Betta's Scales Are Turning Black

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Tal, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Tal

    TalNew MemberMember

    So my female Betta (from my local PetSmart where they actually *gasp* take care of their fish) has been doing fine, eating and swimming around. She's slowly recovering from fin rot, but I noticed today that the top of her body is almost completely black. It almost looks like her scales are falling off. She has a slight abrasions from getting caught in a bad net that seems to be healing fine, but the black patch has only grown. It was there before her abrasion. She's not showing any signs of lethargy or refusal to eat. I'm purchasing a water test kit, but my other Betta is having no problems in the same tank. Any ideas? I've only had her since March.
  2. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Is there anyway to get a picture?

    Is your tank cycled? You can take your water into PetSmart to be tested. Be sure they write down your results. (Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH.)

    Bettas are notorious for changing their colors, but yours sounds more serious. I think pictures would help tremendously.
  3. OP

    TalNew MemberMember

    I've always heard the 2.5 gals are hard to establish a nitrogen cycle in. I'm moving them to a five gal in a few weeks once the tank is fully cycled. I had to do a 100% water change when Equinox got hurt (that's the turning black Betta) and I'm worried that killed off all the bacteria even though I didn't dry out the rocks or anything. I also just added some new live plants so maybe that jacked up Ammonia/Nitrate levels? We keep our house at 76-78 degrees so I don't use a heater.

    Also when I looked at Aphelion (my white fish pictured below) I noticed that she has what looks like Ammonia burning...However, neither of them are showing signs of lethargy or really any symptoms of any sicknesses besides external coloring. I moved them both to hospital quarts just to be safe. I'm getting the water tested at PetSmart today.

    Here you can clearly see the black color difference on her back. The white is the abrasion where the scales are healing.
    Those are Ammonia burns on her gills, right?

    So yeah I'll get back with results as soon as I get them
  4. Abbs12

    Abbs12Valued MemberMember

    I have a blue Betta that has black like that around his face/head and goes onto the top of his back. It looks more smooth and not scaled.

    I can't help with Aphelion because it's a little hard to tell. But when you get the results make sure to ask for specific numbers. Make sure you pick up an API master test kit because you will be able to test ammonia, which you can't on test strips.

    Here is our blue Betta, Hei Hei.

  5. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I started with a 2.5 gallon tank and no it isn't hard to cycle at all. At least I didn't find it difficult.

    Also you have 2 fish in a 2.5 gallon? They should each have a 2.5 gallon, minimum. Are you keeping them together? Or are they in a divided tank? I would upgrade them to a 10 gallon , divided. Is the white one a female? Because a male and female should never share a tank. Ever. Not even in a divided tank. I would upgrade them to their own 5 gallon tanks if it was me. You are going to have nothing but problems with a male and female together in one tank.

    Ok so you need a heater. And a thermometer. Bettas need to be kept at 78-82. A house temp of 76-78 will not keep a tank at a high enough temp. They get sick super easy at lower temps. It compromises their immune system.

    Second unless you threw away the filter pad your cycle will be fine with a 100% water change. You shouldn't need to do one though. The best way to do it is by doing 2 back to back 50% water changes. That way you don't have to remove the fish at all.

    Looking at the blue fish, it looks like an injury to me. Not black scales. Maybe a picture with better lighting would help. It could be that his coloring is just changing. They do that.

    With the white fish. I don't see red gills. I see normal coloring. But again, it's difficult to tell with the lighting in the picture.

    I would do 50% water changes once daily for a few days. See if they start to look better. At this point, I think they look ok.
  6. OP

    TalNew MemberMember

    The black on the back of your betta is actually exactly what's happening with Equinox.

    Yeah, I didn't know that 2.5 was too small for them when I got it (still bought into all the myths :\) But I just purchased a ten gallon tank that I'm going to cycle as soon as I move. For now, frequent water changes and testing.

    I think I accidentally screwed up the equilibrium because the Ammonia and Nitrite levels were both in the warning zone. I got some ammonia neutralizer and some bacterial starters, both recommended by the tropical fish keeper at the store. I don't think the water quality was too bad a few days ago since they had both split their fins on a plant (since removed) and they healed within three days with no rot. It's just in the last few days that I've gotten worried.

    But yeah, they are both females. I definitely know better than to keep a male and female together. Equinox is a long-tailed female, she's got a very prominent ovapositer so it's definitely a she :). I socialized them very carefully so they don't have problems with each other. The last time I saw Equinox nip Aphelion was when the former got hurt and she was feeling grumpy.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice