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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

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This is my betta fish Felipe. I noticed him being very lethargic about a week ago. He wasn't swimming as actively as he used too and I noticed scales falling off of his body. He was also keeping his fins clamped to his body. He would have a strange bend in his body like he was in pain. I took him out of his tank and put him in a small bowl. I will admit that I was over feeding him and his water was dirty when I took him out. I have been using some aquarium salt in his bowl and I gave him a salt water bath the other day. He seemed to have gained a little energy back after that and even ate a little food. But he still is very lethargic and doesn't swim much so I am very worried still. The thing I am worried about is that when I net him to put him in a salt water bath I see little scales floating in the water. I feel like I am taking more scales off of his body by netting him. I thought about just pouring him and the water in the salt water bath but since he isn't swimming much I am afraid to hurt him that way. I bought some medicine but i'm not sure if he needs it yet.

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Any help anyone can provide me would be very much appreciated. I just want to see my fish get better. I will also fill this out for more information.

Housing
What size is your tank? - half gallon
What temperature is your tank?- I'm not sure
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? -
How often do you feed your betta fish? - Once a day but I feed him too many flakes

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? - once every other week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - I use filtered water for his tank

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?- I don't have any test strips

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?- Scales have been coming off and his color looks a little duller. Sometimes he will bend his body strangely.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?- Acting very lazy and not swimming much. He has been breathing really hard too.
When did you start noticing the symptoms?- About a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - I have taken him out of his tank and gave him one salt water bath.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - No
How old is your fish (approximately)? - Under 1 year old
 

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Where the fins are coming off I am thinking he either has a fungal infection or columnaris.

Since you have the fungus cure on hand if you wish to start treatment that is alsways a good place to start. If you dont seen any improvement then it is likely a columnaris infection which is bacterial in nature and will need an antibiotic. I personally use tetracycline but there are others available in the US such as kanaplex.

The stress coat you can add right away since it will help speed healing and has some additives to keep him perky. Fingers crossed it heals up right away
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Taeanna for the advice! The scales are coming on his back by his back fin. They are also coming off on the sides of his stomach. Do you have any advice about netting him with his scales falling off?
 

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Try to cup him directly in a small bowl or chinese food container, this is less traumatic for them in general since they technically never leave the water and nothing will rub their body. Nets are good for catching a runaway but for illness slow and steady is the best policy.
 

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there's your problem. He's living in a filthy half gallon thats not even heated. Did you know cold water slows down a betta's metabolism? And its not columnaris. Columnaris includes white growths by the mouth, and by the dorsal but you said the scales were falling off. So whatever is going on is most likely bacterial. 1, if you're going to keep him in such a small space you HAVE to do frequent water changes and nothing less than 50%. 2, he's a tropical fish so the water needs to be warm. 3, i cant say how you need to treat him because i dont know what it is, but i know for sure its not columnaris.
 

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I just wanted to further push the need for more water changes. In a half gallon bowl the water is going to get dirty very quickly, and you'll need to do 50% and 100% water changes every week, probably around two to three times a week for the 50%. I' not sure of the exact schedule, but there is a very handy thread (I think on the fish care forum) about how you should do water changes based on bowl size.

Yes, betta are tropical fish, but your bowl is very very small, finding a heater that will fit in there without taking up half the bowl and is adjustable is going to be difficult. I would suggest investing in a thermometer first. A bowl that small probably doesn't need much help keeping warm IF he is kept in a warm room. I had my guy in a gallon bowl for about a month and in an 80 room his bowl was around 76 degrees, which is fine for a betta but on the lower end of the scale. So get a thermometer and see exactly what his bowl is at. If it needs to be warmer, I'd consider investing in a bigger tank that will be able to accommodate a heater. A 2.5 gallon would work. Some people even use the cheap critter keepers.

A filter in a bowl that small isn't going to work and that's where the water changes come it. You need to do them every week, multiple times, to keep the water clean and the leaves of ammonia in the water safe for your fish. This will also keep him healthier and hopefully prevent what he has for getting worse.

I hope you're able to continue to get some great advice for your poor guy. :( I wish him the best.
 
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