So, ever since day one my male betta, Stanley, has had slight curling on the tips of his tail fin and one of his side red mustache type fins (not sure of proper name). That side fin is also much shorter than the other which is nice and long with a white tip (im assuming regrowth). I have had him for about 2 months now. I did not know to cycle the tank before I set it up and put him in it. So I'm hoping its cycling naturally. I did use start zyme hoping it would help. I have a 10 gallon Aqua-Tech tank with a light that I use rarely because he is near a window. He has a Aqua-tech filter that contains a bio fiber sponge and a blue sponge with carbon bits attached by plastic. I do not have a heater yet. As it is summer and I live in Florida. I will get one once the temps start to decrease. His tank stays around 78-82 F. Hard water (~150 ppm). KH of 180ppm. Slightly alkaline ph at ~7.2-7.8. Nitrite and Nitrate have stayed at 0 since day one. I test the water weekly using Jungle 5 n 1 test strips. I treat the water using AquaSafe/ BettaSafe, Start Zyme and I added 4 drops of Easy Balance with Nitraban per gallon today to the 4 gallons I have sitting out for his water change tomorrow. I read online that I shouldnt use it until the 2nd/3rd month. This will be my first time adding it. I have silk plants, a cave, and plastic rock type thing. I bought an anacharis bunch and a dormant lily bulb from Petco. One of which apparently introduced pests into my aquarium. The anacharis was dying so I removed only the green parts that seemed to be freshly sprouted with a visible stem. I let them float around for a while but none of them lasted very long. I have since removed all of it. The lil bulb refuses to grow and has some sort of white fungus looking stuff growing on it now. I use a (mostly) gravel and (few) aquarium river rock substrate. I recently added an Aqua Culture airstone and air pump from walmart. I can't use it yet though because the current is too strong for my little betta. I have a single gang valve coming in the mail from amazon soon.
Now that I have the background down for you Ill move on to the issue(s) at hand.
First off, for the past couple of weeks I have had a problem with worms in his tank. Let me tell you, I freaked out thinking Stanley was going to die of parasites or oxygen depletion after reading everything I could find online about aquarium worms. I have come to the conclusion that they are free living round worms that came in on the anacharis. They are tiny, slender, and white and vary in length. They swim in a wiggly S movement and Stanley enjoys eating them when one catches his eye. I first noticed them when a ton of them showed up on the glass just above the water. I wiped them off using toilet paper and did a 90% water change. I didn't clean the substrate because I was worried about losing the beneficial bacteria. I now know I should have rinsed it all thoroughly and remove 100% of the water because the BB is in my filter. I have stopped feeding him as much as to hopefully kill off the worms. (Only 2 pellets per day). He also gets bloated very easily so lessening his intake and soaking his food before giving it to him has helped. I also used the pea method as well as aquarium salt. This worked wonders on his bloating. But I am getting off track... The worms are still living in my tank and because they are at the top of the tank I worry that the oxygen level is low in the water. I cant use the filter on full to circulate the water either because the current is WAY too strong for Stanley. Im hoping the air stone will help once I have the gang valve. I can't seem to get rid of the worms though and they are very annoying, and possibly annoying for my betta. Although, he seems to enjoy searching the ground for worms poking out. So issue number one, the worms, has been addressed. Please help me identify them and rid my tank of them.
The second issue is his possible fin rot. Like I said his fins were a bit curled when I bought him, likely from poor water conditions in the Walmart cups. Those poor fish are not taken care of there!! They are all lifelessly depressed. So sad. But I saved little Stanley from that horrible existence and now he's happily thriving in his big tank. The only problem is that I noticed the section of fin in between the rays of his bottom and tail fin seems to be stretched out and thin. They also have small black dots on them which I'm assuming is from the fin rot. Or it could be his coloring. I'm not sure. Later, I started to notice a small hole there, a shorter section of fin in between rays, and more curled/ bent/ ragged/ thinned/ darkened tips of rays. I am worried because I am new to fish keeping and am now sure how to treat it. There is so much information online that conflicts and/ or gives many different ways to treat it. It is getting very confusing. That is why I find myself here, registered so I might get advice from someone much more knowledgeable on Betta keeping. Also coming in the mail from amazon is the API freshwater master test kit along with Jungle 'Tank Buddies' Fungus Clear tablets. I couldn't find Maracyn 2 or Jungle Fungus Eliminator. I've read that these tablets work (lets hope!).
I would really appreciate some guidance on dealing with these issues from someone experienced that can tell me what works. I'm tired of sifting through all the the nonsense in forums and other websites. I'm hoping posting my own thread with full details of MY tank will make it a heck of a lot easier to fix the problems at hand.
I am sorry for such a long post, I wanted to be as thorough as possible.
ThankYou for reading and your assistance! I hope to hear from you soon. :)