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Old 04-07-2013, 12:08 AM   #1 
Starfish1's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Fin melt, need to soften water

Hi, I'm having a fin melt issue with one of my crowntails and now one of my plakats (bottom fin) and learned some very helpful info here about water hardness and ph being too high for some tail types. My water hardness as of 3 days ago using a test strip was about 75, alkalinity 120, ph 7.2. From what I understand ph of 7 is ideal for crowntails and I read about using indian almond leaves.

I'm worried about just plopping an almond leaf into the tanks and seeing what happens because I don't want to mess around with ph and stressing out my fish. Also, my water change schedule is usually 50% every 5-7 days for my 10 gallon and 100% every 4-5 days for my 3 gallon unfiltered tank. I'm not really able to do small water changes every day. I would prefer something I could add to the water every time, so the ph/water softness would get to a certain number and then be the same every time I change the water.

I did find some indian almond leaf tea bags online, which seemed like a good idea because from what I am reading I could mix them with warm water and add a fixed amount of the "tea" with each water change. Is this a good idea? Or is there anything else that is recommended instead?

I'm actually wondering if the test strips are even accurate or if my water is worse than the test says because I see so many with beautiful crowntails on here that don't look like they have any issues at all and mine always seem to right away. I'm ok with buying the liquid test kit especially if I'm going to be messing with the water parameters but I will have to order that online.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:17 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ontario, CA
Your CT has fin melt or curled fins? If your Ph is 7.2 I wouldn't mess with it. I've never used IAL but my understanding is they are a good thing for a Betta. I don't know how much they soften the water. My CT had curling in his fins but never showed fin melt with my VERY hard water. Yes, I would invest in the liquid test kit, it'll last MUCH longer than the strips & is more accurate. I would get the test kit before adding anything to soften the water to make sure what the Ph is. If your 10g is filtered/cycled a too low Ph can mess the cycle up.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:52 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
IAL will lower it slowly.. it's okay to plop in a leaf with no trouble to the fish. And yes, there is a difference between curling of the CT's fins and fin melt.. pictures would help.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:22 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Okay that helps a ton if I can just plop it in there. What happens during water changes though, he's in a 3 gallon so I do 100% every 4 days because that works best with my schedule. Wouldn't the water be fluctuating way too much whenever I change it? Even if I upgrade to a larger tank and do 50% changes or keep him in the 3 gal and do 50% twice a week wouldn't that be too big of a fluctuation in the water? What do breeders do when they plop the leaves in the water but then have to change the water for all the bettas?
If I can just figure out a water change shedule I'll be all set! I have a 10 gallon and a 3 gallon that need leaves so any ideas on cleaning schedules with the leaves is much appreciated :)
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