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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my main question is about maintaining my water at this point. I realize now that I had a few misconceptions about keeping a betta healthy so, while I tried my best with what I knew, my guy's habitat could probably be more balanced. I'm expecting that I need to do a water change but I don't know how much I should change right now since my fish is not in top condition and I don't want to stress him further. A 25% change sounds safe but possibly ineffective at rebalancing the water but a 100% change will be stressful for him. Should I get aquarium salt? Epsom salt? What do you recommend? I really love my guy and want him to live a wonderful high quality life.
Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? Steadily at 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, baffled
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No, just plants
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every few months (I didn't realize that I should be changing it more often:/ )
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?stress zyme and a dechlorinator (forgot the brand)

Water Parameters:
Just bought a test kit and did my first water test.

Ammonia: .5
Nitrite:0
Nitrate: 80
pH:6.5
General Hardness:180
Carbonate hardness:60
Alkalinity: I thought that was the same as pH?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Paler in color, seems like his body bends funny when I would otherwise have seen him relaxing up on a leaf
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Originally his problem seemed to be SBD because he was hanging out near the filter intake just near the surface. I fasted him for 3 days and offered him a thawed and deshelled pea which he didn't eat. I have been careful not to over feed him now and now he sits in the corner on the bottom, sometimes a little slanted but still alive and breathing.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I first noticed his weird floating five days ago. He has been laying in different places on the bottom for two days
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? As mentioned before, I fasted him and then gave him tiny pea pieces. Since then I am feeding only 4-5 pellets of nls and have added safestart to my water. I'm worried that his water quality (which has looked otherwise very clean since I've had him) may be causing stress and in turn illness.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? When I first got him he had fun rot but started healing back up within a month.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Almost 2
 

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Ensure you match temperature and ph and do a 100% water change! This fish needs clean water!
Move him to a smaller container or something and do daily 100% water changes, just keep his ph and temperature stable.
Your tank ph is likely a bit lower then your tap due to decay and co2 in the tank. Please be careful with this, you can try acclimating him slowly to the new water in a much smaller container. Like float a kritter keeper in his current tank with half old tank water, and over the period of an hour add in new water until hes more used to the tap PH, then do your 100% water change.
 

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Hate disagreeing, but I would not stress him further by removing him from his tank. With Nitrates that high you need to do several small water changes over a period of hours and not a 100%. Doing such a large water change with Nitrates that high can throw a fish into Nitrate shock. Get Nitrates and Ammonia down to 0ppm. 10%-25% ever couple of hours shouldn't cause any issues.

When you get Nitrates and Ammonia to 0ppm start testing tank water daily and when Ammonia or Nitrites reach 0.25ppm do a 25% water change. You should not see Nitrates at this time.

When you no longer register Ammonia and Nitrites and only see Nitrates your tank is cycled. With my 5.5 cycled tanks I change out one gallon per week which keeps Nitrates under 5-10. If your Nitrates start to creep up again despite the water changes then make sure you aren't overfeeding or don't have dead or dying plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your quick replies

I knew I could count on people in this community to know what they're talking about and give quick advice. I do also believe a 100% water change is what he needs, but I think I feel most comfortable doing some 25% changes first to see how they go. I don't want to kill the poor guy. I've just taken out the leaves that were dying from my Java fern and changed 25% with safestart. I think Guy's already happier. As far as not over feeding, I'm starting to only give 4-5 pellets once a day. I know their stomachs are small. At the same time I've never seen any other betta fish as big as mine. Maybe I'm biased. His body is a full 2 inches and his tail adds another inch. Will 5 pellets be enough?
 

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