First time ever posting on the forums, and its a big emergency for me anyway.
I left my newly aquired Betta with my wife for 6 days, while worked. (I had him for 5 days prior). 16 Gallon tank all to himself around 25 - 26.5 degrees C at all times thanks to a good heater and a warm room.
He was a beautiful blue, turqoise colour and very lively, interested in goings on outside the tank, etc.
I return to find him floating at the top of the tank, resting his body against the side, with most of his fins gone and very dark in colour, almost black. He is such a sorry sight, still moves about a little but he is really weak.
I spoke to my friendly local fish shop who suggested a number of issues. I subsequently spent alot of money on a very good water testing kit which showed hardly any amonia, good PH levels, but extremely high Nitrate, and nitrites.
I immediately removed the fish to a medi tank, and began a phase of water changes to lower the nitrate and nitrite.
and it will be 20% tomorrow,
and the tanks Nitrates and nitrites are slowly dropping, almost roughly half of what they were yesterday but still pretty high.
Anyway, my main concern is for the fish. He looks so sick, not gasping, bit so dark in colour, and loss of around 70 - 80% of fins which again wouldnt bother me, but just how weak he is and his inability to swim down or really anyway. I think he may have just loss the use of one of his front fins(name?) too.
I certainly dont want to give up on him, and if he can recover then I couldnt care less if he regains fins etc aslong as he will be happy. But I dont want to be causing him undue stress or pain and wondered if I should put him out of his misery? I know Betta's are tough, but he looks really unhappy.
Never thought I would get so upset about a fish, I served in Afghanistan and Iraq and I am a cop for gods sake, but this brought me near to tears. Any help or advice would really be appreciated.
Especially to avoid this happening again!
Ph I have added aquarium salt to both tanks, and unfortunately I dont have a digi cam so no photos yet.
Awaiting eagerly for replies.