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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have had my betta for about 16 months now and for while she hasnt been eating the food I give her and I have just noticed a lot of change in her colour.

The first photo is from the day I got her and the second is from today.


What should I do? Does she have an infection?

In the second picture you can also kind of see a lump under her chest, this wasn't there before and is it bad?
 

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Hi can you please answer as many of the below questions as possible as they will help members to advice the best treatment.

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What size is your tank? 1 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? Room tempreture
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Bio-Gold pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Two or three times a week. Has been decreasing as it doesn't eat the food much anymore so it goes mouldy at the bottom.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a month
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 3/4
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Loss of colour, unusual bump on chest
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Doesn't eat or swim much
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 6 months ago, have increased
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought 16 months ago
 

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Well I do want to say first, she is actually a He ^_^

I'll wait mostly for the information sticky to be filled out but just from the photo's you've got more trouble than just that lump. Although, I can't seem to find the lump you are talking about. He has very bad fin rot/fin deterioration that needs to be addressed yesterday. Hopefully you can fill out the sticky soon and we can advise you on how to proceed from there!

EDIT: whoops, we posted same time! I'll take a look at your answers now!
 

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Okay, sorry for the double post here but I can answer better now.

First off, your water change schedule needs to be fixed. For a 1 gallon tank those water changes should be done twice a week at the least amount! So what is happening is you are poisoning your fish with the leftover food and his own waste, this creates a nasty environment for your fish which can lead to all sorts of diseases!

You say "Room Temperature" but what is that temperature? Ideally a Betta should be kept at 76-82*F for a happy and healthy fish. Temperatures lower than 70 degree's is asking for trouble, this slows the Betta's system and can create a slower immune system which can leave openings for opportunistic diseases like Fin Rot.

To help your fish the best thing you can do is start doing twice weekly water changes, three times if you can handle it! Never leave leftover food as this makes the water really bad for your fishy! Do two 100% changes and always acclimate your Betta! If you don't know how to acclimate just let me know and I'll be happy to give you some directions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok thank you this is the first time I have owned a betta and I am quite unsure of what I should be doing. So change the water three times a week and he should start to get better? And some tips on how to acclimate would be great!
 

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It's okay! We live and we learn :)

So Acclimation is the process of letting the fish (or anything) get used to a new environment. The easiest thing for your to do is to get a cup, put some of his old water into it and then scoop him out and keep him in that cup. Make sure to keep it covered in case he decides to jump out! Scooping him out of a bowl is rather difficult since they tend to have small openings up top. Use a net if you have to.

After he's away and in the cup you can take the bowl to the sink or wherever to empty it, you can rinse the gravel if you like but you don't need to wipe the bowl/objects if they feel slimy; that's just biofilm and harmless to your fish. When you fill it with water try to match his old temperature as close as you can with the new water. What I like to do is use a glass thermometer (you can buy one at wal-mart for a dollar and a half!), find the old temperature by sticking it in his cup (you really should keep one in the tank at all times) and then running the thermometer under the tap water to match the temperature! It's okay if it's ~3 degree's off either way.

Next step is to condition your water of course, put everything back and the bowl into its right place. Then you're going to float your fish in his cup, in the tank. Again, this is difficult for bowls with small openings; if you can try to get a tank with a larger opening. You could use Critter Keepers from PetCo/PetSmart or sometimes second hand shops will even sell tanks! It's always worth a look! But floating him will help regulate the temperature so he can get used to it. After around 10-15 minutes you can add some NEW water into his cup of old water. This is the most important part because not only will the temperature be different, his water parameters will be very different as well! Like Ammonia for example (fish waste and left over food that is rotting) in the old water might be high and then in the new water it is zero. So he's got to get used to that so every 10 minutes or so add in a few teaspoons of new water to his old water; dump out some of his old water if you need to but be careful he doesn't jump! After around half an hour or more you can let him back into the tank.

Oh, looking back at your pictures the opening isn't too bad, you should be able to scoop him out with a cup rather than net him; scooping him out is less stressful for him since the net can ruin his fins.

Here, take a look at this thread and there is information on Fin Rot but also Fin Biting. You can disregard the Fin Biting section since that's not what your boy has.
 

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The bulge is his tummy and he looks to be bloated, he is likely a bit constipated. The pellets you are feeding are not of a good quality. The two most recommended here are new life spectrum betta pellets. And the omega one betta buffet pellets.

Although at the moment you are best not to feed him for a few days and then you might want to try and get him some frozen daphnia from a actual freezer. Daphnia acts as a laxative for betta's so if he is a bit constipated that should help get things moving for him. :)

Also if your boy suffers a bit with constipation you can also pre soak the pellets for a minute, in a small amount of water in a cup before feeding. That will soften them up for him. Also when you feed frozen you do the same thing as the pellets and just defrost it in a small amount of water before feeding.
 

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Well I see a little bit of his beard sticking out. Would you mind circling where you see the lump because I'm afraid I'm not seeing what you are.

Also, be warned, it looks like he's going into Dropsy mode. Dropsy is a symptom of who main things; an infection or the liver/kidney's are failing. Those organs fail usually due to prolonged use of something such as Aquarium Salt; they try to filter out the salt and end up over working themselves which causes them to shut down. This causes a chain reaction of fluid build up which then causes the scales to stick out from the bloat which we call pineconing since it looks like a pinecone. It is very rare to see a fish recover from Dropsy, especially if it is the organ failure side of things, if it is an infection you might be able to save him by using an antibiotic and Epsom Salt to help draw out the liquids, this is not the case many times though.

I just wanted you to know, I'm sorry to be the barer of such bad news :-( but there is still some hope! Here's my new treatment plan for him if you can do it! First off is to find Epsom Salt, if you don't already have it in the house you can find it at Wal-Mart or any other pharmacy usually in the first aid section. Epsom salt is very different from Aquarium Salt, Epsom Salt is used for internal issues; it's a very good laxative so it can draw out the unnecessary liquids.

Whenever using ANY salt you must always dissolve it beforehand, salt creates heat while dissolving so you don't want it hurting your fishy! I take a small cup and take some tank water, measure out my salt and mix it in that cup and then from there I slowly add a little bit every 10 minutes or so. For Dropsy you can use up to 3 teaspoons of salt per gallon so since you have a 1 gallon, it would be 3 teaspoons. However, it's usually good to start slow and build up, for your boy I would recommend 2 teaspoons since he's already quite a ways along.

Here's a schedule you can follow for him:
Day 1: add in Epsom salt and leave him be.
Day 2: Do full water change and replace the 2 teaspoons of ES.
Day 3: Leave him be.
Day 4: Do full water change and replace the 2 teaspoons of ES.

If by Day 4 you notice no visible signs of getting better or he's worse, start using 3 teaspoons of salt per gallon. Also as I said before, an antibiotic will greatly help if this is an infection. KanaPlex is very effective for Dropsy but in most cases this is not available in stores and you have to order online, so in this case if you can get to a store you can use any of the anitbiotics; Maracyn I, Maracyn II (usually more effective), Tetracycline, Triple Sulfa (do not use if you have a Sulfa allergy, or at least where gloves and a mask for protection).
 

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The lump is his stomach, it's enlarged at the moment because he's already more than half pineconing.

Oh that's another thing I forgot, sorry, don't use the two salts together. Using both at the same time will cause even more stress to the fish which can stress the liver/kidney's even more and cause death. But do be warned, even if you do use the ES and medications, if he's already begun organ failure then there will be nothing that you can do to stop it unfortunately. I've lost a few fish to Dropsy as well and I know this is never anything fun to go through but we'll be here for you! I hope you can stay and learn more to keep your future fish happy and healthy too! But here's to hoping it's just a simple infection that the medications can cure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok thank you he is currently acclimating and I will follow up with the epsom salt treatment starting today. I have never used aquarium salts so is the cause of this just the bad water? I feel terrible now!
 

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For food, Hikari used to be a good brand for pellets but they've gone downhill in the past few years. I highly recommend New Life Spectrum Small Fish formula; the pellet is small enough that any Betta will be able to gobble them down! Here's a short guide to foods:

It's all about the ingredients, look at the first three and/or four and tell me what they say. Do they sound good to you? Fillers are the bane of our existence, they use fillers to...well, fill the food and make it cheaper so they don't have to use real stuff, the good stuff. Fillers are anything Wheat, Corn and Soybean. Ideally you don't want these in the first three/four ingredients but that's a perfect world. Wheat is the only one that is okay to be the third or fourth ingredient but you don't really want it first or second. Wheat is used as a binder so while it is a filler, it still helps hold the food together so it's sort of needed.

NLS has Whole Wheat as its third ingredient, Omega One splits up their wheat content so it really should be third or second on their list. Another great thing about NLS though is that it contains garlic which is a natural anti-parasitic food but also fish love the taste of it!

And about your fish, yes this is basically a case of bad water quality. Over time this all builds up and basically your fish is giving up, having fought a long time with it he's now failing. However 16 months is a long time to own a Betta so it's not all for lost cause! Most likely it's a combination of older age which, as we age, our immune systems slow and start to fail so anything and everything could happen. It's not entirely you're fault but you're taking the initiative to learn and THAT is what makes a good fish keeper in the end!
 

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Sorry another point, I live in Australia so where would I be able to find these recommended foods?
Sorry, I take forever to write sometimes lol.

NLS you should be able to get, sometimes they are in local stores but I believe you should be able to buy it online. We have a whole slew of Aussie's here so you could ask in a different thread where they bought their food!
 
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