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Hi,

What a lovely little girl you have there! :love:

The first thing that I would recommend is that you read about the nitrogen cycle, if you don't know what that is. Basically your tank goes through various stages of growing bacteria as it cycles. It is the process of growing beneficial bacteria, and every tank with a filter will go through this process. The ammonia and nitrite are both toxic to your betta. It seems that you are going through the cycling process based on the amount of nitrites. To counteract these toxic substances in your tank, you will have to do frequent water changes.

Since the tank is cycling, I would recommend doing 25 to 30% water changes every other day. Clean water goes a very long way in keeping your betta healthy. If you can get a water conditioner called Prime, by a company named Seachem, it will help a lot. Prime holds the toxicity of low level ammonia and nitrite for 24 to 28 hours. Using it will protect your fin baby, and keep her healthy. I am not sure if Top Fin will bind the ammonia and nitrite like Prime does.

It would help if you test the water parameters often, especially as the tank cycles. It can take some time for a tank to cycle, so staying on top of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels will be very helpful. If you read about the nitrogen cycle, you will understand the stages of cycling. API has a freshwater master test kit. It is a little pricey, but it lasts for a very long time and is a bit more accurate than the test strips. And the test strips often don't have a way to test for ammonia, which is very important.

Once your tank is cycled, you may be able to do water changes every 5 days or so instead of every other day.

Bettas do sleep, so when you saw her laying on the bottom in her log, she may have been in her sleep cycle. When I got my very first betta, my guy scared the heck out of me, too, as I thought he was dead on the bottom, but really he was sleeping! :) Or, she was reacting to the possible ammonia and nitrite levels in the water as they were making her ill.

Did she have full ventrals when you first got her? If she did, then maybe she hurt herself by getting stuck behind decor or maybe stuck in the filter intake, or something like that. If it is an injury, then the clean water will help the fins to heal. There are small sponges that you can get to put over the intake tube so she won't get sucked up against it, if that has happened. They fit right over the intake tube. Below is a link to an example of one that I get from Amazon, just to have something to look at.


All females will have an egg spot underneath (ovipositor). It is a white spot. Females can also have fuller looking belly areas compared to males.

Bettas also do better with a varied diet. High quality pellets with high protein levels and low levels of fillers are best. Frozen foods are also a great choice if you can get it - frozen daphnia, baby brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, or blood worms are just some examples. Its also good to soak her pellets in water or garlic juice (water that garlic is soaked in) before feeding her. It will cut down on the possibility of bloat and/or constipation, and help her digestive system. The garlic gives an extra added immune boost, and it's also used to get picky eaters to eat.

I know that this is A LOT of information to process. I hope that I have answered your questions. If you have other questions, please post them. This is a great forum with lots of helpful members!
 

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Hi,

I would stay away from anything with "fix" in the name. Bettafix, melafix, etc., all contain tea tree oil, which can affect the betta's labyrinth organ which they use to breathe air. It may be ok for other fish, but bettas don't always do well with it. I tried it when I was new to keeping bettas, and all it ever did was smell up my tank. I saw no improvement whatsoever, and my betta just continued to get worse.

As far as what to have on hand, I kind of go overboard. Many fish keepers will say to not treat with antibiotics and try to do things as naturally as possible with water changes and botanicals, but I am one of those people who will try to save my fish at all costs. I have a ton of meds which I have spent a lot of money on and probably don't need, lol! So I would think the best place to be is somewhere in between, where you are ready in case the water changes and Indian almond leaves don't work. I would recommend that you always have aquarium salt on hand, along with a good, all purpose antibiotic, like kanaplex or maracyn 2 or polyguard. I also always have pure epsom slat with no added scents or additives for fish baths in case of bloat. And finally, I always keep a small bottle of methylene blue, which is a very old fish med that treats a few different things. Hydrogen peroxide is also good, and people ususally have that in their medicine cabinets.

Concerning your betta, at first, I was thinking just a color change was going on, but the fact that she isn't eating is bothering me. If you fast her, and then she gets better and starts eating, then that was the issue with her loss of appetite. If she doesn't start eating again, I would do a little research about columnaris. True fungal infections usually look cotton-like. If there are white or gray patches that are flat, it may be columnaris. I am not saying that is what she has, but just giving you something to look at in case her symptoms get worse. The worse thing to do would be to just start medicating her without knowing for sure what the problem is, or if there is even a problem. Over medicating or medicating wrongly can kill her.

There are some youtube videos that you can watch about how to identify it and treat columnaris. I would treat with aquarium salt and kanaplex (kanamycin) first, to see if that helps. And I would do small water changes every other day to keep the water pristine. It is also recommended to lower the tank temp to 75 degrees to prevent it from spreading/growing/getting worse.

Some form of nitrofurazone is also recommended. API had a med called Furan 2, but it is on longer available. The Jungle fungus tabs at Wal-Mart are really hit and miss. Some people have good luck with it, but others, not so much. There are versions of nitrofurazone powder that you can get. I have never had to treat for columnaris before, so I can't confirm how well these products work, but you can buy nitrofurazon powder by itself.

I hope that this is not too confusing. I am just trying to give you some more information in case you need it!

I do hope this helps!!! And I hope that she gets better soon and that you don't need to medicate her at all!!!
 
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