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Discussion Starter #1
I am not sure what is wrong with our Hannibal...

I still have him in his 3.5 gallon tank. His water is about 75*F and doesn't change more than a degree or two. His filter is still working and he only has his hairgrass plant in there with him.

I noticed something wrong last night. He has a white spot on his tail at the tip. Last night it was just a spot. Today it's a little bigger. At first, I thought maybe he was getting some of his pretty white-blue on the ends... But it is only the one spot and it is white.
I also noticed that his right gill flap (?) is sticking out a little. I noticed this because it was moving as he swam and with the slight current from his filter. I find this odd. Especially as he does not flare. Ever.

He is also having more trouble eating. I gave him his freeze-dried blood worms (the store hasn't had mini pellets for us to try and they seem to not carry flakes) which he is a glutton for. He does not play with his food when eating the blood worms. Last night, however, he kept spitting them out. A couple times he seemed to get one down only to spit it back up. He did eventually get a couple down and keep them down.

He's acting like his normal self still. Takes full advantage of the room his tank gives him. He isn't clamped at all. Still shows off his pretty fins and the fact his dorsal has new growth.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Housing
What size is your tank? 3.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 75*F
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, with a betta bowl heater
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? He has no tank mates other than his plastic hairgrass plant.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TetraBetta Plus pellets (will not eat) and Hikari brand freeze dried blood worms with bio-encapsulated multi-vitamins (now having trouble with)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Bowl Plus

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Have not tested today

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes. He has a white spot on his caudal fin that was not there before. His right gill flap also seems to be hanging out some.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Having trouble with food, but acting the same.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last night.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? It seemed that he had had fin rot before we got him. His dorsal had a huge chunk that was gone all the way to his body. That is growing back nicely.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I do not know. We bought him from petsmart on the 8th of Jan. He appears to be fully grown.


I don't have my camera (I use my boyfriend's cell to take pics of Hannibal and he is at work).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was just observing him more. Both gills are now affected. The right more than the left.
 

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Can you describe the white spot? Is it raised and does it look fuzzy/fluffy? Has Hannibal been darting or rubbing or breathing heavily at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It just looks like all the color from that spot was bleached out. Doesn't look raised and not fuzzy or fluffy. It hasn't gotten any bigger. (I had to leave for an appointment)

His movements seem the same as usual. He's been pretty active since getting into the heated tank from the nasty cold water he came in.
I have noticed that he has been going to the surface for air more frequently (this comes and goes so I'm unsure why he does it). Also, when he rests, he hasn't been using his plant today. He normally does. He's been resting under the heater instead. Before today, he would do that but usually chose to rest propped between the plant and the side of the tank.

Right now, he his tucked away under his heater he uses as a cave. All I can see of him is his little face.
 

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The spot on his tail could be just about anything. Does it look like he's missing scales there? Or literally like the color is draining from it? It makes me wonder if he is marbling up, at least on his tail. OFL will know more about this than me.

For his gills, I'm concerned that he may have some ammonia scar tissue that might be interfering with his breathing. If he hasn't been darting or flashing like he might have external parasites, that could be the issue. Otherwise, I would think he might have gill flukes causing his gills to protrude.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
His scales appear fine. The color is just missing. He has white tips to his ventral fins which is why I wondered if maybe the tips of his fins are just going to turn white like them. I've seen a lot of bettas with white tipped ventrals though.

His gills worry me a lot. He never flares so I can't get a really good look at them. It looks like they're dark and since his head is black... Makes seeing them really well difficult. Especially now that he seems more inclined to hide under the heater.

Also, I know you asked about his poop in the other thread... I have searched his tank as well as I can without doing another cleaning... No poop to be seen. Not even under his heater. Not sure if maybe the filter is actually doing its job or if he just isn't going.
He also looks a little bloated now.

Do you think that maybe his not wanting/inability to eat before was just some sign of an underlying problem that is now showing itself?
 

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It's very possible that his lack of poo/bloating is related to his reluctance to eat.

Let's go ahead and get him into 2 tsps of epsom salt per gallon and see if we can encourage him to poo for us. If he hasn't passed any waste within a few days, we'll up the dosage and consider medication. But I'd prefer to see if the epsom salts do their job.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll get that done asap then.

I just noticed (because I've been watching him rather intensely to see if I can see anything else wrong or anything) that the filter is buffeting about tiny white particles. These were not there the other day.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They don't seem to be moving on their own, but they're in the current from the filter. Some are very tiny, but others are about the size of a pinhead. Perhaps slightly larger. Hannibal also doesn't seem quite as bloated now. Could these have come from him? o_O
 

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It's possible they did come from him. Unless, did you kind of stir up the substrate while looking for poos? It's possible they came from the gravel too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No. I tried not to move anything except his heater. I even moved that sparingly as moving it seems to stress him now. Whatever they may be, they worry me. So I'm going to do a full tank cleaning with 100% change tonight once Devon gets home and can help me.

When I clean it, should I leave his gravel and plant out to better monitor him?
 

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Yes, if you can, it would really make it easier for you to tell if he's pooing or not if the tank is barebottom. If the white specks show up again after a 100% change and with no gravel in there, I might wonder if he DOES have an external parasite problem but he's just not rubbing or darting. Not all bettas who have had gill flukes exhibit that behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Is there a special way I should clean it all? Should I maybe boil/use very hot water?

I think he may have trouble closing his gills properly. He did a partial flare (I know know that his gills are black like his head) and seemed fine until he took another breath.
 

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Yes, hot water usually works pretty well. You can also use hot water and vinegar but in this case, I think hot water should do the trick.

If he had gill flukes, that would explain him not being able to close his gills properly. But he also might not be able to close them because of scar tissue from ammonia burns. It's hard to tell. When you say his gills are black, do you mean the little beard part that comes out when they flare? Because underneath the gill flap, the actual gills should be a healthy pink-red color. If they are a dark or bright red or greyish/white, then there's cause for concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
He was facing me, so I didn't get a good look. He didn't do a full flare either. I wish he would so that I could see if there is anything that looks physically wrong.

I also turned off his filter for a moment to see what the white specks would do. They don't move on their own. Turning it off also agitated Hannibal. He didn't calm back down until it was on again.
 

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Hopefully, the white specks are just something that either came from the filter or from the gravel. We'll keep an eye on them. And that's funny Hannibal loves his filter so much. Most bettas hate/tolerate their filters.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Got things cleaned up.
Hannibal looked completely better last night after I got done taking a shower. This both mystifies and worries. I have seen the calm before the storm in other animals and worry what this might mean for him.

However, he ate his blood worms today without a problem. Even the oddly shaped ones he pulled from my grip. He's also been resting on his plant like normal again.
 
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