My betta Itchy (his buddy Scratchy died..) would open his fins wide in the hospital cup he was in for ich treatment. It was beautiful. And because his buddy Scratchy died, the dividable tank was open for single use. I place him in there, but he seems so nervous and his fins won't open. Is he okay? He's right now in his hospital cup, just in case he's just not digging the tank.
We will need to more about the tank you kept them in:
What size is it?
What temp is it?
Do you filter it?
What conditioner do you use?
What else lives in the tank?
What kind of decorations do you use?
What were Scratchy's symptoms before he passed away?
Did you clean anything after the death of the other fish? (gravel, filter, decs, plants etc) and if so, with what?
Here's some details about that tank. Itchy and Scratchy were in a 1/2 gallon divided tank. And they got sick. After they started showing symptoms of ich, a.k.a. pesky little buggers, I separated them into two cups they came in so I can treat them. The tank, I washed with hot water (nearly burned myself) and let it dry. I haven't used it after that.
I got two 1 gallon jugs of spring water, added aquarium salt to it, shook it up, and let it sit for 24+ hours.
I've been doing daily water changes to get the free floating ich out.
After Scratchy died, it was upsetting to see the tank that once housed both of them so empty. So I put Itchy in there.
What size is it? 1/2 gal
What temp is it? N/A
Do you filter it? N/A
What conditioner do you use? spring water + aquarium salt
What else lives in the tank? nothing it's empty
What kind of decorations do you use? it used to have decor, but I haven't used it since they got sick.
What were Scratchy's symptoms before he passed away? Lethargic, wouldn't eat, wouldn't respond to my finger or the poop-o-matic (a straw)
Did you clean anything after the death of the other fish? (gravel, filter, decs, plants etc) and if so, with what? They were in hospital cups; it wasn't necessary.
Is it possible you can look around on craigslist or ebay for a bigger tank, say a 1 or 2 gallon at least? This will give Itchy more room and be able to use a heater.
Betta's a tropical fish so they need temps up at 78-80 degree's, otherwise they fall sick and get very lethargic as Itchy is. And to kill off Ich, the easiest way is to keep their temp up at 85-86 but that will be nearly impossible to do in that small of a tank unfortunately
You can use up to 3 teaspoons of AQ salt for treating Ich right now, this is probably your best bet and the easiest thing to do. So when you make up your next batch of water, put in three teaspoons and dissolve it like you've been doing.
Keep up on the dailies, that's the most important part and when he's better, you'll still have to do a water change on the .5 every other day because it's so small. So the bigger the tank you have, the less water changes you have to do. All tanks require at least once weekly but smaller tanks usually need two to three times a week cleanings to really be healthy is all. I mean, you can not clean it and your Betta ends up sick again but I don't think you want than so just keep up on the cleaning's and it should be okay!
A larger tank with proper equipment is on the way, thanks to ANHEL123. Her kindness and enthusiasm to see the kids get better was just gracious. Although it is sad that I will now have an empty tank. I will keep it for later use. I am planning on purchasing another betta to keep Itchy company/fish to flare at.
Thank you so much for replying back.
I do have one question though. I am still very paranoid about Itchy, even more that I was before because of Scratchy's death. Is his behavior any symptom of a fatal condition?
Oh that's wonderful! Anhel is so generous and awesome!
For the .5, you can keep that as a QT tank, you really don't want anything living in that tank permanently, it's just too small.
Okay so for Itchy, he's being lethargic and unresponsive? Has he lost color, any Ich spots on him? How long has it been since you saw the Ich spots? Ich could still be bothering him even with daily changes. Does he look bloated at all? How does his poop look and does he poop every day or close to? Anything weird with his tail at all?
I second keeping the .5 as an empty hospital tank as needed. I keep pest hitchhiker snails (that come off live plants) in mine since I can't kill them.
Once your new stuff arrives bump the heat up like lilA suggested to kill the ich.
Also, tap water might be a better choice for water. Just remember to ALWAYS add water conditioner to get rid of chlorine and heavy metals. I think spring water lacks some of the essential minerals needed by bettas. (of course I could be confusing spring water with reverse osmosis water)
Yeah actually, Spring/Mineral water is just fine but yes you can use tap water just as easily! And it's usually temp controlled too so when you get the bigger tank, you can fill it with tap and to get the temp just right you can run a glass thermometer under it and get just at 78-80 degree's! Which is what you want! Oh and never use distilled water, at least not without mixing it with tap/spring/mineral water.
Oh and for Itchy, it could be that being in chilly water is effecting him. More often than not, room temperature water is just not hot enough for Betta's. It's kind of like if you went outside in the middle of winter in freezing temps with shorts and a tee-shirt, probably wouldn't feel very good