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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all, I’m new here and to keeping a betta. He is mostly blue/black with a blue tail but this week I noticed he had a few white scales. Thought maybe it was ick but I can’t find anything that looks like what he has and I want to treat it correctly. It’s not raised and he hasn’t stopped eating or behaving normally. Any thoughts?
He’s in a 3 gallon tank, with a small filter. No other fish. The tank gets algae pretty quickly and I change out the water and replace the filter about every 3 weeks. I feed him dried bloodworms- he loves them.
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 3
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? No
What temperature is your tank? No heater, house temp is 75f
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? None.

Food:
What food brand do you use? SunGrow
Do you feed flakes or pellets? No
Freeze-dried? Blood worms
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Daily 3-4 small pieces once a day

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Approximately every 3 weeks.
What percentage of water did you change? 100%
What is the source of your water? Pre-conditioned betta water from petsmart
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum and clean under running hot water
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? None, since I buy preconditioned water.

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.
Have never tested.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Two days ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Some scales seemed to turn white
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Not really
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Not yet- trying to diagnose
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? March 22’
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! We have tried pellets but he just refuses them. So I at least wanted him eating and found he loves the bloodworms. I’m open to suggestions! He is beautiful and deserves to be happy and healthy. I just took some pics of him in the tank. He was blowing bubbles at me so it was hard to capture a good still from video. I hope you can see what I’m talking about well enough.
 

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It doesn‘t look like white spots in the photos but rather scale loss.

I have not experienced scale loss so far and can only say that it doesn‘t look sore to me.

From what I‘ve read a loss of scales can have a variety of reasons.

To narrow it down, I‘d ask you the most obvious questions before moving on:

  • Does he show any flashing or rubbing on substrate/decor?
  • Could there be anything in the tank where he could damage his scales (if not sure, just post a picture of his whole tank)?
 

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It's hard to tell but that looks to be a color change. Some Betta carry the "marble" gene and will change color for months. Some start out solid and end up two or three colors.

I am concerned about his weight. From above a Betta should appear as a bullet: One smooth line from head to peduncle (area where his caudal/tail fin connects). There should be no indent between head and body.
Head Eye Fin Underwater Koi

Note that the freeze dried Bloodworms are meant as treats-only. This is because they have little nutritional value and fish become nutrient deprived

From SunGrow:

1. Full of protein, fat and fiber, which help give your fish energy and support their health.
2. Use as a treat to encourage your finicky finned friend to eat.
3. Suitable for fish and shrimp of all ages as a nutritious and delicious snack. Nutrients like iron are great for adult and baby shrimp for growth and spawning.
4. You can give a few of these mouthwatering morsels alongside your small to medium-sized tropical or freshwater fish’s regular diet.

If he weren't thin I'd say offer him only pellets until he realizes that's all he is getting. Many fish don't eat because they don't recognize what we offer as food. In pet stores they often feed Betta freeze dried so pellets are foreign.

I'd suggest:

1. Pellets. Fluval Bug Bites, NorthFin Betta Bits, New Life Spectrum or the one I feed Bug (Black Soldier Fly Larvae) Grain Free Crumbles. I receive no remuneration for suggesting.

2. Frozen. Bloodworms are high in fat. You can feed him one or two once per day. Once he as weight they should only be feed once or twice per week as treats. Frozen Daphnia, shrimp, etc., are also good.

3. Feed him three to four times per day. You can soak the pellets in garlic juice or even a bit of water.

4. SeaChem Nourish or Boyd's Vitachem vitamins per directions. You can also soak the pellets in either.

Hope someone else will check, as well. I could be wrong about color change. (Someone did. Thanks, Feanor.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, both! That makes me relieved that he’s not sick. But the food I will address asap as I didn’t know that just the bloodworms would be not a great idea. I do have a plastic plant in his tank that he likes to swim through and he loves his floating log. I haven’t seen him rub the log but I do know that sometimes it goes to one side of the tank and he will swim between it and the glass.
 

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Still hard to tell about fuzziness. Could be a fungus. Can you get a more clear photo?

Should the places be raised you could treat him with something like Fungus Cure or General Cure. However, without addressing two issues he could become sick again.

He needs a heater. If the room temperature is 75 his water is at least two degrees colder. As Tropical fish, Betta need water of at least 77. Temps that are too cold can trigger a variety of illnesses because they can cause stress and comprise a fish's immune system.

Insufficient water changes can also trigger a number of illnesses; including fungal infections Symptoms and Diseases Triggered by Poor Habitat Maintenance

For now, plain Rooibos Tea or Indian Almond leaves floated in his tank will help as each has antifungal and antibacterial properties.

A heater and weekly 25% water changes and vacuum will go a long way to prevent future illness.

If you can drink your water fish can swim in it. So if that's the case there's really no need for Betta water. If your water isn't great, you can use Spring Water and SeaChem Prime @ 2 drops per gallon. That is the same as Betta water.

Most pet store will test your water for free.

Hope this isn't TMI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@RussellTheShihTzu just wanted to thank you for all of your advise. My betta is doing much much better and all the white and fuzziness is gone. He is very happy and active again! I ended up putting him in a smaller tank to better watch him and treat him. And will soon be upgrading him to a 5 gal- this forum has been quite the eye opener and I’ve learned so much. Thank you.
 
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