Small Red Dots And Tail Color Change On Betta

Kitkatt

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I have had my betta, femur, for a feel months now. He is a white, half-moon betta. Recently, I noticed His tank is 20 gallons with a heater at 80 and a HOB filter at low flow. All decorations are soft and not a hazard to his fins.
I do a 25% water change every week (50% if I miss a week due to school).
Last time I tested his tank levels

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(Sorry I hit send before I could finish)
Recently I noticed a section of his fin becoming a dark iridescent blue/black color. It has spread up his fin in a kinda patchy pattern. Is this color change or something else?
Today I also noticed on the edge of his fins some red lines/dots. The websites I’ve read say this is either fin rot or fin growth (helpful )

Last time I checked tank levels, everything was in the clear. I’ve attatched photos
(Ignore his stomach. He just ate and the pic is of him searching his tank for more food)

There is a slight algae problem from old food (I’m much more careful about that now) which I am treating with Alge RX and more water changes.

Also, is behavior is unchanged. He swims fine, eats well, and enjoys exploring.
 

DuaneV

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Did you get him as a baby? If so, that could be it. Ive had all white ones (like the one in my profile pic) that all of the sudden started coloring up, especially if theyre young.
 

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I'm not sure about his fins, looks like they may be gettin burned by ammonia possibly. How do u clean the filter/tank when u do? Do u have a test kit? Whats the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? He also looks like he has popeye in the picture....?
 

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My boy changed from white to dark blue, nearly black, after I got him. It's fairly normal for white bettas to change color like that as they grow up.

As far as algae, try keeping the light on for less time.
 

JamieLu

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Jellibeen said:
My boy changed from white to dark blue, nearly black, after I got him. It's fairly normal for white bettas to change color like that as they grow up.

As far as algae, try keeping the light on for less time.
U think the red ends at the fins is normal color change? I agree they change color but that looks a bit off to me, guess I could be wrong tho. Its eyes look a bit like popeye to me too. Maybe I'm seeing the pic wrong.
 

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I wouldn't be worried about the black, that looks perfectly normal to me (the marbling gene at work) but the red looks a little more concerning. Are there little bits of fin tissue missing where it's showing up or is that just the angle in the picture? If the edges of his fins are even it's probably just more marbling, but if it's uneven or ragged it could be a sign or fin rot. Is his tank cycled?

As JamieLu said, his eyes look a little enlarged. This could be pop eye, or it could be left over from an old infection. I had a betta with a bad case of pop eye who's eyes never quite went back to normal after treatment. He lived happily like that for 2 years after he healed up, but his eyesight did suffer a little.

Also, he actually looks a little thin to me. The ratio of stomach width to body width looks a bit off, so It might be the opposite if he's a little bloated. What, how much, and how often do you feed him?
 

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The dark colouration is perfectly normal and a colour change is common in bettas with the marble gene. The red is a little more unusual and looks like a symptom of fin rot. It's easily fixed with clean water. Optional additives such as Indian Almond leaves or Stressguard have therapeutic and antiseptic properties which helps speed up the healing process.

It does look like his eyes have popeye as they're a little too bulgy and it makes him looks like a telescope goldfish.

The most common cause of popeye is an internal bacterial infection and it's best treated with Kanaplex (kanamycin) because of how easily it's absorbed through the skin and gills. Daily epsom salt baths (1TBSP/Gallon in a separate container for 10-15 minutes) can be done to relieve fluid retention from behind his eye to help them shrink down to their normal size.
 

Jellibeen

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JamieLu said:
U think the red ends at the fins is normal color change? I agree they change color but that looks a bit off to me, guess I could be wrong tho. Its eyes look a bit like popeye to me too. Maybe I'm seeing the pic wrong.
My bad, I wasn’t clear. I think the black coloring is normal. The red looks like fin rot.
 
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Kitkatt

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Briggs said:
I wouldn't be worried about the black, that looks perfectly normal to me (the marbling gene at work) but the red looks a little more concerning. Are there little bits of fin tissue missing where it's showing up or is that just the angle in the picture? If the edges of his fins are even it's probably just more marbling, but if it's uneven or ragged it could be a sign or fin rot. Is his tank cycled?

As JamieLu said, his eyes look a little enlarged. This could be pop eye, or it could be left over from an old infection. I had a betta with a bad case of pop eye who's eyes never quite went back to normal after treatment. He lived happily like that for 2 years after he healed up, but his eyesight did suffer a little.

Also, he actually looks a little thin to me. The ratio of stomach width to body width looks a bit off, so It might be the opposite if he's a little bloated. What, how much, and how often do you feed him?
I feed him daily, though there are a handful of days during the week when I’m not home. When I get back I feed him right away (frozen bloodworms. Usually 3-ish to 5) I tested his water again and the ammonia spiked to 0.2 so I’m increasing water changes and ordering some plants for the tank.
How do I treat Popeye? I didn’t know that was a thing and his eyes have been like that since I got him (a rescue from my younger sister who did not take care of him)
I saw Epsom salts mentioned online. Is that like aquarium salt or the stuff you get at Walgreens?
 
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Kitkatt

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Repolie said:
The dark colouration is perfectly normal and a colour change is common in bettas with the marble gene. The red is a little more unusual and looks like a symptom of fin rot. It's easily fixed with clean water. Optional additives such as Indian Almond leaves or Stressguard have therapeutic and antiseptic properties which helps speed up the healing process.

It does look like his eyes have popeye as they're a little too bulgy and it makes him looks like a telescope goldfish.

The most common cause of popeye is an internal bacterial infection and it's best treated with Kanaplex (kanamycin) because of how easily it's absorbed through the skin and gills. Daily epsom salt baths (1TBSP/Gallon in a separate container for 10-15 minutes) can be done to relieve fluid retention from behind his eye to help them shrink down to their normal size.
Is this the same kind of epsom salt that’s found at Walgreens? Or will aquarium salt work?
 
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Kitkatt

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Repolie said:
The dark colouration is perfectly normal and a colour change is common in bettas with the marble gene. The red is a little more unusual and looks like a symptom of fin rot. It's easily fixed with clean water. Optional additives such as Indian Almond leaves or Stressguard have therapeutic and antiseptic properties which helps speed up the healing process.

It does look like his eyes have popeye as they're a little too bulgy and it makes him looks like a telescope goldfish.

The most common cause of popeye is an internal bacterial infection and it's best treated with Kanaplex (kanamycin) because of how easily it's absorbed through the skin and gills. Daily epsom salt baths (1TBSP/Gallon in a separate container for 10-15 minutes) can be done to relieve fluid retention from behind his eye to help them shrink down to their normal size.
I’m nervous about switching him from tank to tank so frequently. I’m very paranoid about tank shock or stressing him out.
 
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Kitkatt

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JamieLu said:
I'm not sure about his fins, looks like they may be gettin burned by ammonia possibly. How do u clean the filter/tank when u do? Do u have a test kit? Whats the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? He also looks like he has popeye in the picture....?
I switch out one of the three parts of the bio filter monthly and clean the tank (~25%)/vacuum the gravel weekly. I do have a test kit. Last time I tested everything was fine. I tested it today and nitrates/trites were still at zero but pH went to 8.2 and ammonia to 0.2
I have ordered some almond leaves and other plants and am increasing the frequency of water changes till things stabilize
 

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Kitkatt said:
Is this the same kind of epsom salt that’s found at Walgreens? Or will aquarium salt work?
Its different then aquarium salt. Yes, the one from walgreens as long as it isn't scented or have anythin else it it. Hes a very pretty betta by the way!
 
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Kitkatt

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JamieLu said:
Its different then aquarium salt. Yes, the one from walgreens as long as it isn't scented or have anythin else it it. Hes a very pretty betta by the way!
Thank you! He’s my handsome boy and I love him.
You mentioned putting him is the epsom mixture for a few minutes a day. I’m worried about tank shock and stress from moving him so much
What preventative measures can I take? How long do you think he will need to be treated?
 

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I suggest doing daily or near daily water changes while he heals. The best treatment for fin rot is clean water. To reduce stress from moving him around, I suggest using tank water for the salt treatment. Remove 25% of the water. Add salt to this water. Put fish in salt bath, add clean water to tank. This way the pH and temperature of the bath will be exactly the same as his tank water.
 

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Kitkatt said:
I feed him daily, though there are a handful of days during the week when I’m not home. When I get back I feed him right away (frozen bloodworms. Usually 3-ish to 5) I tested his water again and the ammonia spiked to 0.2 so I’m increasing water changes and ordering some plants for the tank.
How do I treat Popeye? I didn’t know that was a thing and his eyes have been like that since I got him (a rescue from my younger sister who did not take care of him)
I saw Epsom salts mentioned online. Is that like aquarium salt or the stuff you get at Walgreens?
Does he only eat bloodworms? Are they frozen or freeze dried? You might look into getting a pellet food for him to round out his diet if you don't have any. Omega One and New Life Spectrum are good brands that are pretty easy to find. A good rule for bettas is anything dry should be soaked in tank water for a few minutes before feeding. Dried foods can expand in their stomach and can cause bloating and constipation.

Epson salt is magnesium sulfate and aquarium salt is sodium chloride (basically table salt without the iodine). They actually do very different things. You can use Epsom salt baths to help with swelling and bloat but those are just symptoms. Both popeye and fin rot are caused by opportunistic bacterial infections brought on by poor water conditions, which sounds like he might have gone through before you adopted him. Sodium chloride can be useful for fighting bacterial infections, but it can cause water retention (just like with people!) which could make the swelling and bloating worse. You could use Epsom baths to fight that back off, but I've never personally tried that and the combo sounds a little stressful.

If the infections get bad enough he might need antibiotics. Those can be pretty hard on a fish's system though, so for now I'd stick with upping his water changes by as much as you can and trying to get his nitrogen cycle going. With clean water he might be able to fight it off on his own. If that doesn't help, we can help you find a medication to give him.

I'd also stop trying to battle the algae for now. Adding the extra chemicals to the tank probably isn't going to help him, and algae can be a pretty good ally in controlling ammonia. It might not be pretty, but until his filter is fully cycled I'd leave it alone.
 
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Kitkatt

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Update:
I added an almond leaf and two of those moss balls to Femur’s tank. He is getting daily water changes now.
Last test still showed an ammonia level of 0.2
The redness on his fins seems to at least be on pause, as I can’t find any new spots and the existing ones have not changed
I’ll be getting some Epsom salt soon

I also added a sponge to his filter. It is a low flow filter and hasn’t stressed him out before but I want to make sure his environment is as relaxing as possible while he recovers
 
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Briggs said:
Does he only eat bloodworms? Are they frozen or freeze dried? You might look into getting a pellet food for him to round out his diet if you don't have any. Omega One and New Life Spectrum are good brands that are pretty easy to find. A good rule for bettas is anything dry should be soaked in tank water for a few minutes before feeding. Dried foods can expand in their stomach and can cause bloating and constipation.

Epson salt is magnesium sulfate and aquarium salt is sodium chloride (basically table salt without the iodine). They actually do very different things. You can use Epsom salt baths to help with swelling and bloat but those are just symptoms. Both popeye and fin rot are caused by opportunistic bacterial infections brought on by poor water conditions, which sounds like he might have gone through before you adopted him. Sodium chloride can be useful for fighting bacterial infections, but it can cause water retention (just like with people!) which could make the swelling and bloating worse. You could use Epsom baths to fight that back off, but I've never personally tried that and the combo sounds a little stressful.

If the infections get bad enough he might need antibiotics. Those can be pretty hard on a fish's system though, so for now I'd stick with upping his water changes by as much as you can and trying to get his nitrogen cycle going. With clean water he might be able to fight it off on his own. If that doesn't help, we can help you find a medication to give him.

I'd also stop trying to battle the algae for now. Adding the extra chemicals to the tank probably isn't going to help him, and algae can be a pretty good ally in controlling ammonia. It might not be pretty, but until his filter is fully cycled I'd leave it alone.
I feed him frozen bloodworms which I thaw a bit before giving to him. I'm nervous about giving him pellets. I think the popeye may have impaired his vision a bit, as he does not react to my fingers very much (though he does swim to the front of his tank when I open and close my door. He might be able to feel the vibrations from that, though). While reading up on popeye, someone mentioned that feeding pellets to fish with vision impairment is very difficult. He does have a "food leaf" (one of those leaf hammocks. He doesn't use it for rest, but he has learned that he can find food there) and he knows the tweezers I use to feed him. Are there other non-pellet options that I could use to round out his diet? How should I rotate that with his bloodworms (or should I mix them?)
 

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Kitkatt said:
I feed him frozen bloodworms which I thaw a bit before giving to him. I'm nervous about giving him pellets. I think the popeye may have impaired his vision a bit, as he does not react to my fingers very much (though he does swim to the front of his tank when I open and close my door. He might be able to feel the vibrations from that, though). While reading up on popeye, someone mentioned that feeding pellets to fish with vision impairment is very difficult. He does have a "food leaf" (one of those leaf hammocks. He doesn't use it for rest, but he has learned that he can find food there) and he knows the tweezers I use to feed him. Are there other non-pellet options that I could use to round out his diet? How should I rotate that with his bloodworms (or should I mix them?)
Rotating prepared foods and natural foods (like bloodworms) throughout the week will give him the best well rounded nutrition and help make him stronger. I cycle though frozen and prepared foods, offering frozen brine shimp, daphnia, or bloodworms every other other day, and one of several kinds of pellet foods on the others. The other main options for prepared foods are flake, which I personally don't like because they're messy, and gel food like repashy that you prepare like jello. I keep meaning to get some repashy grub pie to see if my bettas would enjoy it, but I haven't had the chance yet.

If he's struggling to see I'd probably start with NLS's betta pellets, since once you soak them they tend to be much bigger than most other brands and it'll be easier to see. That being said, my sight impaired betta seemed to do best with food that would slowly sink in the water. I suspect he could see the movement better than a stationary pellet. He got a lot of Omega One betta buffet because it's the one that sank. They're smaller, though, so your mileage may vary. My guys also get Fuval betta bug bites and hikarI vibra bites.

If he already associates the tweezers with food, feed him one pellet at a time with the tweezers after soaking them for a few minutes. If he's still having trouble finding it, you can use his other senses to help by soaking the pellet in garlic juice (or sea chem's garlic guard if you don't want to make your own). It'll make it 'smell' stronger in the water, helps the flavor, and had mild antibiotic and antI fungal properties to boot.
 
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So it’s been a few days.
I’ve been doing water changes (25%) and tests daily. I got Femur an almond leaf (he loves it) and some moss balls.
At last testing the ph was at 8, nitrates and nitrites were both at zero
But the ammonia was still at 0.2 ppm
And it looks like his finrot is getting worse.

I have some Kanaplex. Should I use that? I’ve never used an actual medication in a tank before. How would I dose it? He is in a 20gal tank
 

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