our betta girls are doing very well so far in their bowls (about 6 and 7 liters). They eat about 4 pellets a day. I don't feed them about once a week, sometimes I feed them only once a day with 2 pellets. I change about 70-80% of the water every week, I rinse everything with hot water, no soap and no scratching. I use spring water with water conditioner that also has something in it that is good for the fins. Each bowl has a silk like plant and a plastic plant, that is a little peaky at the end, but otherwise smooth. One bowl has one of these hollow grey plastic rocks with holes in it and 3 weeks ago I bought one for the other bowl. For the first time I changed the water after 2 weeks and used a 500ml bottle spring water unconditioned in addition to the conditioned water and the old water. 1 week ago I realized, that the fins of the girl in this bowl looked like somebody gnawed on all of them, except for the 2 tiny ones on her chest. I bought betta fix, but haven't used it yet. I'm watching her for a week now and she eats well and is active as usual. Just the fins look sick. Maybe she looks a little thinner, as usual, but I could be wrong about that. When I changed the water, she also lost almost all of her color, but got it back, when I put her back in the bowl and fed her. I can't really tell, if the fins are getting worse, I would say, it either stayed or got just a tiny little worse. The other girl looks fine. I use different equipment for the water change. I use the same strainer for the stones and plants, but rinse it well.
Does that sound like fin rot or is it more likely the rocks fault or the 2 week water change or the unconditioned water bottle?
It's just weird, because the other girl is fine in her bowl with the same conditions.
Should I use the "API betta fix all natural" as a precaution and does it go together with the water conditioner?
Use a nylon and run it across the plastic decorations and the rocks. If it snags then it is too rough for your betta. For a tank that size I would be doing about 2 water changes per week. I think that replacing any rough decorations, upping your water change schedule, and adding the correct amount of aquarium salt should do the trick.
Also, never add unconditioned water to the bowls as it could contain chlorine of chloramine that is harmful to fish.
so I made a 95% water change, and added about 1 tsp. regular salt (I think it was 1 tsp for 1 gal?, I have about 1,5 gal but thought, that would be enough), but forgot to check the rock. I didn't want to bother her too much, so I'll check it next time. I took some good pictures with my new camera and will post them, as soon as I know how to get them on the comp. and then here....
She seems to be quite happy, but actually compared to the other one, I would say now, that she seems more weak and nervous and not as relaxed as the other one. But she eats good as usual.
I'm also in the process of switching to 2,5 gal tanks, because I think, the cooler temp. in the house could have also affected her.
Thanks for your post, Kim.
Oh, and could spring drinking water still contain chlorine???? It doesn't taste like it, though.
It's always safest to use a water conditioner, but I don't think this is what's causing your fish's fin rot. I also don't think it's your decorations as they sound pretty betta-safe and you've got female fish, which have shorter fins that don't snag as easily. Be careful with the salt, as bettas are sensitive to high salt concentrations.
Doing 20% daily water changes will keep your water quality under control which will help a lot. You could also try using some medication to clear things up. Bettafix (or diluted Melafix...they're the same thing) in conjunction with Pimafix has worked wonders on fin rot for me, but others haven't had success with it. I've also heard good things about Jungle's Fungus Clear.
The problem is, that I don't know how to condition only 40% of the water (20% for each fish), because I can only measure in 0.5 gal steps (0.5gal gets 1ml conditioner that's what it says on the conditioner bottle).
Could I maybe condition more water and let it stand, until I use it?
For the medication: I looked at the jungle fungus tablets, but first it says that something in it could cause cancer and I wouldn't really know how to break the tablet down for the <6 l bowl (this going back and forward between the ml, liter and gal is killing me in addition). Oh wait, there was a per gallon dosage shown in one of the threads here.
I don't have the pimafix, but could bettafix alone work, too? And how do I medicate? I thought, I would do a 95% water change tomorrow again (then it's been 4 days), rinse everything from the bowl, fill the conditioned water in, add the bettafix (how much?) and stir and put Dali back in?
And what do I do then? Do I add more drops every day or only during water changes, and how much water would I change?
Sorry, if that sounds a little stupid, but I'm a little worried about overdosing or not mixing well or about mixing too much stuff together.
And last but not least: How do I know that she is not contagious anymore so that both girls can go in the same tank with the divider? It took about 6 weeks for their fins to grow back, after their fight.