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Discussion Starter #1
Housing
What size is your tank? 3.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
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? Pellets, Freeze-dried Worms, and Sun Dried Gammarus
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day with a day skipped once a week

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? Approx. 30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Sometimes a mirror for a minute or two.

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

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? It started very suddenly about a week ago. His lips turned white so I thought it was cotton mouth so I did a water change and immediately started treating it. Now his entire head is white and it's spreading to his body. His top fin is clear, too.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? More erratic than usual, but just today he started acting more lethargic and not eating. This is the first time he refused to eat.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, with E.M. Erythromycin as directed.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope, never been sick.
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea.


I thought that he would get better because he was still eating and swimming around, but now that he is lethargic I am afraid he won't make it for too much longer. I am considering a humane way to euthanize him so that he doesn't have to suffer anymore, but it pains me to think of that. Any advice on what I should do would be greatly appreciated.
 

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For the additives question - we actually need to know if you use anything to condition the water? If you use a water conditioner it would help to know which one you're using.

Otherwise, do you have a picture you can add here? It would be really helpful for everyone to be able to see what you're seeing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I use API stress coat conditioner and unfortunately I can't take a picture of him at the moment. I had to leave him home alone and take care of a friend for the night. I'll try to take one when I get back. From my understanding once he stops eating there isn't much hope of survival. I don't want him to suffer; should I consider euthanasia?
 

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There are different things that can cause a betta to become lethargic and stop eating - I wouldn't jump to euthanasia until we can see what's going on with him. Good luck with your friend, and get us a picture and water parameters when you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: 8.4
Hardness: 10
Alkalinity: 300

I guess my testing kit doesn't test ammonia.

It was ridiculously difficult to photograph my fish because he kept moving, but here you go:

IMG_0092.jpg

IMG_0094.jpg

IMG_0097.jpg

IMG_0099.jpg

IMG_0103.jpg

IMG_0105.jpg

IMG_0107.jpg
 

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If he's active enough where it's hard to get a picture, I don't think he's so sick that you need to be looking at euthanasia at this point.

I can't make out very well in the picture, but does the whiteness look to be a growth on his fins\scales or does it look to be that the fins\scales themselves are changing color?

Also, how long have you had him?

I can't tell very well from the picture, but there is enough color variation in him that I'm wondering if you have a Marbled betta. If so, he may change his color naturally...sometimes dramatically. My guy is a marble and looks nothing like he did when I got him 2 weeks ago.

Hopefully someone else can pop by and give another opinion as well though. Either way, it'll help us if you can let us know more details about how his "white" areas are looking since the pictures aren't making it clear. Also, if you have a "before" picture that might help too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, so I got a better picture of him:

IMG_0108.jpg

I think he was sick because it used to be more wispy. It does seem to be his scales now, though. Is it possible he was sick and the stress caused him to start changing colors? I've had him for 3.5 months now, but I'm not entirely sure how old he is. It was just a really sudden change and I was so scared he was terminally ill. The other weird thing is his "lips" turned white first and now they look blue again. This is absolutely the only picture I have of him before:

0822141811.jpg
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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He looks to be a marble so the color changing is normal. Sometimes they change quickly and sometimes it takes months.

Is he a double tail or is that a split caudal fin in the fifth picture? If he's not a DT and the caudal is split he needs frequent water changes; maybe 50% every other day.

If he's a DT the only thing I would suggest for now is to up your water changes. One-per-week 30% isn't enough for an unfiltered tank. Since it's a 3.5 I would do at least twice weekly 50%. You can use a piece of airline tubing to siphon the water and vacuum the gravel. I think Wal-Mart sells airline tubing for under $2.00. Or, you could invest in an Ammonia test kit (liquid is cheaper) and change 25% of his water when Ammonia is .25 ppm or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, so I thought I knew quite a bit about bettas, but I've never heard of marble, double tail, or split caudal. I looked up some pictures of double tails since I didn't know what it was. I don't think he's a double tail, but his fins have always been split like that.
 

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A double tail means that the cadual fin (tail fin) is split into two parts. You can see examples of this in the thread here, as well as other color and fin types: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=29868

A split caudal would basically mean he has a tear in his tail. How are his fins looking? I can't tell if there is anything to be concerned about or not in the photographs.

I'm glad someone else confirmed that he seems to be a marble - with a Marble betta color change is normal (and sometimes dramatic). I've had my guy two weeks, here are two pictures of him. The first is the day I picked him up (again - two weeks ago), the second is now. Inbetween those pictures, he turned an iridescent green. If your guy is a marble, he'll just....change color. No rhyme or reason to it, and it's completely normal and doesn't mean there is anything wrong.




At this point, it's hard to say what's causing the lethargy and loss of appetite, but I'd think that may be a side effect from the antibiotics? Those can be pretty stressful on fish as well. See how your guy does once after he's off of them for a couple days.
 
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