Hi, I'm new here, but I'm going to post here first (I did read the disease and treatment sticky first) because I'm worried sick about my betta. Probably like most of you, he's a really fond pet of mine. I've only had him for about a year, but he's the most beautiful betta I've ever seen, He's orange (I bought him thinking he was albino, but he was just in really bad condition, poor thing) with red blotches in his fins and he shines blue in certain lighting, which match his blue eyes. I think he's fond of me too, whenever I walk by he perks up and "dances" for me, or waves his tail, then does a lap around the tank. God, I love him.
THE ENTIRE STORY: (TL;DR at bottom)
Anyway, I had a really bad algae breakout and I didn't know why, I think my water levels were normal, or I didn't check them at all-- my memory is bad. Probaby bad water, because my betta developed fin rot. At first, I noticed the tips of his fins were turning whiter, which I thought was him just growing a new color because he shines blue, but after a couple days I realized it was fin rot, and it badly progressed. I also noticed he was hanging at the top of the tank toward the heater and filter, and when I looked at the filter, the black parts and the air-pressure things that attach the heater to the tank were completely white. Along with him in my tank (15 gallon, carbon filter, heater, had one live plant along with a decent amount of decor and a hiding spot or two), I had 3 Corydoras Catfish, a Chinese Algae Eater, and 7 neon tetras (Are there such thing as orange neon tetras? I had two blue and four orange, the orange kept together more than the blue).
I did maybe a 25% water change and went to Petco to seek advice before I did anything. She thought that there was a fungus problem, because the tips of Skwisgar's fins were white and the heater was white, and maybe bacteria and other things going on, so she suggested this "miracle" medicine that would fix all the problems, but they were out of stock and were going to get shipments the next week. She also thought there was ick because I did bring up how he has ALWAYS had these white dots on his fins, but I always monitored it and checked for signs of ick and nothing happened, but she was certain that it was. Skwisgar was getting worse and two tetras died.
I knew I needed to do another water change. I read that catfish did better with finer gravel, and I had a more pebble-like gravel, so I decided to get a new one before I did my water change. I don't know how much of a water change I did, and this is where I probably messed up, but I tried to keep most of the old water. I added maybe 30%-50% of the old water in the tank along with some of my brother's cycled water from his tank (which contains a few similair fish) and the rest with conditioned tap water, which has never been a problem with me. I also rinsed the new gravel before I added it. I put all of the decor in almost boiling water (along with algae removal medication I got to fix the initial algae problem and the decor still had algae on it) I put Skwisgar, my betta, in a very small tank (which I know is horrible, but it was the only place I could keep him... but it is wider than it is shallow, so he does have a bit of room to swim around) and the rest of the fish in a cylinder-shaped 5 gallon tank, which may have stressed them out because the appearance is just... weird. Before I put them in, one catfish was near death and died relatively quickly after putting him in, and a tetra died later that night.
After about two days, I added everyone back in, but when I woke up the next day, Skwisgar was laying at the bottom on his side or hiding in the rock (which he normally does, but he was in there for long periods of times), and two tetras were dead. One catfish was near death, but died shortly after I put all the fish back into the 5 gallon and Skwisgar back into the less than a gallon container. I figured maybe the tank wasn't cycled yet, so I got my water tested the next day, and everything was perfect according to the lady at Petsmart, so I waited another day to put them back in, and got a new catfish so the other wouldn't be stressed from being alone. I went out and bought anything to help my fish, so one employee at Petco recommended Lifeguard All-In-One Treatment, but I don't think he knew much about fish. I put the medication in with the 5 gallon, but didn't know how much to give Skwisgar... this probably would've been a horrible mistake, but I just ended up cutting the tablets into about 4th's and put them in his container.... which did help extremely in the long run, although I never think I'll do that again.
So I added all my fish back in again, excluding Skwisgar, but two tetras died and all the other fish, excluding the algae eater, are very sluggish. I tried feeding them again this morning and no one ate. I sucked up some food from the bottom that they hadn't eaten when I put them in there and removed the live plant, thinking that it may have been infected still. There were holes in it, but I heard that tetras bite at live plants.
As far as Swkisgar, he's swimming around rather frequently and is a lot better looking than he was. I did find a gallon-or-so tank that I'm thinking about putting him in, but I'm worried that this will stress him out and make him worse, although his water is getting pretty dirty. I did get him to eat yesterday, which was great! I was so happy, and I could tell he was too. I think he was starving. As far as the possibility of ick, I'm pretty sure it wasn't ick. His fins are very transparent, so I'm sure it's just the... bone? I'm going out today to buy some medicine that's meant specifically for fin rot, because it's almost reached his body in some areas.... I'll show pictures.
So my questions are:
- What's going on in my 15 gallon tank? Are all my fish not eating because of new tank syndrome and are stressed? The only active fish is the Chinese Algae Eater, and the two tetras are sort of just hovering close to the bottom. If you didn't read above, none of them are eating.
- Should I move my betta to the bigger tank (it does have a carbon filter in it, but I have no clean cartridges or heater) or will he become too stressed out and get worse? He's made so much progress already, I actually didn't think he was going to make it.
- Won't 100% water changes daily stress him?
- What's the best way to get rid of fin rot, from your experience? I read to use aquarium salt, although I've never used it. Is it the same as normal salt? What are API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API Triple Sulfa, and API Erythromycin?
This is him close or during the algae problem, he was pretty active, but you can see the white at the bottom.
This is what his fin rot has progressed to. You can see that he has most of his bottom fins, although it's coming in at a weird top angle and is getting closer and closer to his body, so I need help ASAP. This was taken yesterday.
Better picture of him, I accidentally had flash on... sorry baby.
I'll be sure to update any details if you need them, I tried my best to explain everything... Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions