I have successfully kept several bettas in the past but recently have had a weird series of events. Over the past year I have had 3 different male bettas. The first two of the series lived a few days before becoming slowly covered in a white fuzz and dying. The third is just now beginning to grow the fuzz. I've had him for 3 days. Time from the fuzz first appearing to death has been about 2-3 days. Each time I have done a complete water change and essentially a new tank set-up before introducing the new fish. There has also been a period of about 2-3 months between the fish. There have only been two things constant throughout these three fish: The tank and a black mystery snail as a tank mate. It is the same snail that has lived through all of them. But he has never displayed any signs of illness.
After the first two deaths, I realized the tank I am using is lit by LED. So I'm used to the tank light keeping the water temp perfect for the bettas, but with an LED it doesn't get as hot and I figured it was not getting the water warm enough which was leading to the deaths. Before I brought the third fish in, I bought a heater that keeps the water around 76 f.
So now I'm left wondering if the snail is a carrier of something that isn't making IT sick, but infects the fish very quickly. Here are the answers to the questions from the first thread. I know this is a betta forum and I may need to ask the question of a snail expert, but figured I'd start here.
What size is your tank? 3 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76 F
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? air stone
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Black mystery snail (apple snail)
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I use a Jungle 5 in 1 test strip, so I don't get precise numbers. But the Nitrate, Hardness and Alkalinity are in the ideal/safe range. But the Nitrite is reading in the stress/danger level (the color on the pad seems to fall in the 3.0-5.0 range) and the pH seems to be reading about 8.4.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? seems less vibrantly colored, has white fuzz beginning to grow
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? bounces between being agitated and lethargic. Not much in between
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? The only thing I have on hand is the Tank Buddies tablets to prepare water. They are the ones that prepare 2 gallons of water for immediate fish use. I have about 3 gallons in the tank and went ahead and dropped one tablet in there as it was all I had. I will be able to go to the store once my husband gets home or can have him pick something up on the way home if needed.