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My betta

April 22nd, 2007, 12:57 PM
My betta is starting to lose it's color on his top (from base moving up) and on his tail. What does this mean? I just noticed it over the past couple days.

April 22nd, 2007, 01:37 PM
he's probably sick or getting old.

I used to have one that was blue and it started turning pink and then that was the end of him :sad:

April 23rd, 2007, 12:26 AM
What are your water parameters? What is he eating?

It could be anything, the main reasons fish lose color are stress or age. Stress can be caused by bad water, improper diet or sickness.
Stress can also be caused by the fish being unhappy with his surroundings, but bettas aren't extremely picky about that. I do usually suggest some kind of hiding place though, if not available.

April 25th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Hi there,
I agree with MyBird theres often more at play than just health or age.

If you can answer the following questions, we can help to determine what exactly is wrong with your betta, and what you can do to help it.

What size is the tank?

How often and what percentage do you change water?

Is there a filter? If yes, how often do you change the media? Do you change the media at the same time as you do a water change?

Do you ensure the water is same temperature when you change it? Do you use your finger or a thermometer?

What temp is the tank?

Have you done water tests for Ammonia, NitrItes, and NitrAtes? Is so, please post exact number results?

How long have you had the fish, how long has the tank been set up?

Do you add anything to the water? Conditioners? Dechlorinator? Ph adjuster? Anything else? Salt etc.

Finally, what are the symptoms? Any signs of wounds or injuries? Any trouble breathing - breathing fast and heavy or super slow? Is he eating? What are you feeding him, how often and how much?
When you say losing color what do you mean? Is the fins turning white?
Do you see any ragged edges or fuzziness? Is it starting at the end of the fin and moving up the fin?

Are there live plants in the tank?

Answers to all these questions will help me to deduce what is wrong with your fish.

April 27th, 2007, 11:15 PM
I have a one gallon tank. I top up the evaporated water weekly and change the water completely every 3-4 weeks. There is no filter. I always use the same temp of water and the tank water is 73-75 degrees. I have done no tests to the water. I have had the fish since late last summer and he has always been in the 1 gallon tank. I use the recommended amount of Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner and always have. There does not appear to be an wounds or injuries. His fins starting at the body and heading down towards the tips are going white and the underside of body right behind his head. The fins are also starting to get ragged. He is eating normally but seems to have low energy. He is not flaring himself like he used to. There are no live plants in the tank but there is a fake one. I was planning to get live ones as I recently read that the fake can damage the fins. I have done nothing different than since the firts day I got him and he was bright and active up until the last 2 weeks.

April 29th, 2007, 12:53 AM
Sounds like ammonia poisoning, especially when you mention the ragged fins.
Fish produce waste which contains ammonia. Since you don't have a filter present the only way that ammonia is being eliminated is water changes.

Every month or so is definately not enough in a 1 gallon container. You're basically letting ammonia build up to toxic levels (which causes splitting in fins, loss of color, lethargy and other problems) and then changing the water completely which is pretty stressful for a fish that's just been sitting in water with a very large amount of waste.

Personally I don't agree with keeping any fish, even bettas, in unfiltered or uncycled aquariums. The only way I would possibly do this were if I changed out 100% of the water each day. Even so I think 50% every day plus the 100% every month would be a good start.
I would also invest in an ammonia test kit so you can monitor your ammonia. It is impossible to completely eliminate ammonia in such a small unfiltered container, but you can at least try to keep it within acceptable levels.
Under .25 is where you want it, but even under .50 is a good target in such a small container. I think if you start testing your water you'll be surprised at how high ammonia gets even within a short amount of time without changing water. Live plants can also help a little bit since they will absorb a certain amount of ammonia, but you want to choose very hardy floating plants because dying plants will only make your water quality worse.

As a sidenote: Most filters take 4-6 weeks to cycle (cycling is aquiring the bacterial growth that will eliminate your ammonia and nitrites). You could easily stick your betta in a small filtered aquarium and cycle it with him in there, with no more hassle than usual for you and the betta would be better off in the long run.

April 30th, 2007, 03:36 PM
Hey there,
I agree whole heartedly with MyBird. Sounds like ammonia poisoning to me too. In an uncycled, unfiltered tank, you should be changing 100% of the water at least 2-3 times weekly. Topping up evaporated water just basically concentrates the fish waste.
Even in a fully cycled filtered tank water changes of 30-50% should be done
once weekly.

I would suggest start by buying an Ammonia test kit. Change 100% of the water the same day, mark it on the calendar or in a note book. Every day before you go to bed, test the ammonia in the fish bowl. When there shows any trace whatsoever of ammonia on the test, change 100% of the water, and mark down that day on the calendar. After that change 100% of water the day before the ammonia becomes present.
This could be every 2nd day, or every 5th day, some fish produce more waste than others.

With regular clean water, your fish may recover. Constant exposure to ammonia causes gill burns, fin/skin irritation, and even death. Youre actually very lucky your fish has even lived this long.
Good luck.

April 30th, 2007, 10:30 PM
Thank you sneaky and mybird,

I will definately get the test strips. I changed the water 100% on the weekend and removed the gravel I had in there. I have smooth round glass and marbles in the bottom for easier cleaning. He has seemed a little happier since the water change. Lots of bubbles on the top of water.

I can't believe the varying information when you ask questions. I did not intend to not take proper care of the fish. I was just doing what I had been told by others. I actually did slightly more than soem people said I need to do! Anyways lesson learned I will from now on seek information from more sources.

May 1st, 2007, 05:57 PM
Hi there,
dont waste your money on test strips. Buy Liquid Drip tests.
The test strips, once opened, start to detiorate. To use them even remotely effectively, you would need to replace the entire package once monthly.
Also, they are not the most accurate. I have seen test strips read 1ppm for ammonia that when properly tested was 8ppm, and Ive also seen test strips read 4ppm for ammonia when there was none.

Your best bet would be to buy liquid tests - id recommend those made by API (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals), or by Hagen. Your best b et would be a master test kit, or if purchased seperately, you should have Ammonia, NitrItes,
and nitrAtes tests.

Its hard because the fish stores usually employ people who know nothing about fish, because they have retail experience (i was turned down from a fish store job as I didnt have any retail experience, despite my knowledge of a wide variety of fish and other animals). Their job is only to sell you things, not know anything about what they are selling.
A great web resource for you would be the forum
Theres thousands of great people who are knowledgeable, tons of articles (including a couple written by yours truly), and great forums with lots of knowledge and depth.
I highly recommend you check it out. Im "ItsJustMe" and previously "Thegreatbluediscus" on that forum, if you choose to sign up.

Good luck Nevada, I hope your fish does well! I know you werent trying to hurt him or not care for him well. Its easy to make mistakes when fish are seen as objects for purchase, not living beings. They arent even covered under the animal rights acts, so its no surprise information and care practices prescribed by many are quite poor.

May 1st, 2007, 08:57 PM
I agree.
At one time I tried the test strips and ended up throwing them all away, they were worthless.
I always use an API liquid master test kit for every one of my tanks and they work great.

May 12th, 2007, 11:11 AM
How old is your fish,I believe there life span is only a year:sad:

May 12th, 2007, 11:16 AM
NEVER change the water completely, always bring down the water about one third,the ph will change to much if you do a complete water change.Betta's are not fussy with water ,and the bubbles are him making a nest,but as i said before there life about a year:shrug:

May 13th, 2007, 05:57 PM
The lifespan of a betta can vary greatly, but it's not unusual for them to live at least 3 yrs. A well taken care of betta can easily be expected to live over a year, and there is a even a chance of them living 8 yrs or more (though rare).
A 1 yr lifespan or less may be expected in an unfiltered container with poor water quality, but this should by NO MEANS be considered their normal lifespan. If most of your bettas die after a year or less, something is likely wrong.
NEVER change the water completely, always bring down the water about one third,the ph will change to much if you do a complete water change.

That can't be known unless you test the water in the container and the water you're doing the water change with.
The water in my tanks is generally 7.3, the water out of my tap is 7.4. If I use straight tap water and did a 100% water change the change in PH would not be noticeable by most fish.
It's a good idea to test the PH of your water, but you can't automatically assume there is a difference in PH between the tankwater and new water.

May 27th, 2007, 04:49 PM
When you keep fish in a bowl it is a normal practice to change 100% of the water. You seem to be confusing the idea of changing water in a fully cycled filtered tank - where you should change only 50% of the water, with an uncycled unfiltered tank, where you should always change 100% of the water.
Ph changes are unlikely to affect the fish if you do proper maintenance. Ph only drops over long periods of time, so regular 2-3x weekly 100% changes will result in little to no ph shift.

Life expectancy of bettas can range for 1-3 years on average, with some individuals living as much as 5-7 years.
Most bettas only live 1 year due to poor care practices by their owners.

August 15th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Not a fish expert, but when that happened to mine, he was old and he dies a couple months later.:shrug: