Everyone who I've PM'd and have read my frantic messages knows that I've lost 3 members of my sorority in 3 months to an asymptomatic disease- bloat, lethargy & quick death within 12 hours.
This morning: All girls just fine.
3 PM: All girls fine. I notice that the cats (oto & synodontis) are zooming around more than normal. A few of the girls are pausing, then darting. Water test: zeros across the board.
7pm: Belle is sitting on the bottom of the tank; I scoop her immediatley & noticed distinct "pineconing". Immediatly I placed her in a .5 gal QT w/ 1/2 teaspoon Epsom salts, a 1/4 teasp. Stress Coat, and a few extra drops of Prime.
I dived into my "medicine chest" & refered to our disease thread. All I had on hand to treat dropsy is Maracyn Two. It's hard to measure this stuff for a .5 gal tank, so I put about 1/4 packet in Belle's .5 gal. After a few minutes thought, I decided to treat the entire 29 gal w/Maracyn Two. As I look at each fish, something seems "off" about each of them. Since I can't pin what it is, it's probably my overactive imagination. I'm looking for disease when I'm usually looking at fish w/personalities. Now their personalities look like disease.
Then I checked my mail- the KanaPlax Plus I ordered for Angel (RIP) just arrived.
2 questions: How can I treat the whole tank? Every remedy says to change 100% of the tank's water, but Maracyn Two says NOT to do water changes. I'm at a loss as to what to do next. I not only have my bettas left, but the cats as well.
I've learned that Dropsy is a symptom rather than a disease. I was ready to name myself "Champion Water Changer and Tester of the Year", but then I realized some more likely reasons I've killed the fish.
-In an attempt at a "varied diet", I've probably over fed them (OK the boys are very healthy, but I am less heavy-handed w/ the food b/c there's 1 fish per feeding area- plus no drama; the girls are fun to watch when eating).
-I've been feeding them flake food for 3 months- I read something that said an open jar of flake food is rancid after 1 month!
-I give them freeze-dried tubifex chunks. I bet they expand quickly if not hydrated 1st.
-I got live black worms & was feeding them regularly through Feb. & March. Rinsing w/plain water wouldn't get rid of any bacteria in those worms. My girl Red died b/f the black worms, but the girls had turned on her & ripped her to pieces b/f I could diagnose any disease. She may have been a carrier, but I got her last August!
-My high Ph must be working against me. (But the boys are OK; but not the spawn.)
I also have the problem of trying to feed algae plus bottom-feeder pellets & bettas (who will eat anything).
I am SO SICK of this trouble and expense w/ these fish!!! I am in over my head, pun intended.