pellets, now he might eat one of them, but has been letting most or all of them fall to the bottom the last could on days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The spots actually seem to have gone now except for a couple of specks. He is still laying around a lot though and I am concerned about the holes in his tail. I do not think he caught them on anything sharp because of how small they are and because they are a little too perfect instead of like tears. Is it possible this is some other type of bacterial or fungal infection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do believe that I have answered all of these to the best of my knowledge in earlier posts, but I will do my best to describe the situation more clearly again:

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? The filter aerates it??
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon Betta Food for everyday TopFin seven day betta food feeders when necessary
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Once when I wake up in the morning and once when I go to bed usually about 4 pellets

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Used a cup
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? TopFin Water conditioner

Water Parameters:UNKNOWN
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Two Days Ago?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Holes in fins, white specks/dots on head
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Lays at bottom or inside castle, doesn't show excitement around food, might have been scratching against marimo ball??
Is your Betta still eating? Not as much
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Only water changes
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not that I know of, but I have only had him a few months
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? In April I believe. There was nothing visibly wrong with him
 

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You can test the ornaments with pantyhose to see if they are smooth enough for him.

The pin holes can be a beginning of fin rot. Even though you do water change at least once a week, it doesn't guarantee good water parameters. I hope it doesn't sound harsh, but doing water change by dipping out water doesn't do much. Uneaten food and poops sink. They would sink in between the marbles and produce ammonia. When I had a betta in a 2.5 gallon, I was doing 59% water change every week. I also removed poops and uneaten food with a turkey baster regularly. One day I noticed, he was lethargic. I tested the water and the nitrite was toxic high.
Is there is a Petsmart near you? They offer free water test if you bring sample water. It'd be best if you can get a test kit.


I can't tell from the pictures. He isn't pineconing, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
He is not pineconing. His eating was a bit better this morning, but he is back on the ground. I will make sure to buy a water testing kit and a gravel vacuum. My gut is telling me it is unlikely he caught it on the castle and ripped his tail open. The points are dull and much larger than the holes on his fins. They do not look like tears just like a pin had gone through it? Although, this is my first betta, and my first independent tank where he is solely mine to take care of, so I do not know much about what would happen if he did tear it or with different diseases common to bettas. But I am pretty sure it is obvious Poseidon is my first and I don't know anything about it. IF it is fin rot, what am I supposed to do?

Also, update on the spots, they seem to have completely gone. Was it something totally normal and unrelated that I overreacted to?? Edit: It looks like some are still on the other side of his head (hard to tell because he wasn't moving) but it also looks like the same thing is floating in the water. Is it just particles that somehow feel into the tank and is getting stuck to him? I'm trying to get a clear picture, but they are so small and zooming in that much messes with the quality of my phone camera.
 

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You can use aquarium salt if he has fin rot. Not for now though. He doesn't have fin rot. It's always good to ask on this forum before staring treatment.


Can't you use your friend's phone or camera to take pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I bought some tests. His Nitrite was between 0-0.5 and his nitrate was between 0-20 (they were the strip tests so the color was hard to tell exactly which one but they were definitely in that range. The pH was around 6.5. The Ammonia was the test where you put water and the two solutions in a test tube, shake it up, and wait five minutes. It looked like at least a two in comparison to the color card chart. I did about a 60% water change with the gravel vacuum.

I also bought BettaFix to have on hand if anything goes wrong. Do you have opinions on whether or not this is something that needs to be/ should be used now or ever?
 

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BettaFix is a fine initial treatment...sort of like a band-aid on a minor cut. For more serious problems you need more.

To explain: The reason we need the form is it was developed as an easy reference guide. It is time-consuming and we can miss things when having to read a wall of text. The form hits the most important pointsw. That's why we urge filling it out and strongly suggest members not make diagnoses without it and photos. A lot of people have wondered; I'm just using your thread to let anyone reading know. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am concerned because one hole seems bigger than it was before and there are new ones? Would the betta fix help it go away now or at least help manage it and just regular water changes will keep it from happening again? I apologize I'm sure these questions may sound dumb, but I really want to make sure he is okay
 

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You're questions are definitely not dumb. We all started with little or no knowledge. Questions are always encouraged because others who might be too shy to ask and those who lurk learn, too.

Does your boy flare a lot? Sometimes flaring will cause holes in their fins. I would do as ryry2012 suggested and still test the decor. Sometimes they look and feel smooth but are just sharp enough to snag hose.

You can also do a few things:

While I now feed live and frozen, when I fed pellets I would switch to frozen bloodworms for a week to give them an extra protein source. If you have access to a fridge the frozen bloodworms will be good for up to a week if kept in a sealed container like a small pill bottle. For future reference, look for pellets like New Life Spectrum, NorthFin Betta Bits and Omega One that have whole fish as their first ingredients and, thus, fewer fillers.

Use Seachem StressGuard, dosing daily, for a couple of weeks. As an aside, it's a good product to use when you transport back and forth from home. Seachem Prime is also the best water conditioner.

Increase water changes to one gallon 2x per week.

When it's in the budget, get an adjustable heater. Ich is cured by upping the temperature to 84-86 and keeping it there for, I believe, a week. Some meds also require raising the temperature; that's one reason adjustables are better. I like Hydor Theo 50 watt for your two gallon. It's the same size in length as the 25 watt and if you ever up the size of your tank you don't need a new heater.

Aquarium Heaters: Hydor Theo Heater

As you have a filter you might want to read this tutorial on how to cycle aquariums and make them easier to maintain:
http://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html

Don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions.
 
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