Well on your last page your nitrates were too high and I suggested increasing water changes because they shouldn't have been that high. The one change every 2 weeks probably caused it and I suggested more changes to catch up water quality, so I was wondering if you had tried that.
Those tests were done with my AquaOne test kit (I realised that I said API, which is incorrect, sorry!) and that is faulty. I re-checked with my API and nitrates were at 5. I've kept checking, and the number of live plants I have in there keeps nitrates right down. I've attached a picture so you can see how planted it is.
However, you have since moved them to a new tank with no filter.. so I need more info again.. 3g with no filter should be getting 50% water change every other day and 100% by week's end while your fish are healing.
Unforunately I can't do 100% changes. Artemis is ok with being moved but Odysseus freaks out and I think the stress would be an awful shock to his system. I'll upgrade to 25% daily. I've been testing the water with my current schedule, and ammonia is still remaining at zero, but I'll increase the schedule regardless. :)
Aquarium salt can only be used up to 10 days. ES can be used pretty much indefinitely.
I'll keep going with it, then. :) Will it have any bad effect on Odysseus, as he isn't bloated?
The female doesn't look bad. The male betta's condition is a concern. He also looks really skinny..
During his period of sickness he was refusing to eat and lost a fair amount of weight. He's getting four pellets twice a day now in an attempt to pack on more weight. I've tried catching some live insects for extra protein but the weather round here means that I don't have many. I can't feed him bloodworms as I'm allergic to them. Can you suggest any other alternatives that might get him back up to a healthy weight? :)
what color are their poop?
As I said above, I haven't been able to see any poop.
I would at least for the male betta get an actual antibiotic. Either Kanaplex, Triple Sulfa or Maracyn and Maracyn 1 in combo. Treat for at least one full week along with the increased water changes.
I can't get any of those here. As I said, local stores consider Melafix the be-all and end-all of medications and don't stock anything much stronger.
Have you ever had problems with any other fish in the tanks or only the bettas?
Just the bettas.
Thank you for your continued help and advice. :) The main symptom at the moment is simply lethargy and the swelling on Artemis. And, of course, Odysseus's rot, but I'm gradually combating that. Do you think I should add salt to the water, or will the warmth and IAL do the trick?
ES won't hurt. It actually has mild antifungal/bacterial properties as well.
I highly suggest not feeding insects you catch from the wild. You don't know what kind of diseases, pesticides or other chemicals they may have come into contact. Increasing food is okay as long as you see he's still pooping normally and not becoming bloated. I think just making sure the food is really high quality - first two or three ingredients as whole fish, not fish meal or wheat - and feeding the way you are will help him put on weight.
You might consider leaving the bottom of the QT bare so you can see the poop. I can't tell from the photo if it is or not.
I would be very careful about feeding the female until you can see the poop and the bloat goes down. If she's constipated, continuing to feed can even be lethal.
I don't know that IAL will be enough to combat this, so you might consider getting some meds online, but it's just your call if you want to go all natural. The most important thing in this case will be perfectly clean water..if you cup in opaque cup and not use the net during the change, make sure the new water is identical in temp and include an acclimation period, stress will be minimal.
You can add AQ and ES at the same time if you want.. 1 tsp per gallon each, predissolved. Only add each back with a water change. My biggest concern is that it's been month at this point.. they shouldn't still be struggling with disease a month after treatment if what you were doing was going to be effective.
The insects round here are pretty safe - there are no sprays or anything in the area because we live near protected bushland, and we use no chemicals in our garden. None of my neighbours do either, as they all have animals. Still, the point is moot since I can't find any. :( I may leave a bucket outside and try and grow some mosquito larvae.
The bottom of the tank is covered in IAL. I would leave it bare but it is really reflective and when I've used it in the past, my fish have stressed out at it.
I worry about importing meds - Australian customs are super strict. My sister ordered some perfume the other day that is actually sold in the country, and customs still destroyed it (goodness knows why!). I suspect anything I bought would just get confiscated, which is probably why local shops don't stock anything worthwhile.
Mostly, I confess I'm just relieved they are still alive. :D In the past I have never managed to catch this illness in time to make a difference, as 24 hours can kill them.
I never net my bettas when changing, don't worry. :)
Well, thank you very much for all your help, Callistra. Sadly, Artemis didn't make it. :(
She seemed to be recovering nicely, then stopped eating yesterday. By last night she was that pale bruised colour again. An emergency water change with epsom salt and more internal bacteria medication perked her up and she seemed well today. I divided the tank and gave them half each (she jumped the divider within an hour and I caught her snuggled up next to Odysseus on a leaf, which was adorable and alarming, but I re-seperated them). I went out to work at 5, and my parents, who were kindly keeping an eye on them for me, tell me that they found her dead at about ten past eight. She was fine before I left and I can see no visible cause for her death. She is pretty well coloured and not bloated any more. At least she didn't suffer too much, with it being so sudden.
Odysseus now has the three gallon to himself whilst he grows his fins back. I'm on the second day of using AQ salt and I'm also using StressCoat. He is greedy and active but doesn't seem to be gaining more weight. He's always been a skinny little thing, but I honestly don't know how he is eating 8-9 pellets a day and not putting anything on.
Once he's better, I'll put him into the big 16 gallon. When I get my 23 gallon, he'll stay there with my tetras and I'll break down his 5 gallon (currently housing plants and shrimp).
It's not the same formula. It has lower protein and some veggies which aren't good for your betta.. they cause the pellets to pass quickly through his digestive tract, not giving him enough time to absorb the nutrients. This may be why he's so skinny.
Also his skinnyness could be internal parasites and we can't determine this without seeing his poop.
I would leave him in something bare bottom for a few days or a week until you can see what it looks like. I would also get a betta specific pellet with higher protein and no veggies.
The only thing I can get around here is Hikari, and the second ingredient of that is wheat germ. :( The others are Wardley or Nutrafin, both of which are worse. I may be able to get some betta NLS next month.
Caught sight of some poop on a plant today - it's a normal, darkish brown colour, not abnormally sized or anything.