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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found Cobalt this morning with strange pink spots on his scales. It's like his blue scales have turned a pink, fleshy color (picture attached). It's been over a year since I've had him and this has never happened. I'm thinking it may be related to the mini-cycle I am finishing up since I changed my substrate and decor to sand and driftwood. Perhaps it's the change in pH from the tannins? Just performed a 50% water change...any ideas?

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
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? nerite snail

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day, ~5-7 pellets each time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-40%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? conditioner and sometimes flourish excel

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

Ammonia: close to 0 ppm, definitely not greenish color which would mean .25 ppm
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? spots of pink, fleshy scale color, some of the coloration on the top fin (see picture).
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? no notable behavioral changes
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 1 hour ago when I checked on him this morning.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Performed a water change
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no illness besides fin rot once and general stress spots that went away.
How old is your fish (approximately)? likely around 1.5 years.
 

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If the scales are still there, and he is neither lethargic or gasping I do not think there is anything wrong with him. How long have you owned him? Chances are he is just changing color. If you can get him to flare, check for red or inflamed gills (ammonia burn causes this more often then not). Otherwise he is like my giant fella, and has a unique coloration. When I first saw him I thought something was wrong with his face... But it isn't!
 

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You're feeding 10-14 pellets a day? You're feeding like 2-3x too much unless you're feeding like .5mm micro pellets. Bettas also need one fast day a week. What are you feeding?

What is the ph of the water? I wouldn't be adding any ph altering substances without knowing how it effects things. Did you boil/precure the driftwood before adding it? Did you rinse the gravel really well?

What is the nitrite and nitrate levels? If you're running a tank with a filter and not doing weekly 100% changes you need to monitor those levels as well. Also your once weekly water change needs to be closer to 50% in something that small and include a through vacuuming of the gravel to remove poop/debris and not just skim water off the top. Also those snails are SUPER messy. Would not keep one in something so small personally, but you may need a couple 50% water changes to keep water okay in that case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I've had this tank for over a year now and have been feeding him that amount with no ill effects (the pellets are rather small). I've had the snail for about 2 months now and have been maintaining the water parameters and performing water changes. The main reason I'm so concerned is the speed at which the coloration developed (practically overnight). I did boil the driftwood multiple times before adding it to the tank. My water change schedule is the same as it has always been with no ill effects. I'm beginning to think it may be stress related due to the change in both the substrate and driftwood (altered pH perhaps).
 

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I stand by what I said above. Sorry. That does include but certainly not limited to possible ph swing stress. Definitely would increase water changes and get the other levels looked at as well.
 

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That can happen, yes. As for the feeding EVERY SINGLE FISH is DIFFERENT. Janey gets almost the same amount as my giant, while Mickey can't have more than maybe 4 pellets a day. Ares eats 10 a day, and Lovelace eats 12 a day. I feed until they show me a full belly. But I also switch it up, and g e them thawed along with a day of fasting. Plus my pellets are .5 or 1mm depending on the brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I stand by what I said above. Sorry. That does include but certainly not limited to possible ph swing stress. Definitely would increase water changes and get the other levels looked at as well.
I agree with what you say too, and note that I do all of those things except the water change thing. From what I understand, 100% water changes on a cycled tank is detrimental to the cycle. I clean detritus and waste from the surface of the sand. I will be increasing the water change schedule a bit, but don't want to perform large changes since that would disrupt the establishment of the full cycle again. I'll look at the other levels like nitrate to keep track of the mini-cycle. I'm beginning to think it may be pH swing stress, but the pH has been at this level for over a week now. Is it possible for him to show signs of stress that long after a pH change?
 

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Though... Your tank says 0.25 ammonia right? A properly cycled tank should not show that... It's probably going through a mini cycle. And I agree 100% on a cycled tank is not a good idea. I don't think you need to do more than 30% water change. Every cycled tank of mine (5+ gallons) gets a 30% water change. Uncycled gets 50-100% depending on size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Though... Your tank says 0.25 ammonia right? A properly cycled tank should not show that... It's probably going through a mini cycle. And I agree 100% on a cycled tank is not a good idea. I don't think you need to do more than 30% water change. Every cycled tank of mine (5+ gallons) gets a 30% water change. Uncycled gets 50-100% depending on size.
No it doesn't say .25 ppm thankfully! It's closer to 0 ppm based on my color sheet (the test was yellow). I usually end up doing about 40% change from sucking up all the debris in the tank.
 

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That's fine :) more than likely because of the changes made to the aquarium it will go through a mini cycle which you seem to have down pretty well. Just keep an eye on him and his behaviour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's fine :) more than likely because of the changes made to the aquarium it will go through a mini cycle which you seem to have down pretty well. Just keep an eye on him and his behaviour.
That's what I think will be best. I'm also trying to limit the amount of time the tank light is on to reduce his stress. If anything the tannins should help calm him down too.
 

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Tannins will definitely help. I always use them for sick fish and young fish as well.
 

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I think he might be! We've seen this large difference for marbles before... Dark to light and light to dark.
 

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That would be a good idea to do a water change.
 

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Ammonia should not be present in a fully cycled tank, and there should be some nitrates. It sounds like it's still cycling then.. It's a good idea to test daily and do a 50% change any time you see as little as .25ppm. It's gotten way to high at this point..

What filter are you using and how have you maintained it?

How long has the tank been set up?

100% water change does not hurt your cycle. The bb is in the gravel, decor and mostly filter, but not suggesting you do this. Just need to monitor more closely
 

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Callistra they know it's going through a cycle :p However, I believe it is two water changes a week for a 5 to safely get the fish through the cycle?
 

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Not if it's reaching that high of ammonia it's not, unfortunately. 1ppm is way too high and .5 is really not ideal either. Personally, I never cycle without testing and just assume a couple water changes will be fine as you will have spikes that go unnoticed. Some people do it and if you have hardy fish you may get away without noticeable issue or just some minor fin rot.
 
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