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Bird Beak Fin Feather Fish
Bird Grey Beak Feather Wing
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Hi there, totally new to the fish world after son received one for his birthday, so I have been learning on the fly 😰

Last night I went to bed with a happy betta and this morning I was afraid we were going to need to plan a funeral. I did an emergency water change and she seemed much better when I got home several hours later. Left and came home again and spirits seem good, but her fins still look unhealthy, her ventral fin(s?) in particular seems to be in bad shape—and it almost appears that one is missing??

I want to make sure I take all the right steps to keep her healthy and am hoping I can rely on the wisdom of this kind community to help me make the right details below. TIA 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? Approx 78F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I assume the filter provides aeration? Otherwise no

Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon color enhancing betta food
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 1-2x per day; 3-4 pellets total daily

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? This was first water change;

What percentage of water did you change? I retained about 20% of original water. Realizing I need to do this more frequently and plan to get a suction cleaner

What is the source of your water? Tap

Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? I dipped out water

What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?
Top-Fin start up and maintenance water conditioner, no other additives

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.

These numbers are from after water change; last water test i took a week ago and don’t have numbers but were in range according to API test guide. I have used “~” to note that these is my best estimate of colors on the chart, some are a bit hard to distinguish or don’t look entirely uniform

Ammonia: ?
Nitrite: ~.5
Nitrate: ~0
pH: ~7-7.5
Hardness (GH): ~60
Alkalinity (KH): ~40

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?

Today (8/3/22) at 8am ET

How has your Betta’s appearance changed? When I woke up, Betta looked much darker, and her usual brilliant blue was far less visible. Her fins looked dry and shriveled too.

How has your Betta’s behavior changed?

She is usually happily swimming around in the morning, but today, she was still, and tucked up in the top corner of the tank near the filter and heater.

A short while later she was laying completely still inside—and at the bottom—of her log, at the bottom of the tank. I thought she had died as she was not visibly moving.

Is your Betta still eating? She was not eating this morning, but just ate when I fed her at 530 pm ET


Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? When I noticed her behavior and appearance, I cleaned her tank and replaced about 80% of tank with temperate, treated water before leaving for work. She seemed much, much better when I got home—swimming around, bright blue again, and she quickly consumed the two pellets I gave her. Her fins still not look as nice as they usually do, though, particularly her ventral fins, which still look shrunken/curled/dry to me. I should note that she also appears to have what might be an egg sac or something similar right in front of her anal fin.

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?
I have had her for just about two weeks and seemed healthy until this morning. Bird Beak Fin Feather Fish
Bird Grey Beak Feather Wing
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Water Window Liquid Vertebrate Fluid
Line Fin Feather Water Fish
Water Vertebrate Beak Bird Fin

Water Fin Feather Pacific sturgeon Beak

Fin Organism Water Fish Feather
 

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SIP Flash, you beautiful boy!!!
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Hi,

What a lovely little girl you have there! :love:

The first thing that I would recommend is that you read about the nitrogen cycle, if you don't know what that is. Basically your tank goes through various stages of growing bacteria as it cycles. It is the process of growing beneficial bacteria, and every tank with a filter will go through this process. The ammonia and nitrite are both toxic to your betta. It seems that you are going through the cycling process based on the amount of nitrites. To counteract these toxic substances in your tank, you will have to do frequent water changes.

Since the tank is cycling, I would recommend doing 25 to 30% water changes every other day. Clean water goes a very long way in keeping your betta healthy. If you can get a water conditioner called Prime, by a company named Seachem, it will help a lot. Prime holds the toxicity of low level ammonia and nitrite for 24 to 28 hours. Using it will protect your fin baby, and keep her healthy. I am not sure if Top Fin will bind the ammonia and nitrite like Prime does.

It would help if you test the water parameters often, especially as the tank cycles. It can take some time for a tank to cycle, so staying on top of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels will be very helpful. If you read about the nitrogen cycle, you will understand the stages of cycling. API has a freshwater master test kit. It is a little pricey, but it lasts for a very long time and is a bit more accurate than the test strips. And the test strips often don't have a way to test for ammonia, which is very important.

Once your tank is cycled, you may be able to do water changes every 5 days or so instead of every other day.

Bettas do sleep, so when you saw her laying on the bottom in her log, she may have been in her sleep cycle. When I got my very first betta, my guy scared the heck out of me, too, as I thought he was dead on the bottom, but really he was sleeping! :) Or, she was reacting to the possible ammonia and nitrite levels in the water as they were making her ill.

Did she have full ventrals when you first got her? If she did, then maybe she hurt herself by getting stuck behind decor or maybe stuck in the filter intake, or something like that. If it is an injury, then the clean water will help the fins to heal. There are small sponges that you can get to put over the intake tube so she won't get sucked up against it, if that has happened. They fit right over the intake tube. Below is a link to an example of one that I get from Amazon, just to have something to look at.


All females will have an egg spot underneath (ovipositor). It is a white spot. Females can also have fuller looking belly areas compared to males.

Bettas also do better with a varied diet. High quality pellets with high protein levels and low levels of fillers are best. Frozen foods are also a great choice if you can get it - frozen daphnia, baby brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, or blood worms are just some examples. Its also good to soak her pellets in water or garlic juice (water that garlic is soaked in) before feeding her. It will cut down on the possibility of bloat and/or constipation, and help her digestive system. The garlic gives an extra added immune boost, and it's also used to get picky eaters to eat.

I know that this is A LOT of information to process. I hope that I have answered your questions. If you have other questions, please post them. This is a great forum with lots of helpful members!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

What a lovely little girl you have there! :love:

The first thing that I would recommend is that you read about the nitrogen cycle, if you don't know what that is. Basically your tank goes through various stages of growing bacteria as it cycles. It is the process of growing beneficial bacteria, and every tank with a filter will go through this process. The ammonia and nitrite are both toxic to your betta. It seems that you are going through the cycling process based on the amount of nitrites. To counteract these toxic substances in your tank, you will have to do frequent water changes.

Since the tank is cycling, I would recommend doing 25 to 30% water changes every other day. Clean water goes a very long way in keeping your betta healthy. If you can get a water conditioner called Prime, by a company named Seachem, it will help a lot. Prime holds the toxicity of low level ammonia and nitrite for 24 to 28 hours. Using it will protect your fin baby, and keep her healthy. I am not sure if Top Fin will bind the ammonia and nitrite like Prime does.

It would help if you test the water parameters often, especially as the tank cycles. It can take some time for a tank to cycle, so staying on top of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels will be very helpful. If you read about the nitrogen cycle, you will understand the stages of cycling. API has a freshwater master test kit. It is a little pricey, but it lasts for a very long time and is a bit more accurate than the test strips. And the test strips often don't have a way to test for ammonia, which is very important.

Once your tank is cycled, you may be able to do water changes every 5 days or so instead of every other day.

Bettas do sleep, so when you saw her laying on the bottom in her log, she may have been in her sleep cycle. When I got my very first betta, my guy scared the heck out of me, too, as I thought he was dead on the bottom, but really he was sleeping! :) Or, she was reacting to the possible ammonia and nitrite levels in the water as they were making her ill.

Did she have full ventrals when you first got her? If she did, then maybe she hurt herself by getting stuck behind decor or maybe stuck in the filter intake, or something like that. If it is an injury, then the clean water will help the fins to heal. There are small sponges that you can get to put over the intake tube so she won't get sucked up against it, if that has happened. They fit right over the intake tube. Below is a link to an example of one that I get from Amazon, just to have something to look at.


All females will have an egg spot underneath (ovipositor). It is a white spot. Females can also have fuller looking belly areas compared to males.

Bettas also do better with a varied diet. High quality pellets with high protein levels and low levels of fillers are best. Frozen foods are also a great choice if you can get it - frozen daphnia, baby brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, or blood worms are just some examples. Its also good to soak her pellets in water or garlic juice (water that garlic is soaked in) before feeding her. It will cut down on the possibility of bloat and/or constipation, and help her digestive system. The garlic gives an extra added immune boost, and it's also used to get picky eaters to eat.

I know that this is A LOT of information to process. I hope that I have answered your questions. If you have other questions, please post them. This is a great forum with lots of helpful members!
This is so helpful, I so appreciate it ❤❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bird Purple Organism Beak Petal

Wood Flowerpot Purple Plant Pet supply

Organism Terrestrial plant Wood Beak Marine biology

Fin Fish Marine biology Tail Electric blue

Fin Fish Feather Marine biology Electric blue

Bird Beak Natural material Feather European Swallow

So, last week’s crisis averted and now I’m afraid I have a new one on my hands 😞. I read up on cycling (thank you!) and have an API master test kit and filter covers coming in the mail. I also plan to buy some aquarium salt and perhaps some other key medicines as well, though I’m still looking for recommendations
on the best to have on hand, as some info seems contradictory (on betafix for instance).

In the meantime, I noticed my girl hasnt been eating and has gotten white behind behind her dorsal fins.

I did a 30 percent water change today (everything appeared to be in range using API test strip). Thinking it might be over feeding, I fasted her today and plan to do the same tomorrow (I decided not to go the pea route after reading it could be harmful).

But given she doesn’t look particularly bloated, I’m wondering if the issue could actually be fungus or bacteria? Appreciate any insight!!
 

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SIP Flash, you beautiful boy!!!
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Hi,

I would stay away from anything with "fix" in the name. Bettafix, melafix, etc., all contain tea tree oil, which can affect the betta's labyrinth organ which they use to breathe air. It may be ok for other fish, but bettas don't always do well with it. I tried it when I was new to keeping bettas, and all it ever did was smell up my tank. I saw no improvement whatsoever, and my betta just continued to get worse.

As far as what to have on hand, I kind of go overboard. Many fish keepers will say to not treat with antibiotics and try to do things as naturally as possible with water changes and botanicals, but I am one of those people who will try to save my fish at all costs. I have a ton of meds which I have spent a lot of money on and probably don't need, lol! So I would think the best place to be is somewhere in between, where you are ready in case the water changes and Indian almond leaves don't work. I would recommend that you always have aquarium salt on hand, along with a good, all purpose antibiotic, like kanaplex or maracyn 2 or polyguard. I also always have pure epsom slat with no added scents or additives for fish baths in case of bloat. And finally, I always keep a small bottle of methylene blue, which is a very old fish med that treats a few different things. Hydrogen peroxide is also good, and people ususally have that in their medicine cabinets.

Concerning your betta, at first, I was thinking just a color change was going on, but the fact that she isn't eating is bothering me. If you fast her, and then she gets better and starts eating, then that was the issue with her loss of appetite. If she doesn't start eating again, I would do a little research about columnaris. True fungal infections usually look cotton-like. If there are white or gray patches that are flat, it may be columnaris. I am not saying that is what she has, but just giving you something to look at in case her symptoms get worse. The worse thing to do would be to just start medicating her without knowing for sure what the problem is, or if there is even a problem. Over medicating or medicating wrongly can kill her.

There are some youtube videos that you can watch about how to identify it and treat columnaris. I would treat with aquarium salt and kanaplex (kanamycin) first, to see if that helps. And I would do small water changes every other day to keep the water pristine. It is also recommended to lower the tank temp to 75 degrees to prevent it from spreading/growing/getting worse.

Some form of nitrofurazone is also recommended. API had a med called Furan 2, but it is on longer available. The Jungle fungus tabs at Wal-Mart are really hit and miss. Some people have good luck with it, but others, not so much. There are versions of nitrofurazone powder that you can get. I have never had to treat for columnaris before, so I can't confirm how well these products work, but you can buy nitrofurazon powder by itself.

I hope that this is not too confusing. I am just trying to give you some more information in case you need it!

I do hope this helps!!! And I hope that she gets better soon and that you don't need to medicate her at all!!!
 
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