What size is your tank? 5.5gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76-80 (usually 78)
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? 3-4 pellet of Aqueon Betta Food a day (Fasting one day a week, and occasional freeze dried blood worm as treat)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day - 2 pellets in morning, 1-2 pellet in evening
How often do you perform a water change? 1-2 weekly - I got a new tank which I've started to cycle, so I've done lots of water changes in the last week due to ammonia being at .25 ppm. I've had the tank for 3 weeks now. (Bought it at Christmas time)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% (once a week with gravel vacuum, and once a week w/o)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem prime
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Today the parameters are:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Hardness: -- According to my dad, the water in our area is /extremely/ hard. I don't know how you're supposed to measure this though?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Ripped fins, and red gills.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Same - always swimming around, but lately has been exploring tank more instead of swimming constantly
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I noticed the rips in her fins earlier this week and put some stress guard in. I was worried when I saw her red gills, thinking she had scraped both sides of her face, so I did a 100% water change with vacuum yesterday. I just realized today that the red marks aren't scrapes, but red gills. So, here I am. :(
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
I did a 100% water change with vacuum yesterday, and added Prime, Stress Guard, and Aquarium salt. I added a new castle ornament earlier this week which may have hurt her, which i took out, and I also removed her betta log. I kept all her silk plants in the tank along with her smooth ceramic acorn house.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No. She's always been very healthy up until now!
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had her for about 3-4 months (bought at Petco)
I heard that red gills could mean ammonia poisoning? But, I don't see how that could be the case as I've changed her water twice a week ever since I got her, sometimes more! I'm not sure if her gills just recently became red, as to be honest it's rather hard to tell with her coloring. I hadn't noticed it before, so I'm thinking it developed either since I got the new tank or since I came home for winter break (I'm in college).
I thought the water test results I just did (above) were strange since I did the 100% water change yesterday. I was trying to figure it out, and my mom said I should test our tap water (we use well water). It turns out, our well water has 10-20 ppm of nitrate in it! (I tested bottle water afterwards to make sure the kit was working, as my parents couldn't believe it. -A- My parents said there shouldn't be anything in our water since it's well water and they had it tested before we moved in the house. Seems I should've tested our tap water from the start. :()
So, this explains the high amount of nitrate I've had ever since I started testing my water. I always wondered why it was high when it hadn't gone through the cycling stages.
So, the question is, is this nitrate hurting my fish? Could it possibly be nitrate poisoning instead of ammonia poisoning that's turning her gills red? Is that even possible? What should I do to counteract this high amount of nitrate?
Do you think her red gills are caused by something else?
Please help! :(
(Sorry for so much text.)