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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 79-82
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? a fake plant and a white mystery snail named Felipe

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? He eats Tetra flakes. He has a very sensitive stomach and pellets, dried and live worms, and anything else didn't work.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Every other day. His stomach swells if i do it daily, but not as much as him eating pellets etc.

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
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 have water conditioner, ammonia remover (top fin) stress coat. On standby I have Accu-clear, aquarium salt and epsom salt.

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

Ammonia:Between 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: about 7.3
Hardness: soft
Alkalinity: 0

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has lost some scales at the top of his head. They don't look like spots, more like scratches or something.
Newt Amphibian Lizard True salamanders and newts Organism

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He was a little bloated after I fed him and the snail some algae wafers because he was previously having a little bit of a hard time swimming. sometimes i see him nose down..other times i see him just chilling on he floor of the tank. I assumed it was SBD since we've had issues with that before so I fasted him for two days. He seemed better...then I woke up and saw his head.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? I noticed the scales issue this morning...the swimming problem was maybe three or four days ago.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I just put him in a hospital tank with aquarium and epsom salt. Aquarium for the scales, epsom for any diseases going on eg SBD, internal parasites.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, and His tail has been slowly growing back after fin rot.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him about two-three months now.

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1,880 Posts
Alrighty. He has definitely scraped his little head on something - what's in his tank?

A few notes on the fish-care... You're sorta combining unfiltered and filtered care... In an unfiltered, you'd need to do at least 2 changes a week, one of them being 100%. In a filtered, you need to do at least 1 50% every week... So when you do a water change, what do you do? Can you give me a run down of your process?

I promise the pellets are better for him. He probably has a gut full of fillers, causing some sbd and such. And if he nibbled on the algae wafer, that could have exacerbated it.
Why do you say he has a sensitive stomach? Is he just picky?

AQ Salt causes fluid retention, he does not need it for the head scrape!!!!
Fasting is the best way to sort out bloating/sbd. If he's on flakes, he is going to bloat if he doesn't get fasted occasionally.

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30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I do a water change, I literally take my fish and snail out, put them into dishes around a heater, and then clean the crap out of, floating log, heater, rock, plants (both live and fake). And filter obviously.
So those are the things that are in my tank. He likes to hang around underneath the filter but I wouldn't think it was scraping his scales off...I was more thinking because he's been nose diving and rumaging around the rocks...or a disease. Who knows.
Trust me, I tried at least three different pellets and had to hospital tank him even for one pellet of each. It was so stressful for himself and me so I just gave the flakes a shot and he seems to love them and acts just as normal. I say he has a sensitive stomach because the minute I had him he would eat nothing...and then when he started to basically force himself to eat because he was hungry, his stomach would balloon. I would say I spent a good $50-60 on food alone, so when he enjoys flakes 100% of the time then I don't really see a problem with it.

When I saw the caps I almost died and raced to go put him in epsom salt only. So there he is now. He has never bloated with flakes, it's just when I added the algae wafers for both him and the snail he started acting funny. And then there is the Harry Potter look he's going for now. :(

Are you positive it is a scratch and not anything disease related?
Any other opinion on him will do too.

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1,880 Posts
Oh, my guy with a floating log bonked his little noggin on it once, first night he had it. Little butt.

I just know some bettas are resistant to pellets, but will eat them once they're hungry enough. If flakes work better for him, then good! Algae wafers are notorious bloat causers, if he doesn't usually nibble at them I wouldn't worry too much about the bloating.

So the point of having a filter is not to filter the water, persay. The water flowing through the filter does not remove the ammonia from the water. And the ammonia is what needs to be removed.
The real benefit of a filer is the surface area in the filter media, and the flow it causes in the water. Of course, it also filters out little bits of food and whatever else, but that's not the primary pro.
Adding a filter creates flow, and oxygenated water, and surface area, which allows beneficial bacteria to grow. These little guys convert the Ammonia a fish produces to Nitrite, and then into Nitrate. Ammo and Nitrite become toxic at 0.25 parts per million, where Nitrate becomes harmful at 40ppm... So that's clearly better to have!!

Now, these little bacteria are pretty fragile. Things that will kill/destroy them are unconditioned water, and cleaning XD So if you want to cycle you tank (take advantage of the little bacteria) you can't do full scrubdowns.

If you can't live with the scuzz of the bacteria on everything, you can always manually remove the ammonia. In 2.5G, 1x50% and 1x99% - you take out all the water, but don't clean anything.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I love my floating log, and so does my fish haha. He has certain places where he hides and some of them can be a little squeeze (he loves being in between the log and the glass lol) I always thought algae wafers were meant to STOP bloating and not cause it, plus snails love it, so that's why I bought it haha damn.
So what I most likely need to do is do more water changes, like the 50% twice a week, and keep up to date with the ammonia readings. I did recently check it via both the strips and the water dyes and both were good, and I always put ammonia remover in with each water change.
I've always had issues with my filter because the current is really strong, but I did put a piece of stocking over the front part so the current isnt as strong. Seems to work fine, but the only thing I'm slightly worried about is that because my fish loves to hang around underneath it, that its pulling his tail or something.
Thank you so much for the cleaning advice! It takes me close to an hour and a half to make sure it's all clean because I honestly thought that's how it's meant to be haha. Should I still continue to clean the rocks? or just briefly wash them with water and add them in again. Any other suggestions with what else I should clean/not clean?
Thanks again :)

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1,880 Posts
Oh I would never say to take it out!!! They learn to watch their noggins!!

Where did you hear that algae wafers are good for bloating? That's super inaccurate, sadly :( I could never get my snail to eat them, and they are definitely no good for an insectivore!!!

You can either do the water-cleaning manually, or let the filter do it ^_^ You just have to chose, and then go from there!
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