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.
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.
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?