I have a female betta, Alex, which I purchased Sept. of 2009 in Phoenix, Az. Six months ago, we found ourselves here on the east coast. As a first time fish owner, I really didn't consider that she might need a heater as a tropical fish in the much colder climate. I feel absolutely awful that my ignorance has caused her so much trouble.
In January, her eyes became cloudy - My first indication that something was wrong. I realized that she needed a heater as the water temperature had dropped well into the low 60s. After slowly heating the water to 75-80 F, cloudy eyes went away.
Alex is keeping her fins clamped and has lost much of the color on her body however. I've come to believe that she has Velvet. It's not visible under normal light but - with a flashlight - there are gold color patches under her head and fins. There are also smaller spots on her tail fin. She's been wedging herself between the filter and the tank side - an action I interpret as attempting to scratch at it.
Two Gallon, filtered aquarium. One fully submerged plant and one nerite snail to eat algea. I use water conditioner, but no aquarium salt.
What I've Tried
I'm not crazy about introducing chemicals into my aquarium. I attempted to combat the Velvet by keeping the entire aquarium covered and in the dark. Perhaps 30 minutes of light a day to feed and periodically check on the temperature. In five days, I haven't seen any change in the Velvet.
Please make no assumptions that I know what I'm doing - as I said, she's my first and only fish.
Thank you ahead of time for any help you can offer!
- Do I have any other options to treat the Velvet without using CopperSafe? I've heard that it can be risky and I'm attempting to avoid it.
- I've purchased another two gallon, unfiltered aquarium, heater and thermometer since I read that copper can be absorbed into the tank and make it permanently uninhabitable for snails. Should I still use water conditioner with the CopperSafe?
- Do I need to do anything to the main tank? Will the Velvet exist even without her in it? What can I do with a snail in there?
- How long should I keep Alex quarantined?
- How often should I change the water in the quarantine tank? Do I keep adding CopperSafe?
- Do I need to do anything special to reintroduce Alex back into the main tank?
- In one of the picture below, there are black spots on her top fin and a splotch on her body... Any idea what this is?