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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Betta Experts!

My poor little Einstein's tail has becoming more white as of late and now his head has a pretty decent size white spot. I've done everything possible that I know and need some expert advice!

I did a 30% water change in his 2.5 gallon tank last week and yesterday again. He's the only one in there. I use filtered water from the fridge, adjust the temp exactly to what his tank is (between 78-82), and add 1-2 salt pebbles and dechlorination liquid before putting it in his tank. He has 2 moss balls now (removed the other 3 since I thought maybe they were producing too much algae at one point). I also purchased the Runbo test strip for pH, hardness, nitrate, chorine, alkalinity, etc. and all comes back normal!

He's eating his Japanese pebbles (3 at a time am and pm (zero go to the bottom because I'm OCD with caring for him). I rinsed the carbon filter and white pebbles (forget the name for these) and then grabbed 80% of the pebbles at the bottom of his tank and rinsed all of those as well (and rinsed the 2 moss balls).

He mostly hangs at the top of his tank where the water filtration and heater cord is, I've never seen him on the bottom for any extended period of time and generally he seems happy but clearly something is wrong... What else could it be? I'm open to getting solution for fin rot (found Melafix online) but want to make sure I'm treating the right thing... there's also Furan-2, Fin and Body Cure, and Fungus Cure. Help!

1020151


1020152
 

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Many thanks to BF/TFK Member Mike for developing this questionnaire. It is the same form with a few additions.


Please copy and paste into a new message and fill out this form when seeking help for your Betta. This information and a clear photo posted directly into the thread will help us give you the most accurate advice possible. Without the information and photos the best we can do is guess.

Even if you're already answered many of the questions in text form you we ask you fill out the form so we will have a quick reference for information.

Before responding to a call for help please request this form be filled out or wait until it is.

If you need more information ask in text; do not make any alterations to this form. If you have suggestions for additions to this form please contact a Moderator.

Thank you,

The Betta Fish Team

Many illnesses can be traced to water conditions. Your water-changing schedule is the most important element in diagnosing. Please be honest.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank?
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?

Food:
What food brand do you use?
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Freeze-dried?
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
What percentage of water did you change?
What is the source of your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner?

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

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
Is your Betta still eating?
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
How long have you owned your Betta?
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?

PLEASE PROVIDE CLEAR PHOTOS

NOTE: EMBED YOUR PHOTOS. PLEASE DO NOT LINK. Click on the paper clip in the toolbar.

Your fish is your responsibility.
When seeking help be thorough as members give advice based on the information you provide. While we have many knowledgeable fish keepers here, please remember that members' opinions are their own and that it is up to you to determine the best course of action for your fish. We are not responsible for any consequences resulting from following the advice you receive here
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The two pics are best I can do since he's swimming around and making it difficult but I can try to post more if they aren't clear enough! And if they didn't post I'll post them again below.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2.5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78-82
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Not sure what this is...
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari Bio Gold pellets
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Morning and night, 3 pellets

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Every week
What percentage of water did you change? 25% change
What is the source of your water? Filtered fridge water
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Dip out (and recently took everything out to wash it)
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? API

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:0-10
pH: 6.8/7.2
Hardness (GH): 0
Alkalinity (KH): 0

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Last week
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Yes, worsened especially now on his head it's white
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Not particularly
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No, so many options and I don't know what to choose and what's specifically wrong
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? I've encountered him showing slight signs of fin rot previously due to the white tail but it seemed to just go away with water changes. We also experienced swim bladder.
How long have you owned your Betta? 2 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
 

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There is every possibility your Betta has a marble gene and is simply changing color. This change can occur at any time in their life. As he is eating and active, I would suggest you let it alone. Refusal to eat or loss of appetite and lethargy are the first signs a fish is ailing so you always want to seek help if you notice either.

Marimo Moss Balls are a specialized form of algae; they are not plants. They are good in an aquarium as they compete with other algae for the same nutrients.

If you are having algae issues, how long are the lights on? Does the tank get light from a window? Lights on for more than eight hours and/or extra light from a window can cause algae to form.

I've encountered him showing slight signs of fin rot previously due to the white tail but it seemed to just go away with water changes.
Does this mean his caudal was white or had a white rim when you bought him?

He does not appear to have fin rot but is, rather, fin biting. Can you post a photo of his entire tank? Doesn't matter if we can see him.

And, as fishowner550 asked, can you post a "before" photo? One before he started having any issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello, thank you for responding. So I fed him dinner and he ate his 3 pellets and has been swimming around but I panicked after I saw his initial photo when we brought him home... since he doesn't look any better (if anything the white is spreading) so I just did a 75% water change and measured the ammonia and it seems to be .25 now versus 0 before so I'm letting the filter run through the water for a bit until I put him back. I washed all the fake plants, moss balls, and pebbles as well as wiped the inside of the tank. Here's a photo of the tank, him before, and the reading level test (seems like water hardness has increased significantly)... trying my best but feel defeated. :( I also ordered Maracyn 2 (Amazon.com : Fritz Aquatics - 8 Count Mardel Maracyn 2 Treats (47000) : Pet Supplies)

Just want him to be a healthy happy betta! Appreciate the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh and his tank was clear already, I just felt like I needed to do something while I waited for the meds to be delivered on Saturday. I had the white light on during the day but the algae seemed to increase so now I use the blue option for about 10-12 hours a day.
 

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You should never medicate unless have a concrete reason/diagnosis. You can cause much more harm than good if you do...and render a fish immune to that med if it is needed for a real reason later on.

However, we are ultimately the only ones responsible for those in our care and must decide whether to accept or reject advice. If you believe he is ill and not marbling/changing color, then you must do what you feel best.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I read that as well, do you recommend I put him in the tank and just keep doing what I’m doing? I didn’t put salt in the water which I did in the past... any other ideas/suggestions? Do you think his change of color and fins looking so disheveled is normal?
 

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We forgot to ask: Are the white areas smooth or fuzzy?

From the looks of his fins, I believe Einstein is biting. This often happens when Betta have larger fins like Einstein. Fin rot is 99% caused by dirty habitat which allows bacteria to thrive. I note your care is perfect and you keep his tank immaculate so there goes the main reason for fin rot.

There is no positive reason for fin biting but theories are wide; from biting to relieve excess weight to boredom. You might add more plants. Betta like lots of plants/cover. They do not do as well in open tanks.

When you do water changes you can rinse the filter pad in old tank or treated tap water. Do not replace once a month as instructed. This causes you to lose nitrifying bacteria. So keep it until it starts falling apart. When you notice that happening, get a replacement and put it in the filter along with the old one. That way, the nitrifying bacteria will be seeded in the new filter media. You should, however, replace the carbon/charcoal once a month.

You can make maintenance care easier by buying a gravel vacuum. A lot of detritus can sift down into the substrate and cause water issues. Shove the gravel vac down into the substrate and leave it there until the water runs clear before moving to another spot. It may take a week or two to completely clean. You won't need to remove Einstein.

I might try turning the white light on for four hours and the blue four to see if you still get algae.

If, at any point, Einstein refuses to eat or becomes lethargic you should always let us know ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for all the help! The white spots show more of his head/bald vs fuzzy which I know is some other disease from research. Do you have suggestions on what plants to purchase? I've never seen him bite but that's not to say he doesn't. His attitude is a happy fish and he 100% of the time swims to us when we put our face close to the glass and talk to him before feeding and intermittently throughout the day since he's in the kitchen (we decided the bedroom was too lonely for him).

What explains the whiteness though? I'm assuming that couldn't be from boredom and that's a main concern although his poor little fins are concerning as well... I bought this manual vacuum with great reviews but honestly I haven't figured out how to use it yet because the water doesn't suck at all so I'm sure I've been doing extra work but will look into how to properly work the vacuum.

I'll try giving him 4 hours of white light tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Are 3 pellets 2x/day appropriate? I'm sure he would eat more but I'm worried about overfeeding since I already nursed him back to health after swim bladder disease which was a whole episode in and of itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's a pic of him in his tank as of 2 minutes ago. He likes to stay up by the top left which seems to maybe circulate air inward but he's swimming around and again seems generally happy... just looks in need of some help. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #15
And I'm looking at logs to purchase but of course there's always some terrible reviews like the paint is chipping off or there's jagged edges... maybe I'm just being paranoid but last thing I want to do is hurt Einstein...
 

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Just to make sure, I have asked a couple of other people about Einstein. I would feel so guilty if I steered you wrong.

I think your care is perfect. If you want to give Einstein treats, get him some frozen Bloodworms, Mini Bloodworms or Baby Brine Shrimp. And I would consider switching to NorthFin Betta Bits, New Life Spectrum or Omega One pellets. They have whole fish or whole fish meal as the first ingredients and fewer fillers. Three pellets 2 x per day is good.

And you can use silk plants if you prefer. If you want to try live, Anubias are pretty much bomb-proof and don't need a lot of light. You can let them float or attach to decor.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for asking around. I came home from work to find him on his side at the top of the tank and I freaked out. He swam to me (thank goodness) but his condition doesn't seem to be better; if anything I would say he's getting worse with the floating on the side thing. What else could it be? Should I isolate him in a salt bath? I wouldn't have a heater or filter at that point though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm thinking it could be swim bladder disease since I haven't fasted him because I wanted to see if he was still eating with his other conditions but maybe I"ll fast him just for dinner tonight.
 

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It's difficult to tell what's really going on with Einstein. The first photos appear as if it's a color change. However, the closeup tells a different story.

Have his head and the area in front of his dorsal always been raised or has that happened just since you started seeing the white?

What meds are you receiving on Saturday other than the Maracyn 2?

As Einstein may have a bacterial infection I've asked Veloran to comment. He is much more versed on the use of antibiotics than am I.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I’m not sure if it’s always been raised :/ I just ordered the Maracyn 2, what else do you believe I should order? Let me know soonest please since it takes a few days to receive. Thank you.
 
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