I'm a new betta owner, too, so I'm probably not the best authority here, but if you have a filter in the tank with some sort of media (charcoal, aq. sponge, etc.) your tank is probably going to start a nitrogen cycle. That's not necessarily something you want if you think your fish is sick... If you're worried about still water, maybe get a gentle bubbler/air pump or something like that. Or run the filter without any media in it.
I would probably take the filter out for now. You don't really need it if you don't want to cycle, and in a 2.5 gal a cycle is hard to start and keep in any significant way. Then just do fairly regular small to medium water changes? Maybe like 25% every other day or 50% twice a week. I know 100% changes stress fish out a lot more, so you night want to keep away from them while Guppy is recovering.
I can't really see the spot on his tail you're talking about? I see a clear-ish patch, which could indicate new growth.
Honestly, I think he might do better if you decide on what to do and leave him like that for a while... You seem to be changing your mind a lot and changing his environment a lot in a relatively short time. The fact that you're /so/ worried about him that you keep moving him, adding things to his water, removing things from the tank, etc. could be really stressing him out. Heck, my fish is stressed out by simple water changes!
Why not try choosing a tank configuration that you like, choosing a schedule that you like (for feedings, water changes, etc.), and sticking to it for a week? Watch him for signs of trouble, but maybe don't jump into action every time something seems SLIGHTLY wrong. Like most creatures, fish crave regularity and routine, and you're not giving him that... Every day you're dimming the lights, moving his stuff, etc. Especially after an illness he might just need some time to get adjusted and destress!
As for the food thing, just keep trying. I think he could be having some problems from the sheer amount of chemical treatments he's been through lately. First medication, aq salt, and now ph changer? All of those things can have some severe side effects for your fish. And all of them are toxic to him in /any/ amount. Just because you're using safe amounts doesn't mean they are entirely safe for him.
Trust me, I understand that you're concerned for your fish. I'm not trying to say that you need to be any less concerned for him - just back off a little and see how it goes? That ich no doubt scared you a bit, but not every change in his body is a bad thing/a sign of new disease. He's a new fish and you don't really know what he's like/what stuff is with his body. Keep him under observation, take note of new changes... but don't think you have to pour chemicals in your water for /everything./ Medications, PH changers, etc. can actually stress him out more than adjusting to slightly different water.
Well he was eating fine and active. And since he was treated for external parasite i don't want to miss anything i want to be sure we get rid of them. There is a chance for them to return. And since his behavior changed it worries me.
100% water changes i do all the time for my almost 5 years old fish. For 2.5 gall 1-50% and 1-100% in my opinion the best. I would recommend it though :)
Now this answer that i got from Sena:
If the spot disappeared, it could've been ich, or it could've been slim coat that was covering a cut - especially if he is having a hard time seeing, or is "clutsy" he could've run into something and hurt himself.
8.8 IS rather high, and 7.6 is better for bettas. However bettas are hardy... but I do not know about 8.8.
Continue 100% water changes just in case 3 days, and afterwards do appropriate water changes for the size of tank.
As for the filter, since she'd done 100% water changes just take it out and rinse it in tap water. chlorine will kill everything, including beneficial bacteria, but because of 100% water changes it doesn't matter to kill BB.
What do his eyes look like? I'm dealing with a female I bought who has clouded eyes. My friend has a betta who was bought blind, but has no cloudiness, but unlike most of my fish his eyes are one color, and he can see shadows and light.
While I understand the need to make sure that all of the ich is gone, I still don't think jumping into more chemicals/medications is the right way to go :/. Both ich medication and PH changers can have affects on the central nervous system, which is connected to sight and motion. I really think a lot of the behavioral change could be the side-effects of the medication.
He was fine and happy before the ich, lethargic during ich treatment. He got better for a few days... then she added PH changer and he became lethargic and uncoordinated again. I'd say it adds up that these things are affecting him in a way that's not necessarily good...
And I don't think that 100% changes are /always/ a bad thing. Stress, however, does lower a fish's immune system, and 100% changes ARE stressful, even when precautions are taken to make them less so.
Anyway, I really think that good, clean water, high-protein food, and a few days of routine would be good. He has to be off salt and meds for 10 days anyway, so why not just keep the tank clean and watch him for those days without messing with anything further? If the ich recurs she can treat him then, and he won't be as fragile from being stressed out.
Atena, I would suggest going a more natural route to lower your PH. IAL, peat moss, etc. You can order them online... Also a way to lower it is to cut your tap water with distilled water when you do changes. Basically put in quarter/half distilled water and the rest tap water, add conditioner as necessary. That's a good way to do it for cheap and without the use of chemicals.
EDIT: Because I was interested, I looked and found a fairly recent study in which scientists looked at the effects of suddenly lowering PH on goldfish's ability to see. The sudden drop in PH was found to have a very significant impact on them and damage their eyes....
You are absolutely right no more medications. We really didn't recommend actually any. Even aquarium salt. Only if it visible ich on the fish like he had before. No doubt medications really stressful for the fish that is why a lot of people really recommend to try aq salt first.
Ph you are right too it can change from medications but i think/hope that Prime will help. But it good recommendation to lower Ph with distilled water if you know it will help. I never heard about that.
Water changes i would still do for 3 days to make sure nothing left in the gravel(parasites). And than and afterwards do appropriate water changes for the size of tank.
I am actually not using any. I added stress coat to help him heal the missing part of his tail, but I understand this is not really a medication, rather a soothing additive, kind of like us having a nice cup of tea. But if you guys think I should not add it then I wont.
Also; on the timeline:
He was lethargic for 2 days before he got ich, there were no changes to his tank, but he was with me for only 2 weeks then, so that in-itself was a change.
During ich treatment I followed instructions for 10 days using warmer water, ich medication and AQ salt. I removed him from his tank and put him in hospital setting, no gravel, no toys, no shelter, no caves, just his heater in the tank. he got happy the day after treatment started and had no problem eating or anything. In fact the ich cleared in three days but I pet the treatment duration for the full 10 days as instructed.
It took 4 days to taper off meds and adjust water. he was happy the whole time.
On day 15 he was put in the new tank, same size, water temperature Etc. He was fine and happy for a couple of days even though the water was cloudy. I was told before this was a bacteria bloom and the only way to get rid of it was to filter the water. I ignored that as I have been so strongly advised against a filter before.
On day 3 in the new tank he got lethargic and someone suggested to do a water test, which I did not have the kit for. I got the kit and found the water high PH and ammonia at .50. this was not acceptable and I assumed it was the reason for his sadness. Water change again, this was when I discovered it was my tap water that was the culprit. ( made another post for this and I am still learning about it, not doing anything, just learning). I was advised to change my water conditioner to prime, which I did right away.
So i got a high PH test and found the water to be 8.8 ph. i also tested my tap water and found it also tests high. I know you can adjust it by driftwood and peat moss but I can't find any locally, so I have no choice but to use PH down until I do.
So I changed the water, and added the ph down to lower the ph to 7.6 - should I be keeping it at 8.8?
The second day he did not eat (late night when I got home from work) I noticed the spot on his tail, which was white and fuzzy and significantly larger than the ich spots. I went to the forum and searched for what it could be and the closest thing I found was fungus.
Again, changed the water (100% each day). the treatment for fungus is AQ salt, but since he just got off a 10 day treatment I was not sure if it was a good idea to start again so soon which is when I asked here, and as I thought it was right to not start.
I added the filter at a low flow ad advice of someone who reminded me that fungius will grow in still water, and the water may not be even all over as I have seen myself how it develops into layers. I am sure he likes the filter, he will sit right on top of it. It does not create a current, it does not break the surface, it barely moves the water, just enough to create a small circulation.
The water was crystal clear after I put the filter in and is still that way now.
I don't think it is harming him and as someone said before, I do not want to take stuff out and in all the time, he doesn't like change.
The next day I found the spot had dissipated and a hole in his fin appeared instead. There was no blackness or redness around it. I added stress coat to help him heal. (I was told this was not a medication, it was just to suthe his skin and help his slime coat regenerate in the spot it was torn).
Guppy felt better, he started to swim around more and eating, but his behavior was weird.
By the end of the day his tail basically ended where the hole had been which I can assume is only because of the damaged tissue and I am hoping it will grow back.
today, I did another water change. only about 80% as I did not want to stress him more.
He ate today, but is still acting weird.
I am very confused by all the advice I am getting. Don't use PH down but anything over 8 will kill your fish - I have 8.8... what am I supposed to do?
Should I stop using the PH down?
Alive and hard of seeing is better than dead, though I would prefer if he could see well. I am very concearned and very confused but I am not actually doing anything except water changes. I was told to move him to the hospital tank, i did not do that because I did not want him to get stressed getting used to a new environment again.
Someone also told me to take out all plants, but I have no live plants in the tank.
Even though I am panicked, and I do worry and ask many questions, I don't actually do as many things as I was told to because the poor fish would just feel like he is in a roller-coaster.
Now you are telling me I am doing too much.
I am not sure what to do at all now. I feel like I should stop trying to adjust his water parameters, but then I know, as I have been repeatedly told that he will die. So am I supposed just let it be and let fate take it's course?
Should I bring his PH back up or should I keep treating new water to keep it the same as it is now?
I feel like I am between a rock and hard place. It is very sad because Guppy is the one paying the price.
BTW, prime did nothing for the parameters, but I was told it will not do anything to the PH and the ammonia of .5 is a false as it changes the ammonia to a less toxic agent that still registers as ammonia, so I have no choice but to trust it is okay.
I was also told that distilled water is bad for fish. But I am willing to try it if you think it is better. How do I use it to adjust the PH?
I am by no means a fan of chemicals, I am just trying to do whatever I can with what I have available.
If I bring the PH back to 8.8 will his eyesight become good again?
Have I made him blind by adjusting the ph?
I feel like should never have tested the water. It would be better not to know.
I am sorry for making it so long, I just wanted to clarify the time line.
I feel like you are telling me I did this to him.
The truth is, he did not get sick because of the water parameter change, I changed the water parameters because he got sick. I did not add the QA or any other meds except stress coat in the past two days.
I am trying to just leave him be. I will do my hardest to refrain from it as much as possible, i won't change his water for three days as you suggest.
I will research the PH online and see if I can find how to lower it with distilled water instead and hopefully by the third day will have a better idea of what to do.
I do appreciate your help, I really do.
I am sorry you are mad at me, but I am only doing my best with what info I have.
Tazo, I just saw that you did explain how to use the distilled water. thank you, and I am sorry for not reading more carefully, i was just upset because the timeline was all wrong and I felt like everyone was mad at me for making him sick.
I did not know about this method, this is the first I hear of it. I spent all day yesterday trying to find peat moss without fertilizer in it and was not successful.
I just hate myself for making him half blind. I wish I had known. :(
I will use that in moderation next time I do a water change.
BTW, I am confused about the filter because I am getting very good advice telling me two completely opposite views. One says must have it, the other says never use it. And they both have very convincing arguments and lots of experience.