Okay... since I probably won't have time to get to those stores until Thursday, I'll go use my amazon prime and get them to ship to me well... Thursday. :) Saves gas and headache of driving to that particular area (it's like driving in the middle of NYC during rush hour).
Good thing you returned one of your frogs. It's a delicate process having frogs and betta and most of the times I hate to say but it won't work. It's an incredibly delicate balance. I have the same 5 gallon tank as you (going to get something else soon as I don't like it due to the rounded corners and the lights are poor quality and died after 3 months so I have to have a desk lamp to keep my plants alive.)
With my setup this is what is is with two different betta over time but the same frog, perhaps you can learn a little from my betta and frog setup to take stress off both animals as it seems Pascal is very stressed and not looking good at all. Also I think one of your frogs has been ripping up his tail unless he is a crowntail.
Setup One: Fully cycled, marimo moss ball, java fern. 5 gallon tank, one temple for hiding space, one class jar for underwater cave.
Changing: 2 50% water changes a week
Occupants: Bilbo Froggins male adf, Aquarius male betta
Outcome: Due to it still only being a 5 gallon cycled the stress of both animals in the tank lead me to the conclusion I couldn't get away with one water change a week and switched to two. Aquarius and Bilbo left each other be for the most part, Bilbo even coming to find him as a friend and following him around. Little incident between aggression as both animals were selected carefully for their calmness and ability to ignore tank mates. Aquarius being a double tail half moon had issues swimming and ate his tail, more so he ate it out of boredom and ripped it up without a tank mate. Since the cycle was already stressed with two animals alone no more were added, the habitat was fine and both animals were healthy and happy aside for Aquarius's occasional fin chewing to keep his heavy tail trimmed back.
Second Setup: same tank, fully planted, more java fern, java moss, marimo moss ball, amazon sword, duckweed, and anubias. One temple and one glass jar for hiding. Still fully cycled as it's the same tank.
Changes: 2 50% ever week (honestly no way around it with two animals in a 5 gallon even cycled. You have to remove the nitrate it creates and the plants don't soak it all up. If they did wouldn't that be nice but in all reality they just barley scratch the surface.)
Ocupants: Hollow my male red vt betta, still Bilbo.
Conclusion: Being that Hollow is overly aggressive and territorial he became stressed instantly. Some betta should never have tank mates because tank mates honestly cause more harm than good. After Aquarius died vid gravel vac I was desperate to get Bilbo out from hiding. In that desperation I added hollow, the results were frightful.
around 2:30p.m. before adding Hollow into the 5 gallon from his 2.5 gallon he was active and eating, his tail nice and his colors were bright. Ten or so minutes later I added him to the 5 gallon. Temp of 80 as it has always been. First Hollow found Bilbo and attacked him so I netted Hollow and waited before putting him back and making sure Bilbo was hidden. Half hour later I put Hollow back and he explored the new tank, at night when I went to feed Hollow would not eat, Bilbo would not eat. Hollow's fins were clamped and he seemed to have a stress stripes. Hollow hates other living things being in his tank, if he can not kill them then he obsessively hunts for them and if he doesn't catch them he stresses. Many other male betta's are the same which is why a lot of betta can't even have tank mates. I put hollow back into his own tank and by morning he was fine again and eating.
Setup Three: Same tank, still planted.
Changes: Same Changes:
Occupants: Copernicus my new HMPK male, still Bilbo.
Outcome: WELL...thought my new betta is fine in his home my frog is NOT. Copernicus will attack Bilbo whenever he sees him despite it begin a few days now. As far as he is concerned it's his tank, his home, and everyone else will die. Copernicus was eating fine, Bilbo would refuse food unless removed from the tank and feed in another location. Bilbo spent almost all day every day wedged behind the filter because Copernicus was stocking him and would bite him if eh found him. I removed Bilbo from the 5 gallon and moved him into my 10 gallon with my female temporarily.
So yes, Bilbo will no longer be living with betta because out of three betta only one got along with him and other times I hear the opposite of frogs killing betta. It's a balancing act really. My female betta also attacks him but there are more caves for him to hide in and more plants in the 10 gallon. I am currently working on getting another 10 gallon that will ONLY be for adf's. I'll be planting a field of java moss and buy little hobbit hole decorations, get two more adf's (Frodo Froggins and Pipin) and call it the Shire. Some combinations of betta and frog work great, I know Aquarius and Bilbo did. Others are living nightmares, every other betta with Bilbo has been a nightmare and there were a few times I nearly just gave Bilbo to someone else who had adf's but in the end the answer came to be what was right for all parties. My betta are all happy having their turf to themselves and Bilbo will be much happier 3 months from now with his own kind.
If tank mates are stressing out your fish...a possibility you may try switching them around to see who is doing it. Perhaps it's even the snails? If there are too many snails and they cause more bioload on the tank it can be stressing both him and possibly the frog, or perhaps the frog being of larger size is stressing him out and causing him to get so wound up and even sickly looking. It's sucky but look what I did for Bilbo. Hell yes it frustrates you but keeping animals wasn't ever suppose to be an easy task. If it was then all the benifites of having animals would seem less exciting. If you are a cat lover hell yes you love your cat...because some days you wake up with your foot in a soggy hairball and you want to scream but you realize not all the days are that bad (unless you have my cat who was born from the flames of hell then you have to sleep with a bottle of holy water under your pillow or wake up with her levitating over your head spewing acid O.o)
He is pretty emaciated looking.....I would look to get several different type of foods-they don't need to be Betta specific-just quality foods-pellets, flakes, freeze dried, frozen and the very best-live....If you have access to live mosquito larva...mass feed them...Feed a different food in small amounts- 4-6 times a day if you can. Good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals is best. I make my own food using a mix of shrimp, spinach and fresh garlic all smashed together. Right now, it is important to support the immune response so his system can naturally take care of itself.
Then give him time with as low stress and good nutrition that you can. Personally, I would remove the filter for now and once he is stronger add it back, however, even with plants in that small of a container-you don't need water movement for them-they should be able to get all the nutrients they need. I keep nothing but planted tanks and while mine are soil based-I don't use filters or water movement in tanks 10gal and under and even my 25gal doesn't have a filter anymore-it did....but it needs to be fixed and I have never got around to it...lol.....
If you have a tannin source-either IAL or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf-this can be helpful too. The tannin contain antibacterial/fungal properties, tanned water can help ease stress, promote microorganism colony, can help toughen scales/fins and long term can lower pH slightly-plus as the leaf itself decomp they naturally produce CO2 for the plants. Since this is a natural product-you can't overdose them-the worst thing that can happen is the tannin stains on the glass/acrylic.
Even though he is in poor condition-the Epsom salt won't hurt or cause weight loss-Its not like with humans and cause diarrhea or fluid loss per se, however, I don't think he needs it right now-IMO/E-what he needs is time with as little stress as possible and good nutrition.
I don't think it would be easy to find mosquito larvae in the middle of winter in Washignton. :( Summer, definitely! But not during winter in the Puget Sound region; maybe if I was out past the Cascades...
I don't really have any ideas for what to feed him, or rather what to look for. I bought the new life spectrum betta pellets and they will be here thursday. All I have are bloodworms and pellets he refuses to eat until then. Can make another trip to the fish store tomorrow for when I grab duckweed, ask for brine shrimp. And I dunno, I'll ask for anything else.
I have the java fern and anubia tied to small pieces of driftwood, probably a miniscule tannin source though. The only other tannin source I can think of that I have on hand is tea tree oil - I believe 1 drop per gallon is the dosing? Going off of this thread and the fact that 1ml = 20 drops.
I think I'll get a parasite treatment just because it wouldn't hurt to eliminate the possibility... He's not doing any betters since I came back from class and now he won't eat the bloodworms either. :T
Cocoa is a very peaceful frog, doesn't behave any differently with or without Pascal in there. Just keeps to himself and allows everyone to have their own space. I think Pascal is just very frightened. He's doing worse in this bowl than in the 5g though, even with it heated... it's so tempting to put him back
Also I'm getting a refund for this dinky heater... thing does go beyond 76. Right now it's actually 74... Ugh.
What if I put in a black tea bag? I have some red rose lying around... And a wide variety of other teas. Genmaicha (brown rice & green tea) and uh... ok I think I actually ran out of my other teas from drinking them all when I was sick. :P
I... I want to know thoughts on switching Pascal and Cocoa around. I just can't get the bowl to heat up, and ADFs can handle colder temps. At least in the 5g Pascal would float around the top, even if he looked sickly. He's sunk on the bottom as if he's waiting to die.... :( Plus there are already trace amounts of tannins in the 5g due to the driftwood. I just know switching back and forth isn't good, but I feel like I gave him his own 2-gallon deathbed rather than a home with the way it's shaping up.....