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Discussion Starter #1
My betta was being kept in a ten gallon tank with a filter and a heater. I keep my room pretty cold, like 65F. The heater broke and I didn't realize anything was wrong until he got lethargic. So, I rewarmed his water to about 78F, but he didn't show any improvement. He started sitting on the bottom and I can't get him to eat anything. Not a green pea, not fish flakes, bloodworms, or even flightless fruit flies...Then he developed tiny dark spots in a linear pattern all across his fins, but only his fins. Now he has gotten really pale. I ended up putting him in a bowl because he was getting too weak to come to the surface. Now his gills have gotten really dark in color, like blotchy. He is still coming to the surface and getting air, blowing bubbles, and looking around and responding when I talk to him. Does anyone know what is wrong with him and if there is anything I can do for him? I've probably done everything wrong, but I really don't know. Help, please.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ousing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon but moved to a one gallon hospital tank
What temperature is your tank? It usually stays around 75 to 78 degrees but his heater went out and the water got very cold.
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? None

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

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? We have been doing frequent changes since he's been in the hospital tank before that we did partial changes twice a month
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? Betta safe

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

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Paler with black spots on his fins and dark spots on his gills. He's got shredded looking top fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lethargic and won't eat. Struggles to surface and doesn't swim long before he just starts floating like he gave up
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Its been a few weeks and he's ju getting worse
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? We tried betta fix and an all in one fix
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? One year
 

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I wouldn't worry about the color change in the fins as much as the fading in his body. Scales on the body fading toward grey is a bad sign and generally indicates that he's not getting enough nutrients and/or oxygen moving through his body. This could be a sign of digestive system or kidney problems. Has his poop been normal? When was the last time you saw him eat?

It's possible the extended time in cold water did this, but it's also possible it's the result of a bacterial or parasitic infection. Is that white fuzz I can see on his gill? Is that normal, or something new? It could be a clue. Also, have you noticed any bloating on any part of his body?

If you can warm the bowl up more, it will help - 78 is fine for a healthy betta, but 80-82 will be better for one fighting any kind of illness. I would stop using the "fix" meds as they are primarily intended to help speed healing of external injuries and won't do much if anything for a systemic problem like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He was very bloated when he first started acting funny and we tried feeding him a pea but he wouldn't eat it. I saw him eat one flake two days ago. I haven't seen him poop in days. He usually has a bright white face and gills and the black spots make him look fuzzy although he isn't. The scales on top of his head changed color and almost look like they are sticking up.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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Do you have access to New Life Spectrum or Omega One Betta pellets? Or any Betta food with fish as the first ingredient? These brands are more nutritious than most flaked food. If you can get frozen Daphnia it's a good thing to feed on occasion; especially if you suspect constipation.

The black spots on his fins appear to be natural coloring; I can't really tell about his gills. If you can get a side photo of him swimming that would help tell if he's bloated and if there's anything going on with his gills.

I tend to suspect that cold temperature and an inadequate water changing schedule have contributed to his condition. You didn't say the size of the water changes you were making before he got sick but I have a 5.5 gallon and I remove one gallon weekly and do a thorough vacuuming. That seems to keep parameters where they need be.

Good luck. He is a lovely boy; I love his face!
 

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Adding Epsom salt to his water is a good way of clearing out his digestive system. You can start at 1 tablespoon of salt per gallon of water.
 
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