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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay.. so my boyfriend decided to do something nice for me and clean Jupiter's tank while I was away since I can't do it alone (it's a 5 gallon and I can't lift it.. I have a siphon now) and he used dish soap to clean it.. so Jupiter is sadly no longer with us. ):

Fast forward, and I just brought home a new crowntail from Petco, Mercury. I just have a few questions to make sure he lives a long happy life. Thanks in advance for any answers.

First, pictures:

Tank: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/4993_521531484534793_904777982_n.jpg


Mercury: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/424221_521531511201457_1593522896_n.jpg

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/545221_521531597868115_1610044189_n.jpg


5 gallon with a pre-set heater and no filter. That's a bubbler in the back that the petco guy told me would be okay since the filter that came with the tank was too strong, but Mercury hates it so it's unplugged. That black strip is a thermometer. He's living happily with three ghost shrimp.

I use Tetra BettaSafe water conditioner and added in a little under one dose of pre-dissolved API aquarium salt. I also added a little under one dose of Bettafix because he has a small patch of tail rot, which I'm assuming came from his previous living conditions at petco. I am feeding him Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. 3 pellets once a day. This is day 2 and he ate them all. I also have freeze-dried bloodworms, I offered him one on two separate occasions and he turned up his nose at it.

Since I brought him home yesterday, he's seemed very happy. He's never still; he's always swimming around exploring the tank and watching the ghost shrimp. He seems content.

My main questions are..

How would water changes work?

and

How should I treat his tail rot? You can clearly see it in the second picture of him. I put aquarium salt and bettafix in the tank when he was first put in, which was yesterday. After doing some reading and seeing all the mixed reviews about bettafix, and being unsure of water changes, I was afraid to add any more of the two.

So if someone could let me know how to use bettafix and/or aquarium salt to treat his mild tail rot, and how to do water changes during and after treatment, I would be very grateful!

Edit: I just thought of two more questions.

1. My thermometer on the side of the tank is reading 76ish, but when I put my hand in the water, it feels hot, like well above 80 degrees, but the farther down my hand goes, the cooler it gets. I think it's the hot lamp built into the top of the tank. Is this an issue?

2. How often should I feed him, and how? Since Jupiter was a double tail, someone told me to feed him 3 pellets a day and fast once a week. Is this okay for Mercury too? Also, I'm seeing things about frozen peas, should I do that as well?
 

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Bettafix contains tea tree oil which damages the labyrinth organ, meaning over time, it will suffocate your fish. I'd remove it immediately.

AQ salt is good for treating fin rot, but should not be used for longer than 10 days. It needs to be dissolved completely before adding it to the tank (this is very important). You can dose up to 3tsp per gallon but I would just use one. When you've finished the 10 day treatment or he starts to heal, warm, clean water will work wonders.

Also, those thermometers are not very accurate and will make water changes difficult. You will need one 50% and one 100% a week with no filter. To do 50% changes, you just remove half the water and replace it with conditioned water of the same temp (this is another reason why I recommend the in-tank glass thermometers). For 100%, he will need to be re-acclimated to the new water each time.

One more thing I would personally do is add another tall (preferably live or silk) broad leaf plant that will reach the water surface or get close to it so he has a resting place near the top. They breathe water at the surface so they like to rest close to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much. He is on day 2 of the salt and I will give him a 50% change on Wednesday. Last night he happily ate 3 pellets and seems to be content. I just have a few more questions..

1. My thermometer on the side of the tank is reading 76ish, but when I put my hand in the water, it feels hot, like well above 80 degrees, but the farther down my hand goes, the cooler it gets. I think it's the hot lamp built into the top of the tank. Is this an issue?

2. How often should I feed him, and how? Since Jupiter was a double tail, someone told me to feed him 3 pellets a day and fast once a week. Is this okay for Mercury too? Also, I'm seeing things about frozen peas, should I do that as well?

3. He turned up his nose at freeze-dried bloodworms, is this normal and/or okay? I heard bettas were supposed to love them.
 

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1. Do you have a stick on thermometer? Those are notorious for being inaccurate. I would get a floating in tank glass thermometer with a suction cup. Walmart has them for $1.50. I usually move the thermometer around the tank to see if there is hot and cold spots. How is your heater (horizontal or vertical at top or bottom of tank) positioned and do you have a filter? Check the temp before you turn the lights off at night then recheck it in the morning right after you turn them on. If there is a major temp difference, then the lamp may be a problem as temp fluctuations are stressful.

2. It depends on the type of pellets you are feeding as some are smaller than others. I feed my bettas three pellets a day if its Omega One, 6 if its New Life Spectrum because they are much smaller. My blind boy I only feed 1 or 2 a day because he is less active than my other bettas. Please do NOT feed peas! Bettas are carnivores! Plus, they can't digest peas. These are sometimes suggested for constipation but I would never ever feed my bettas peas.

3. Yes, most bettas do like bloodworms but they are all different. I have seen bettas turn their nose up at bloodworms. Some are very picky, and this is totally normal.
 

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To make water changes easier, I would recommend cycling your tank. By having a cycled tank, you create a healthier environment with balanced chemicals for your Betta fish. Additionally, you only need to complete partial water changes each week to maintain it. For a 5 gallon cycled tank, you would only need to change 50% of the water regularly.

As for food, frozen peas do not necessarily work. There is controversy around them, having been rumored to cure bloat or constipation because they work with goldfish. Betta splendens are insectivores, however, and really do not need to each plant matter. As long as your fish has good food with varied ingredients (such as whole krill/herring/etc. meal rather wheat or an unspecified fish meal) and is fed on a regular basis, it will be healthy. Frozen foods can add to its diet and it is fun to watch your fish in action, doing what is natural to it.
 

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^ you would still need a filter to cycle, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1. Do you have a stick on thermometer? Those are notorious for being inaccurate. I would get a floating in tank glass thermometer with a suction cup. Walmart has them for $1.50. I usually move the thermometer around the tank to see if there is hot and cold spots. How is your heater (horizontal or vertical at top or bottom of tank) positioned and do you have a filter? Check the temp before you turn the lights off at night then recheck it in the morning right after you turn them on. If there is a major temp difference, then the lamp may be a problem as temp fluctuations are stressful.
I have a stick-on thermometer, my heater is vertical at the top of the tank, and I have no filter. I have a bubbler which the Petco guy said would filter water a little bit (enough for a betta) while not having enough movement to stress him. However, he seems to hate it so I have it unplugged.

2. It depends on the type of pellets you are feeding as some are smaller than others. I feed my bettas three pellets a day if its Omega One, 6 if its New Life Spectrum because they are much smaller. My blind boy I only feed 1 or 2 a day because he is less active than my other bettas. Please do NOT feed peas! Bettas are carnivores! Plus, they can't digest peas. These are sometimes suggested for constipation but I would never ever feed my bettas peas.
He is eating Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. People on this forum told me to feed Jupiter 3 every day, fast once a week because he was a DT and had what they called a hunchback. I was wondering if this was different for Mercury since he's a CT, or if the same feeding regimen would work.

3. Yes, most bettas do like bloodworms but they are all different. I have seen bettas turn their nose up at bloodworms. Some are very picky, and this is totally normal.
Okay, well I guess if he doesn't take a liking to them, I'll have to find him some other food. It's not good for him to eat strictly pellets, is it? What would you suggest? I got the bloodworms at Wal-Mart, and I saw brine shrimp there too, both freeze-dried.

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it. :)
 

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Okay, w'll I would move the heater horizontally at the bottom of the tank. Remember that heat rises, so this will help heat the tank more evenly. If you had a filter, I would suggest you place it under the filter by the intake as this also helps, but not having a filter is perfectly OK as well, as long as you are doing proper water changes. What's your water change schedule, btw?

I'm assuming the Hikari pellets are the same size as the Omega One... 3-4 a day is perfect. CTs also seem to bloat easier so a fast day a week would be good as well (although personally I just alternate, I feed 3 a day and sometime only 2, but my CT bloats easily so he gets fast days.)

I personally feed a variety of pellets. Freeze dried foods are treats, and I feed them occasionally (like every two weeks). Pellets should be the staple diet. Some people also feed frozen foods as treats, but I do not because they can possibly give your fish internal parasites (which I am currently dealing with. No fun!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies. I don't think I can move my heater.. It's one of those submersible ones with the suction cup that are pre-set.

And I plan on doing one 50% water change every Wednesday and one 100% every other Saturday. Would that be okay?
 

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Lol why can't you move it? Is it attached to the tank somehow or is it not fully submersible?

I would do two water changes per week. Do you have a gravel vacuum? You could do 50%s Wednesday, and alternate 80%s and 100%s on Saturdays with a gravel vacuum on the 80%s (I use a vacuum for every change because it cleans the gravel and also is just easier than scooping out the water). Partial water changes are a lot quicker and easier than 100%s anyways and personally, I don't like 100%s because removing the fish is stressful.
 

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Just a side note on the stick on thermometers: They actually measure the temperature of the glass on the outside and can be 4-6 or more degrees different than what is actually in the tank. I have one right next to an inside thermometer and I've yet to see them read the same temperature. At this very moment the outside one reads 72, while the inside one reads 76. Huge difference if you ask me. When I've had my room heater on full blast, I've had my outside thermometer read 80 or higher, while the inside one is still reading 76.
(My female prefers her tank at 76 - I've tried both higher and lower temps and she freaks out at any temperature other than 76)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I move my heater down into the tank any more, the cord will be in the water. Is that okay?

And I will get an in-tank thermometer.

Also, I do have a gravel vacuum, and will do 50% on Wednesdays and alternate the 80% and 100% on Saturdays.
 

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Oh, good.

The heater cord can get wet, just not the plug in. All of my heaters are horizontal at the bottom of the tank and part of the cord is submerged. Most heaters are completely submersible and yours will say if it is on the box (or look online if you can't find the box). Actually, I have yet to see one that cannot be fully submersed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you so much for all your help. I'll move the heater when I do a water change. I guess I'll take out the bubbler and hide the heater cord behind a plant or something.

I just have a question about his fin rot.. I know he has it between his bottom fin and where his tail starts, but either he's just developed (or I hadn't noticed until now) black tips on his tail and a black spot on his top fin. I'm not sure if this is his fin rot getting worse or if they are just markings that I hadn't noticed before. What do you think?

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/252614_522404284447513_1071917910_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/537107_522404251114183_1901618086_n.jpg
 

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You are using AQ salt for the current fin rot, correct? It's hard to tell if its fin rot or normal coloring, but they do sometimes have naturally colored tips. My ct has bluish white tips. If you're using the AQ salt and this IS fin rot, it should take care of it. Warm, clean water will help tremendously. An extra change per week might be beneficial for him while he is healing along with stress coat if you aren't already using it.

If its fin rot it will clear up and they often get white tips when they start to heal (and with fin rot you would also notice his fins getting shorter). If its normal coloring and the black tips don't disappear with the AQ salt and don't get shorter it could be natural coloring..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, I will continue using the AQ salt and I just ordered Stress Coat, it should be here right in time for my water change. Thanks. :)

Neither of those things will hurt my 3 ghost shrimp, will they? I have a 1 gallon QT tank I can put someone in if I need to.

Edit: The QT tank has a heater and filter, if that would be better for Mercury until he heals completely, but he does love his big new tank.
 

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I don't have shrimp... But I believe they are sensitive to salt. The stress coat is a conditioner though and should not hurt them. Shrimp are also very sensitive to parameters and often won't survive in an uncycled tank. They need super clean water. A filter also will not really do anything in a one gallon tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had shrimp in with Jupiter for a few months until they met the dish soap courtesy of my well-meaning boyfriend, so I think they're okay in my tank, because I began using the AQ salt for Jupiter when he first got his fin rot. I may move someone if I need to.. would you recommend putting the ghost shrimp in the 1 gal (3 of them) or Mercury in it until he gets better?
 

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I would move Mercury to the one gallon, along with at least one tall plant or decoration.. Keep the bottom bare. This way you can monitor him closely, watch his poo easily and everything. Sometimes illnesses get secondary infections. It's also best to do very frequent water changes during treatment which will be easier in a smaller tank.
 

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I agree on all AyalaCookiejar's recommendations. I just didn't understand how you doing salt treatment. You need to do daily water changes with salt .
 
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