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Help with my new betta--red streaks on gills?

11435 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Myates
Hi, I got my first betta just a few days ago and am concerned about some red and brown marks that have appeared and his erratic behavior. Would someone be able to explain more about what's happening to him?

I read that with a smaller tank, I'm supposed to do water changes every day. So yesterday I did a water change--by dumping 50% of the water out and pouring new water in--and some time afterwards, I noticed that my betta had these red streaks near his gills, with dark brown spots around his head. Since the red streaks looked raw, I thought he might have hurt himself on something, but then that didn't explain those darker "dirty" patches around his face.

Day 1, when I first got him:

Day 3, his face is so much darker and raw-looking! Almost dirty:

Doesn't he look different?? It really concerns me to look at his before/after pics.

Behavior-wise, he darts around a lot...he often shimmies in front of the tank wall and then makes quick turns and twists. Sometimes he suddenly darts up and down. I haven't had him for that long so I don't know if that's normal. I tried googling all his symptoms and thought it might be something like ammonia poisoning or a problem with the water quality. I added a few drops of water conditioner to his tank in hopes it would help.

A pet store associate also recommended I use Betta Fix for those red streaks so I added that too. I'm not sure if that was the right course of action, but it's been 24 hours and he's still alive--thank goodness!

I would really appreciate it if anyone could shed light on what was wrong with my fish, if what I did was appropriate, and what I could do better in the future. As I'm learning more about betta, I realize how CLUELESS I was. I wish I did more research before buying my fish, but I'm trying my best now to be a more responsible owner. I just placed an order for a 2 gallon tank, heater, thermometer, and ammonia test. I can't wait for it to arrive so my fish can start living better!

What size is your tank? Currently maybe 1/2 gallon at of those "beginner betta keepers"...upgrading soon!
What temperature is your tank? Unsure
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? Aqueon Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day, about 1-2 pellets each time

How often do you perform a water change? I've had him for only 4 days, and changed his water twice so far
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? In the most recent water change, I started adding Splendid Betta Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No, I haven't tested it yet...I use filtered drinking water, if that helps


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? The area around his face has become darker, with red streaks along his gills and brown markings around his head
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He seems to be really antsy and hyper. Sometimes he'll make really jerky and quick movements, but then he'll be really still for awhile. Not sure if that's normal.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A day ago shortly after a water change
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? By adding water conditioner and Betta Fix drops to his bowl
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Don't think so
How old is your fish (approximately)? I just bought him so he's probably young

Please let me know if I can provide more info. Thanks for reading my super-long post :)
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Thanks for the advice! I didn't know that about Bettafix. I just changed his water so hopefully nothing bad will happen. I also removed the spiky plant so now he'll have more room to swim without the risk of tearing his fins!

He's been doing a lot of thrashing and dives--is that normal? He'll suddenly jerk his body side to side and nose dive down to the gravel then back up towards the surface, where he then appears to "bounce" off the surface back down again. This happens out of the blue!
What a relief to hear that I might just be overreacting to his goofiness :) Thank you so much for your help! I hope he gets better once the new tank set-up arrives.
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