Let me start off with Silus' basic information, as it might help:
(This is a very long post in my eyes, so sorry for the slew of information. I want to be as thorough as possible.)
What size is your tank? 3 gallons.
What temperature is your tank? 79-80 Degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hakari Pellets or the...TetraBetta Flakes I believe. Also, dried bloodworms on occassion.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 6 Hakari Pellets daily - 2-3 bloodworms as snacks every couple days.
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? The Prime conditioner, API Stress Coat and API Stress Zyme.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
(In his current Quarantine tank)
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? It hasn't, really. His fins sort of droop but nothing serious.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? See below.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He's sinking a bit, but I assume he's just a bit chilly and stressed from his new bowl.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
-I've been using a stress coat on him daily, only a drop or so (he's in about a gallon quarantine bowl until I get his tank cycled.)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I'm aware of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Probably...I'd say maybe 5-8 months.
Alright. So onto my question.
Silus - my new betta that I recently bought from aquabid was put into his new home earlier today. It's a 3 gallon cylinder tank with the Azoo Palm filter and a mini heater. In that regard, everything's fine.
Now - Today I went out and bought the proper water testing tools. I picked up the API Master kit and was...er, astonished by my water conditions I had Silus in. (He was in there for a few hours, and I panicked and removed him later to a quarantined tank with stress coat.)
He's my third betta in 4 months. My first was Rukar, who I rescued from a local pet shop. He died in about 2 months because the store clerks told me they lived in puddles (of course they did) and that test strips were good and API Stress Zyme would be plenty weekly. (The test strips were completely inaccurate with my new tank and stress zyme was confused for a conditioner by the pet shop)
Also, they said to just do a 25% change bi-weekly with no filters or heaters and I'd be good.
Of course they were wrong and they both died. (On separate occasions, that is. They were not housed together or anything)
So today, I tested my PH and it was extremely high. I think somewhere around 7.8. Just grazing the highest allowed levels. Then the ammonia was... geez, I believe it was in the purple when it was supposed to be yellow. (Sorry, I did this a few hours ago and forgot the exact measurements).
Nitrite and nitrates were both through the roof. I previously assumed cycling was just getting bacteria on the filter without any fish inside the tank, until I decided to research (more than I already had) when I got Silus in the mail today.
So my question is...what is the best way to cycle his tank quickly and effectively? I was planning on using the shrimp method, because it's easy cleanup and rather quick. He's currently in a conditioned (with prime and stress coat) drinking water quarantine tank to keep ammonia levels down to 0. I'll be doing 50% changes daily to keep everything alright until he's settled in a cycled tank.
Is this a practical solution? I really don't want my third baby to die this time. It's really discouraging watching both of my fish die from some sort of disease. I'd just like some second opinion on this.