I have come looking for advice.
In the past 4 months we have lost 3 betta's. GordonBob lived with us for a year and a half before passing. Right after him we got Sunkist who only lived for 6 days. Right after him we got Spike and Spike passed today.
GordonBob was one tough fish. I was a new Betta owner when we (he's a work fish in a library) got him. I knew very little and learned over the course of the past 2 years that I did a lot of things wrong (such as scubbing the tank clean of algae and cleaning the filter with tap water and he had no heater for the first year), but he was hearty and tolerated a lot of my ignorance.
Sunkist, we believe, was sick when we got him and never had a chance.
Spike was happy and healthy for what seemed like only a week or two when we first got him and it was downhill thereafter. He battled fin rot and fungus and bloating. He was medicated, he was given clean water. aquarium salt, a new heater, daily 25% water changes and several different courses of action to help him live.
Somehow the tank became "sterile' in that no beneficial bacteria grew. No algae, nothing. The high ammonia levels were not helped by this.
So, to make a short story long, what advice can you give me when we're ready to get another fish (if we do indeed as we're divided on that right now).
We have a 2.5 gallon tank.
We have a great heater.
We have gravel.
We have a hidey hole for the fish and Betta plant.
The tank has a filter.
We have water conditioners (severl different kinds).
We have food - pellets, freeze dried bloodworms and betta flakes.
Do I need to cycle the tank? This has always confused me.
Any other advice you can offer such as how should I clean the tank now that Spike has passed. Is there one type of Betta that is heartier than another? GordonBob was a veil tale. Sunkist was a delta tail. Spike was a crown tail.
Thank you in advance of any and all advice. I really want to get things right the next time.