Housing What size is your tank? 6.6 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80
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? One Ghost Shrimp, One Zebra Snail, Malaysian Trumpet Snails (who knows how many...started with 10 but there are many teeny tiny ones so I know they are multiplying, which is fine) Also one Java Fern, 4 Cryptocoryne Wendtti Green, One dwarf Anubias, Java moss growing on a log, and some Water Wistaria, all have been in the tank for a couple of months except the Zebra snail which was actually added today (it had been on order)
Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets and Aqueon Betta Food Pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 pellets in am, 1-2 in pm, fast on Saturdays.
Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? At least 2 times a week, sometimes 3 but I'm trying to slow down with that to once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? I use two one gallon jugs so around 30%?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime
Water Parameters: Have you tested your water? Yes, pretty much every other day to confirm cycle is complete (besides I'm paranoid and would rather do partial water changes every other day then have the water bad)
If so, what are the following parameters? As of this morning...
Nitrate: According to the chart, somewhere between 5.0 and 10.0ppm
Hardness: I'm not sure, don't know how to test this, I keep meaning to call water dept.Alkalinity: See "Hardiness"
Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No change until today, there may be a really small white line (vrs spot) near his gill.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? For the last couple weeks, every once in a while he goes ballistic and darts around, running up to things and scratching is body on his log, filter, whatever.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Approximately 7-10 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? Yes
If so how? Today I set up and moved him into his 3 gallon QT tank with two silk plants, and nothing else, used Prime and added 1 Tbs of aquarium salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, was very sick a few months back, I'm not 100% what was wrong, bacterial? Fungal? He had fin melt...Old Fish Lady helped me greatly and he made a complete recovery and all his fins returned to normal.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I'm not sure but I got him last April, I'm pretty sure he was already considered an adult, although he has grown some, he's quite big for a betta I think anyway.
I've tried to narrow down the issue with him darting and have found out that it could be any multitude of things... I've tried to rule out and narrow down and here's what I've determined based on my limited knowledge.
I don't think it's internal parasites because his poop is normal, he eats fine, he's not bloated.
I don't think it's Velvet because turning off the lights and using a flashlight I do not see anything resembling "gold dust" on him. I don't think it's Ich because I know what Ich looks like from having it in my tanks years ago. So by process of elimination I can only assume it is external parasites although I've been looking at him with a magnifying glass and until today when I saw that one white line (which may or may not be normal) I never saw anything. It's very difficult for me to identify what is normal with him because he started out a cellphone color (very hard to see anything on him) and for the last few months has been changing colors because I found out he's a marble.
So he's in his QT tank with prime, salt and his heater. I'm working on slowly increasing the temp of the water from 80 to 84 or so.
So a few questions.
1) Is this the steps I should be taking? Or should I be doing something else?
2) If it is parasites, how do I treat his tank when it has live plants, snails and shrimp? Everything I've read for treating parasites is toxic to plants and or shrimp and snails. I'm also afraid to use meds in the tank because I don't want to lose my cycle.
Anyone have any ideas?
Thanks so much!