Fish Had Light Spots On Head Then Black Spots On Fins And Now It’s Turning White Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by TomxEddie, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    Hi guys,

    Really new here, so sorry if this is an unnecessary thread, but I looked at past forums here and everywhere on the internet and couldn’t find anything similar.

    So my little sister’s fish has been sick...or so I think...for the past month or more. He fins started fraying (we treated with Melafix) and then it healed. Then it started fraying again and we treated again and it stopped. Then he started getting light-coloured dust/spots (maybe faintly goldish) on his head. He also began to sleep floating at the top of the tank instead of at the bottom, and was a little languid. I bought Kordon Rapid Cure for Ich and we treated him with that. A week later, the spots disappeared and he became more active. A week ago he started getting black spots/dots/specks on his top fin. This spread partly to the upper part of his tail fin. They’re very grainy and I think they flake off onto the bottom of the tank because they some black stuff there too. I’m sure it’s not his colouring. Yesterday part of the top fin started turning whitish and translucent. I’m afraid it’s going to fall off. This happened overnight, so I’m surprised and worried how fast that white patch grew. He’s very active now and won’t stay still for a picture. He even has a small bubble nest, but he still won’t sleep at the bottom of the tank. He seems to have the tiniest bit of problem swimming down to the bottom of the tank. We’ve been keeping him this past month in a 1 gallon quarantine tank with no décor. His temperature has been 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit. We have also been changing his water frequently and doing quarter water changes. We use fresh drinking water and a little aquarium salt. I tried my best with the pictures, but he’s an active fellow...thanks for any help and advice! Viele Grüße Tom
     

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  2. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    Filling this out will help us: Fish Emergency Template

    In the meantime, sounds like it had fin rot, then velvet, now I don't know what along with fin rot.
    Is that his tank? Looks like a vase or something. I don't see a filter or a heater or decor or anything. Please fill out the above template, then we'll talk more.

    Edit: sorry, I just noticed you said that's the QT. Still, I'd like you to fill out the above with his normal tank info as well as the QT info.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    Tank

    What is the water volume of the tank? 1 gallon
    How long has the tank been running? N/A
    Does it have a filter? No
    Does it have a heater? No
    What is the water temperature? Usually about 80F
    What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 Betta

    Maintenance
    How often do you change the water? Once a week (nearly full water change), every day (quarter water change)
    How much of the water do you change? See above
    What do you use to treat your water? 1/8 teaspoon API aquarium salt once a week
    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? No

    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Not since the past month as he is in quarantine
    What do you use to test the water? N/A
    What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”. N/A

    Ammonia: -
    Nitrite: -
    Nitrate: -
    pH: -

    I don’t have a testing kit. We always keep the water very clean and all the other bettas we have done very well for the past half year. I will get one if it’s very necessary (I need convincing as with my fish years ago, it was never the solution), but I doubt this is causing the disease/parasite.

    Feeding
    How often do you feed your fish? Twice a day
    How much do you feed your fish? 1/2 pellet (and occasional some pea)
    What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra
    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Occasionally a speck of defrosted frozen pea without shell

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish? Half an year
    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Over a month ago
    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Grainy spots which vary colour over time
    Have you started any treatment for the illness? Yes
    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Not much. It was slightly less active for a week, but now he’s back to normal if not more active than before
     
  4. ShimmeryLuna

    ShimmeryLunaValued MemberMember

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    Do you treat the water with something like Seachem Prime before it goes into the QT/ Main Tank? Drinking water has chlorine in it to make it safe for us to drink, but it's toxic for fish. Also, if the QT isn't cycled you could be making the situation worse by stressing your fish out.

    You should also fill out the template for your main tank, and also invest in a water testing kit asap. Even if the water is clean to the eye there could be something you're not seeing that's picked up in the tests.

    As for the fish himself..... I've never seen anything like it before, and it looks like he has some fin curling, which could be genetic or to do with water hardness. (You should look up the tap water hardness from your local well, it should be available online). I'm hoping a more experienced Betta owner will chime in and give some light to the situation.
     
  5. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    I never used to either in all my years of fish keeping, but it's quite likely how I've lost fish.
    Ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are invisible. Ammonia can be present regardless of how clean the tank is. That's why the tests are important.

    Is this the QT or the original tank?
    I'm assuming the temp is from a thermometer?

    Because you haven't tested your water, I'm not sure if the water quality is as good as you think it is. If you could get a kit, such as the API Master Freshwater kit, that'd be much appreciated. Fin rot is caused by a bacteria eating away at the fins and tail and usually occurs in bad water quality, but not always. It can't be ruled out without testing the tank. It's not meant to be a "solution" but an aid to assess the aquarium health.

    There's many different ways to go about treatment. One, salt baths in aquarium salt. Two, a medication. How you want to go about this is up to you. Since you already have aquarium salt, you can try stronger salt treatments.
     
  6. Msdp11009

    Msdp11009New MemberMember

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    Curling can be damage from fin rot that has healed.

    As for the dots, no idea.
     
  7. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    By the way, can you add photos of the black spots you think fell off him? Because my betta developed black spots on his fins as part of his coloring. But if you think they could be falling off...
     
  8. OP
    OP
    TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    After medication, the frayed fins started healing/curling. His top fin always had a quirk in it, that’s genetic. The answers I filled out above are for his QT bowl. I use a thermometer the measure his temperature. Unfortunately, we just cleaned the bowl today so there aren’t any spots yet. I will take a picture when I get the chance. I’m pretty sure it’s not the betta’s marking. He had black spotted markings but these look nothing like it. It’s kinda crusty. We use drinking water from a special advanced reverse osmosis system that is very thorough in removing trace amounts of chemicals, chlorine and minerals. In addition we let the water stand for 24hrs plus. Making sure his parameters are right might help “de-stress” him, but he’s not acting stressed or sick in any way and it won’t solve the problem. If his water wasn’t right, I would have expected problems a long time ago. I have/have had healthy fish that lived with the same water for many years and rarely/never got sick. Water test kits aren’t cheap and I don’t think they would make a drastic difference. I’m thinking if I get the water kit, nature will still take it’s course and he would either die or get well (likely not due to the testing) but I wouldever know what the weird illness was. I understand the whole thing about stressing the poor fish, but I really just want to know what he’s sick with (or if he’s not sick). I have never seen the like in my past ten years of betta fish care and I see nothing like it anywhere online.

    Edit: I have to go to work. I’ll check back later. Thank you all for your advice!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  9. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    How much are they where you live? We're talking aquarium test kits, right? I don't know why you say "drastic difference." They're not meant to make a "difference." They're supposed to help you so you know if you have ammonia, nitrites, and nitrites in your aquarium. You can get an ammonia spike and not be aware of it and then your fish gets sick and you don't know why. At least tests can rule out those three.
    Maybe this will help you understand. Even if you think you know the nitrogen cycle, maybe this will be a good refresher:


    Here's a video from a vet explaining ammonia:


    And here's a video that might help explain my point about water quality not being something visible or guaranteed:


    I'm not trying to push it on you, you don't have to if you don't want to. I never tested my water either in over 10 years of keeping fish, but I wonder now what losses could've been prevented with proper education. At the very least, now I know some of what's going on in my water. It might not have any bearing on what's going on right now with this fish, but in the future? You never know.

    Ah, okay, then the real concern are the black spots. Since he's in a QT tank already, you can try half a teaspoon of aquarium salt. When you water change, make sure not to add another half a teaspoon because the salt will only be removed when you wc, so you don't want to stockpile salt.
    I wonder, since you're already adding a tiny bit of salt, if that's why you're getting some of the black spots off?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  10. Katestanks02

    Katestanks02Valued MemberMember

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    I find the tetra 6 in 1 strips to be pretty accurate compared to liquid test. As for ammonia test I always find the liquid ones to be more accurate.
     
  11. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    Really? That's interesting. I have the test strips because honestly, if I have to play chemist every time I want to test all my tanks, I'm never going to do it. I think the strips are better than nothing. I'm probably going to get the kit just in case though. Sometimes I wonder about accuracy or have doubts and a second "opinion" would be nice.
     
  12. Katestanks02

    Katestanks02Valued MemberMember

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    Yeah I like them, I have multiple tanks so that makes it easier for me. I have the liquid kit and just out of my curiosity tested some of the strips with it. The tetra 6 in 1 had the closest or the same results as the API master kit, at least in my experience. As for the ammonia I noticed the tetra strips would read 0 but the ammonia was actually 0.25ppm. This happened in some of quarantine tanks which was not fun. I recently bought the salifert ammonia test because it’s much easier to distinguish the colors on it. The api one, for me, is hard to tell the difference between 0 and 0.25.
     
  13. JenC

    JenCWell Known MemberMember

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    Are you using a product to remineralize the RO water? If not, the water is likely lacking minerals fish need and prone to pH swings due to low KH.

    Also, the RO system could remove chlorine but I believe you may need to use a dechlorinator if the municipal tap water is treated with chloramine unless you have a cartridge or DI component to remove it.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    Our city tap water is already pre-filtered to safe levels for human consumption. In addition to that, we filter it two more times once for our garden and house tap and again for our drinking. My dad is very particular about having the highest quality of water as he has a keen sense of taste when it comes to water quality. After declorination and removal hard minerals etc., the water enters our purification system of 5+ steps. The water is filtered through six cartridges then,
    of course, we do use a product to add back minerals. The filters are capable of filtering down to the mircometre.

    A basic test kit costs the equivalent of about $25 and that doesn’t include tests for chlorine or water hardness (which would be an additional $12 dollars each) If I had an ammonia spike, I’d expect the fish to be acting stressed or sick by now (one month and multiple water changes and still no signs of an ammonia spike?). Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t changing the water everyday help cut an ammonia spike? He doesn’t/hasn’t had any symptoms of ammonia poisoning. I’ve had bettas for ten years. None of mine ever died before his time or ever got sick with anything a little bettafix couldn’t fix. As I said before, he isn’t acting sick or stressed. I just want to find out what the black spots and the patch of white was.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  15. JenC

    JenCWell Known MemberMember

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    Yes, changing water should help remove ammonia if there is any.

    Unfortunately, poor water quality is often the cause of issues like this so analyzing the water is always the first step when assessing ailing fish. It's evaluation by process of elimination. We want to ensure we're covering all bases. Some issues may require medication but people will be reluctant to suggest it without eliminating water quality as the root cause first.

    Your water might be fine. It's just tough to say without knowing the water parameters, remineralization details, etc.

    When in doubt, you should be able to have a sample tested for free at a fish store. They probably won't test everything but should at least screen for basic toxins like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and maybe test the pH level.

    Do use care with the salt as @CheshireKat mentioned. If you add it with every water change the salinity level can keep rising.
     
  16. OP
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    TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    I will see if I can go to my local pet store sometime this weekend. Thanks for the help! We use 1/8 teaspoon of salt for one gallon of water after a water change. We don't add any salt until the next full water change even though we're doing quarter water changes every day. This is probably really limiting the salt's ability, but knowing that bettas are freshwater fish made me wary of putting in too much salt. Anything more than 1/8 teaspoon looks like a lot of salt to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  17. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    I agree, and I understand your concern. However, medications can be just as stressful and harmful, too, and either way, you want the fish to get better. I suspect the salt might already be having an affect, but it's hard to know for sure at this point. You could up it to 1/4 for now if that makes you more comfortable, plus the betta can get used to the increase. Then monitor that for a few days. Since you're doing quarter water changes and not adding more salt, you're probably diluting the salt quite a bit. But if the salt might already be working, you might not need to do a full dosage of 1/2 a teaspoon, although that might be quicker and more effective than drawing the treatment out.
    I don't know, this is why I prefer salt baths because I can just toss the water out afterwards and the fish will go back in the tank--no thinking and math things involved! :emoji_sweat_smile:
     
  18. OP
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    TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    We’re upping the salt gradually and will monitor his condition. I’m also considering a salt bath, but I heard fish can “pass out” ??? It sounds scary. Maybe someone can share how they do salt baths and if they ever knew a fish that died from it. Thanks so much for all the help and support everyone! Tom
     
  19. CheshireKat

    CheshireKatWell Known MemberMember

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    I've never heard of fish "passing out" or dying from salt baths. Perhaps they did it wrong or something. I think salt might reduce oxygen levels, but I'm not positive.
    You just get a container, preferably at least a gallon for easy dosing, and dissolve the salt in it, put the fish in for no more than 15 minutes, put fish back in tank, dump out salt water. Usually do this 2-3 times a day.
    This way the fish gets a full salt dosage but not for a prolonged time.
     
  20. OP
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    TomxEddie

    TomxEddieNew MemberMember

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    Ok, sounds good. Thanks!
     








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