My betta's scales are turning black/white or are coming off

CoconutTheBetta

Hi!

Recently I have had the feeling that my fish is sick. Her fins are clamped and she's been napping. I know that sounds weird and I know that bettas sleep. It's just that I've been spending a lot more time in my bedroom and am just now seeing how she behaves during the whole day. She sleeps in a position where she’s next to the thermometer and her body is diagonal; her head near the surface and her body pointing towards the sand.

She’s not lethargic or refusing food though. It’s just that I’m having that motherly instinct where I know something is wrong. While I was doing her water change she became a tad bit obsessed with her reflection and erratically swam for around 10 seconds

I was finishing up with my water change and realized some scales were turning black. Others the same color as her head. I did some research and found this old thread that explained how some bettas have a marbling gene. That the gene causes bettas to turn black/white. Into other colors.

Is it the marbling gene? Is it the marbling gene plus a water quality issue? Some type of illness? I’m going to test her water.


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I think she finds it comfortable… everytime she starts to fall she swims back to the same spot
 

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CoconutTheBetta

My betta's fins are clamped.

Parts of her body are turning this back/grey color.

Erratically swims when she gets angry at her reflection.

She eats.

Is a bit lethargic.

Had stringy poo once 2 months ago; her poop is normal now.

I'm testing my water in a few minutes.

Any diagnosis ideas?
 
Upvote 0

grac3

any pictures? can you fill in this template so we can help you better?
 
Upvote 0

CoconutTheBetta

any pictures? can you fill in this template so we can help you better?
Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? - 5.5 Gallons
How long has the tank been running? - A year and 12 days
Does it have a filter? - Yes
Does it have a heater? - No (purchasing one asap)
What is the water temperature? - I actually have no idea... faulty thermometer
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) - One betta fish

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? - Once a week
How much of the water do you change? -50%
What do you use to treat your water?- API Stress coat
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? - Both, however, I have extremely fine sand so it's hard to vacuum the sand. I usually vacuum the top and then mix it up.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
What do you use to test the water?
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

(Be prepared for the worst; This is before the water change I just conducted)

Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: In between 0 and 0.25... a lot closer to 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: I'll test it now

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? - Used to be once every other day. This week I changed it to every day and one fast day. I've been consistent with it.
How much do you feed your fish? - 5-6 Pellets or a bit of Frozen Food
What brand of food do you feed your fish? - Top Fin Betta Bits and San Fransisco Frozen Varity pack
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? - Frozen and Peets

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? - Just hit a year two days ago
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? - I wanna say two weeks. They matured over time
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? - Clamped Fins, a lot more obsessed with reflection, started erratic swimming today (happened twice), side scales turning black/grey
Have you started any treatment for the illness? - I've done 2 water changes today
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? - No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? - Obsessed with refection a lot more. Scales turning a grey/black color


Hi.

Here's a little backstory. I fell into the trap at the fish store. I did not purchase a water test kit nor heater. My betta was doing fine until just a couple of weeks ago. I started to get worried around the beginning of this week so I went ahead and got my hands on a test kit. I tested my water and the results are shown above. I got mad and quickly changed my water again. This was the second time I changed my water today. I did another 50% water change. I also went in with my net and kind of just filtered out the sand to try to get any stuck algae or fish food or plant debris in there because I read online that when those things break down they turn into ammonia. I am currently waiting for the sand to set and then I am going to test my water again to see if anything went down. I know for a fact that my cycle has fallen apart. At one point it was 0ppm, 0 ppm, and then I forgot the number. But it fell apart so now I'm currently cycling again.

My betta fish has clamped fins. her body is turning a sort of grayish-black near her sides. she still eats, she still swims around but sometimes she does stay still. I think when she stays still she's just napping. I'm not a hundred percent sure I almost never see her nap but lately, I've just been spending a little bit more time in my room and I noticed that she does that. And I'm not sure if she has ammonia poisoning or nitrite poisoning. I'm not sure if she's gotten sick from this. I am purchasing a heater either tonight or tomorrow. I am contemplating between a Tetra heater and a Fluval heater. I am still finicky about whether or not I should go to 50 watts or 25-watt because I live in Florida and I'm scared that if I get a 50 watt from it will get way too hot and it’s going to create a fish boil.

she keeps going up for air. I want to say once every like 5 minutes or so and she is extremely obsessed with her reflection a lot more than usual. She's also kind of fighting herself to stay upright. Do you think this is happening because of the water parameters or because she's sick? I don't know, I'm kind of stressed out right now. I'm kind of mad at myself for falling into that fish.


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Upvote 0

IzabelB

This is likely just because of bad water parameters. Because you didn’t have a test kit her water has probably been bad for a while. That would explain the constant coming up for air; prolonged exposure to ammonia will damage their gills and suffocate them. However coming up for air every 5 mins seems like a normal amount.
You should do as many water changes as needed to get everything to 0, then you’ll need to do a fish in cycle.
As for meds, I’m not sure if those are necessary or which ones to use so I’ll let someone else help with that.
For now getting those numbers down should be top priority.
 
Upvote 0

CoconutTheBetta

This is likely just because of bad water parameters. Because you didn’t have a test kit her water has probably been bad for a while. That would explain the constant coming up for air; prolonged exposure to ammonia will damage their gills and suffocate them. However coming up for air every 5 mins seems like a normal amount.
You should do as many water changes as needed to get everything to 0, then you’ll need to do a fish in cycle.
As for meds, I’m not sure if those are necessary or which ones to use so I’ll let someone else help with that.
For now getting those numbers down should be top priority.
Okay thanks! The ammonia went down to 0. I'm testing for Nitrites now. Haha her fins opened up a little bit.
 
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grac3

adding on to what IzabelB said, an almond leaf or two would be good for her. and instead of feeding her 5-6 pellets at one go, give her 2-3 twice a day
 
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