My female crowntail betta has gotten a fungas, she has a high disease history even though I keep her tank very clean. She is very old now, full grown when I got her, and now have had her for four-five years. Her scales have pineconed a little bit and I am trying to decide if I should medicate her this time or just let her time come. Input?
Your fish needs epsom salts.. 1 tsp per gallon, predissolved and has to be 100% pure with no additives as per the ingredients label. CVS Pharmacy carries some but you should also be able to find it at most grocery stores in the pharmacy section. You will also need a good internal antitiobic like Kanaplex or Maracyn Plus (not to be confused with Maracyn or Maracyn II).
Dropsy is caused by either poor water conditions, old age (organ failure) or an internal parasite. In the case of old age it wouldn't have gotten better. Since she has a history of this disease reoccuring more info about her tank would be helpful.
She lives in a fifteen gallon tank with an aqueon filter, an adjustable heater, no live plants, a big rock, a glass hollow log. Her water is premium filtered water. I also use betta conditioner for the water. I feed her once a day, two to four pellets. Occasionaly instead of regular betta pellets I feed her a freezedried blood worm or two, or mysis, or daphnia. She has gotten fungas at least five times, I haven't seen pineconing before so I think it is dropsy. I think she has gotten it because of old age.
It sounds like a very nice home :) Can I ask how often/how much you change the water and if you have a drops test kit you can check ammonia and nitrates for?
You are using RO water? Can I ask why? This is okay if you are treating it properly, but usually isn't necessary unless you have particulary hard water (8.6+ PH) or nasty (like ammonia in source) water. Are you adding Equilibrium or RO Right to it? RO water can't be used without additives.
Also is your cat still drinking out of the tank? Maybe the cat is passing something onto her.. I would get a lid for the tank.
I am using RO water because when my sister got her first bettas they died overnight with that water. I do not have any teset kits and can't afford them, I change the tank once a month, also no my cat isn't drinking the water anymore, I trained her not to. I can't afford a lid right now but am going to buy or make one when I have the money
Dying that quickly in water may not be the fault of the water. They could have been shocked or they could have already been sick or something else could have gotten into the tank. That's very fast to be the fault of the actual water, though I suppose it's possible. I understand wanting to be safe. I use RO water too, so I think it's a good thing in many cases, but you do have to be very careful with it and it has a lot of extra costs.
To deal with the lack of lid, You can cover most of the top in cellophane like you would for baking. It doesn't need to be fancy or expensive. I would just leave a strip in the back open to let air in. Most people have this around their house.
Your water needs at least a 20% weekly change (so for you that would be at least 3 gallons), including using a gravel vac to vacuum debris out of the substrate. With waiting a whole month nitrates will be too high. I would say water quality is your problem at this point for two reasons: lack of water changes and lack of proper mineralization to your water.
If you're using RO water you need to treat with Equilibrium or RO Right because it lacks trace elements and electrolytes needed for living things. Also RO water is very soft and it tends to be very acidic.. very pure RO water will have PH into the low 5s which is not okay for a fish. If your RO water is good RO water the PH is way too acidic for you. Equilibrium and RO right may fix the PH issue, however the PH would need to be tested after adding it t and if the PH is still not appropriate that would also have to be addressed.. Using Alkaline and Acid buffers at the rate of 2 alk to 1 acid is what would work in the case that the PH is still too acidic.
Equilibrium and Kent's RO right will probably run you about $10 but it lasts a long time. I use a 1/3 dose from what the bottle says because it does effect ph a little and I've kind of perfected the amount using a gh/kh test kit. It's bascially 1/4 tsp per 5 gallons, or if you have those tiny spoons you use in the Seachem med tubes it's about a level 2 of those per gallon. I'm not sure about dosing Kent's so I'd probably just follow what the tub says.
And also there is potentially a problem with nitrates if not also ammonia at this point from having so infrequent changes.. it needs to be checked. You can probably get your water tested for free at your local pet store, but ask them to use a drops kit if you can and ask for actual readings not just "it's okay" responses. My fish store will do it right in front of you and show and explain the chart and everything, but they're pretty unique. Also, I have some extra testing kits because I didn't have a nitrites test kit but I had everything else and decided to just buy a master kit this last time but the products aren't that old and they're not expired.. I'd be happy to send them to you.
Sorry I know this isn't what you want to hear.. but I can tell you care a lot about your fish and have invested a lot of time and effect into keeping them happy. There's just a little more to learn/do :)