You're welcome to everyone. I'm glad the information was helpful. The best thing you can do now is to help spread the word to other misinformed betta owners, and even to lfs's. The sooner people understand the facts, the sooner the bettas have better care and live longer, happier lives.
I'd like to add one piece of info to everything else here. I have been working on assembling what would be a great first aid kit for a betta... meant to help take care of the most common medical issues. I am going to suggest that the meds to have on hand when keeping a betta are fungus eliminator, made by jungle, and methylene blue
. I have not found a bacterial infection or a fungal infection that these 2 meds together can't handle, and it's the safest med treatment for a betta. This also makes a wonderful preventive treatment for new fish when they first come home. If every betta that went home spent the first 10 days on a preventive routine with these 2 meds used together, the illness issues that are so frequent would subside greatly. (privided all of the other needs are being met)
Important notes about using these meds for a betta:
Never use any kind of salt in the water when using fungus eliminator. (It has a large quantity of salt in it)
Always keep water temp at 80 - 82 during medication and for at least 2 wks after. 80 - 82 is the best temp for them anyways.
Daily water changes with freshly medicated water are needed during the 10 day treatment. Water can be mixed in a bucket and used for 48 hours, or 2 changes before needing to be remixed. This bucket should have a cover on it to keep dust and other pollutants out.
Fungus guard and other fungal medications are no substitute with the methylene blue for this treatment. Not all other fugus meds are safe to use with methylene blue, and not all are safe for bettas.
Do not overdose either of these meds. Always dose according to the directions on the containers.
These medications are not safe for live plants. Live plants should be moved to a bucket of unmedicated tank water before treatment begins, or betta should be moved to a glass quarantine tank for treatment.
These medications may stain acrylic and plastic. It is always best to treat in a glass container.
The last time I checked, Drs Foster & Smith offered both of these medications on their website. For anyone interested in keeping them on hand, I would suggest checking there first. They offer great service, have options for shipping (overnight, 2 day, standard freight, etc) and will ship to a wide variety of areas. The fungus eliminator can be difficult to find, but if you ask at your lfs, most of them should have it available to order.
If anyone has any other questions, now is the time to ask. The more that goes into the new sticky the better. I am so glad that this turned into such a wonderful learning opportunity for all!