Henry came from an LFS store last week, and even though he's been energetic and a good eater ever since he came home, his fins were tattered to start with and just keep getting worse. I want to make sure I give him a good start here at home, so I need to double check how I to deal with the problem.
As *soon* as he came home from the store last week, Henry was swimming around and exploring, rushing to greet me, eagerly ate all his food. He builds a bubble nest every day or two, and the nests are usually big--about the size of a fist. His heater, plant, and cave have been in his tank since he got here, and I've since added a filter. The plant is plastic, however, and I think it might have hurt him--he likes to run through the leaves and drag his tail over them. That might have led to fin loss, which has led to fin rot? I'm planning on replacing it with a live Java fern (attached to his cave) and Java moss and removing it ASAP.
Despite the tattered fins, Henry seemed fine until the first water change (a few days ago)--that night, *after* changing his water, he seemed lethargic, shy, and grayish. I usually stay up late and noticed that he was trying to swim around the whole time it was light in my room, so I thought his lethargy might just have been because he was tired. I covered his tank in a blue cloth for the night.
The next morning he was *much* perkier. However, his tail looked more tattered then ever and his color still wasn't great. So that afternoon I got aquarium salt and a Whisper Filter. I was originally only feeding him two pellets a day, but recently I've been adding a pellet every day to see how much he really wants to eat (he devours any food I give him, so far--I'm up to 3 pellets in the morning, 1 pellet in the evening). Once the filter and salt were in yesterday, he seemed much happier, and super active.
Today he's been zooming around as usual, rushing over and wiggling when he sees me, and ate even his extra pellet with relish. However, his tail now looks grayish/black at the edges. The filter and salt don't seem to be doing anything to help. I've also been doing tiny partial water changes with de-chlorinated water (I treat all his water) each day since I got the filter. Oh, and I also tried soaking some garlic in water so I could add a little garlic juice to his tank. He looks and acts healthy, except for the fins.
I was thinking I'd get an antibacterial tablet as well as some Java fern and Java moss tomorrow--then I'd do a 100% water change, remove the plastic plant and replace it with the fern and moss, and also add a medical amount of aquarium salt and the antibac tablet to the new (dechlorinated) water. What should I do about the filter? I'm also worried about the tank cycling with him inside--how do I keep him safe while that's happening? Eventually, I'd like to add 1-2 ADFs, because Henry seems very social and not at all aggressive (he doesn't even flare at a mirror)--how long should I wait after I've stopped salting the tank to add them? Will the salt and antibac tablet hurt the plants or keep the antibac in the water too long? I don't want to leave the plastic plant in there, but without a plant Henry's going to feel very exposed.
Sorry for the intense amount of detail--I just want to make sure Henry gets a good start :).
What size is your tank? 3 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 82*F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes--but it's *brand new.*
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes--as part of the filter.
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Gold pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2/day
How often do you perform a water change? I did 100% after the first five days, and I've been doing tiny water changes (approx. 5%) every day since then.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? A water conditioner/de-chlorinator.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? N/A do not have a testing kit.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His fins (mostly his tail) seemed tattered and now his tail has a grayish/black edge.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He seems happy and energetic--same as ever.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? as soon as I got him, though it seems to have gotten worse.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've added aquarium salt and a little garlic juice to his water, and got the filter. I also turned up his heater from 80* to 82*.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for a little over a week.