Help With This Year Old Betta!!!

Triston Wasmund

Well Known Member
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1 year
Hey guys. I’m an experienced fish keeper btw so no tips on that stuff needed. So I just received a year and a half or so old betta from a friends little sister that neglected it. Loved its life in a disgusting 1 gallon tank with no filter, water changes, decor, etc. and there was so much goldfish flake food everywhere in the tank it was horrible, even the water was colored!!! I have him in a 3 gallon, filtered, and with plants right now to live out the rest of his life. I will show pictures, and I need y’all to point out anything that looks wrong with him, diseases, injuries, etc.Only thing I see out of the ordinary, I think, is this layer of dark stuff beneath his gills so any help on this guy would be greatly appreciated!!!

Here’s a picture of the black layer beneath his gills that comes in and out every time he breathes


Valued Member
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5 years
Awe...such a pretty fish. I can't believe it lived so long in those conditions. I tried Bettas in planted, filtered, heated small tanks and could never get them to live very long... 6 months at most. IDK if the dark coloring under the gills could be ammonia burn. Never experienced that problem.

dwarfpufferlover said:
Curious about the black gills....but I’m almost positive it’s just his color. New to laybrinth fish.
Ah...yes. It could just be the gill color. I had a pink Betta that had dark red gills. Was gorgeous when he "flared".

bitseriously said:
I would think the t55 would be a bit bulky behind a mere 16 gal tank. In that regard, the ac50 might be better. But the t55 has a way broader range of flow adjustability, and u can dial the flow almost to zero, which ac can’t match.
Another big diff between the two is that the tidal stems to push outflow across the water surface as compared to the ac’s which cascade it down a bit more.
Personally, for a 16 gal, I’d go with a cheap tetra whisper or similar (with customized media) and a sponge filter.
My last 16 gallon tank was a Nuvo Marine which had what I consider to be a huge amount of filter media in the built in filtration system. It kept the water exceptionally clean will minimal fuss. I guess I just got used to that. That tank sprang a pretty big leak on the bottom after less than 2 years of use. I took the tank down and packed it away because I no longer trusted it and I didn't trust my ability to reseal it. The silicone seemed to be deteriorating in many spots.

I ordered the Tidal 55 from Amazon for $39. The size of it is making me hesitant to put it on the tank. What I am looking for, I think, is more filter media because mine is getting dirty so quickly. One of my other tanks is a Fluval Spec 5 which has a huge amount of media for it's size. It's what I'm used to. I run AC 20's on 5 gallon tanks so the 30 doesn't seem to do much more to me. I don't understand where all the muck is coming from unless it was due to a Ludwigia and some jungle Val melting in the tank and I also had a breakout of brown diatoms. The stocking at the present time is 3 dwarf Cory cats and 3 red tail blue variatus plus 6 small nerite snails to help with the diatoms which are now almost non existent.

I agree with you about the Tidal being too clunky for a 16 gallon but really want more filtration. Any more thoughts? This tank will be pretty heavily planted if I can get the plants to take off for me. They grew awesomely in that old 16...

david1978 said:
an aquaclear 30 should be plenty for a 16 gallon tank. If its sucking up that much stuff that it needs cleaned twice a week its doing its job. Im just curious were all the stuff is coming from. To me the aquaclears are time proven were the tidals are still the new kid on the block. Time will tell about their durability. As far as the aquaclears not self priming, i had to have my tank over 3 inches low before it would no longer self start. And yes i tried it with my 110, 50 and 30.

I really have never had an issue with the AquaClears not being self priming, but that feature would be a good one to have. As I stated in another post, I'm concerned with the size of the Tidal on my 16 gallon so I haven't even tried it out. (I already bought one from Amazon for $39).

As for the excess muck I am also at a loss as to where it's coming from. Read my post above for possible causes.


Well Known Member
Reaction score
More than 10 years
I think that dark behind his gills is just his beard. When they get excited/flare, that emerges and gives him a fierce look. Although with his pretty pastel colors, he's not very scary. He actually looks in decent shape considering how bad he's had it. It was good of you to take him on.
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