Okay I was able to test the water today and my nitrate level is around 'caution' to 'stress'...also it's really hard water. So...the test strip bottle says to fix nitrate by adding a bacteria/enzyme product like Zyme or nitrate ion exchange. Also I was told something about putting aquarium salt in? What do you guys recommend?
Nitrate levels can be lowered by (are you sick of hearing this yet?) more frequent, larger water changes. As Chicklet said 50% once a week is the bare minimum. Since you've got nitrate problems (it happens) then you should be bumping that water change schedule up to twice a week or or every other/every third day. The dirty water goes out, clean water goes in, and nitrate levels are diluted and become less.
Also, in reference to your first post, it is also extremely likely that the 'open wound' near his eye has not had a chance to heal because of the high ammonia levels in the water due to lack of water changes. If you can keep up on the water changes and keep him in clean water, many a fish will recover on their own.
The dark edges around the fins you mentioned is probably finrot, another thing which is usually caused by, you guessed it, dirty water. Most fin rot will clear itself up on its own in a couple weeks if you keep the fish in clean water, and a little salt never hurts.
Aquarium salt - I use this in my tanks. It is a great preventative and also does well in helping to clear up some mild infections. You can go get this at any petstore, comes in a carton, which will last quite some time. I dose at 1 tsp per gallon. Only add salt after a water change, since it does not evaporate, the water changes are the only way to take it back out. Salt levels will raise otherwise, and eventually reach a toxic point and kill your fish.
awesome thank you! So I don't need any of that other stuff it was talking about on the test strip bottle...just keep changing water so it's clean...and a little aquarium salt? :) I can do that! I did a water change that was more like 75%...that's not too much is it? I will do it every other day for a week or so and hopefully that will help the poor fellow. Where his fin has rotted away...will it grow back?
What was it talking about on the test strip bottle? I don't use test strips so I have no idea what any of that may recommend *cough* advertise *cough*
I have yet to find a water change that is "too much." All of my guys have gotten used to being cupped temporarily when I do 100% water changes, and they certainly seem to suffer no ill effects of it, so I'd say a 75% water change isn't going to do more harm than good. The clean water after the water change will quickly offset any stress he may have been suffering from during the water change. And during the more frequent 40-60% water changes I do several times a week where I simply suction some of the water out through a tube and leave the betta in the tank, I'd say several of my bettas have actually come to enjoy the process. Apparently the tube and my fingers are some great form of entertainment to them, and they will often come right over and poke around whilst I'm removing water. Although admittedly one of my bettas happens to think that my hand is a great invader in the tank and must be fought off at all costs, and will strike repeatedly at my hand whilst cleaning. They aren't going to draw blood, of course, but it is something of a surprise if you weren't paying attention. xD
But really, clean water is the best medicine for a fish. If you can do that you can prevent and cure so many ailments a fish could get. Clean water, a little salt, and you're on your way.
The tail - yes, it can grow back in time. With clean water and time the fish's immune system will win out over the fin rot, the now rotting and decayed bits will fall off (or be eaten off by the betta themselves - be careful of this, some bettas get a little overzealous in this regard and will eat off the better part of their tail or anal fin in the process, whether that much really had rot or not) and new growth will start in. The new growth will be clear at first, don't be alarmed, this is normal. In time those clear bits may eventually take on the color of the rest of the fish "fading" back into color, if you will. Some fish never regain the coloring part though, it all depends on the individual fish and how well they bounce back.
Hi there. I stopped reading at "melafix". It is hazardous to all labrynth fish !!! even a sall does is considered risky!!! change out your water however you can ,do run carbon and consider "bettafix" for your med choice. Good luck, you can probably save him if hes survived the melafix.
Both bettafix and melafix are bad in my opinion, and I have seen firsthand what they can do. The advice others have given you is good, and if you follow it you shouldn't need any meds at all. If however you do end up needing some extra help, we can advise you on some safe meds to use later.
Large water changes are good, just in case you were confused don't do 100% changes ever on a CYCLED tank. Also, never completely clean the filter, or take out the gravel to clean it. You can take out as much water as you want as long as you leave the surfaces colonized by the benificial bacteria (which process fish waste from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate which is less harmful than the first 2) intact. Some members here keep UNCYCLED tanks so they must do 100% water changes to remove organic matter. I just wanted to clear that up because restarting a cycle will cause more harm than good.
i was just about to recommend salt when I saw the 2nd page of this (i always neglect to read the second page!) so you guys have it covered. But i would say make sure you keep up the salt even after all signs of infection have healed. You should use it on healthy fish as well as ill fish.
i would really keep an eye on that tail. I posted a pic of fin rot in the pics section for reference. If it looks like that, make sure you keep an eye on it. you DO NOT want it to spread to his pectoral fins or his body. Both of those happenings are very bad news, indeed. let us know how he's doing afte rthe water change!!