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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone,
I'm a new betta owner. I've had my betta, Chester, for about 6 days now. I didn't know anything about betta before I bought him, so I researched him. I immediately realized that I was doing everything wrong. Too small of a bowl, no heater, no filter. So I went out and bought them all. I couldn't afford a large tank, so I got the biggest one I could get. It's about 2 gallons. I have a small bowl heater, a small bowl filter, plants, rocks, a little plastic hidey hole for Chester that looked like a bell, and he seemed to LOVE it. About two days later, I noticed that the underside of his head was turning white (he was a very dark blue-grey when I bought him) and there was a small white patch on top of his head, his fins were clamping, his colors pail, and he just looked miserable, so I hit the computers again! I thought maybe it was a fungel or bacteria infection, the white is tight to his body though, almost looking like its stuck to his scales, unlike all the pictures of bacteria that I've seen on bettas. I went to the pet store to ask what I should do (it has a very large aquarium section and I thought they could be trusted, unlike petco or walmart). The lady there told me to try betta revive. Said in two days he should look better, 3 it should be gone. Before leaving, I noticed, sadly, all the bettas that haven't been sold that were there when I bought chester had the SAME ILLNESS! So I complained to the lady and she said she'd look into it. After the first treatment, Chester seemed a little better, and I made sure the water was a little warmer when I put it in just to be safe, the small heater usually keeps the temperature for a long time. He seemed to be doing better, and was so interested in the blue water! (so cute). after a few hours, he stopped clamping up his fins and swam around, checked out his blue water, and was still itching a little, but all seemed well. Today, though, I noticed that the white hasn't really gone away at all, even after two days of treatment, and it seems that Chester is trying to scratch the top of his head more than the underside of his head. His tank looks really clean, I've been keeping up on the water changes, but when looking closer, it looked like there were little white grains floating around. I don't know if this is ich or just dust from his rocks which are white. He's eating well and swimming around. The only problem is he keeps itching his head and is SO twitchy. I don't have the money to buy much of anything but his meds once I figure out what's wrong with him. Should I treat with salts or for hole in head or what? I'M SO LOST! I don't know what to do!!!!!
 

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Hi Chester, looks I found your thread. Hmm. Does Chester have white salt spots anywhere or is it just a white spot on his head? If he was or is not covered in white salt spots, then he doesn't have ich. It sounds like he may have skin flukes. This would explain the itching. The white is probably excess slime coat that he is producing in an effort to get rid of the parasites, which are invisible to the naked eye. Betta Revive probably did help because it has ingredients for external parasites but perhaps 3 days was not enough.

Because I'm not very familiar with Betta Revive, I'm not comfortable suggesting you use it for longer than the recommended time; I don't know if that might harm him. Instead, I would suggest you put him in 3 tsps of aquarium salt per gallon for about a week. If your heater is adjustable, turn it up to 86 F. If not, don't worry about it.

I hope this helps you. Keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
That did help! I was so worried that it might have been hole in head or something terrible. Hopefully its just what you said. The bottle of betta revive said you can use it for up to 7 days, the only problems is the other betta that I'm acquiring tomorrow has the same problem as far as I could tell from looking at him in the pet store. In those stupid little cups, it's really hard to tell whether or not they're itching or not though. Makes me SO mad and upset :( I think I might try the betta revive until the 7 days are up and keep the water fairly warm in both tanks (I guess I'm going to have to do more work for my new little addition, making sure the water from the tap isn't too warm or hot since he doesn't have a heater and I can't afford another one) but if it doesn't work, then I will definitely try the salts! Over the last few days I've spent so much money on just Chester that I don't want to have to run to the pet store again unless completely necessary.
 

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I totally understand, no one tells you until you are hooked that bettas are expensive. Fortunately, bettas don't or can't get hole-in-the-head disease. It's caused by a parasite called hexamita that does not attack bettas. Mostly, big cichlids like oscars get hexamita. One less thing to worry about with these little guys of ours.

Good luck treating both guys and keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will for sure! I'm sure I'll need so much more help. I got one betta and now I want to steal them all and give them homes bigger than their stupid little cups. People really don't realize how smart and diverse bettas really are I'm in high school and all my friends just couldn't understand why I'm so in love with and worried about Chester. Haha, oh, if they only knew....
 

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You are so right, people don't understand. If they seem boring in the pet stre, it's only because they're stuck in those stupid cups.

And yeah, I know what you mean about rescuing them. I seem to be doing my best, seeing as I now have 18. -__-,
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh my goodness! If I had the room and money I'd buy every sick one I saw. My friend who went to the pet store was originally going to rescue me another very sickly one. Even worse than the one I'm getting. I was originally going to buy that one over Chester because he was so pretty. He was a blue crown tail and the tips of his tail was red. When I saw him today, he was laying on the bottom of his cup pushed up against the side of it, all clamped up, swimming in visible bacteria, looking so depressed. I complained to the manager about it, hopefully he wasn't there because they finally were treating him and not because he died, but it made me so sad that I came home and cried while cleaning Chesters bowl! How could anyone do that to any living thing?! So I told my friend and she went on a mission to save it, couldn't find it, so she got a small bright orange mail that also had visible bacteria in its water /: Hopefully he'll be ok. She said he was happier in his clean water and was swimming around which is a good sign!
 

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I will never trust a pet store/aquarium store employee again, unless the store's bettas are kept as well as I keep my own.

I am not being mean, but genuinely wondering why you'd buy a second sick fish? I really get that feeling of wanting to save them all, but - you can't. And giving people money for abusing bettas is only supporting that behaviour.

My daughter went back to our local store to 'save' a betta from their filthy conditions, which I obviously don't agree with. My one stipulation was that it had to be healthiest fish she could find, to save her the heartbreak of it maybe dying right away. We are both sad to have left all the other lovely fish behind, but handing these people money is doing nothing to help all the fish we can't save.

Supporting a local breeder or a store that does practise humane care for bettas seems more proactive, to me. Not telling you what to do, but it really concerns me that abusive stores are getting paid to be abusive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
See that's what I'm having trouble with. I HATE giving people money who don't deserve it, but I can't stand seeing something so beautiful dying. It makes me so sad. I figured if I could at least help one it would make me feel a little better, even if they are getting money for no good reason, I'm not letting a living thing die in a stupid plastic cup.
 

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I totally understand, I have the same conflict. It makes me so, so mad that these idiots put us in that position in the first place - save the fish, or know we're leaving them to die.

But there's hundreds of thousands of abused bettas out there, and we can't save all of them. It's just not possible, for anyone. I told my daughter (who cried in the store the day we bought her betta) that it's better to buy the healthy one, if she must 'save' a fish - because he sure as sugar won't be healthy in a week. Luckily, he was new stock and had nothing worse than a little fin damage. We're both still upset at leaving behind the other fish, who are no doubt now dead or suffering badly.

After that, she kind of got my point. Betta welfare is such a massive problem, because it involves uncaring people making money off of their cruel practises. I'm working out ways I can help people to learn about basic, proper betta care, and making a complaint about that store to animal welfare as well. Those things, imo, will help many more bettas than I can ever afford or manage to save.

If you're in high school, maybe you could talk one of the science teachers into allowing the school to keep a betta properly, since it's an air-breather and kind of unusual, and involves learning about water chemistry. The other kids might get to see, then, not only how to look after one properly, but why they are so amazing. Just an idea, but there's lots and lots of things we can do to raise public awareness, which is the central problem where betta abuse is concerned.

Kudos for being such a caring person. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you! :) I think I might talk about it to my former biology teacher. He seemed to collect pets, haha. He also went really into detail with the stages and complexity of life, and I do believe we talked about betta, so it would be cool for him to have one :)
 

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I had a similiar problem with a betta I bought from PetSmart. Turned out to be a type of fungus, and the meds they suggested were useless. The meds seemed to work at first, for him and the other fish in his community tank (who sadly caught it from him), but then they all died, one by one. I only have 3 survivors from that tank, after trying everything. I lost 10 fish to it.

Surprisingly - while I would definately look into meds - I realized added aquarium salt to their tanks helped more than anything. I separated them all from eachother into smaller "hospital" tanks and made sure to watch them, feed them regularly, clean the bowls twice as much as usual. I always put salt in the tanks with every water change, and it seemed to keep them healthy. But to keep it from coming back, you'll have to soak and hand wash everything (no soap, just your hands and maybe a clean rag) or he'll get it again and again until it's too late to save him.

Also, make sure you change the filter, because it may hold traces of the sickness and release it back into the water, even if it isn't really dirty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the advice. I did clean everything, including the filter. I scrubbed it with hot water and a rag, and also soaked it. If the betta revive doesn't help by the end of this week, I'm definitely trying aquarium salt. I'll let you know how things go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My bubbler was my problem?!

Hello all. So I unplugged chesters bubble filter when I was blow drying my hair and he STOPPED ITCHING!? I mean he's still rubbing on the glass a little, but not like a frantic phsyco fish. Could the bubbler have been my problem? And if so why did he start turning white?!
 
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