I'm not sure exactly how, but originally I would condition the tap water for Giles when I was in college in Savannah, GA. After graduation, I moved back to VA, and he was fine with the 50% water change. I wanted to slowly introduce him to the VA water, after having tested the water with those paper strip tests. Everything SEEMED fine until the next time I changed his water, he began to twitch and finally clamped up, sinking to the bottom and absolutely listless. His condition rapidly grew worse in the span of a couple hours, and I had moved him into a cup of conditioned water, and he was floating at the top, barely breathing. As a last ditch effort, I asked my dad to run to the gas station on the corner and get him some spring water. My very first fish did fine with just spring water, no conditioner. So I tried Deer Park water, and conditioned it, then put him in that. He made a slow but full recover. Ever since then, I've stuck with the same conditioner + deer park water combo.
3 of my friends in college got bettas at the same time, and we all shared products. Mine was always sensative to everything. He would get "itchy" with the aloe-conditioner, while the other fish did fine. Mine had trouble getting used to water conditions while my roomate's fish did perfectly fine. He's just a little trouble child, my fish XDDDD So I'm always so paranoid about putting him through any discomfort.
I should also ask while I"m at it. I"ve noticed that he doesn't flare up anymore. He used to flare up at EVERYTHING, and now he's still energetic and happy, but I can't seem to rile him up about ANYthing, even his own reflection. He just avoids it. I tried riling him up, and he started to flare his fins, but instead, he just breathed heavily, his gills expanding and contracting noticibly but not flaring up. Is that a bad sign?
The paper strips did their job enough. It gave me an idea of the water quality and I had used them before in Georgia. Yes, I acclimated him, nothing different than any other water change. My house is in disrepair here, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was contaminate in our water. It tastes noticeably horrible compared to any other tap XDDD It could either be the water, or simply the old faucets. There are a number of contributing factors.
I was told before about the minerals though. I do wish I could use the tap again, as he thrived perfectly fine in Georgia (after many, many attempts to accomidate his pickiness).
I don't like adding anything to his water that isn't 100% necessary because of his past experiences. He's been on death row many a time XD
As for the lack of flaring up, what's your take on that?
Alrighty! THanks for the info! I'll be looking into that later as well. Now earlier someone had suggested that the bouyancy issue could be caused by the lack of humidity above the water or overfeeding.
Should I first try fasting him for 2 days (I only fasted him one day), and covering the lid mostly with a handkerchief? It gets dry here in the winter, and that is a valid possability. I have noticed that he only started having bouyancy issues when I moved my work station from one side of my room to the other, where he's closer to a fan now. I turned off the fan for a day but no noticable difference, though I could try and cover the tank first.
That could be it. Bettas breathe air so it is best to have a bit of humidity above the tank. You probably wouldn't see a difference after a day, and you will need a cover to keep the humidity. A good option is a large tubberware (or however you spell it) lid to partially cover your tank. The humidity will also help hold bubblenests together.
Thanks! that seems to have helped! I have a handkercheif above the lid of the tank, covering 2/3 of it. He seems much happier now, and indeed I've noticed his bubble nest holding better at last! Thank you n.n