I have this crowntail (see avatar). He came from walmart in december and was literally half dead from ammonia poisioning and god only knows what else. About a week after I got him, I moved from Alaska to NY. Somehow, being in a cup for 10 days fixed his back or swim bladder..I don't know what, exactly the issue was. He could barely swim when I left and when I got to NY he was no longer having swimming issues.
He seems fine, no visible signs of anything but every now and then his color fades...and I do mean fades, his fins turn almost white. Not all of them, just the ones closest to his body, which also looses color.
I though maybe internal parasites so I treated him for that. I added in the fizz tab and with in a few hours his color was back. I do a water change. The color fades. I added in Epsom, color returns. I do another water change..color is gone again. I added in epsom, color returns in a few hours.
It's a 5 gallon marineland hex but its just the tank. The filter and hood got busted in the move. Water temp is 78, heated, no filter. I do gravel siponing 1X a week. 100% WC, well maybe more like 90%.
I used ES because it can be used longer then AQ salt.
what's his issue? He looks like this but that red area fades to white and hos body fades as well...
Back in december after a week:
Even in these older pics he has more color then when it fades now
The night I brought him home and he still has more color then during his fading episodes
I don't think he would of survived much longer if my boyfriend didn't demand I take him home.
He also survived freezing temps in the backseat during the trip out of alaska. All the others froze except him and a red CT. I ended up having to put their cups inside a small rodent carrier. Then I put them under 4 layers of flannel blankets and kept them on my lap as close to the heater as possible and held them there for 8 days - with the exception of 3 hotel stops.
I also had a blue VT girl that had an ammonia level of 8.0 and ick. She recovered in a few days.
There was a story I found online of a betta where his ammonia test turned purple. They called up API who makes the tests and asked what level would turn it purple. The said it was at least a 12
It sounds like he might be a fish that gets stressed out easily. Generally faded color comes with either stress and/or sickness, but the rapid way the color changes makes me want to say it's just stress. And geez, I can't believe he was able to survive that. I'm very happy you got him in the end.
He's so lucky he has you and your boyfriend. I can't beleive he survived all that! He looks so sad in the pictures of when you first got him. I have to agree with True indigo. It sounds like he's a bit skittish and easily stressed out. Kyon was like it when we first got him but he seems to have settled but still loses colour occasionally when in a stressful situation. I'm assuming you cup him which is stresful in itself for some bettas. Ky hates nets, jugs and cups.
Aquarium salt and Epsom salt are for treating entirely different conditions. Neither one should have anything to do with coloring. And it can be dangerous to keep exposing them to it.
He is most likely losing his color due to stress of the water changes. It doesn't necessarily mean that there's actually anything wrong. Some fish are just more likely to hold a stress stripe than others. I have a couple girls in my sorority who wear a stress stripe all day, and only color in at night. There's not anything wrong with them, they're not being picked on, they just seem to prefer it that way.