I lost Bigfin about 10 days ago. I had him just a year. I used to do everything wrong (small bowl, no heat, 1/month water changes) and had them living longer than that!
NOW - I thought I was doing it right for Bigfin. I did a lot of research here
before getting him. I have a 3 gallon tank
. It is heated to between 75-80
degrees (depends on air temp here, not programmable, but it keeps it in that range). I changed the water weekly - 100%
- because there is a ton of yukky poo and food particles in there usually. I would rinse the plants and tunnel, rinse the glass rocks, use a paper towel to wipe down the sides, refill with the same temp of water, and put in water clarifier (Tetrafin for all fish, not the betta only one). Then I would re-enter Bigfin and he was happy for 11 months doing this. About a month a go he got really slow and started hanging out at the heater cord instead of in his beloved floating tunnel. Temp was still in the right range, so that was weird. Then he got clumped fins, fin rot, white fuzz - etc. I treated with some Jungle Brand Fungus Clear fizz tabs. He still died. I did change his water when he got sick right away, and again in a week later, which is about 5 days before he died.
I have the API master test. I tested Bigfins water with the fungus stuff in the so not sure it was accurate.
OK, so, after a thorough cleaning (I boiled the glass rocks, scrubbed the floating tunnel and plants with a fish only toothbrush, and put scorching hot water in the tank and re-washed all the fish stuff I had scrubbed, then refilled with scorching water and then rinsed very well. I let all items dry overnight and for about 15 hours. I wanted to do that to make sure all fungus was dead from the old fish.
I filled it up, treated the water, got it to the right temp, and then brought Phineas home. I floated his bowl in the big tank for about 10 hours then set him free in it. He was SOOOO happy for a few days and then started hanging out and not moving near a (plastic) plant for two days, and now for 3 he has been living at the bottom. I can barely get him to move.
I feed him Betta Flakes. They are about a year and a half old but Bigfin did fine on them. I fed him once a day.
I tested his water that day that I put him in and the ph was 7.8, and Nitrites seemed fine. I lost the paper I wrote it on but remember those two.
Today I tested and his PH was about 7.6-7.8, Nitrites were .25, Ammonia was 1 and Nitrate was 0. The tank water is one week old.
I just read that maybe I should just change his water partially to lower the PH, so I just did a 50% water change. Now I need to re-enter him, but want to make sure he lives. He is a crown tail - my first one, and he is so beautiful!
I am concerned about the Ammonia, but read in the Api test booklet that sometimes that surges and then falls over a week or two.
It seems weird not to change the water 100% but I will do what is best for him.
I am trying so hard to give these guys a good life.
I like my fish friends.