Help! Mysterious Spot on Betta's Head?

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hickory_smoke

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Oct 12, 2020
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Hello everyone! First-time fish keeper, I've had my aquarium for about two weeks now! I have a beautiful male black orchid super delta betta fish, two African dwarf frogs, and three blue mystery snails! I have them all in a 9 gallon Fluval Flex aquarium with all live plants. All seem to be doing good and thriving, but I've been recently concerned with my betta. Since I've gotten him, he has gotten so much more active and lively, and his colors are absolutely stunning! He's really brightened up and seems very happy and healthy.

The only thing that concerns me is that as of a few days ago, he has developed a spot on his head, I looked it up and thought it might be ich but he doesn't have white dots at all on his body or fins, and these seem more of like a case of a missing scale or maybe he scratched himself on something. He has been eating normally and swimming around the tank perfectly fine and active; he gets along swimmingly with his tank mates and they don't bother each other one bit. Instead of a tiny white dot its more of a... splotch... and isn't exactly super white or like a bit of salt. He also has a bit of fin tearing but I'm not sure if that was because of artificial betta leaves (I've replaced them since) or possible fin rot.

As for the tank specs, I have them in a 9 gallon with a heater and temp is at a constant 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Nitrates and Nitrites are both zero along with Ammonia (I've been on top of water changes), and pH is at 7.8 with a high KG and GH (due to water hardness in my area, but I have an Indian almond leaf to hopefully bring it down). My betta eats around 3 Omega One Betta Buffet pellets per day with either a freeze-dried bloodworm or a frozen bloodworm as a snack. He's been active with no signs of sickness or lethargy or cloudy eyes, and he seems healthy but the spots concern me and I want to make sure if its serious I get it taken care of.

I tried to take some pictures of him, but my phone camera has a hard time focusing and he's pretty active when it comes to swimming (he loves to explore the plants and say hi to the ADFs and snails). I would really appreciate any help or guidance you guys have, after all I've learned so much from the community about aquarium stuff and I love how helpful and informative everyone is!

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hickory_smoke

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Oct 12, 2020
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Hard to say what it is, but it's not ich. Just observe what happens, if it gets bigger or his behavior changes let us know.
Thank you! The biggest spot on him has actually seemed to clear up over the past few days so I'm hoping its just an injury of some sort that needs to heal. He has been very active and acting normal along with having a voracious appetite so hopefully he's okay! I'll be sure to monitor him carefully and ask if anything changes. Thank you so much!
 
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hickory_smoke

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Update post! He still has the spot on him, but besides that I haven't noticed it getting worse or spreading. His appetite and behavior have been perfectly normal, and he seems happy and healthy! At this point its just an unsightly blemish of some sort, it seems. Does anyone have an idea of what this might be or what I can do to clear it up on him if it is some sort of injury? Here's another picture of him with the spot. Thanks! 20201016_214840.jpg
 

the loach

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An injury heals by itself if water and living conditions are ok. It's impossible to tell what it is, you would need to take a biopsy to rule out any parasites and then it would still take a laboratory to check if there are pathogenic bacteria or viruses. If it doesn't go away in a couple of days I would try Microbelift Artemiss if you have that, if it is caused by bacteria that could help and at least it is safe for the other inhabitants and plants. You could also raise the temperature to 80 to 82 degrees to speed up his immune system a bit.
 
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Sprinkle

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Do as The Loach says, and I'd say a 10 gallon fishless tank for african dwarf frogs (ADF).
 

hickory_smoke

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An injury heals by itself if water and living conditions are ok. It's impossible to tell what it is, you would need to take a biopsy to rule out any parasites and then it would still take a laboratory to check if there are pathogenic bacteria or viruses. If it doesn't go away in a couple of days I would try Microbelift Artemiss if you have that, if it is caused by bacteria that could help and at least it is safe for the other inhabitants and plants. You could also raise the temperature to 80 to 82 degrees to speed up his immune system a bit.
Thank you! I did a 30% water change and checked my levels: nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia were all at 0 and temp is at 78 with a heater. I just bought some Fritz ParaCleanse and Mardel Maracyn to treat my tank just to be safe, is that a good alternative to Microbe-Lift Atremiss? I'm also getting some Fritz Zyme 7 in the mail soon. When I did a water change, I also used Prime, API Stress Coat+, and API Stress Zyme+ so hopefully that helps out with whatever it might be. He's been active with no symptoms and he's been eating perfectly fine so hopefully he'll be okay till I get the meds in. The Tetra heater I have only puts the tank at 78 degrees, should I invest in a new heater so I can raise the temp a bit more? Thank you again for your help, I really appreciate it.
 

hickory_smoke

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Oct 12, 2020
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Do as The Loach says, and I'd say a 10 gallon fishless tank for african dwarf frogs (ADF).
I was actually thinking of moving the ADFs to their own tank in the future! The ADFs and my betta get along fine, but I want them to eventually have their own space. I'm definitely looking into setting up another planted tank just for them. Thank you for your suggestion!
 

the loach

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Paracleanse and Maracyn are totally different from Artremiss, which is a herbal product. Those products may affect nitrifying bacteria and may not be safe for the other inhabitants. In any case don't use the Paracleanse as this is not a parasite problem. If there are some on that spot it would be some opportunistic and not the cause. Fritz zyme and Stress zyme are nitrifying bacteria and will be useless. You can continue with the Stress Coat see if the Aloe vera does something. I would wait with the Maracyn see if the spot gets bigger or smaller, and check the contraindications for that product first and foremost.
It's up to you how much you want to spend on something that might not be curable, you could try insulating the tank, if it is open top cover it that alone will cause the temperature to go op by 2 to 4 degrees, if it is not you could put some styrofoam/towels/etc along the sides. Repositioning the heater in the filter/bubble outlet can also help raise the temperature just a bit more.
 

hickory_smoke

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Oct 12, 2020
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Blair
Paracleanse and Maracyn are totally different from Artremiss, which is a herbal product. Those products may affect nitrifying bacteria and may not be safe for the other inhabitants. In any case don't use the Paracleanse as this is not a parasite problem. If there are some on that spot it would be some opportunistic and not the cause. Fritz zyme and Stress zyme are nitrifying bacteria and will be useless. You can continue with the Stress Coat see if the Aloe vera does something. I would wait with the Maracyn see if the spot gets bigger or smaller, and check the contraindications for that product first and foremost.
It's up to you how much you want to spend on something that might not be curable, you could try insulating the tank, if it is open top cover it that alone will cause the temperature to go op by 2 to 4 degrees, if it is not you could put some styrofoam/towels/etc along the sides. Repositioning the heater in the filter/bubble outlet can also help raise the temperature just a bit more.
I just looked it up and they sell Microbe-Lift Artemiss at a local petstore, and I'll pick some up tomorrow and use it in my tank to see if it helps. Thanks for clarifying on the two different products, I'll just keep the ParaCleanse and hold off on the Maracyn in case it gets worse. The tank does have a cover, so I'll probably just stay with this heater at least for now since it doesn't drop below 78 degrees. Again he seems perfectly healthy right now so I'm hoping with the water change I did and with the Artemiss it'll improve. Thank you again so much for your advice and your help, I really do appreciate it!
 
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