My fish has gotten very lethargic and has dark acne-like spots on his fins/tail and around his gils, the spots are

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Customer: My fish has gotten very lethargic and has dark acne-like spots on his fins/tail and around his gils, the spots are black, he also has a little bit of rippae at the ends of his fins, I had originally thought that to be normal because he is a halfmoon betta and his fins are super heavy, but I think its due to stress as well, how can I help my betta be less stressed?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long has the betta fish been lethargic? Any changes in his appetite?
Customer: he doesnt come up to the surface to eat during feeding time anyjmore, and eats very little when I feed him, he became lethargic a days ago right after I added in a bubble stone
JA: Could he have eaten something unusual?
Customer: maybe? i changed his water from filtered sink water to filtered hose water, so there might have been something in that, or maybe he ate some of his plant
JA: What's the betta fish's name?
Customer: Bread
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: Ive had him for almost a year, he lives in a 1.7 gal tank due to tank size restrictions in dorm rooms, i try to clean his tank about once a week or at least once every two weeks, because his tank is so small, I do full watyer changes and rise out the gravel at the bottom (like take everything out and clean it)
Answered by Anna in 18 mins 2 years ago
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Anna
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17,022 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping fish.based on what you have described, I see a few different potential causes of the problem. Can you send me a picture of Bread so I can see his condition? You can upload a photo by clicking on the paper clip icon in the toolbar at the top of the space where you type. Instructions should pop up. Thank you.

Customer
Got it, let me go snap one rn
Customer
let me know if it sent
Customer
File attached (QQZ1GTM)

It’s here. I’ll take a look and be right back.

I’m going to go to work on some information for you, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Customer
Thank you!

You’re welcome, and thank you for waiting. I suspect there is a problem with your water. Black spots are most often caused by ammonia or nitrites in the water. The way you clean the tank, with full water changes and rinsing the gravel is good, but you aren’t doing it often enough. Every other week will almost certainly result in a build up of waste from the fish. Once a week might be ok, but if you want to wait that long, it would be best to have a test kit. You can test the water a couple times a week, and change it sooner if need be. An alternative would be to change it every 5 days. It’s unlikely a problem would build up that fast.

I would take the air stone out. In nature, bettas live in still shallow water. Being in a current stresses them. In a 1.7 gallon tank, an air stone can create enough current to bother him.

Bread’s fins do look a bit frayed, but it’s hard to tell if he has fin rot or if there’s just a little wear and tear. At this point I would add 1.5 teaspoons of aquarium salt to the tank. When you do a complete water change, add that much again, but don’t add any more between water changes. Keep a close eye on his fins. If it becomes obvious that they are deteriorating, you’ll want to treat with Maracyn 2 or Furan 2. If you can’t find those locally, Amazon and other sources sell them online.

If you don’t have a small heater in the tank, it’s possible the water has become too cold in your dorm room. It should be 78*F to 82*F. They make special little heaters for bettas. The only trouble with that is that you’ll need two of those heaters. Otherwise you won’t have a source of water at the proper temperature for water changes. You can keep some water in a pail or a large bowl, and heat it there, so it will be available.Here is one example of those small heaters:

https://www.chewy.com/aqueon-mini-aquarium-heater-2-gal/dp/185943

If you take all these steps and Bread doesn’t improve, you can consider treating him with one of the medications I mentioned above, but do a water change first to remove Tge salt.

If you have more concerns, just let me know. I’m glad to help. I hope Bread will be fine.

Anna

Customer
Thank you so much! A few questions tho, how long should I be adding the aquarium salt after his water changes? If I get him into a bigger tank, can I add the bubble stone back in? I have plans for a 5gal in his future and a few shrimp and plant friends. Also should I be adding the aquarium salt to that tank as well if/when I get it?
You’re very welcome. The salt is temporary, to be used until he returns to normal. If you add the bubble stone back in to the larger tank, I would put it on one corner, and turn the pump to its lowest setting. If it still seems to stress him, take it back out.The mire living things you add, the greater the chances of introducing a parasite or disease, so I would be careful with that. Live plants do best in very large tanks. In a five gallon, they are likely to decay and contaminate the water. They also need special lights to stay alive and grow. If you have an actual aquarium shop (not a chain pet store) in your area, you can talk to them about suitable plants. The people who run the aquarium shop I go to emphasize that plants are more work and harder to take care of than fish. I’m not trying to totally dissuade you,but just encourage to research first.At any rate, I wouldn’t move Bread until he totally recovers. Moving him to a different tank will stress him even more. It’s often difficult to return a betta to health after they develop problems, so you want to give him the best possible chance to recover.
Customer
awesome, thank you so much! I really appreciate your input

You’re very welcome.

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