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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm now taking care of a relative's betta fish. They didn't read up on fish care so he developed chronic swim bladder disorder and fin rot. I've never had fish and am trying to learn as much as I can so I can help him! He's so sweet and is hanging in there while I'm cycling a 5 gallon for him but in the meantime I have him in a 1 gallon with a live anubias and doing daily 50% water changes and one 100% a week. Water is at 76 to 78 degrees. Tap water has .5 ammonia but I'm using Prime and have an API Master test kit. It looks like the anubias is keeping ammonia and nitrite both at 0ppm. He eats well but is still battling fin rot. It is getting worse even with great water parameters. I'm sure the SBD stresses him out and I read that stress can also cause fin rot. But while frantically reading as much as I could I just learned that if you have plants it can cause a ph crash in the morning. This morning I tested his water and our tap water. Tap was 8.3 and his was 7.2! Now I am panicking. Is there a way to keep the anubias, do water changes and keep a constant ph with no morning crashes? Is there a natural way without chemicals? What should I do? Thank you!
 

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Hi bsg,

That betta is lucky you're trying to take such good care of him! When taking care of a lethargic/fin rot betta, many people simply keep them in a small heater container (1 gallon is fine) with no filter so that they can rest and recover. The anubias is fine to have in the tank, unless you are worried about the PH changes. I haven't heard a lot about PH crashes and bettas being overly affected by PH, but it might be a thing. You'd be fine removing the plants and just focusing on having calm, warm, clean water for him to recover in. I personally would not move him to the 5 gallon until he was a little better, but only if because 1 gallon is an easier hospital tank to monitor.

Frequent water changes are good for keeping the ammonia and nitrite down, as long as the water you're adding in is roughly the same temperature as the water was before the water change. Daily rapid fluctuation in water temp could be potentially stressful for him. Otherwise, it sounds like you are doing good in your care.

I think when you mean fin rot by "stress" you mean when a betta bites his own fins from boredom/stress, which makes it easier for the fins to get fin rot. Some people use Stress Coat as the tap water dechlorinator when a betta has fin rot as it might help some -- not sure if accurate or not. At any rate, either Prime or Stress Coat are good choices, so stick with Prime or try some Stress Coat if you have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your kind reply Briz! It's wonderful you rescued your Sulu, he's very lucky to have you and he's really beautiful! I have never had a fish before (only dogs) and wish I could have advised those relatives to read and learn all they could before getting one :( He is SO sweet. Since the 5g is cycling he is in a 1 gallon and everything is good except for just now learning that there is a huge ph problem. I am still trying to catch up and learn as much as possible, my head is spinning! Thanks again :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Forgot to mention he isn't biting his tail- I think the stress of having chronic SBD is lowering his immune system and causing the unrelenting fin rot. But now have learned that it can also be from stress of constantly changing ph and possible ph crash in the morning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Briz, tested ph before and after his daily water change and it went from 7.2 to 7.4/7.5 so only .2ppm! I was expecting a much bigger change using our 8.3 tap water. I guess our Gh/Kh of 53.7 is enough to buffer ph, thankfully! So looks like it is ok right now. I think I convinced my relatives not to get any more fish unless they learn all they can about their care. I am reading so much and still have a lot to learn. Bettas are intelligent, sweet, curious, active and funny- like the little puppy dogs of the fish world :) How sad then that it looks like almost all petstore bettas are treated no better than trash- kept in cruel ridiculously little cups, slowly dying from stress, neglect and disease, forgotten and disposable. To all the petstore companies and the people who own/run them- just a high volume, low cost item to sell to make a profit. I really don't know how they sleep at night. I have read that many very high achievers/ceo types would be diagnosed/fit the profile of psychopaths so that might explain the total lack of compassion. It doesn't excuse it though. I hope the absolutely heartbreaking situation of petstore bettas ends soon- they deserve better and we can do better. Thanks again for your advice/reply! :)
 

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you need aged tap water. when the water degases it drops in ph most of the time. use and air stone in a bucket of water over night for the water changes that will help keep his tank more stable
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you wicca27! I pour his water from up high into a large container to remove the gases- there are no minuscule bubbles clinging to his bowl afterwards. Have not tested Ph after doing this, only straight from the tap so now I am curious to see if removing the gases this way lowers the ph. Do you know if that works as well as overnight in a bucket with an airstone? I have a routine that helps me stay consistent with his water changes but can change it if you think your suggestion would be better! :)
 
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