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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone! I'd like to start off by saying that I used to care for and even breed freshwater fish when I was young and have started caring for several fish again.

TLDR: My male crowntail betta's gills look a little more red than his pigment and theres a shiny spot that doesnt look like ick and isn't velvet either. Any ideas/solutions?

I purchased a male crowntail betta about a month ago from Walmart, he was the liveliest looking one there and I had to have him. He was in a half gallon tank for a few weeks until I moved him to a more comfortable 1 2/3 gallon tank with a ghost shrimp keeping him company.
I changed the water every 2-3 days in the small tank and im continuing to do so now. No heater, and I've used proper aquarium salt since he's been in the new tank. Temp around 78-80. I condition the water for each water change as well.

The first week, he was fine but near the end became lethargic and I noticed he wasn't eating. Long story short, I should have soaked his pellets and he got bloated, constipated, and since he wasn't eating the water quality dropped quickly with the leftover food. I changed his diet to bloodworms, pellets, and flakes and changed his water more frequently and he ended up looking better than ever. He seemed to have gotten a little bit of ammonia poisoning because his gills were a little redder than usual as well.

About two weeks later I noticed an incredibly small whitish spot on one of his front fins, I kept an eye on it and again changed the water a bit more frequently and it went away. I also noticed his tail had a little bit of fading at the edges like minor fin rot. With the water changes, that went away and his fins are long and nice again.

Its been another week or so, and he has been behaving find until the last few days. He's been a little bit jumpy and seems as though he's trying to rub something off. Theres a tiny spot on his right gill slit (and his gills are usually red colored but are now looking to be a bit of an unhealthy red imo) which doesnt look white, it looks more silvery/shiny with a very very slightly mint greenish tint, I noticed it last night and it's still there tonight. I have a picture, it's not great but it's the best I could do. Tromokratis never liked taking pictures anyway.

Could someone help me identify what a problem could be and suggest some way to treat it? I've been using aquarium salt for the last week or so already.

Edit: the photo was rotated to the left when I uploaded it, my fish is right side up. He isn't swimming vertically.
 

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You shouldn't use AQ salt for more than 14 days as it damages their kidneys/labyrinth. Also in a 1-2g tank you need to do more water changes. Please feed him pellets, omega one or new life spectrum, as they are much healthier and these brands do not cause bloat. Anything freeze dried or flaked will cause bloat and constipation. I don't see the spot you're talking about, but does it look like this: http://bettainfo.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/betta_fish_ich-scaled1000.jpg (Ick) or does it just look like coloration
 

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I agree. With a 1 2/3 gallon tank you need to do water changes every singe day.

Also you need to remove the shrimp. You really can't even keep just a betta in a tank your size so the shrimp is overcrowding him for sure! You have no need for shrimp since you don't have live plants.

Bettas shouldn't be kept in a tank smaller than 2.5 gallons. 5 is better. All of the problems you are experiencing are from ammonia poisoning. So you need to do daily 100% water changes until you can get at least a 2.5 gallon tank.

The large size of the Kritter Keepers is 3 gallons and is $13-15.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've been using aquarium salt for about a week, thank you for letting me know! Next time I do a full change I'll just keep it fresh. I've been doing 25-50% changes every day for the last two+ weeks (I may forget every once in a while but I never go over 2 days without changing) and every few days, at least once a week, I do a full change as well. I took the shrimp out and put him in a different tank with some glofish as my betta was trying to rough him this morning (he never has before but you're probably right about him starting to feel crowded)!
Also, I checked him out this morning, and the spot which had been there for about 2-3 days is gone!


I'm 17 so money is kind of tight but once I save a bit I'll put him in a happier tank, thank you :) I'll make sure I keep up with the water better too until then!
 

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It's regular coloration. As he changes moods through the day or the week, the color of his cheeks can intensify or dull so some days you may not notice the red as much but it's all very natural. Betta's generally have a red line at the crease of the gill plate where it folds outwards in a flare and then again another red line or patch at the edge of the gill plate. I theorize that it's probably part of a warning system like other animals have bright red/yellow/orange to let others know they are poisonous or dangerous. I could be wrong about it but it makes sense to me lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It does make sense, I've always noticed that it was red. He had a bit of bad ammonia poisoning when I first got him so his gills looked really red and irritated but now they just look more like his color.

As far as the spot, it has come and gone in brightness before but it has never looked like ick. Looking at him again right now, it seems to have made a return once again but I'm starting to think that even that's just coloration as well. He's stopped acting twitchy and seems like his normal self today. It looks more like the shine of a scale than anything else, really, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't something wrong.
 

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Yup, some fish will have regular iridescence to their gills like the one spot on your boy. Like my Black Copper boy here, you can see on the edge of his gill plate he has regular irid scales there rather than the red :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the reassurance, that's what it must be! I'm glad he's not sick with anything :)
 
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