Q: YC wrote,
Hi Christie! I love your site and your blog! They are very detailed and I admire how much time and effort you dedicate to this hobby. Bettas are beautiful, lovable fish and it’s nice to visit a site whose owner is not only knowledgeable, but with a deep fondness all betta owners can relate to.
I have a question, and it’s not too urgent, but any help you can give me on this matter would be very appreciated. =)
My first betta, Tempest, has lost a huge patch of color from his body. He was all blue except for his head which was hooded black, and now part of his back is the same color as his head. I have not yet tested the water of the tank because I doubt it is a factor of his color change. (My three other bettas are all in water from the same source and they’re all peachy and younger than he is.)
1. What is your tank size? *One gallon, in a bowl
2. Have you tested for ammonia- what were the results? *No
3. Have you tested for nitrite- what were the results?* No
4. Have you tested for nitrate- what were the results?* No
5. Have you tested for pH- what were the results? *No
6. What temperature is your tank? *83 degrees Fahrenheit
7. How often do you perform water changes, how much water do you change? *Once a week, full water changes
8. What water additives are you using (please include any conditioners, salt or medications) *I use Aquasafe conditioner, 1/2 tsp aquarium salt, and 1 drop of aquarisol. Currently, Tempest has fin rot and is being medicated with Mardel’s Tetracycline.
9. What type of food are you feeding, how often and how much? *3 pellets of betta bits, and bloodworms every few days.
10. What kind of tank mates, when were they added? * No tank mates
11. Is your tank planted? *Only a plastic/silk plant
12. What are the symptoms, when did they begin and is there anything else we should know? *Ahh, to the good stuff. Around the same time Tempest developed fin rot (a week and a half ago), he lost a patch of blue from his back. I was worried he was sick, but no symptom of any sickness I’ve heard of was like this. He is not bloated, pineconing, or itching. There is no ich or velvet sheen on the black patch. In fact, despite the fact that he lost color, he is pretty much normal, except for the naps. He often takes naps (rests at the bottom of the bowl), and is doing it much more than he used to. It may be him recovering from fin rot.
My suspicion is that he is getting old (I gauge him to be 1 1/2 to 2 years now) and the loss of color is a sign of him aging…but I am not sure. Today, he is losing color from another patch. I hope this is not too serious! I look forward to your reply and thanks for your help!
A: Thanks for writing in about Tempest. I agree, Bettas sure are beautiful and I love them too. Let’s see if we can figure out what might be happening to your fishy. One thing I am confident of is this color loss you are describing is likely not caused by old age. Symptoms of old age are progressive and often take many months or even years to develop. The rapid color loss you are observing is being caused by some sort of external force. (Perhaps a bacteria, fungus or toxin exposure) Also, 1.5 – 2 years is about middle age for a Betta and is a little premature to be showing significant aging symptoms. With good genes, proper care and a little luck a Betta can live 5 years or more. Old age symptoms are more likely to manifest in Bettas who are 3 to 4 years old. Check out the link for more info on