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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My fish has apparently started producing some weird, floating white stuff. I've been siphoning it out of his bowl, but it keeps coming back. Last night, I decided that I needed to do a complete water change, so I put him in a small bowl (with a net so as not to have him in the same icky water), and I cleaned out his bowl and all the rocks on the bottom with water and a little vinegar. I wanted to let everything dry, so I left him in the small bowl overnight and when I woke up this morning it was full of that weird white stuff. There was nothing in the bowl last night but the fish and some totally fresh water. So I'm thinking that that stuff is coming from him somehow. He still seems happy. Eats every day, makes bubble nests, etc. What is that stuff?

What size is your tank? .75 gal
What temperature is your tank? 70-80 F
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari betta bio-gold, or wardley betta food
How often do you feed your betta fish? daily

How often do you perform a water change? every 3 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I put a drop of dechlor in the new water and let it sit at room temp for a couple of days before I put it in.

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? no
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? no
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? just changing the water
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him about a year


5,680 Posts
Looks to be he is shedding his slime coat. They tend to do that for numerous reasons, usually it means there is something in the water they are not taking kindly to, or warding off some toxin in the body/water.

Generally you can just do some partial water changes over the course of a few days and it should clear up.. but since you just did a large one, we can see if that helps when he gets back in his home. Over the next few days you can do partial water changes if you see it continueing.. if by 3-5 days it is still happening, let us know and we can recommend salt treatment which should take care of it. But lets try clean water for now, as that usually works.

His home tank is a .75g, correct?
While that is pretty small for a fish.. you will have to take some measure to make it safe and healthy for him. In a tank that size you would want to be doing 2 50% and 1 100% water change per week- more then that you are making the water too sterile and not as healthy, less then that you are building up some bad toxins that can build up quickly in that small of a space.

Also would recommend finding something a bit bigger so you can heat- a temperature range such as that is too drastic and can easily and quickly become deadly. The smaller the container, the quicker and bigger the fluctuations are in the water which is very dangerous to a fish. A tank that size there really is no safe way to heat it.

You've had him a year- and these guys are hardy, but in improper conditions for a long period of time it will catch up to them at some point. Their immune system will be weaker (colder water will cause that as well), and they become more susceptible to ailments.

Honestly, I would buy a kritter keeper at Petco- a roughly 3 gal one is only $10-12, a 10-25 watt heater and that will help him greatly.

I normally don't harp on tank sizes, but once a fish's health starts to be effected by it then I will speak up and recommend something larger.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm worried that completely changing the water every week might be too much. It was after a complete water change that this started happening. But if it seems to be helping, I'll do it.

And I hear you about getting a larger bowl. I hate PetCo. That's where I got my first fish and she only lasted about a week. Those big chains are Auschwitz for animals. And I live in a city, so I can go to a real aquarium store. But I should be able to get something that looks decent and is at least 2 gallons for pretty cheap somewhere else.

I'll take your advice on the heater too. But do you really think I need one in the summer? It's warming up lately, and I don't want to make soup out of my little friend here.

2,128 Posts
I'm worried that completely changing the water every week might be too much. It was after a complete water change that this started happening
This is thing about bettas - they will tolerate unsuitable environments for a long time, and can live (if not happily) in cold water and absolute filth in a tiny bowl. But what happens is their immune system wears down really fast. Then any sudden change will stress them, and they get very sick after it - whereas a healthy betta will recover easily.

This is why they so often get ich/velvert/whatever after being moved to nice, clean tanks from those nasty store cups.

With water changes, they need to be done carefully and the new water needs to be the exact same temperature as the old water. Also, the fish needs to be exposed to the new water slowly, in a cup preferably (floated in the tank to help him get used to the new temp) with a little new water added every 5 mins for at least half an hour.

Sudden change upsets bettas - and if the betta is weak from breathing its own pee in dirty water, it can make them ill. Sometimes it can kill them.

If you keep your water quality good with regular changes appropriate to the size of the tank and reduce stress by acclimating your fish to the new water each time, his immune system will have a chance to slowly come back to full strength, which can only help him in the long run.

Re the heater: the heater will stop heating the tank when it hits whatever temp it's set for (do get an adjustable heater, you have more control then) so it won't cook your fish unless it malfunctions badly.

Heaters help keep the temp in the tank steady - bettas hate temp swings, and even in summer there can be cool days. In a pond or large tank, that change would be slower, but in a small tank or bowl of water, that means the temp can vary quite a lot from day to day, which won't help the fish have that steady environment they need to be optimally happy and healthy.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so I just got a new bowl that's a little over 2 gallons. It's more than twice the size of his current bowl. So it's a step up for now, and I'll look at heaters the next time I get a chance.

In the meantime there's still some of the white stuff in there, but he still seems happy enough. So I'll just keep an eye on him and hope that he likes the gradual improvements.

Thanks, guys.
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