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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum, but I've kept fish for a few years. Now i only have my betta tank left. To make story short, I was traveling for half a year and my mom could only handle taking care of the small tank, so that's all I left her with. When I came back, I noticed these whitish patches on my betta. Mom swore it only appeared the day before I arrived. It's 4 months later and I still can't get rid of them. Here is some more info:
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Housing
What size is your tank? - 5.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? - 79/80 degrees constant
Does your tank have a filter? - yes, rated for 20 gal (i slowed down the current with the bottle trick)
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? - a few tiny random snails, i got rid of the most.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - New life Spectrum Thera +A (color enhancing 1mm sinking pellets + garlic), Hikari's Betta Bio-Gold, freeze-dried and frozen blood worms, and on rare occasion tiny pieces of sun dried gammarus. I have frozen brine shrimp too, but i feel they are too messy for just one fish..
How often do you feed your betta fish? - twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? - every week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - around 30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - just Prime

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: /
Hardness: / (but i know my water is relatively hard, maybe 7.8)
Alkalinity: /
- It's a mature tank

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
- betta developed whitish patches around the head area and tiny bits closer to the body. When i first noticed them i looked really closely and they did look fuzzy to me. It's not a long fuzz, very very short. As I mentioned earlier, this has been going on for 4 months now. It's not getting better or worse. Sometimes I'll see a a really thin string detach. But overall it's been the same. It's worst on the sides of the head.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
- Hasn't changed at all. My fish is kinda on the lazier side, and loves all the hiding spots; but still flares, swims around and eats like a pig.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
- 4 months ago, when I came back from my trip.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
- I've tried a lot. I would say that it's fungus. It's fuzzy, white. The thing is, it doesn't deteriorate the scales, it's almost like a fuzzy band-aid that doesn't wanna latch off. And it's not getting bigger or smaller either. I tried KanaPlex, Kanaplex and Melafix, Pimafix, salt, more Kanaplex. Nothing worked. So I left the fish alone for 3 weeks. Now I just started API's Fungus Cure. I'm baffled.. It really became part of the fish, it doesn't seem to bother her at all or affect her in any way. But it's annoying to me.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - no, this is the first issue.
How old is your fish (approximately)? - i got her almost a year ago, but she was already an adult.
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Here are some pictures i took today. This is 24 hours with API Fungus Cure in (not that I see any real changes. hopefully - yet) I couldn't get a good shot of the side of the head, she wasn't feeling too photogenic. Btw, I'm starting to doubt it's a female as sold, but that's another story. Has anyone had the same situation? I've searched the net left and right, but found only one person with the same issue where these patches just stay there for months not really affecting the fish otherwise. And no one responded to that person, so it didn't help. Any input is appreciated, this is really bugging me


* Oh yes, i forgot to mention why I think this settled in on her in the first place. I used to have colored gravel and it was a really really bad one bought in Petco. It would trap all the gunk more so than any other gravel i used. Also, little pieces would constantly break off, possible the coloring part. So it was a disaster waiting to happen. I changed it all to sand when i came back, so there shouldn't be a similar issue.
 

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Honestly, I think she's just showing her age. My dark faced older male has been gray for quite some time and I'm 100% certain it isn't a problem, it would have spread by now. It's not moving, shrinking, or anything.
I'd take her off all meds, sounds like you have stressed her system out well enough by now.
IF you notice growth of any sort, then it might be an illness, but from the photos and your description I think she is a healthy fish.
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could it be her stress coat shedding?? I have never seen it so I dont know what it looks like
 

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He is just showing age.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Honestly, I think she's just showing her age. My dark faced older male has been gray for quite some time and I'm 100% certain it isn't a problem, it would have spread by now. It's not moving, shrinking, or anything.
I'd take her off all meds, sounds like you have stressed her system out well enough by now.
IF you notice growth of any sort, then it might be an illness, but from the photos and your description I think she is a healthy fish.
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Thank you for the quick reply. When you say gray, do you mean discoloration? My betta definitely has some gray area under her mouth, but the rest are fuzzy growths. Do aging bettas get some sort of permanent fungus-like condition?..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
could it be her stress coat shedding?? I have never seen it so I dont know what it looks like
I don't know Tikibirds.. i'd assume shedding slime coat would be due to poor water conditions or smth like that, which i don't have. Also, wouldn't it be more like slime instead of fuzz? I haven't had a fish shed, so I'm not sure either on this one :/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He is just showing age.
Do you think I could have bought an old betta already? I got it from LFS, the guy told me they just got some in. I'd assume it was like a year old maybe, as it was full grown, but do they really get/sell bettas of 2,3 years?

Also, did you see similar fuzz on aging fish? i guess it would be a relief knowing that it's not a disease, but at the same time it means he/she doesn't have too much time left with me :/
 

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I haven't even had my fish a year and he's already showing his age, sadly.
The photos really don't make it look fuzzy, it's flat and looks just like part of the fish.
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idk. like from the second photo, doesn't it look like there are little white thingies on top, not part of, the fish? they stretch almost to her half body

i think i'll finish the course of this treatment just in case, it doesn't seem to bother the fish. have you used API fungus cure?.. the directions are confusing to me.. it says: "For each 10 gallons (38L) of water, empty one packet directly into aquarium. Repeat dose after 48 hours. Wait another 48 hours then change 25% of the aquarium water and add fresh activated carbon or replace filter cartridge. Two doses required for full course of treatment."
So is it 2, or 3 doses?.. to me, it looks like it says not to do a water change between first and second doses, and do one between second and third. am i reading it wrong? If it's 3, then why would it say 2 is enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i took some more pictures. i circled the area under the head where sand granules attached to the white strings i was talking about. i dont remember her having those there, usually it's one or two single strings on top of the head, but today she has quite a few detaching.
i'm puzzled.. :/ she's definitely lively, she just jumped out of the water at least half an inch to grab a pellet out of my fingers.
 

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I can't really tell what it is by the pictures, but I know my fish had white fuzzy growths on his fins for a while, ad althought battalion + Pima fix together made it a little better, it returned frequently, especially as his water dirtied. I'd suggest cleaning the tank with 100% water changes once a week and 50% twice a week for at least two or three weeks and see if that makes a difference. The only thing that permanently kept it off of him was keeping his water in pristine conditions. If that doesn't help, then perhaps the others are right and it's simply age. Good luck!


Edit: BettaFix and PimaFix ** man autocorrect sucks
 

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Oh also raising the temperature to between 80-85 degrees will help eliminate any fungus or illness :)
 

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Raising the temperature helps a fungus thrive.. Keep the temperature the same during fungal problems.
This really isn't looking like a problem to me, sand can stick to their slime coats, the slime coat is doing it's job keeping the fish safe by removing irritations. I can't imagine this being a problem. :/
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Out of curiosity - what's your PH?

Has anything been added to the tank which could raise ph? Any other changes you think of that may have happened while you were away? Change of water conditioner brand?

High ph can cause the slimecoat to turn a funny colour and shed a bit. So can salt.. so can some medications.

If your fish isn't distressed or itchy, then I doubt it's any of the usual nasties that affect skin colour.. warm, clean water without salt or medication, changed regularly might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i don't have the means to test PH at home, but my water is pretty alkaline, around 7.9, 8. there really isn't anything new that would raise it. I have sand (not coral), driftwood, one chunk of lava rock, live plants, silk plants, and a ceramic pot/vase. and all those items but sand have been in my other aquarium and i didn't have any water problems.

what else could be off.. well, my mom cultured a random snail population and dumped the little buggers in betta tank. so there were a Lot when i came back. but with regular cleaning i didnt bother to save the ones that latched on decorations and so now i only fave a few.

also, i think my fish might have burned itself on the heater a few times in the past months because she would start zipping suddenly, but she loves being around the heater otherwise. i guess a few times she just got too close to it. haven't seen that happening in the past month or so though.

aaand.. i might be using a little more Prime than i should, but its really hard to measure out the right amount when a tiny cupful is enough for 50 gal. but i really doubt i'm putting more than 5x the amount advised.

other than that.. can't think of anything else at the moment
 

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Over conditioning your water might contribute to a loss of slime coat... idk about Prime though as I've never used it. :/
 
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