Hello All. I would appreciate some answers to my questions...
I'm pretty sure my half-moon, Pontus, has fin rot. He had a white rim around his fins, and then it started wearing away recently. The fins are also frayed. From the research I've done, this is pretty early fin rot, as there are no black spots or major areas torn away. I've bought Aquarium Salt and started adding it to his tank, 1 tsp/gallon as recommended online. I also bought him a larger tank, 2.5 gallon, with a filter, to try to improve his water quality. (I'm in a dorm now, so I have to wait until this summer to get him a 5 gallon.)
1. How long should I continue this treatment of Aquarium Salt?
2. Can I start adding salt regularly? (I found conflicting information on different fora.)
3. How often should I change the water in a 2.5 gallon tank?
4. How often should I change the filter cartridge?
Sorry to bother you all with so many questions. I just worry that I'm not doing the right thing as a fish owner. I feel really badly that I let him get fin rot. I mean, I've been changing his water often, cleaning ornaments regularly, keeping the temperature stable. I'm just bummed out that he has fin rot and he's hurt
Hi! So, I will do my best to answer ur questions, & if I missed something, just let me kno! :)
Ok, #1 You can't use AQ salt past 14 days, a lot of ppl say 10 days though... So to fight the fin rot without it, u would just want to do 50-90% wc every other day... And keep the water warm (78*-80* F) Another thing with the AQ salt, is that u don't want to use it unless its absolutely nessecary, b/c it will become ineffective over time, because he/she/bacteria... etc. will build up an immunity to it (kinda like when doctors tell u not to use antibiotics too often)
#2: see above :)
#3 So, normally with a 2.5, (I have one, & this is what I do too) you would want to do 2 50% & a 100% change every week... So 3 water changes every week: a 50%, another 50%, and a 100% every week :)
With #4, it depends on the filter.... I don't know... And, with some filters, they can actually do fin damage, and they don't remove ammonia (the only way to do that is with water changes, or to cycle your tank- which a lot of ppl say is impossible with a tank this small) with a tank this size, the filter can sometimes be too strong... But then again, some bettas like filters, so u will have to watch and decide, because u kno ur guy best! :)
I hope I've helped, I feel like I don't explain things right sometimes, and I just repeat myself sometimes, so Im sorry if that's the case! :)
Oh, and usually, when the ends of a bettas fins re-grow the new tissue is white/translucent in color... So with ur guy, he *might* just be growing his fins, and they are just changing color and that's why it looks like the white is disappearing.... But, at the same time, some bettas have white naturally at the edges of their fins, so I can't be sure if ur guy has fin rot or not without seeing a picture (I haven't got a lot of experience with fin rot, so I might not even be able to tell from a pic, but we can get some more experienced ppl to take a look!)
1. How long should I continue this treatment of Aquarium Salt? 10-14 days MAX
2. Can I start adding salt regularly? (I found conflicting information on different fora.) It seems the old theory is to add AQ salt but now they say not to add it regurly as it can destroy the internal organs if used long term. Epsom salt, however can be used long term
3. How often should I change the water in a 2.5 gallon tank? If it was me, I would ditch the filter. IMO, tanks under 5 gallons can not hold a stable cycle and there will most likely be too much water movement from the filter. However, if it a sponge filter, that would be OK since they produce very little water movement. You need 2 weekly water changes - one 100% with substrate cleaning and one 50% that is just water
4. How often should I change the filter cartridge? This is kinda tricky because the bacteria that you are trying to grow live mostly in the cartridge. Everytime you replace the cartridge, you toss out the majority of the bacteria. Carbon will wear out after a month but you don't really need it unless you are removing meds from the water. Its cheaper to just swish the cartridge in old tan water to remove the junk and reuse it. I dont bother with cartridges anymore - i stuff my filters with aquaclear foam - the foam will provide a place for the bacteria to live and will do the mechanical filtration. However, IMO tans under 5G are too unstable to grow the bacteria although some people claim they have cycled 1-4 gallon tanks.
If you are trying to heal fin rot, super clean warm water and some stress coat will do wonders, you dont really need AQ salt.
And, with some filters, they can actually do fin damage, and they don't remove ammonia (the only way to do that is with water changes, or to cycle your tank- which a lot of ppl say is impossible with a tank this small) with a tank this size, the filter can sometimes be too strong... But then again, some bettas like filters, so u will have to watch and decide, because u kno ur guy best! :)
For an unfiltered tank, the only way to remove ammonia is via water changes but with a cycled tank - the end product is nitrAte which can only be removed by water changes. It can still be deadly but it takes a much high level for it to do damage then ammonia or nitrIte - this is why many people opt for a tank that is at least 5 gallons. However, it is not mandatory to keep your fish happy. Just keep up on the water changes ;) The link I posted goes into some detail on what a cycled tank entails. It's alot scarier then it sounds
Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed.
Most people will tell you that you can't ever fully cycle a tank under 5g, despite your filter, and you will always need these changes.. you can try, but careful daily monitoring and reliable test kits should be used. This is for tanks 2.5G+. Anything less and there’s no point in even trying. You need to be testing daily with a reliable drops kit for ammonia and nitrite and doing an extra 50% change any time you see either. In addition to this a weekly 50% with siphon or new fresh turkey baster that has never seen chems is needed to remove poop and other debris from the gravel. It is not enough to just scoop water off the top ever. I actually suggest a turkey baster or very small siphon because your tank is so small an average siphon will remove water too quickly.
First you will see ammonia, then nitrite. Eventually, hopefully, you will see ammonia fall and stay at 0 even after a week of no water changes, and finally nitrite. At this point you will be left with only nitrates after a full week of no changes and these can be kept <20ppm by twice weekly 50% change with baster/siphon. However, cycling will take up to two months to complete and many if not most people will tell you that you can't cycle a tank of this size and you will always need twice weekly 50% and 100% water changes or you will always see ammonia continuing to build and the cycle will never finish..
Also there's a lot of reasons that the cycle could seem to finish and then eventually break back down.. one problem with tanks and filters that fit it is that they generally only have one type of media. However, replacing all media at once wipes out your biofilter and requires recycling every time. This is a major flaw in small filters
Thank you Picasso, Tikibirds, and Callistra for all your advice!
I took the filter out of his tank; I do think the current bothered him. I’ve been changing his water daily and adding the salt. The salt treatment will end after the ten-fourteen days. I haven’t seen much of a difference, but he isn’t getting worse. He’s only been on the treatment since Tuesday.
I will definitely take your advice and do a 50% and 100% water change weekly.