Hi all, I'm new to this forum and to betta ownership. I bought a betta Thursday night and have some questions!
I didn't know much about bettas before buying one from Petco, having only done cursory research. (I actually have a friend who has owned bettas for years and was going off of her advice.) The crowntail betta I took home is very lively and eating fine, but I noticed the outermost edge of his fins are tinged black. I thought this was his coloration when I got him, but now I'm worried it could be fin rot that he had prior to me purchasing him.
I am currently uploading a video I took of him swimming in front of the camera (I couldn't get a decent picture with my phone) and I'll link it at the end of this post. If it does or does not look like fin rot, please let me know! If needed, I can get more video, but probably can't manage a photo. He doesn't stay still and my phone doesn't focus quickly enough to take a good picture.
Below, I'll share some details about what I've done to set up his tank and what I plan to do. After a lot of research, I'm worried I might be misunderstanding some necessities/requirements and don't want to do too much or too little to ensure my little guy's health.
Tank size: 2 gallon (Tetra brand), but only holds about 1.5 gallons of water after decor and stuff.
Filter: Filtered with an activated carbon filter and no "filter media" (not really sure what that is honestly.)
Heated: No, but I am going to buy a thermometer this weekend to find out if it's not warm enough, and then plan to buy a 2-15 gallon heater I found if the temp is not high enough. My house is very warm, though.
Water type: Using spring water from gallon jugs (Ice Mountain), only minimally pH adjusted, no other treatments.
Food: Right now he's eating Betta Bio-Gold pellets, 2-3 per feeding, 2 times per day. I have freeze-dried blood worms too but haven't opened them, and plan to fast him on Sundays. The first time I tried feeding him yesterday I dropped like 5 pellets in the water... then did research on it afterward. D'oh.
pH: somewhere around 7.5. The water he came in from Petco tested at the highest pH level my test can detect (it's a dropper test and the water turned a rich, clear blue) so I didn't correct the pH dramatically in his bowl.
(I'm not aware of other water stats as I only bought a pH tester.)
Tank Maintenance: So far this is my plan: Buy a siphon and vacuum the gravel every 2-3 days, doing like a 20% water replacement when I do that. Rinse the filter out but don't replace. If the betta has fin rot, I think I will need to buy aquarium salt and add a little to his water for a few days? Otherwise, perhaps the fin rot is due to the stress of living in a tiny cup of dirty water at Petco, and it will resolve over time?
Since I just got this guy a couple days ago, I'm not sure if I should let some time pass before I start fiddling with water replacements and stuff. Could this add to his stress and possibly do more harm than good? I also thought I might look for something like Tetra Lifeguard All-In-One but wasn't sure if it would be necessary, safe to use in as small a tank as mine, or even effective.
Link to Youtube video of my betta: http://youtu.be/ojOILeJeWtM
Thanks for any help, advice, or lecture you can provide!