Sigh. I need to whine a little before I post the specific problem. I'll italicize the whine for those that want to skip it.
I've tried looking through other threads and posts and I can't seem to find the information that I am looking for. (I'm sure it exists - I just can't locate it.)
This summer I had to put my beloved FIV-positive rescue cat of thirteen years down. My husband and I decided that we would wait until we were in a house (instead of our apartment) before bringing anything furry home. In the meantime, I was feeling a little bereft of animal companionship and thought that getting a nice little fish would be a good compromise. I had owned several goldfish growing up and one of my friends (who owned bettas all through her childhood) said that having a betta fish was so much fun because they were smart, interactive, etc. I did my research, got the recommended supplies (from betta websites not the crappy little tanks sold by mean people), and set out to get my new friend.
To my chagrin, the first two fish I bought died within a few days. (BTW - if you are living with an inexperienced fish owner and you call and ask how the fish is doing and whether or not it is moving, be very specific because they will not realize that a dead fish will still move if the filter is bobbing them around.) I went back to PETCO after the second one and talked to a really nice sales associate who owned several bettas herself. She told me that another colleague (also experienced) had a bad run with the three bettas she bought recently and that it might be just a "bad betta batch." She recommended that I wait a week before coming back so that they could get new bettas in the store.
(Musically Talented Members: BAD BETTA BATCH would be a pretty sweet name for a punk rock group. Just sayin'.)
Okay the environment:
2.5 gallon tank (though I am thinking of moving him to bigger one)
heater (temperature reading at 78 degrees F) I keep the thermometer on the side of the tank opposite the heater.
substrate - round glass pieces mixed with sand (no broken ones)
flat polished river rocks so he can lay down and nap
hiding places (his favorite is a piece of the blue aquarium foam sleeve that I hung down the side of his tank with plastic clips to make a 'tunnel')
3 live plants and 2 silk (all pretty small)
Ammonia Level - 0
PH reading - 6.8
(I just cleaned the tank)
Added to Water:
1 teaspoon of AQ salt
1 & 1/2 teaspoon Betta Fix
1/2 teaspoon Stress Coat
After the tank cleaning Gilgamesh wouldn't eat at all. He did eat a little bit this morning.
I have been feeling pretty good about my betta abilities lately - a clear sign of hubris and that I was destined for a fall.
When I first got Gilgamesh, he had a few torn areas in his tail. I kept his water clean and added Betta Fix and he healed up.
1.Friday night I noticed that his tail and fins had some tears and he seemed unusually skittish and lethargic.
2.He was due for a tank cleaning so I made sure that I did that ASAP and added the things mentioned above.
3. I looked over Gilgamesh when he was in his "holding bowl" and did not see any white spots (that were not natural because he is marbled) and I did not see any black or red on the torn parts of his tails and fins. (I do have antibiotics if needed.)
Soooooo, betta experts, I am not sure if something is wrong or if I'm being a betta helicopter mom. If there is something wrong, I would welcome any suggestions for causes and treatment.
Sorry for the rant. I want to do right by this little guy and have always been a good pet owner and have had goldfish live for nine years! It frustrates me that people who keep bettas in tiny containers have no problem but I'm following all the betta advice and 'rules' and seem to be making my little guy unhappy.