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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi!

My betta, Queenie, was looking awesome before I went on vacation for a week. I performed a water change the day I left and asked a fellow betta owner to feed her twice a day for the week. I performed another water change when I returned to keep on schedule, and Queenie looked great besides a greyish patch on the side of her head. I couldn’t tell if this was a small injury, scale loss, or more marbling, so I left her alone with clean water and watched her closely.

A week later and the grey patch is exactly the same, but she appears to have developed a light spot on the top of her head. Again, it isn’t really raised but this new patch looks like excess slime coat.

This morning, I checked her and she was no worse, but I looked back at the tank a few minutes later and she has a few scales hanging off her side!! She has thick scales, a little like what some call a “samurai” betta (part dragon?), so I’m not sure if they are more prone to scale loss of something like costia? She is still very active, swimming around the tank as usual, and her color looks like it always has.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5.5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 79 -81 F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes, Air Stone
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? 3 amano shrimp, nerite snails

Food:
What food brand do you use? Fluval Bug Bites, soaked NLS Thera-A pellets, Hikari Frozen bloodworms
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 4 pellets twice a day or 6 bug bites twice a day (until she looks a little full), bloodworm treats 1-2 times a week

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once every week
What percentage of water did you change? 60%
What is the source of your water? Dechlorinated Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum substrate, half tank usually every week
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Just switched to niloCG Liquid Co2, micros and macros, dose as recommended, and Prime conditioner added before water goes into tank

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20-40 (higher than usual, could this be the cause?)
pH: 7
Hardness (GH): 120ppm
Alkalinity (KH): 40ppm

Used both strips and liquid test kit.

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? July 29th
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Grey patch on her face above eye. Now she has a thick, light colored patch on her head, 3-4 scales peeling off on left flank
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? It hasn’t changed at all, she’s active, her color is good, and her fins are not clamped
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Not yet
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 4 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No

My biggest concern of all is that I am moving to a new apartment in two days, and I worry the move will stress her. I ordered a 7 gallon aquarium and was planning on breaking down the tank and setting it back up in the new tank.

Thank you!!!
 

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Hi, scale loss is usually a consequence of them trying to squeeze into places they shouldn't. The scales get ripped off as they try to extricate themselves.

Other question : Are you running a high tech tank? I noticed the change in ferts, did that coincide with any changes in her? I'm mostly concerned with the liquid co2 (I'm assuming you're using 'Enhance'. I just don't know enough about that product to know if the glutaraldehyde is non-reactive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for replying! I have a moderately planted low tech tank, so no pressurized CO2. I was previously using Seachem Excel, Fundamentals, and NPK -- so there isn't a huge change with the new nilocG liquid ferts -- but I'm not sure if the ingredients in Enhance are different than Excel.

I'm going to do a big water change today and see if that helps! As for scratching herself and getting stuck, she does tend to swim through and under plants and against the substrate at times... it is Eco Complete, not sure if that's rough enough to do damage to her scales though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Also, I started using the new liquid ferts after the grey patch and excess mucus (or whatever it is) developed, but before the peeling scales.

Does anyone know the difference/effects of glutaraldehyde (nilocG Enhance) vs polycycloglutaracetal (Seachem Excel)?
 

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Polycycloglutaracetal from what I can find is an isomer of glutaraldehyde, the molecules are cross linked and less reactive. Seachem won't comment on the formulation as it is a 'trade secret'.
The symptoms sound like damage + irritation, but that's about all I can figure out.

I had a betta in Eco-complete, he never really hurt himself against it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok that makes sense, thank you for your help! I'm going to do a water change and stop the Enhance for now... hopefully she'll be a little better for the move on Friday!
 
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