I've purchased my beautiful double tail betta (Spark) on December 23, 2012 and kept him in a 1/2 gallon tank until January 15, 2013. Since then, he's been in a 6 gallon tank with a filter and heater. and he has 3 other tank mates. (1 ghost shrimp and 2 african dwarf frogs). On January 30th, i noticed his tails looked very different. meaning, his tails started to look "spikey" as what i could best describe it. also to mention, he started to appear very pale. I observed him for a day and noticed that it was progressing. so immediately, i did a 100% water change, added water conditioner and removed his tank mates. It's been 3 days since the water change, and his tails doesn't seem like it's getting worse. but then i noticed that he has a red horizontal line on the base of his bottom tail.
Here are a few pictures:
(When I first got him)
(When I started noticing 1/30/13)
(natural lighting 2/4/13)
(2/4/13 noticing the red horizontal line on his body at base of his bottom tail)
It really pains me to see spark in this condition. and if anyone know what is going on, please help. though he looks like this, he's still a very active and friendly fish.. always roaming around the aquarium, looking for his tank mates. every time i come near the aquarium, he comes and greets me and likes to play "follow the finger". during feeding time, he eats really fast. i alternate wardley betta pellets food color intensifier. (usually i need to crush them into smaller pieces because they're too big. and majority of the time, i feed him nutrafin max betta color enhancing flakes that came with his 1/2 gallon tank (he likes this 100xs better). I feed him once in the morning and once at night. I recently purchased frozen blood worms and i've been wondering how about to feed it to him. With the fin rot situation, what can i do to help spark without purchasing any medication, etc. is it possible to just do water changes? if so, how should i do water changes and how often. and does anyone know what that red horizontal line is?
In short, my questions are:
1) I want to confirm if Spark really does have fin rot.
2) Is it possible to treat and cure fin rot without medication?
3) Can water changes cure fin rot? if so:
a) how should i clean the water? (ie: 20% water changes? 50%?)
b) how often should i clean the water? (ie: every 3 days? every week?)
4) My water conditioner is API Stress coat+. it states that it makes tap water safe and protects fish. In the directions, it says to double the dose to replace slime coat and to repair damaged skin and fins. would this help with the fin rot?
5) Is it necessary to separate my frogs and shrimp from spark even though he has fin rot? can i just put them back in with him?
6) Does anyone know what that red horizontal line is?
7) How do i feed Spark the frozen blood worms?
Please, i need answers. if you know anything to any of my questions (it doesn't need to be all of them) please help.
Thank you in advanced.