When the betta I bought about a year ago started tailbiting shortly after I got him, I tried everything I could to reduce stress or boredom, but nothing worked. I accepted that I had a chronic tailbiter. Several months later I got another betta and he began tailbiting as well. Again, I tried everything I could, but he continued to do it. I thought I had horrible luck, getting two tailbiters! About a month ago, I got another betta, a beautiful halfmoon turquoise fish with a yellow wash. But after a few weeks, he had shredded his gorgeous tail! Now I'm beginning to think that there is something wrong with my source water.
I don't know much about our water supply or where it comes from, but it often has a strong chlorine smell. I always treat it with Prime when I do a water change, and because I think there's a lot of chlorine, I add a couple more drops than the instructions say. But I'm afraid that there are other chemicals in there that are irritating my fish and causing them to bite their tails. I find it hard to believe that I just happened to get three chronic tailbiters, especially considering my most recently acquired fish had a lovely, full tail when I bought him, despite sitting in a tiny cup at a Petco known for having a poor track record with betta care.
I test for the usual stuff with my API kit, and water straight from the tap has very high ammonia. But the Prime neutralizes it. Plus, two of the tanks are cycled so ammonia is always at 0, and the fish still bite their tails! So I'm thinking there is something nasty in the water that a standard water-test kit can't test for. I always drink filtered water, but I know this isn't an option for fish because filtering removes vital nutrients and minerals. Reverse osmosis is often recommended for people with sourcewater problems, but it's not an option for me. With two five gallon tanks, a 2.5 gallon tank, and a 10 gallon tank, I would either be going to the store weekly, which I do not have time for, or I would have to store big jugs that I don't have room for. Setting up my own RO unit is out of the question because funds are tight; plus, I don't own the house I live in.
So, long story short, I was wondering if it would be an option for me to collect rainwater to use in water changes. Of course the big problem I can think of is that rainwater isn't very reliable, because we might go for weeks at a time without rain. But even if I collected some, perhaps it could help to mix it in with my tap water to at least eliminate some of whatever is causing this problem? I don't know, right now I'm just playing with different options. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!
Originally Posted by fishman12 I know what it feels like...
I would highly advise against rainwater though. Acid rain, CFCs, all the pollution and junk that's up in the atmosphere gets in the water. Plus, like you said, it's not reliable.
Yeah, once I thought about it a bit more, I started thinking it's probably not a good idea. I live in a suburban area where people obsess over their lawns, so I'm sure there are tons of pesticides and herbicides contaminating my immediate environment. I'm just getting desperate, and was hoping there was something I could do!
Does anyone here have a home RO unit? If so, how much do they cost, are they unsightly, and how difficult would it be for someone who does not have a handy bone in her body to set one up?
I'm just getting really fed up with all of this tailbiting! I am always on top of water changes and I keep IAL in my tanks, but two of my boys contracted fin rot anyway. One is doing better after salt treatments, but the other required tetracyline. I wish I didn't have to worry about them always having these open wounds. Plus I'd like to have a male that actually has that pretty, full finnage male long-finned bettas should have. I should have just spent less money and bought females rather than HMs and HMDTs at this rate!
I agree. Rainwater is far too risky. Acid rain and pollution can contaminate your fish's water and you don't want any form of contamination. I know people on here advise against it, but I use filtered water. My tap just isn't safe even with prime! If nothing else works I would suggest aged filter water. It's not the best but it shouldn't make your fish sick.
My HM tailbites over being in the net in the water for a few minutes. He stresses out if my finger gets near the glass. I have the same problem, but it seems that if I leave him alone (pretty much except for feeding) he is fine.
Try bottled water. And to lift you're spirit, make sure you don't have pointed objects in you aquarium that could shred fins. There is also a good chance of finrot. Luckily, these are easily treatable solutions.
As posted use of rainwater can be risky, however, depending on your location it also can be safe and even good to use.....
If you live in an area with high air pollution issues-then I wouldn't recommend it...but if your areas doesn't have air pollution issues-then collection of rainwater to cut with your tap water along with a dechlorinator can be safely done-
Remembering that rainwater is generally void of minerals and either it will need to be cut with tap water or an additive used to replace the minerals needed for long term health-same with the use of filtered water and bottled water....
Care in collection is needed as well-running off the roof can sometimes be an issue but this depends on roofing material used on the house.
You will not want to use the first rain that you get-either the second or third depending on how far apart it rained-
The first rain cleans the air and washes the roof-the second rain if within a few days should be safer to use for fish-
Proper acclimation is needed too....the chemistry difference can be extreme....
I use rainwater in the summer for my Betta spawning outside and collect it to use when I spawn soft water species....sadly, due to the drought the rainwater was limited.....
I change about 20 gallons per week, so bottled water would be way too expensive. Not to mention, I don't have space to store a lot of water, so I couldn't do the cheaper RO water from the grocery store either. Would filtered water work? Or maybe a combination of filtered and tap, in order to reduce some of the bad stuff from the tap, but keep some of the minerals that strictly filtered water would leave out?
OFL: Thanks so much for your detailed response. I do think that pollution, pesticides, herbicides, etc. are likely going to be too big of a problem in my neighborhood to risk it after all.