I need your help.
Last Sunday I got a new betta, a veil tail with long stunning fins. I did *everything* properly. Acclimatised him slowly to the water temperature, the difference in water (his water at the pet shop was 24 degrees celsius, which is perfect, and I made mine 24 degrees celsius, put a heater in, and kept him floating in the bag for an hour and after 45 minutes mixed the new water in slowly with the bag water). He seemed fine at first. He was swimming around, getting used to the space (nothing fancy--2 US gallons, but a lot bigger than what he was used to). The only decorations in the tank are super soft silk plants.
I use API betta water conditioner, which is very similar to Seachem Prime.
I also put in the specified amount of API aquarium salt just in case he had a couple of cuts or whatever from the netting and the trip home.
He seemed perfectly fine, swimming around happily.
Then on Wednesday morning I woke up and noticed that he'd blown his caudal fin. There was an almost one centimetre rip in it in the middle, towards the end.
The fin healed up by itself overnight, which was great.
But then the next day I noticed that his two ventral fins were starting to look chewed up on the ends, and I started to worry (see below about my other fish). And today they look broken. And he spent all of yesterday and this morning with clamped fins, just floating around at the top.
I've done a water change, paying careful attention to match the temperature etc etc etc, but he's still clamped.
I am seriously starting to think that there is something wrong with the water, because I have another betta whose fins look shredded on the ends, and whose ventral fins are always breaking off. I used to think it was fin rot, but it isn't (tried everything to treat it and nothing worked and I've had this other fish for a year and he is not clamped or anything--has a huge appetite and temper and is always zipping around the place, making sure no one is invading his territory).
I also think it's the water, because ever since we moved her (10 years ago!) both my husband and I have had to put moisturising cream on our faces before taking a shower, to stop the water from drying out the skin on our cheeks and making it red. (Dermatologist's orders--he believes that we have 'sensitive skin' that can't handle hot shower water.) But I really think there is something else going on with the water here. Could it be way, way too hard? I've used a strip test kit, and the colour patch put the hardness at 30.
I'm at a loss.