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Old 10-02-2013, 06:45 AM   #1 
Lefitte
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How to have a healthy, happier betta?

Hi! I've been stalking your site for weeks now, you guys are so helpful! I'm Lefi and I've had bettas most of my life though I'm only starting to learn how to propely care for them. My first lived in a vase to the ripe age of 6 and I'm doing my best to make sure my newest lives just as long but a far better life. I got Chiisana (Chi for short) a few months ago. I wasn't even aware there were different breeds (its been years since I had one) and was delighted to get a HalfMoon Male. However, since getting him, I seem to continually running into problems and I'm hoping to get some advice. I've been steadily obtaining more and more essentials as needed but here's my current set up:

2.5 hooded minibow aquarium
CFL 13 watt spiral bulb
Filter with Fluval foam filter used to baffle the flow on intake and output *veeery gentle*
One smooth pagoda decoration (no rough edges), three silk plants, one Amazon Compacta, terracota pot hide

I recently added a baby albino bristle nose pleco on Thursday (for algae) who will be moved to a larger tank I intend to set up within a few months. No other tankmates.

I use Aqueon water conditioner and recently use Api's CO2 for the amazon compacta.
I do 25-50% water changes weekly.
I feed 2 betta pellets every morning and night, supplementing that with freeze dried bloodworms 1-3 times a week.

Water Parameters
Temp: I try to keep it at 80. (The past few days we hit our first cold snap and the temps been between 76 and 78 and fell to 74 a couple times, I'm getting a temporary heater tomorrow, to be replaced with a better model soon)
I don't have my own testing kit yet (did get hanging meters which don't really work well) but Petsmart tested my water on the 26th, before a 75% water change.
Ammonia: .25
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 8.1
Akalinity: 200
Hardness: 300

History of diseases:
I have myself a tailbiter. After flipping out a few weeks in over tail rot, I've discovered he tends to bite his tail when stressed. The first time it turned into tailrot and I treated it with 100% daily water changes and salt for a week. It healed up. I added the amazon compacta and he loved it. His tail was growing back fabulously. I ended up with a ton of algae due to overfeeding the plant and too much light. I did a 75% water change and added my pleco Albus Dumbledore (Alby). When I have to do a large water change that involved placing him in his cup, he tends to bite his tail. I didn't think much of the chunk he took out. Then his dorsal fin was shredded. I couldn't figure that one out but my dad ended up in the hospital and I didn't have time to worry over it too much. Tonight I found what looked like grains of salt. Looks like my boy has ick! I did a 25% water change, raised the temp to 86 temporarily and added salt.

Since I just seem to be having one problem after another, what can I do?
I'm getting a heater tomorrow. I'm *trying* to cycle my tank, won't 100% water changes ruin the cycle? I also want to get some java moss to add to the tank, though I think I'll wait until after the ick goes away. I read that heating the tank to 86 for a short period will help kill it along with salt. Since I'm doing salt, do I need to do 100% water changes and start my cycle over again? How often should I be doing the salt to rid of ick? I only just noticed 8 tiny white spots this evening.

It all comes down to; What can I improve to help my guy *stay* healthy?
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:35 PM   #2 
CoolishPrune3
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"Keep your filthy hands out of the tank!" lol I'm just kidding. That sounds like something my mother would say.

In all seriousness, I think you're doing great. It's hard to say exactly what causes 99% of the problems in the world, so whatever you are doing must be working. I for one, like to keep my tank simple, as far as chemicals go. I only prefer to add things I really need to. For example; Water Conditioner and Plant Food is all I am adding to my tank right now. Of course, you could always do a fish-in cycle or a whole bunch of plants. There are always things you can add to a tank. You just have to decide what, when, why, how much, etc... Keep in mind though.. adding more to the equation, only spells disaster!

I hope I didn't scare you too much :)

Last edited by CoolishPrune3; 10-02-2013 at 07:39 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:05 PM   #3 
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Haha I don't scare that easy! With some help from another friend, the current game plan is 60% water changes which will allow me to leave him in the tank. He has problems with stress when I take him out for water changes so I try not to unless I have to otherwise he tailbites. That being said, that means that the one dose of salt I have in there will be all I'm adding to it for a while, hopefully it'll work like a preventative against finrot! I came home and his tail was shredded even worse than before I left. Why can't I ever have the -easy- animals? Seriously, there are bettas who aren't so much work haha. [The work doesn't really bother me, I mean I have a cat who's still being bottle fed at age 3 due to cleft palate, it just means that it's harder to make him happy and that part does bother me]
I am trying to do the fish-in cycle. I didn't know about cycling when I got him. [Actually he lived in a 1gal for the first couple days before I went back and got the bigger tank and I've been steadily upgrading it, now I want a 10gal] I also am having fun with this planted tank thing too, even if my plant is also a pain in the rear at times. I plan to heavily plant my 10gal when I set it up and I'm hoping that this tank will be cycled by then so that I can use the bacteria to help jump start the 10gal. I want to get some javamoss for Chi's tank but I was advised by a friend to wait until I get rid of the ich which I think is also a very wise idea.
I really just want to get him healthy and get his fins to a healthy state. The new growth is now shredded -again- when it was fine maybe four hours ago.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:19 PM   #4 
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Sounds like you've got a game plan. Which is better than most can say. If you happen to still be on the forums around tax time, I have a 30 gallon that I am going to heavily plant and cycle, as well. I want to turn it into a sorority tank. However, I have a lot of work to do and things to buy before this will be feasible.
. . maybe we could compare notes . .
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:27 PM   #5 
Lefitte
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Oh I'm sure I will be! I looked and I adopted him in the first week of June. I've been stalking the forums before I even brought him home! Actually it was this site that convinced me to get him the bigger tank the next day.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #6 
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Welcome to the Forum!

I've always wanted to say that.

Anywho, I was re-reading your original post. It's about the plecostomus. I think he might be stressed with his tank mate. Thus, tail biting.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:39 PM   #7 
Lefitte
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Thank you! And yeah, poor guy seems to stress easy. I splurged and bought an API master test kit and a heater (of course) plus some Hikari algae wafers for my pleco. They seem to be doing well together, I think it was more the shock of him being new and the cold temps that have caused my problems. I still can't help to feel like I'm missing something with his fins.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:50 PM   #8 
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You could always try doing a mild AQ salt treatment for a week. 1tsp/gal. 50% wc ever 2 days.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:28 PM   #9 
ANHEL123
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Your last betta lived for 6 years in a vase. I have 5 years old and my 4 years old just died a few wks ago. And your 6 years old lived without a filter. So why do you want to have a filter now. For 2.5 gall i would recommend not to cycle , and don't need a filter.
Ich is contagious . If you share anything between 2 bettas ( water, a net, etc..) then both of the has ich.
The best that i recommend make the water 88*. If 86* might work or might not, 88* is working 100%. I would do full water changes but since you sure he bites his tail when you put him in a cup then do as much water change as you can. The temp will speed up parasites cycle and help them to fell faster so you can remove them manually.
With 88* you don't even have to stress out the fish with salt. Just do 88*and water changes. Do not stop the salt even if you don't see ich on him , treat about 8 or even longer day after you see it last . You need to make sure you get rid of the ones that might hide in the gill area.
Everything that you use for them to change them rinse in the got water after each use and let it air dry until next use. Drying will kill parasites, no host they die.
Do not upgrade the tank until you know they free of ich. Do not buy new plants untill you sure they free of ich. Plants itself can carry ich. So when you go to the store make sure the store don't keep plants in the same tank they keep live fish.

Check this link , POST #10

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?p=2036738
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #10 
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How is your little guy feeling?
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