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Old 03-31-2013, 12:05 AM   #1 
somber
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Exclamation PLEASE HELP! So confused and worried

Please help! I am trying to do my best to care for my betta, but the more and more I read, the more confused I get! I have seen so many conflicting views, I don't know what to think. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Here is my situation.

I got my betta as a gift about a year ago, he came to me in a small glass bowl, as he got bigger I moved him into a 1 gallon bowl. Up until recently I was ignorant of how to really properly care for my fish, I admit I did not change his water nearly as much as I should have, I had no idea they needed a heater and although I felt so guilty having him in a small 1 gallon bowl, I didn't have any money to get anything bigger.

Last week I acquired a 3 gallon tank, with a small whisper filter and heater for him. I was scared to shock him in the new tank, so I set it up without the filter and the heater on, then I acclimated him to the water by emptying out half of the water in the bowl and dripping in the new warmer water. I wasn't sure how he would react to the filter so I kept it off at first. Now, I have been running it with no filter sponge in it, so it is just moving the water. I have been reading things about CYCLING the tank and I am so confused I am afraid to put the filter cartridge in with carbon in it into the filter.
(Side note, he seemed to like the new tank and built a bubble nest!)

Another side note, I use BettaSafe conditioner in his water!! I started using this while he was still in his 1 gal bowl.

Here's the OTHER thing: Recently I noticed a slimy patch on his head, and the beginnings of fit rot (the very tip of his tail is brownish and a tad bit frayed.) Yesterday I went to the pet supply store to get him some medicine and they gave me Bettafix. (After the fact I got online and saw all the controversy about this) He has only had 2 doses of this. I gave him UNDER the recommended dose because I was scared (I measured it out very carefully, drop by drop) I changed half of his water before I gave the medicine the first time.
Now he is kind of staying at the bottom of the tank, eating some but spitting some back out. I'm just so worried.

Here are my big questions: 1) What should I do about his FILTER??? Right now it is just running with no cartridge in it. Is it ok to put in the brand new cartridge while he is in the tank??? I really don't want to take him out of the tank again and away from the heater because he is sick and I don't want to stress him! He's only been in this tank a couple of days!
2) In about a 3 gallon tank, how often and how much should I change water?
3) What do I do about his illness??? He has a slimy spot on his head and the very tip of his tail is beginning to rot. I don't know about this Bettafix... but I don't know what else to do.
I recently lost my cat and I don't want to lose my fish too, Please help!!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:41 AM   #2 
somber
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One more thing. I am worried about this BettaFix because it says to do a water change after 7 days of use, and that just seems like too long to me, especially with the medicine building up in the water. Should I change some of the water if I go through with administering it? or perhaps put the cartridge in the filter and let it get some of it out (but this goes back to my cycling/filter question). If I don't use this to help cure my betta of his slimy spot and tattered tail, what should I do? Again, I'm so confused!
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:55 AM   #3 
dramaqueen
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You don't HAVE to cycle your tank. It's up to you. Here is a sticky on cycling. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...ecific-107771/
I'm not sure about the patch on his head but a brown, fraying tail could be fin rot. Can you post any pics of him? This could help us diagnose the problem better. I really don't think you need meds at this point. Warm, clean water will help a lot. I hope this helps.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:01 AM   #4 
Bombalurina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somber View Post

Last week I acquired a 3 gallon tank, with a small whisper filter and heater for him. I was scared to shock him in the new tank, so I set it up without the filter and the heater on, then I acclimated him to the water by emptying out half of the water in the bowl and dripping in the new warmer water. I wasn't sure how he would react to the filter so I kept it off at first. Now, I have been running it with no filter sponge in it, so it is just moving the water. I have been reading things about CYCLING the tank and I am so confused I am afraid to put the filter cartridge in with carbon in it into the filter.
I wouldn't worry too much about cycling - it is possible in your tank, but not easy, so don't worry about it. Just keep up with two 50% changes per week. :)
(Side note, he seemed to like the new tank and built a bubble nest!)

Another side note, I use BettaSafe conditioner in his water!! I started using this while he was still in his 1 gal bowl.
It's great that you are using conditioner. When you run out of BettaSafe, I would get either Prime (my favourite as it is amazing value for money and does all kinds of magic) or StressCoat (especially good for torn or damaged fins).

Here's the OTHER thing: Recently I noticed a slimy patch on his head, and the beginnings of fit rot (the very tip of his tail is brownish and a tad bit frayed.) Yesterday I went to the pet supply store to get him some medicine and they gave me Bettafix. (After the fact I got online and saw all the controversy about this) He has only had 2 doses of this. I gave him UNDER the recommended dose because I was scared (I measured it out very carefully, drop by drop) I changed half of his water before I gave the medicine the first time.
Now he is kind of staying at the bottom of the tank, eating some but spitting some back out. I'm just so worried.

Here are my big questions: 1) What should I do about his FILTER??? Right now it is just running with no cartridge in it. Is it ok to put in the brand new cartridge while he is in the tank??? I really don't want to take him out of the tank again and away from the heater because he is sick and I don't want to stress him! He's only been in this tank a couple of days!
Running the filter with no filter media is probably not doing the motor much good. I would either choose to turn it off and do one 50% and one 100% change per week, or pack it full of filter sponge (my favourite filter media) and do two 50% changes. :)

2) In about a 3 gallon tank, how often and how much should I change water?
Whoops...jumped the gun and answered that already. :p

3) What do I do about his illness??? He has a slimy spot on his head and the very tip of his tail is beginning to rot. I don't know about this Bettafix... but I don't know what else to do.
Can you post a picture of this slimy patch, and another of his tail?
To treat finrot, just keep the water super clean (25% change per day). You can either use StressCoat, aquarium salt or both. With the salt, you add one tsp per gallon (premix it, don't just add it to the tank) and continue the treatment for 10 days. Keep the temperature at 80F. Don't worry if it doesn't clear up instantly after this - fin rot can be a pain to battle and can take some time. I've had a couple of severe cases that have taken months to defeat. I doubt it will get that bad for your little man, though. :)
I recently lost my cat and I don't want to lose my fish too, Please help!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by somber View Post
One more thing. I am worried about this BettaFix because it says to do a water change after 7 days of use, and that just seems like too long to me, especially with the medicine building up in the water. Should I change some of the water if I go through with administering it? or perhaps put the cartridge in the filter and let it get some of it out (but this goes back to my cycling/filter question). If I don't use this to help cure my betta of his slimy spot and tattered tail, what should I do? Again, I'm so confused!
I would just stop with the Bettafix entirely and do a 50% water change today. If you have AQ salt or StressCoat, start that treatment. If not, daily 25% water changes will be fine to help boost his healing. After that, go back to the water change schedule I recommended. :)
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:02 AM   #5 
somber
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I'm sorry, but I clicked the link you posted and cannot see the page.
I would LIKE to have a filter running with an actual cartridge, do I have to cycle it if I want to have the filter? And I know for a fact it is fin rot, I don't have a picture, but I have seen other pictures that look like it. The very bottom edge of his tail is brown and tattered, it literally looks like it has been eaten away. And I read that slimy spots on the head are also a sign of bacteria. I changed his water completely and he now has warmer water, I'm just afraid that (Or this Bettafix) won't kill the bacteria! I'm so scared of it progressing up his tail and I want to stop it NOW before it gets worse.
Thank you!
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:14 AM   #6 
somber
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Thank you BOMBALURINA (I love the musical, CATS!! :D I am thinking that's what your name is from!)

So let me just get this straight... can I still use a filter WITHOUT cycling the tank?? and is it safe to put media in the filter and start using that WHILE he is IN the tank?? Also should I just throw away the cartridges I got for the filter? (they have carbon in them, is carbon required??) and just get the sponge media you suggested?? (Where can I get this?)
ALSO, if I CAN use a filter, based on the questions above, should I have it on or off while I am treating him for his fin and slimy patch??

Thank you so much!!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:54 AM   #7 
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Quote:
ALSO, if I CAN use a filter, based on the questions above, should I have it on or off while I am treating him for his fin and slimy patch??
If he has fin rot the best treatment is clean, warm water and maybe some aquarium salt (1 teaspoon per gallon, premixed and disolved do not use for more then 10 days and do 100% daily water changes- unless it is getting close to the body - then I would treat with medicine but NOT bettafix - some claim its a miricle drug but others claim it can kill the betta by destroying their breathing organ. There are a bunch of meds out there but some can only be found online. Some of the easier to find ones are TRIPLE SULFA, FURAN 2, MARACYN AND MARACYN 2, TETRACYCLINE. Kannaplex is supposed to be one of the best meds around but it pretty much needs to be ordered online.

My personal drug of chioce is Furan 2 as some of the others become less effective if you water is too hard or too soft or they have been around for so long - bacteria have become resistant to them. However, I am no chemist (historian actually by trade).

Ignore the ones that end in FIX and scroll down a bit. You can find more info on them here http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Pimafix.html

Not sure about the slime spot - maybe slime coat shedding??

can I still use a filter WITHOUT cycling the tank?? In general - if you have a filter and an ammonia source - the tank is going to cycle. However there is a debate on weather anything under 5G can even hold a stable cycle.

and is it safe to put media in the filter and start using that WHILE he is IN the tank?? That's generally how a filter works - although for cycling purposes, some people opt to use pure ammonia and do a fishless cycle. Mine have always been fish-in. It's really not as bad as it sounds - just do 2 50% water changes a week (although a master test it would be helpful)

Also should I just throw away the cartridges I got for the filter? (they have carbon in them, is carbon required??) I would keep them as carbon will remove any medicines from the tank. It's not required but will loose its effectiveness after a month or so.

and just get the sponge media you suggested?? (Where can I get this?) Yes, you can do this too. Its what I do, the only tank with the cartrisge is a snail only tan because without the carbon, the tank will stin 2 days after a water change. You can get it at any petshop or online. This is what you are looking for - the brand dosen't matter


and you want to do this with it



ALSO, if I CAN use a filter, based on the questions above, should I have it on or off while I am treating him for his fin and slimy patch?? Off because the carbon will asorb any medicine in the tank

PS - I appologize for the misspelt words but my K button only wors about 50% of them time
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:59 AM   #8 
dramaqueen
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I had forgotten to mention aquarium salt and stresscoat. Thanks, Bomba.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:51 AM   #9 
Blue Fish
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Everyone else pretty much seems to have it covered for you, but post back if you have more questions. :) I know how you feel, it can be very confusing!

I did want to take a moment though and remind you to breathe. ;) You seem so stressed out, I felt bad for you! :) If he has fin rot, it's okay, it's easy to treat and he won't die from it any time soon if at all. :) As for the stuff on his head...I'd try the salt and water for a few days, but if he starts acting funny, like breathing hard, clamping his fins, lying on the bottom of the tank, refusing food, rubbing on things, then it's time to get meds. Previous posters have already given you a rundown on which meds are good, but here's a sticky as well that might help with diagnosing and what meds to use when:

Okay, I'm at work and it won't let me copy and paste. So here's where you find the stickies:
go to the main board (the one with all the other boards listed) and click on the
Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies board. Then up at the top of that board, you'll see two stickies: Betta Fish Disease and Treatments Part 1, and then a second that's Part 2. These can help a lot to know what to use to treat what. :)

Good luck to you, and I hope that things seem brighter here soon!
Oh, and I'm so sorry about your cat. :( Losing pets is so hard. They're just little fuzzy family members, and it hurts when they have to go. :(
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:26 PM   #10 
somber
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Originally Posted by Blue Fish View Post
Everyone else pretty much seems to have it covered for you, but post back if you have more questions. :) I know how you feel, it can be very confusing!

I did want to take a moment though and remind you to breathe. ;) You seem so stressed out, I felt bad for you! :) If he has fin rot, it's okay, it's easy to treat and he won't die from it any time soon if at all. :) As for the stuff on his head...I'd try the salt and water for a few days, but if he starts acting funny, like breathing hard, clamping his fins, lying on the bottom of the tank, refusing food, rubbing on things, then it's time to get meds. Previous posters have already given you a rundown on which meds are good, but here's a sticky as well that might help with diagnosing and what meds to use when:

Okay, I'm at work and it won't let me copy and paste. So here's where you find the stickies:
go to the main board (the one with all the other boards listed) and click on the
Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies board. Then up at the top of that board, you'll see two stickies: Betta Fish Disease and Treatments Part 1, and then a second that's Part 2. These can help a lot to know what to use to treat what. :)

Good luck to you, and I hope that things seem brighter here soon!
Oh, and I'm so sorry about your cat. :( Losing pets is so hard. They're just little fuzzy family members, and it hurts when they have to go. :(
Thank you so much, everyone! I am pretty stressed about this, I want what's best for my little Finnick and I hate to think that he is uncomfortable! He has sort of been staying at the bottom of the tank, but I noticed that's only really at night!

Okay, how does this sound???
His thermometer tells me his water is about 80 degrees, yay! I'm going to quit with this BettaFix, and change a portion of the water. Tomorrow, I can go to the store and get some aquarium salt and slime coat. I'll do that for 10 days, while changing some of the water every day (How much should I change with the salt???), and see what happens!

After he is better, if I decide I want to use his filter (filter in a 3 gallon tank- yay or nay???), I will get some sponge media and set it up. Now, it is a small tank and I am worried about it cycling by itself and the levels in the tank fluctuating, I don't want to stress my fish out! SO if I do ultimately decide to use a filter (Unless you all on here think it's a bad idea in such a small tank) should I make sure to change a portion of the water every day at first, so not to shock him? and with a filter, how much and how often should I change water?

and if I DO NOT use a filter, I should do two 50% water changes every week? Will I ever need to do 100% water changes? (Also, I was going to get a baster or something like that to suck up any particles in between water changes, is this a good idea?) And how often should I remove the items in his tank and clean them? He has rocks and a cloth plant.

Thank you so much and sorry for all the questions!! I am beginning to feel a little bit better now that I have some experienced betta parents to talk to!
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