What is wrong with this Betta fish?

Lucas35

Member
I am going to get my first Betta fish soon. I know someone who keeps a Betta in a 5 gallon tank but it has no filter or heater. He said I could have it. I can get it as soon as I want but I need to get a tank cycled first. I have a picture and I can tell that it has some kind of disease. It looks like graphite disease but that only affects blue Bettas and is deadly within 24-48 hours. Maybe it is very bad fin rot? What is it? Should I take him now or leave him until I have a cycled tank? I can only keep him in a non-cycled tank right now until a tank is finished cycling. Should I do that so I can treat him or let my friend keep him until the tank is ready?

Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 5 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? No
What is the water temperature?
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) just the Betta

Maintenance

How often do you change the water? Every few MONTHS.
How much of the water do you change?
What do you use to treat your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No
What do you use to test the water?
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding

How often do you feed your fish?
How much do you feed your fish?
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish?
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Lots of fins gone, what's left of the back fins it totally black.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?IMG_6146.JPG
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
I am going to get my first Betta fish soon. I know someone who keeps a Betta in a 5 gallon tank but it has no filter or heater. He said I could have it. I can get it as soon as I want but I need to get a tank cycled first. I have a picture and I can tell that it has some kind of disease. It looks like graphite disease but that only affects blue Bettas and is deadly within 24-48 hours. Maybe it is very bad fin rot? What is it? Should I take him now or leave him until I have a cycled tank? I can only keep him in a non-cycled tank right now until a tank is finished cycling. Should I do that so I can treat him or let my friend keep him until the tank is ready?

Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 5 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? No
What is the water temperature?
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) just the Betta

Maintenance

How often do you change the water? Every few MONTHS.
How much of the water do you change?
What do you use to treat your water?
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No
What do you use to test the water?
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding

How often do you feed your fish?
How much do you feed your fish?
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish?
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Lots of fins gone, what's left of the back fins it totally black.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?IMG_6146.JPG
I’m not sure what you mean by graphite disease but after reading a few threads I don’t think it only effects blue bettas. Color doesn’t matter.

He looks like he has mild fin rot. He should improve and heal once he’s in clean water. You may want to consider picking him up right away and doing a fish in cycle. I don’t know how much longer he’ll last.
 
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Lucas35

Member
Okay thanks. Do you think it could still grow back?
 

NBettas83

Member
Did you mean Velvet? A lot of Bettas just have a coppery/dusty look on them, the gauge for Velvet would be activity and eating in this situation. And like jkkgron2 said, he may have fin rot, or he might be a crowntail (hard to tell from the picture).
 
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Lucas35

Member
I dont think he has that I was just saying it looked similar.
 

lucky123

Member
I think as soon as you get your tank set set up, you should get him. He’s better off with you helping him then waiting. If you have another tank, use the filter media from that. If not, some local fish stores will give you some media from their tanks (just make sure the tanks are disease free). Or you could get an angelsplus active sponge filter to help get it cycled fast or some tetra safe start (I’ve never had luck with bottled bacteria but some people have).

To start helping with his tail, add aquarium salt and/or Indian almond leaves until you can be sure exactly what diseases he has. Someone who’s good with treating finrot should jump in but medication may be needed.
 

Cinnabar

Member
Lucas35 said:
I dont think he has that I was just saying it looked similar.
I’ve never heard of graphite disease, but your fish looks perfectly normal to me... if maybe a bit fat. The post you showed is referring to what’s called diamond eye, where the scales grow over the fish’s eye due to excessive pigmentation, and it only happens in dragonscale bettas. Your fish is just a normal coppery one though, so no worries about that.

about the fins... does it look like it has prolonged fin rot, or could it be a crowntail? Either way, make sure to keep the water super clean, it can only help.
 

Fisch

Member
I admire you to take on a rescue for your first fish. I wish you the best of luck. Just agree with the other members, if you want him take him now instead of waiting. He will only get worse, and with some TLC he may make a full comeback. Just be prepated for the heartache in case he will not be able to make it.
 
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Lucas35

Member
WhatsUpGuys said:
I’ve never heard of graphite disease, but your fish looks perfectly normal to me... if maybe a bit fat. The post you showed is referring to what’s called diamond eye, where the scales grow over the fish’s eye due to excessive pigmentation, and it only happens in dragonscale bettas. Your fish is just a normal coppery one though, so no worries about that.

about the fins... does it look like it has prolonged fin rot, or could it be a crowntail? Either way, make sure to keep the water super clean, it can only help.
Push the read more button then scroll further down the website. What looks odd is how he has almost no caudal fin and what is left of it is totally black.
 

Cinnabar

Member
Lucas35 said:
Push the read more button then scroll further down the website. What looks odd is how he has almost no caudal fin and what is left of it is totally black.
Oh I see! Sorry about that, I thought his casual was folded around and looked weird because of lighting. Yeah, totally agree with other members. You should take him as soon as possible and transfer to a clean environment. Do you have meds on hand? Antibiotics and antifungals? I can say with certainty that this is fin rot that has been left untreated for a very long time and has started to infect the body. If you’re comfortable with medicating, you’re going have to start soon.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
I dont think he has that I was just saying it looked similar.
As others have said, that looks like a dragon scale. Most dragon scales tend to be blue but I’ve seen some that aren’t.

I would follow WhatsUpGuys advice. :)
 
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Lucas35

Member
I know he doesn't have that but I was saying it looks similar.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
I know he doesn't have that but I was saying it looks similar.
Either way he doesn’t have it. I’ll have to do some digging on it but I’ve never seen it mentioned on here so atleast it’s not common. Could you try to get a better pic?
 
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Lucas35

Member
Better pic of the fish? I will get it today and take a better picture. My friend sent that picture I have not actually seen it in person.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
Better pic of the fish? I will get it today and take a better picture. My friend sent that picture I have not actually seen it in person.
Yeah, in the pic it was tricky to tell where his fin actually ended or if it just curved. Glad you’re getting him today! Hopefully he’ll be feeling better soon :)
 
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Lucas35

Member
Sadly plans changed and now I can't get him until Tuesday.:( I asked if the fins are just folded and he said yes. But then what is causing them and the body to be black? And I didn't know Betta fins could bend like that. Can someone explain?
 

julifhy

Member
I agree with all the advice giving above :)
I’m glad the betta is going to good hands!
By “graphite disease” I’m guessing you mean columnaris? It can affect every betta, but I don’t think that’s what your betta has. It looks like he might have severe fin rot from the picture. He also looks bloated.

Lucas35 said:
Sadly plans changed and now I can't get him until Tuesday.:( I asked if the fins are just folded and he said yes. But then what is causing them and the body to be black? And I didn't know Betta fins could bend like that. Can someone explain?
It’s tricky to tell from the picture. He’s either swimming and his fins are just bent or that’s just how bad the fin rot is. Could you possibly ask your friend for another picture?
 
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Lucas35

Member
I already asked for more pictures and he can't get any right now.
 

BettaFishObsessed

Member
Why can’t you get him until tuesday? I would cycle your tank ASAP, whether by seeding it, using API Quick Start or something similar, or anything else. And get him soon, he has fin rot I think. I would recommend using aquarium salt for fin rot, and make sure you watch him to see what diseases he has when you eventually get him.
 
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Lucas35

Member
My friend lives in a different town and he won't be coming here until then now. I've already started cycling the tank. How bad do you think his fin rot is? His tail fin is folded over but what I can see of it and the part of his body near the tail fin are black. That means that that flesh is starting to die. I have only seen that picture of him. I haven't seen him in person so I don't know how much longer his fins actually are. That would be major fin rot-body rot right? I will try to get some aquarium salt. I already have seachem brackish salt but that is meant to "create the ideal eviorment for live bearers and brackish fish" so that wouldn't work right?
 

BettaFishObsessed

Member
Lucas35 said:
My friend lives in a different town and he won't be coming here until then now. I've already started cycling the tank. How bad do you think his fin rot is? His tail fin is folded over but what I can see of it and the part of his body near the tail fin are black. That means that that flesh is starting to die. I have only seen that picture of him. I haven't seen him in person so I don't know how much longer his fins actually are. That would be major fin rot-body rot right? I will try to get some aquarium salt. I already have seachem brackish salt but that is meant to "create the ideal eviorment for live bearers and brackish fish" so that wouldn't work right?
im not quite sure from the photo but I think it would be major fin rot/body rot. I don’t know, maybe it would work? I have never used it. Even if his fin rot isnt that bad, you should be prepared as if it is going to kill him in a day so he can get better quickly
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
My friend lives in a different town and he won't be coming here until then now. I've already started cycling the tank. How bad do you think his fin rot is? His tail fin is folded over but what I can see of it and the part of his body near the tail fin are black. That means that that flesh is starting to die. I have only seen that picture of him. I haven't seen him in person so I don't know how much longer his fins actually are. That would be major fin rot-body rot right? I will try to get some aquarium salt. I already have seachem brackish salt but that is meant to "create the ideal eviorment for live bearers and brackish fish" so that wouldn't work right?
I don’t know how effective that salt will be. You might want to pick up some Indian almond leaves so you can get some tannins in there.
 
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Lucas35

Member
Okay I will get some Indian almond leaves.
 
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Lucas35

Member
I texted my friend and he said that it has always been black like that. It is also folded over so maybe it's fine? I've never seen one with that colouring before though. He also said it is normal fin length for a Betta fish (he also keeps a blue and red betta fish that also looks to have pretty bad fin rot and he never noticed until I told him though so that doesn't mean much). Is it possible for a Betta to have a copper body, red dorsal, anal and pelvic fins but have a black caudal fin?
 
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Lucas35

Member
I have the Betta now and he is acting strange. He just hovers in one place and only moves if he sees me. He also doesn't flare at his reflection. He looks at it but doesn't flare. When he comes up for air most of it comes back out his mouth then when he goes down more air comes out his gills. I tried to feed him and that didn't really work either. I have two kinds of Betta food, the kind he had before and a new kind. I soaked one of the new pellets for 5 minutes and gave it to him. He wasn't that interested in it at first but eventually he took it and tried to chew it but spit it back out again. He did that again but after he spit it out again it fell to the bottom and he ignored it. I tried to feed him one of the pellets he used to eat and he tried to eat it sooner than the new ones but since I had soaked it it was to big to fit in his mouth. I split the pellet in half and gave it to him but it sank and he ignored it. Next I tried a bloodworm and he tried to eat that but it was to long so I tried a smaller bloodworm and he ignored it. Also, what colour is he? It looks silver but with other colours to. Here is a picture of him during acclimation (ignore the thermometer temperature sensor).IMG_6230.JPG
 

BettaFishObsessed

Member
Lucas35 said:
I have the Betta now and he is acting strange. He just hovers in one place and only moves if he sees me. He also doesn't flare at his reflection. He looks at it but doesn't flare. When he comes up for air most of it comes back out his mouth then when he goes down more air comes out his gills. I tried to feed him and that didn't really work either. I have two kinds of Betta food, the kind he had before and a new kind. I soaked one of the new pellets for 5 minutes and gave it to him. He wasn't that interested in it at first but eventually he took it and tried to chew it but spit it back out again. He did that again but after he spit it out again it fell to the bottom and he ignored it. I tried to feed him one of the pellets he used to eat and he tried to eat it sooner than the new ones but since I had soaked it it was to big to fit in his mouth. I split the pellet in half and gave it to him but it sank and he ignored it. Next I tried a bloodworm and he tried to eat that but it was to long so I tried a smaller bloodworm and he ignored it. Also, what colour is he? It looks silver but with other colours to. Here is a picture of him during acclimation (ignore the thermometer temperature sensor).IMG_6230.JPG
That is a Dragonscale betta, that is severly discolored and pale. Also either he is a crowntail or has fin rot, I’m calling fin rot. Also look at his eyes. Do they look normal or a little deformed? With dragonscales their scales can grow into their eyes sometimes, so he could be blind. It makes sense he doesn’t flare, seeing as he is sick and logically wouldn’t want to fight. I would also recommend Northfin betta pellets, some of the best quality for him. He sounds like he is just struggling to breathe. The tank you put him in is cycled right? Does he have plenty of hides? I would recommend getting a betta hammock so he can have a place to rest. His gills look inflamed. Does he have parasites? Any white spots?Scratching on stuff? Gold dust? Is he bloated?
 

jkkgron2

Member
That doesn’t look like he has extreme fin rot. I think he is a crown tail but also developed fin rot. I recommend feeding him Omega betta pellets, theyre a good betta food That’s used by many members. It almost sounds like something is stuck in his throat that’s stopping the food from going down. You could try fluval bug bites, those things are tiny and he might be more interested.
The eye I can see in the picture looks normal but his scales could be affecting his other eye.

Does he have any floating decor for him to rest in? A betta log would be a good thing for him to have so he can rest right at the surface. Mine never really used his leaf but yours might like it.
 

Light

Member
Did you try the salt bath? It looked like his fins are clamped...
How old is this betta?
 
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Lucas35

Member
BettaFishObsessed said:
That is a Dragonscale betta, that is severly discolored and pale. Also either he is a crowntail or has fin rot, I’m calling fin rot. Also look at his eyes. Do they look normal or a little deformed? With dragonscales their scales can grow into their eyes sometimes, so he could be blind. It makes sense he doesn’t flare, seeing as he is sick and logically wouldn’t want to fight. I would also recommend Northfin betta pellets, some of the best quality for him. He sounds like he is just struggling to breathe. The tank you put him in is cycled right? Does he have plenty of hides? I would recommend getting a betta hammock so he can have a place to rest. His gills look inflamed. Does he have parasites? Any white spots?Scratching on stuff? Gold dust? Is he bloated?
To me it looks like a crown tail with fin rot. The rays are way to uniform for fin rot but some of them look broken and discoloured at the tips. His eyes look normal and they seem to work because while I was acclimating him he stared at me the whole time and if I moved his eyes did to. Okay. Sadly, no. He is going to go in a cycled 10 gal but currently 3 fancy guppies (as well as shrimp and snails) live in it and I doubt he will get along with them. The fancy guppies (and shrimp and snails) will all be moved to a 35 gallon tank once it is cycled. Currently the Betta is in a 2 litre bucket that is floating in the 35 gallon to keep it warm (currently at 76.6 but I've turned the heater up). I will change the water daily. He does have places to hide but he still just floats at the top under some floating plants. He is capable of swimming because if I come up to him to fast he swims to the bottom of the bucket no problem. Okay. The only symptom of parasites is bloating but I thought he was just fat.

jkkgron2 said:
That doesn’t look like he has extreme fin rot. I think he is a crown tail but also developed fin rot. I recommend feeding him Omega betta pellets, theyre a good betta food That’s used by many members. It almost sounds like something is stuck in his throat that’s stopping the food from going down. You could try fluval bug bites, those things are tiny and he might be more interested.
The eye I can see in the picture looks normal but his scales could be affecting his other eye.

Does he have any floating decor for him to rest in? A betta log would be a good thing for him to have so he can rest right at the surface. Mine never really used his leaf but yours might like it.
Okay I will get those. Until I can get some should I try feeding him a pellet without soaking it? He was interested in them both but they where to big after being soaked. Both eyes look normal. No not yet but I will get some. Currently he likes to just float under some floating plants.

Light said:
Did you try the salt bath? It looked like his fins are clamped...
How old is this betta?
No I have not tried a salt bath. His fins where clamped from being in a bag for acclimation and they went back to normal once he was in his temporary bucket. I don't know how old he is.
 

Light

Member
Ok good to hear that he recovered. Just flare him after feeding so it exercise in expanding his fins.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
To me it looks like a crown tail with fin rot. The rays are way to uniform for fin rot but some of them look broken and discoloured at the tips. His eyes look normal and they seem to work because while I was acclimating him he stared at me the whole time and if I moved his eyes did to. Okay. Sadly, no. He is going to go in a cycled 10 gal but currently 3 fancy guppies (as well as shrimp and snails) live in it and I doubt he will get along with them. The fancy guppies (and shrimp and snails) will all be moved to a 35 gallon tank once it is cycled. Currently the Betta is in a 2 litre bucket that is floating in the 35 gallon to keep it warm (currently at 76.6 but I've turned the heater up). I will change the water daily. He does have places to hide but he still just floats at the top under some floating plants. He is capable of swimming because if I come up to him to fast he swims to the bottom of the bucket no problem. Okay. The only symptom of parasites is bloating but I thought he was just fat.



Okay I will get those. Until I can get some should I try feeding him a pellet without soaking it? He was interested in them both but they where to big after being soaked. Both eyes look normal. No not yet but I will get some. Currently he likes to just float under some floating plants.



No I have not tried a salt bath. His fins where clamped from being in a bag for acclimation and they went back to normal once he was in his temporary bucket. I don't know how old he is.
I think you could get away with one or two unsoaked pellets. Just make sure not to overfeed.
Light said:
Ok good to hear that he recovered. Just flare him after feeding so it exercise in expanding his fins.
right now this isn’t a good idea. In the future he may like it but while he’s still recovering it may just cause stress.
 
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Lucas35

Member
I tried to feed him 2 unsoaked pellets of the kind he used to eat and for some reason he didn't eat them. He tried but he just spit them out. Next I tried to feed him crushed up pellets and he ate some of pieces but the ones 1 mm or bigger just got spit out. Also, is it normal for them to not chew pellets? When he spits them out they are still in one piece. They also seem to get stuck. He tries to spit them out and he moves his head up and opens his mouth like he is coughing. It usually takes a while for him to spit them out. Does anyone have suggestions for Betta fish flake food? I tried to feed him 2 tropical fish flakes (I know they should only eat Betta specific food but I wanted to make sure he would eat something) and he ate those no problem. He does seem to flare now because he flared at his food once.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
I tried to feed him 2 unsoaked pellets of the kind he used to eat and for some reason he didn't eat them. He tried but he just spit them out. Next I tried to feed him crushed up pellets and he ate some of pieces but the ones 1 mm or bigger just got spit out. Also, is it normal for them to not chew pellets? When he spits them out they are still in one piece. They also seem to get stuck. He tries to spit them out and he moves his head up and opens his mouth like he is coughing. It usually takes a while for him to spit them out. Does anyone have suggestions for Betta fish flake food? I tried to feed him 2 tropical fish flakes (I know they should only eat Betta specific food but I wanted to make sure he would eat something) and he ate those no problem. He does seem to flare now because he flared at his food once.
I don’t have any suggestions for flake foods but it does sound like there’s a blockage somewhere. Right now I think you should continue feeding the type of pellets he can eat (even if they’re less than 1 mm) to get some food in him. It may have to become a permanent thing because I’m not sure how to get whatever’s blocking the larger food out.
 
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Lucas35

Member
Thank you :) Do you have any ideas what could be causing the blockage?
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
Thank you :) Do you have any ideas what could be causing the blockage?
Maybe some food that got stuck in there? Do you know if his substrate was sand or gravel?
 
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Lucas35

Member
His substrate was gravel but it was way to large to fit in his mouth.
 

jkkgron2

Member
Lucas35 said:
His substrate was gravel but it was way to large to fit in his mouth.
I’m not sure then. Maybe some sort of growth or scar tissue is blocking it?
 
  • Thread Starter

Lucas35

Member
I have some questions.





  1. He sleeps all the time unless he sees me or he's building a bubble nest. Could that mean there is a problem? Maybe he's just bored? He is still in a temporary heated bucket with water changes (daily) but its only a gallon.
  2. He now flares at some things but still not his reflection. Why? I've read about some Bettas that don't flare but I've never heard of one that flares at other stuff but not his reflection.
  3. Would he be safe with the guppies? I had him in one of the cups they come in at the store during a water change so I briefly floated it in the guppy tank. He watched the guppies and tried to swim to them but he only flared his fins not his gills. That doesn't seem to be an aggressive behaviour though because sometimes he just does that for seemingly no reason. He does it to unfamiliar people too.
  4. Any name suggestions?
 

jkkgron2

Member
1. It’s probably because he’s only in the 1g bucket. He should get more active once he has more space.

2. He might just be being territorial. My betta has flared at random plants before. Maybe he’s trying to establish his territory?

3. I personally wouldn’t risk it. Females might work but he might mistake the males for other bettas, which would lead to him attacking them.

4. How about Lupin? Could you get some more pics? I’d like to see him colored up before I give some more suggestions. I’m not amazing at naming fish but I’ll give it a shot :)
 
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