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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, sorry to be just another non-contributing new-member asking for help, but what can i say.
maybe as i come in the door i can toss out some editorial critique, and that'll be my dowry. the site's registration requires that i agree to abide by the rules i've read "here".
unfortunately to click on the hyperlink in the ToA, you have to have already registered, requiring you to have already read the rules... lol.
i know i know, wrong place, but im reaching my point, my fish is SICK. i think. I've had a betta before, several years ago, and i did poorly in taking care of it. it survived two years with me, and died shortly after i gave it to someone else. (praaabably my fault)
this time i have a much more flexible schedule and a few more tools at my disposal, so i'm determined to keep this fish swimming!
I've noticed a format for this kind of request around the forum so:

What size is your tank? 4 L
What temperature is your tank? unadjustable heater, crappy thermometer, I'd wager mid eighties. It'll come out once summer rears.
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? aye.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? pebbles, a couple silicate chunks.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tetra Betta Plus floating pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4-6 pellets, ~ 2 at a time daily sans sundays.

How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? nutrafin Betta Plus water conditioner for bettas
Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
what am i? scientist?
Ammonia: 75 milohertz
Nitrate: 14 microjoules
pH: 2 stone
Hardness: it's liquid

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? slowly growing white patch.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? maybe a little more lethargic. Generally (and still) quite curious, active, hungry.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? the fish was given to me with what looked like the very beginning of what i determined to be progressive marbling. a white patch of scales. no cottony fluff, no salty or grainy spots. now, some 3-4 months later the white patch has opaqued and grown in size, but **theres a little bit of swelling** in the middle of it. the scales are just barely raised away from the flesh it looks like.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? suctioning his waste and uneaten food out with clean plastic tubing, 4-5 days of some herbal anti-fungal way back when i was researching what it could be but nothing recently. my first betta was on a veritible cocktail of drugs his whole life... again, I was an awful fish owner, but we must all learn eh?
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Buddy-Gus-Henry has a stoic game face if he's been ill this whole time. but since i received him it's been around a hundred days.
How old is your fish (approximately)? petstore age + a few days + the months I've had him. he's a short-fin betta so i can't really be sure.

I'm gonna toss up some pictures in an edit or a subsequent post.
other topics I hope someone can help me with:
he has red under-scale flesh that I'm worried could be velvet, especially in the area around his gills. he doesn't twinkle under a bright light like some people say velveted fish will though.
Among his other scales, there are several that are just plain whiter. but it's the whole scale normally, not spackly like what ich appears to be.

anyway, if anyone has had a fish that marbled, and could give me their opinion, i'd be grateful. like, how does marbling occur, do the scales flat-out change color? or maybe do they like, molt? i haven't seen any scales when i'm pooper-scoopin his tank, to preemptively answer that bloated/molting-related question.
and yes it's 5:40 a.m. on easter morning, ya wanna fight about it?:tease:

Premium Member
3,610 Posts
Hello and welcome to the forum :wave:

It doesn't sound like marbling to me either. Until you can post pics, I would only guess that it's bacterial in nature since the area is not "fuzzy". In a tank that small, I'd suggest that you change half of the water daily to keep it really clean while your fish is trying to recover.
If it's bacterial, you might want to go with a broad spectrum treatment - one that treats both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Since bacteria like warmer conditions, i'd suggest that you lower the temp. a bit but it doesn't sound like you're able to do that with your current setup :(
You might want to consider getting a bit larger of a tank in the future so you can put a 25w adjustable heater in there. That way you can keep the temp. stable and when it's warmer in the summer months, the heater just won't turn on if it doesn't have to.

As for the red around the gills, that could be a sign of ammonia poisoning. I have no idea what your answer to ammonia readings means but it should be "zero"

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
[edit] haha. my ammonia reading was intented to be humorous. i dont own any sort of water testing equipment, colored tape or otherwise.
[double-edit] i know his fins look clampy in the recent pics, but he was high tailing it around his bowl when i was taking the pictures.

Alright i've outwaited the maximum edit period and i wanted to change some wordings above to help illustrate the following pictures. firstly the bowl he's in now is more accurately about 3L.
secondly,when looking at them, the velvet-suspect area isn't so much his gills but his whole front quarter. I've seen a lot of fish on here that share this feature but whose owners dont mention it, nor repliers express concern with it.
also i've never tried hosting images online before. i found tinypic so that's who im using. let me know if im missing some sort of built-in picture hosting.

BGH's first few days and his first, smaller tank. this is the side with a few spackles of white. i was worried about the heater, so i watched him pretty carefully over its first days in the tank. he seemed to love it. he'd relax on it, and hide/sleep under it in the little rock fort i made him.

his right side. this is how the patch looked when i first got him. not cottony, not spotty. he never darted or appeared to be itchy so i convinced myself he was gonna change colors like a magic marker in hot water... only over the course of many many months. obviously this is a dangerous stance to take when your fish could be being consumed by the literal opposite of The Darkness. also: his fort hehe.

This image is terribad quality in comparison, but it best displays the shift in ehh, vibrancy (?) in his color that i refer to above. maybe i just spooked him with the camera.

Oooookay. now on to the "today" pictures. these are some few months later. now, his patch was so often on my mind, i never got to see the stark difference between day 0 and day X until i took these pictures. nnnnggh heres his patch:

Heres his 'spotty' side. they dont look to be anything more than little pigment differences if you ask me.

And heres the best angle i could find for his bulge. it's just a little more pronounced than you can tell from this picture.

Anywho, i won't post any more pictures yet. at this point I feel like it would just be unsolicited spam, but if anyone feels like they might be able to make a better estimate if they had a better picture of something in particular- holler at me.
theres a short little video of him peekin out from his heater-fort that shows a few key things like his personality, coloration in natural light, and fin health. but i think i'd probably have to go about setting up a youtube account, and im le tired for tonight/morning.

Premium Member
3,610 Posts
Based on your pics., it pretty closely resembles Columnaris :( Honestly, in a tank that size that isn't cycled, you're going to have to really step up your water changes to avoid water toxicity. I'd start with changing 100% of the water right now and then do 50% every other day going forward.

It might be a little late to start treatment if it is columnaris but here's a few treatment options.

As Flavobacterium columnare is Gram-negative, fish can be treated with a combination of the antibiotics furan-2 and kanamycin administered together. A medicated fish bath (using Methylene Blue or Potassium Permanganate and salt),[3] is generally a first step, as well lowering the aquarium temperature to 75F (24C) is a must since Columnaris is much more virulent at higher temperatures, especially 85-90F.[4]
Medicated food containing oxytetracycline is also an effective treatment for internal infections, but resistance is emerging. Potassium permanganate, copper sulfate and hydrogen peroxide can also be applied externally to adult fish and fry, but can be toxic at high concentrations.

I hope you're able to save him. He's a beauty.

4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks, I'm gonna go with your diagnosis. I've started doing full water changes, rinsing his tank pebbles with absurdly hot water, adding salt to his water, and I started a 5-day treatment of tetra Lifeguard.
this was the only feasible medicine choice at petsmart given my fish type and tank size. also i took out his heater so the water should be mid seventies now.

especially since the thinnest part of his ventral fin rotted off :/ i'm no longer of the delusion that my betta is harmlessly marbling.

after a night of reading up on columnaris, i saw some praise for Pimafix as a gram-negative killer. do you think pimafix would be okay to drip into his tank during this 5 day treatment? it seems a little late to use it alone, and i haven't been able to find anything documenting adverse effects of combining pimafix with anything. (which is pretty much what is in Lifeguard, "anything". it's not quite clear exactly what the heck it's comprised of)

if in some 10 days, after treatment and a short cooldown, he's not looking any better, I'll look into methylene blue baths.

pics to come later.

Premium Member
3,610 Posts
I can't say whether combining two meds will be harmful since I've never done it but I don't think I'd take the chance. It might do more harm than good.

I'd go with the Pimafix if that's what the majority have had success with. I know it's hard to find every med. that you need when you need it :/

Good luck and keep us posted.
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