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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I bought my first betta fish about 6 months ago and until a week ago things have been going pretty well. Last weekend (Easter) hubby and I went away for 4 days (I gave the water a 100% change the day we went away) and when we returned my betta had a patch along his back that had turned a white/grey colour.

So far, it has not been furry, it is literally like each scale has had the colour rubbed out of it, but the edge/outline of each scale is still a deep blue to match the rest of his body. His fin along the top has also mostly turned grey (except for the back of his fin which is still dark blue).

There was nothing I could do for him the night we got home and by the following day the white/grey patch along his back had started to spread down his body. At first I thought it might have been ammonia poisoning so I gave him another 100% water change and for the past 2 day's the patch has not spread (but it has also not receded). I was trying to make it to the weekend so I could visit the pet store, but to be honest I live in a rural town in Australia where the one store in town has no respect for their animals and I have absolutely no confidence they will either be able to help me or be willing to help me. I also highly doubt they will have any kind of aquarium medication available to buy.

I have sat next to him all day today and as of about an hour ago he now has a patch of discolored fins along his face, plus two patches of white furry mildew looking stuff on either side of his face...and literally looking at him right now I think his pectoral fins are also starting to turn grey.

His appetite has not changed, neither has his manner, he is still extremely responsive and will happily follow my hand anywhere I move it near his tank. He is not swimming sideways/upside down and is not lethargic. He is not diving into his rocks or trying to scratch the patches in any way. He is not swollen anywhere and does not shimmer gold when I shine a light on him. His tank and items in the tank have not been washed with anything except water.

We have a second betta fish who has his tank changed at the same time every week, use the same water, same conditioner, food, everything and he is not experiencing any illness.

Housing
What size is your tank? 11 litres (which converts to approx 2.9 gallons)
What temperature is your tank? 26 degrees Celsius (about 78.8 F)
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, however is an open tank (ie, no lid)
Is your tank heated? No, not required, I live in the tropics, our current temp of 26 degrees is the coldest it gets all year.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? When we first bought him home he could not eat pellets, he would try and even though he was clearly hungry, he couldn't keep them down, so we switched him to Aqua One Tropical Flakes and sometimes thawed blood worms. As of a few days ago I read a lot about how bad flakes are supposed to be (apparently?), so tried him on Aquatopia's Betta Bits (pellets) and now he can swallow them so has been on these for the past few days.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Used to be a fair pinch of food once a day, however over past week have lowered amount and started feeding twice a day to see if that changes anything.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once every week
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? Aquatopia Water Safe Water Conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No, don't have a water testing kit

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes, as above
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 4 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Completed a second 100% water change even though he had just had a 100% change 4 day's prior. Today is a public holiday so shop's not open to get salt. Going to get salt first thing tomorrow morning, don't know what else to buy/try and get to try and help.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Have had him for about 6 months.

Any help is greatly appreciated as the internet has a bit too much information for me to try and work out what this is on my own. Also, if someone could please advise if I should be doing 100% water changes every day while this is going on? Thanks again
 

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That's really odd...

I don't think missing a water change for a few days could have caused this so don't worry about that too much. Though you could add in a 50% change in addition to your 100%.

I would suggest getting a cover for the tank as these boys can and will jump right out. Plastic wrap with a few holes is a great cover if you secure it well.

Are you planning on getting aquarium salt or Epsom salt? It's definitely good to have both on hand though I'm not sure which would be better to treat this (my guess is AQ salt).

I kinda wonder if its just marbling since his behavior hasn't changed.

Either way, bumping so someone more educated can pop in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, good idea, I will add a 50% change half way through the week.

When I originally bought him home my plan was to put plastic wrap over the top as I was concerned about him jumping, but to be honest he's never once actually tried it so I just kinda forgot about it.

And I didn't actually realise Epsom salts was a possible solution. I actually have some Epsom salts in the garage, however I just assumed I would need aquarium salt (hoping I can find it at the pet shop tomorrow). Should I try some Epsom salts and if things don't improve over night try AQ salt tomorrow?

I also didn't realise that betta's could marble. Not 100% sure if this is what is happening? Not to say it couldn't be, but all the pictures I can find of marbling bettas seem to be of light fish marbling to dark, whereas Cap is going the reverse.

Just looking at him again now and the lightness on his face has spread even more in the past couple of hours. Would marbling spread so fast?
 

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If it's unscented epsom salt then it's safe to add. It's generally used for internal issues like bloat or parasites. I believe the time limit for EP salt is about two weeks, any longer and you actually risk dehydrating the fish.

I can't say for sure how quickly marbling happens. It's just so odd that he isn't displaying any behavior changes.

Was his dorsal fin always so clear?

"Epsom salt 1tsp/gal up to 3tsp/gal for 10 days max" from another thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, the Epsom salt looks like it is unscented so should be fine, I am going to add a couple of teaspoons and see if that changes anything.... any idea how quickly it would work if it is going to change anything?

And no, his dorsal fin was always the same dark blue as his body, almost the whole fin changed at the same time he got the patchiness along his back. He has always had the small streak of red at the back of the dorsal and the pelvic fins though.

As for his behavior, if anything he has actually been much more interactive and responsive all day because I am looking in his tank every 5 minutes. He's still working on the biggest bubble nest in history, as he always does, and every time I lean over he comes right up and won't leave until he thinks I'm not there any more. When he thinks I'm not looking he's swimming all over the tank.
 

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Yep! You've got yourself a Marble there!!

Marbling can happen within hours and days, sometimes it's slow and sometimes it's fast! He can change whenever his genes want to and it looks like they've decided now is a good time lol. But otherwise he looks healthy! Keep getting pictures of him so you can document his unique process!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OMG, and to think that 3 hours ago I had never even heard of marbling in fish!! I have just done some additional research and found a thread from a few years ago where a number of other people had their dark coloured betta's turn light as well, so feel a bit more relaxed now. Honestly, if he had been a light coloured fish turning dark I don't think I would have stressed out as much, but light patches on a dark fish make me immediately assume it's some kind of horrible disease.

I will keep taking photo's of him as he changes, thank you to all for the info and help!!!
 

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A light fish turning dark generally is just the fish coloring up to it's full potential. But a dark fish going light is a full blown Marble! It can be difficult since Marble also applies to a coloration of a fish that has different splotches of color and no real pattern to it but it does have to be definite splotches not just a tri-color with white, red and blue like most multicolors we see around here.

But yes, it can be very uncomfortable to see if you don't know what it is! Seki also had a fish do the same thing and I think you'd be interested to see...let me find that thread! Here it is! http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=360713
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh. My. Goodness!!!! Check out Seki's fish!!!! So SO comforting to see that when Seki's fish started to transform the light colour is the exact same off white-ish/creamy-with-a-hint-of-orange that Captain America is changing to. Trust a fish named after a super hero to have the power to change the colour of its scales ;P

It'll be quite interesting to see if his whole body changes to white and then what happens after that, if he changes back to blue, doesn't change or changes to a different colour again...

Thank you for the link and advise Lilnaugrim, I think I can finally stop worrying about him :)
 

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I'm glad to help!!!

Awww, he's named Capt. America?! That's awesome! One of my favorite heroes and in my personal OTP....if you don't know what that means just disregard me! haha. I once had two babies who grew up together, the darker one named Tony for Iron Man and the blue and red one named Steve!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LoL, Tony and Steve sound very cool and yep, haven't thought about it before but can totally see why Capt. is in your OTP!

His (the betta's) full name is Captain 'Dark Hand' America, which is an amalgamation between my favourite super hero and my Gallifreyan https://www.google.com.au/search?nu...&sa=X&ei=chtbU6HsKoivlQXO24AQ&ved=0CCcQvwUoAAname. Although with both Captain America and Doctor Who having such an emphasis on the colour blue I am now wondering if I should change his name...
 

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Oh that's awesome! I really need to name one of my fish for Doctor Who lol. But nooo, I like his full name! Captain America also has white and red remember! lol, has the little boy changed any more?

Yeah, my OTP is Stony ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
LoL, the fish in your profile pic looks like a perfect candidate to be named 'River Song' with that mass of blondy coloured main behind it! And you make a good point about the other colours for Captain America, the more I think about it the more this name is actually perfect for him!

I have more pics too -

So the patch on his back doesn't look like it's grown, but the lightness at the back of his head has..


I tried to get him from every angle but he appears to hate this side of him being photographed...






I have still been worried about his fins as they appears to be... shredded... for lack of a better word. They looked really sparse and I was wondering if he might have had some fin rot as well.


But then by chance I found a not-very-good picture of him before he started marbling (I thought I had lost my old pics when my hard drive died a couple of weeks ago but this one was still on the camera memory card) and his fins don't seem to have changed so they must have always been like that...


I also picked up some AQ Salt at the pet shop and ran into one of my friends there. I was telling her about how Cap. was marbling and the guy working in the pet shop overheard and said he had been working in the fish industry for 15 years and had never heard of a marbling betta fish. I told him to Google it, LoL :) What's the bet the next time I am in there they have doubled their prices and are suddenly selling 'exotic marbling betta fish', LoL.
 

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The plastic plants are what are shredding his fins. Even if they feel soft to you, the sharp edges easily shred their fins. I suggest trying to find silk plants :)

Thanks about my avvie boy! That's Rembrandt! He's been with me for almost a year and a half now!!! Love my sassy boy ^_^ I actually have a baby girl whom I may name River! She's quite beautiful and also very sassy lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well Rembrandt is GORGEOUS! Did you breed him yourself or buy him at a store? And River is the perfect name for a sassy fish, LoL!

So it IS the plants. Before I bought Cap I researched betta fish to make sure I had a large enough home and could keep it at the right temp and generally make sure he would be happy. It never once occurred to me to research the plants so I literally grabbed the first thing I saw at the pet shop. I am buying some silk plants tonight online!

I have been trying to get pic's of him again tonight because the base of his dorsal fin is turning blue again but the best shot I have been able to get of him is this -



IRL the blue at the fin is REALLY prominent.

Oh, and I saw your gorgeous Loki kitten in your commission thread and thought you might like our throw pillows (because everyone should have a Loki to cuddle on the lounge) LoL -

 

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OMG yes!!!!!!!!!! Did you guys make them yourselves? that's too awesome! I want to make a Cap and Iron Man pillow too ^_^

And thank you! Remmy was found at a local-ish store called PetSense, they had gotten the delivery of fish in and I just happen to come in, saw him, picked him up and brought him home without a second thought lol. He was the start of my real addiction!

For silk plants, I like using drsfosterandsmith.com just because I like to combine shipping and get other things too but Marina has this awesome package here http://www.amazon.com/Hagen-Marina-...1398687122&sr=8-9&keywords=marina+silk+plants it can seem a little expensive but honestly, you get five plants which is great! My favorite is the water wisteria (hygrophila difformis) and then the alternanthera. But they are different heights more or less so it will fill his tank really nicely!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
LoL, yeah, I made the covers online (here: http://www.bigwphotos.com.au/photo-gifts/fun-photo-cushion-cover/) and then just bought the pillow infills at a local fabric store. I don't see anything on their website about shipping overseas but I am sure there would be somewhere that could make you up pillow cases! The hardest thing was finding images online that were high enough quality and the debate about if we include selected DC Universe characters as well (actually, that debate is still ongoing). Also we have still not found a pic of the Hulk that we agree on, hahaha.

I can't believe what luck you had by being at the store right when Remmy arrived! I can certainly see why your addiction grew after buying him.

And thank you so much for the link to the Marina plants! I forgot that I had a date with hubby last night to watch GoT so didn't get my order done, but am now really glad I didn't because not only are the Marina ones perfect but it also looks like for the first time ever there is someone on Amazon willing to ship to Australia! And the large packet is actually perfect because I'll split them with out other betta whose tank needs some sprucing up :)
 

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Nahhhh DC is boring lol, Marvel FTW totally! haha.

Yeah, I'm extremely glad I found him and he found me! He's the only true Mustard Gas I've ever seen around here, we've had other types that aren't true Mustards and they usually don't interest me but yeah, he sure was a lucky fish!

Oh I didn't even look at your location! lol, I'm terrible at that >.< I'm super glad they'll ship though!!! It's a great package, as I said, the water wisteria is my favorite ^^ I'm getting one in tomorrow :-D
 
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