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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to read.

I've had my betta Patrick around 6 months. He lives in a 40L (10 us galon?) tank which is heated to 80 degrees and filtered with a sponge filter which has a plastic bottle cap over to reduce current in the water. The tank was completely cycled before he moved in.

About a week ago I suspected he was bloated, so I did not feed him for a day, fed him some pea (as per advice from other forum posts), then waited another day. He seemed to pass through whatever was stuck and everything seemed normal - eating, swimming around happily etc.

A couple of days ago I noticed that he was very inactive compared to usual, so after some research and not jumping to conclusions I changed his water, although test levels showed no ammonia/nitrate and only ~15ppm nitrate. I also swapped out some of the decor in his tank incase he was just bored. Alas, yesterday evening and this morning he has been swimming around - chasing my finger etc.

Now, (this is the last part) I have noticed today he is quite pale compared to usual (on one side more than the other) and is glancing off objects in his tank - in a way which suggests from what I have read to be itching himself. I'm worried this is some kind of bacterial infection and would really appreciate any advice on how to proceed.

I've added a couple of photos, one shows him mid-dart against a leaf and the other shows his side which is usually nice and blue with a greeny/goldy tint.

Further info:

Housing
What size is your tank? 40 litres
What temperature is your tank? 80 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 bristlenose plecos

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Micro Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once per day, 3-5 pellets (and pea instead once per week)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 40% once per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 40%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Aqua Safe

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5-10ppm
pH: 7
Hardness: I dont know these two but living in Yorkshire, UK our water is pretty soft!
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Paler colour, slightly clamped fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Glancing off objects in tank
When did you start noticing the symptoms? See earlier description
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No treatment
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope
How old is your fish (approximately)? ~6 months
 

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its not an infection, its a parasite.. And its most likely ich. You could do a water change, turn up the temp to about 84\5 and add a little aquarium salt. It could take a couple of days. If that doesn't work, I'd recommend what I usually recommend to most people - methylene blue0. Only because its so effective and works on a lot of things, including parasites. Its really gentle on fish, and increases oxygen in the blood stream. When ich is attached to a fish, the parasite itself is impenetrable because of its outer shell. When it falls off to reproduce is when its most vulnerable and easy to kill. Methylene blue will attack the parasites metabolism and kill it. But it can't be used when there's a carbon filter. Also, too much of it will kill a tanks cycle. There are other medications that can equally deal with ich, but medications whose names have "fix" in them, like melafix and bettafix, do NOT use them. They damage the labyrinth organ.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply. Will the plecos in the tank be OK with salt/the betta still in there?
 

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unfortunately not, it would probably be best to move the betta to a smaller, heated tank to be treated
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. I do have an old small tank which I can clean out and use for this. I don't have a filter for it though. I've never had to use a quarantine tank before.

Will it be ok without a filter?

How often/how much should I change the water?

Should I fill it with tank water first when moving the betta?

Once again thank you so much for your help!
 

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maybe get an airstone just to be safe, and you can do small water changes every 4 - 5 days to give the medication time to work.. Otherwise it will be okay
 

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Not ick. Ick shows up as little white dots all over the body almost like he was sprinkled with salt or sand. He does look stressed out though. Shine a flashlight on him in the dark, does he have a gold sheen to him? I'm thinking he could possibly have velvet, which shows up as a gold sheen and be hard to see under natural lights. Velvet is a very common parasitic infection in bettas. Treat with malachite green or coppersafe, they are the treatments of choice for parasites, but be careful and do no overdose as they can kill fish if over dosed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the reply moonshadow. I think you may be right with velvet though i will do some more research and make sure before i medicate. He is quarantined in a heated tank with aquarium salt for the night anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Good morning,

I took some more pictures thing morning using a flashlight to try to figure out if this is velvet or not. As you can see on the pics attached there is no gold on his body. There is a lot close to his body on his pectoral fins and on his gills, but I think this may just be his natural colourings.

Would anyone be kind enough to weigh in on this as i'm kinda stumped? His colouring has definitely changed, though this is not as visible in the pictures and he has been darting/glancing off objects in his main tank.

He is quarantined at the moment in a 82-84f tank with some aquarium salt for the time being.

Many thanks,
Oli
 

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