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Eskielvr

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I don't know what I'm doing wrong? Spartacus still has shredded looking fin tips. He's in a 5 gallon tank with a heater, water kept at 80 degrees, and a filter. I have a piece of Java Fern and some other live plant in his tank and I've removed anything hard that he could get injured on. I'm doing 1-2 gallon water changes twice a week and treating it with AmQuel+ and Novaqua+. I also moved the Mystery snail into my 20 gallon, so there goes a lot of waste accumulation there. I also noticed his tank gets much filthier faster than my 20 gallon! The Bio 3 filter cartridge I use for the Whisper Jr has to be replaced almost every 2 days........what's the deal? He only gets fed about 4-6 pellets of Attison's Pro once a day.

Why do I have to change his water so often? When my last Betta was in a vase, I only changed it once a week and that Betta did fine. I assumed with Spartacus being in a larger tank he'd need less frequent water changes.......but twice a week?? What am I going to do when we leave for 2 weeks?
 

vin

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I think you're confusing two different issues.....First, ragged fins won't necessarily repair themselves without the use of medications. I haven't had the problem so I don't want to recommend the incorrect meds for your fish, but I'm sure someone else will tell you what you should use.

As far as water changes go, test your water several times a week and base your water changes on the results of your tests. Typically a 20%-30% weekly change would be fine with a gravel vacuum of 1/3 of the surface area. But if two weeks is what it will take to keep your nitrates in check, then it is what it is.

As for the cartridge - are you talking about the activated carbon cartridge? If so, I change mine every other month...I rinse it every other week in used tank water. I also think you're overdoing it with the water treatment. Use one that will do the job of both. In fact, I think the two you're using do the same thing......People here swear by Prime. It will detox heavy metals, neutralize chlorine and chloramines making them non toxic and conditions your water. Which is the same thing that Amquel+ does.

When you feed him, does he consume all of the pellets at once? If not then that could be your problem. You could try feeding him 2-3 pellets twice a day and see how much he eats. Then adjust accordingly.
 
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Eskielvr

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When I put him in the 1 gallon vase I didn't have to use meds, the torn fins healed on their own. I changed the vase water every other day though but it had no heater, no filter, and all I used was AmQuel+. Fins healed beautifully and completely. I put him back in the 5 gallon and he went back to fin rot within a day or two, and the tank was cycled.

I've rinsed the cartridges out, but they get dirty so fast. I'm wondering if my tank lost it's cycle because last night before I changed it, there was some ammonia but no nitrites or nitrates. I bet the AmQuel+ has screwed up my cycle.
 

vin

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I don't know if the Amquel+ would mess with the cycle....But the constant water changes might....The plants in the tank could also consume the nitrates as they use it for a food source...The Amquel could promote healing, but not necessarily heal the fins.

I assume the new tank was cycled before you added your betta? If not, that could be why his fins aren't healing....There could be too much other stuff in the tank for his system to handle while trying to heal. If the tank was cycled properly you wouldn't be seeing ammonia present.
 
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Eskielvr

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Well, it was cycled. When I very first got him it wasn't, so I drained all the water and refilled it, put him back in and added Bio Spira. The ammonia levels kept rising and rising and I finally had to take him out, and it was a good thing I did because it shot up to over 4ppm. I had 2 snails in there and fed them occasionally and believe me, there was plenty of ammonia in there for the rest of the cycle. When it finally cycled I had no ammonia, no nitrite, and about 10ppm Nitrate. I then added Spartacus back to the tank. (He was in the vase recooperating and healing.) He was perfectly healthy when I added him back to the tank, and then overnight his fins were all shredded looking again and have been that way since. I don't know why I'm still getting ammonia readings. I was adding AmQuel+ every other day!

I noticed the ammonia readings when I didn't change his tank water for a week. Now I'm doing water changes twice a week and I probably should be doing them everyday at this rate! It just doesn't make sense. I shouldn't have to change a 5 gallon tank twice a week........esp when my previous betta in his vase got changed only once a week! That betta never had fin rot or illness of any kind!

I just don't know what I'm going to do when we leave for 2 weeks. I don't really want someone else fiddling around with the tank and messing with water changes, esp when they're not knowledgeable about fish.

I'm going to stop using the AmQuel+ and go back to my trusty Stress Coat. But, in the meantime, what should I do? Yesterday I did do about a 50% water change, but all the other times I only take out about 1-2 gallons, so I'm not changing that much. What do I do? And yes, when I fed him he eats all his food right away and I don't give him very much, so I know that's not the issue.
 

Fishface

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just throw a 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt in there and leave him alone. itll grow back. these things take time.
 
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Eskielvr

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I've been doing that too, after every other water change so that would make it once a week.
 

nmwierman1977

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Stop using the aquarium salt. It'll do more harm to him then help. The only time you should use that is when they are terribly bloated with Dropsy or something to reduce the bloating. You shouldn't use it for fin rot. I did when I was less knowledgable about them and it just made things worse. Did you ever get any Vitachem? That's what I've been using with RJ and he hasn't had any of his rot come back since he first got it. His tail is still growing back, but it's 90% healed and grown back already. He needs to build his immune system up. That's probably what the problem is. Finrot has a lot to do with having a weak immune system. Natalie
 

COBettaCouple

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We just do water changes once a week for the bettas, about 20-25%. I feel like it's stressful to our Bettas to do it more often than that and stress can be a factor in what's happening with Spartacus' fins. When we went on a 2-week trip, we gave the tanks a good cleaning before we left and had my mother feed them and just add water to replace evaporation loss, then cleaned them good when we got back. They did fine.

I'd just use either NovAqua+ or Prime to treat the tap water and not use salt (the reverse osmosis effect can cause stress and disease in bettas and it's best kept for certain illnesses like dropsy) or other chemicals on the water. I would recommend adding vita-chem to the water as directed on the bottle, it's just vitamins and good for fin regrowth if you want.

Did you acclimate Spartacus to the tank when you re-introduced him? A sudden shredding like that is usually caused by stress. The key is to find the source of stress, keep things stable and keep the water clean so his fins can regrow and heal up completely.

I'm not sure about the filter. I've not used a whisper jr filter or bio 3 filter cartridge. It's possible there is an incompatibility issue or the amquel+ has colored it. (do you have a lot of gravel dust?) Do you rinse the filter in treated water?
 
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Eskielvr

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Ok, I'll cut out the salt and see how that goes. The reason why I have to do all the water changes is because of the ammonia though.

I've been using the NovAqua+ because that's supposed to help the immune system, too, and I don't think it does. I also used to add Garlic Xtreme for the same reason but that doesn't seem to help, so I don't really see the point in buying yet another vitamin supplement. But, I might if things don't improve.

And yes, he was acclimated before going back into his tank.
 

Jendayi

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The NovAqua+ says on the bottle that it has "Echinacea, Vitamins and Anti-Virus Protection" so I wonder if you really need to add anything else besides that, supplement-wise? I have the vita-chem and used it for a little bit, but it seemed to build up in my tanks and I didn't like it. Now I use the NovAqua+ along with Prime in my uncycled tanks and just the NovAqua+ by itself in my cycled tank.

The only inhabitant of my cycled tank is Fuji my apple snail, so I'm hoping that I don't have the same problem when adding a betta back to the tank. I sure am sorry you are still struggling with the fin rot and feel your frustration.
 

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I've been using vita-chem since I received RJ. I've had for 2 months now and I haven't noticed any kind of build up on the tanks from it. I think the stuff is great and it's kepts RJ very healthy so far. Natalie
 

COBettaCouple

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Jendayi - how often do you add the VitaChem? I'm not sure of how much vitamins are in the NovAqua+ and want the little extra boost that VitaChem gives, especially with the fin regrowth.
 

Jendayi

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I was using it every day as Rose suggested.
 

COBettaCouple

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Jendayi said:
I was using it every day as Rose suggested.
perhaps, less frequent doses would cause less buildup. i'm not sure why it built up like that in your tank - it seemed to be alright in ours.. perhaps a difference in filtration strength or air stone flow.
 

chickadee

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I have used 2 drops per gallon every day since I started it and that was sometime in January of 2006 when I bought Marty Sr. I have never seen any build up unless I missed and hit the side of the tank instead of getting it into the water and did not get it wiped off. Sometimes that happened and I did not notice. I do 50% water changes every week and that makes a difference too so if you are doing less water out that may make a difference. Try cutting down the dose to one drop per gallon but some of the vitamins are needed daily so I would not cut down on the frequency.

Rose
 

Jendayi

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I will do a half dose and see how it goes. Since I am doing more frequent water changes now maybe I will have better luck.
 

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I also have been adding 2 drops vita chem each day to both Storm and Neptune, and then the full dose with the weekly water changes. I haven't noticed anything weird about their water - both tanks are crystal clear - uncycled, to which I add Nov Aqua and AmQuel + on water change day. Both fish look good, Neptunes fins are growing back nicely - at this moment - we all know how that is subject to change........LOL.

I am sorry to hear you are having such a tough time with Spartacus. Hope things will smooth out for both of you!
 

COBettaCouple

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Maybe try dropping the drops right in the water where the filter pours out the water too, anything to best distribute it and help Spartacus heal up.
 
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Eskielvr

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I don't have any Vitachem yet, it may be a while before I can get some, but I did go back to using the Garlic Xtreme for the time being.
 
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