free & clear!

Last Sunday we started Rei on a week of aquarium salt treatment for fin rot.  By day two you could already see re-growth.  Today is his last day and I am happy to say that the new growth is beginning to color up!

Tomorrow he will be returned to his tank; I have read that StressCoat helps with fin regrowth so we will be sure to add that to the water.  I’ll be honest in that the stuff adds a film that seems pretty gross to me but if it helps our fish I am willing to endure it.  The tanks are fully cycled but we still do a partial water change weekly.  It usually takes about 25% to get the gunk out.  Most of the plants are fully acclimated to our aquariums but I am still getting a bit of dying off, I’m still toying with the idea of adding a snail to each one to help with algae and decaying plants.

In any case I would highly recommend the use of aquarium salt to treat fin rot.  I followed the directions as spelled out at BettaSplendid and my fish is happy and healthy.  YES, 100% water changes are required on a DAILY basis.  It is a pain; but you will have a happy and healthy fish who is fin rot free.  🙂

fin rot

We had some.  I try to keep the water clean but the realty is that these tanks cycled with the fish in them.  Unfortunately that resulted in Rei getting fin rot.  I hoped that with a clean tank some stress coat would help but it wasn’t working and I had to take serious measures.

Rei has been in a quarantine tank since Sunday and by day 3 I could see new growth on his fins.  There are so many things to read online and to be honest it contradicts itself.  We decided to keep him QT for a solid week.  Every day he gets a fresh gallon of water with the appropriate amount of aquarium salt.  He hates the net, he does not like the transfer process and tries to hide at the bottom of the QT (vase); but he does seem happier.

Shoku misses him.  As much time as they would spend flaring at each other, I have noticed that without his neighbor he spends a lot of time in the bottom corner of his aquarium closest to his neighbor. . . he’s managed to dig a hole of sorts.  I feel a little bad for him but it will soon be over and they can go back to the norm.  The bonus is that I have seen him spending more time laying on his plants and that always tickles me.

loose ends and random searches for help

I think that our aquariums are reaching a full cycle and that is a good thing.  This weekend I got the needle java fern tied to rocks and I found the right size stones to add to the aquascapes.  With the exception of the pineapple house that needs to be sanded I have everything in the aquariums that I intend to put in.  So now it is a matter of waiting to see what grows well and what ultimately needs to be replaces.

Rei keeps biting his tail.  I have read that tail biting can come from stress due to water quality, boredom or stress from another betta.  I’ve also read that maybe he is hungry.  A few of these items are being addressed, the aquarium will soon be cycled and now that it’s all planted he has a lot of places to hide or swim in.  Rei is also the one who will get the pineapple house and I really do think that he will like it.  I’ve been giving them a few extra pellets a day in the event it comes from hunger.  I really hope that his tail biting comes to an end because the last thing to try would be to block the visual from Shoku’s tank. . . of course I’ve also read that once two fish are used to seeing each other they will sometimes exhibit stress when the other fish goes away. . .

I feel like there is no winner in all of this.

Oh yeah, I do have two rather large moss balls (tennis ball size) that I feel like I need to find homes for.  I have no idea what I am going to do with them but I do know that their size feels like too much.

clear water but nitrites still high

Despite having water that looked nice and clean the nitrite levels were still somewhere between 2-5.0 in our tanks so I did a 20% water change.  The chi has a fair amount of evaporation anyway but I see that I need to embrace that until the nitrites drop, I will be doing these water changes.

I knew coming home that I would be doing water changes; what I didn’t know is that my marimo balls would be arriving today!  I also think that some extra were thrown in because I ended up with (2) the size of tennis balls, (1) between golf & tennis ball size and (3) small ones and I will be the first to admit that in the small chi with the existing plants . . . this looks like a bit much.  I want to say that a coworker expressed an interest in one of these and I just might give her one or two depending on the size of her aquarium.

Shoku does NOT like the floating marimo ball.

Despite squeezing out extra whatever air I could; two of the larger moss balls are floating.  Rei has tried to find a happy middle ground with the floating ball.  Shoku on the other hand seems to be expressing fear and appears to be hiding from it – he doesn’t even have one of the big one.  Depending on how the next few days play out I may just find a new home for it.  For the record, my daughter doesn’t really like them much either.  I think that I’m on the fence, the little ones are cute. . . I really wish that I knew how to take photos of the aquariums that do them justice. . . I don’t.

aquascaping pt.2

P1050678My plants are in and the person I bought them from either:

  1. had a LOT of plants
  2. was trying to clear out their tank before things got super cold
  3. felt like being nice

Because they sent me some extras and while I am super happy and excited about them, the fist are really REALLY enjoying them.  Rei keeps swimming around some needle-leaf java fern that has floated up (I read that you should not bury them so I only lightly covered them with the gravel until I can find a rock to tie them to.  Shoku is laying in and hiding between two blyxa japonica’s.  I used a few small river rocks from the filter basket to hold down the dwarf pennywort and both fish flared at their rocks only to find that it would not flare back.


The pineapple house will arrive tomorrow but I don’t know when I’ll have time to sand all the sharp edges.  Marimo balls are still enroute and one of these days I will find (4) large and (8) small river stones to place in here.  Then the only thing that I will be looking for is something that looks fluffy.  awww, now Shoku is resting by the blyxa & the petite anubius.  I hope that all this new plant life starves the nutrients from the fungi & algae and helps to clean the water. . . that will be the icing on the cake.

oh yeah, and my daughter, the one who really didn’t want any live plants and then she didn’t want “too many” live plants, decided that she wanted some of my dwarf pennywort because it is really cute and looks like clover.  Actually what she said to me is that it wasn’t fair that I was keeping the cute one to myself. . . so I shared since this was one of the plants that they gave me a little extra of.  Extras aside I had a great experience with happy_climber (ebay) and give them two thumbs up for great customer service, fast shipping and from what I can tell, healthy plants!


I actually enjoy gardening have a green thumb; but that is not what made having live plants a requirements; it helped that live plants make the water healthier for fish the same way they improve indoor air quality for people.  It was finding out they they will take naps on the leaves that made them seem like a perfect idea not to just me but also to my daughter who had been leaning towards silk plants.

She likes tall grass like plants.  Her aquarium will have a pineapple house and more minimal plants:  amazon sword (may not be able to handle the Chi’s low light), needle java fern, anubius nana, blyxa japonica and a marimo moss ball.  I like fluffly looking plants such as hornwort and I’m still looking for it but for now my aquarium won’t have any toys but will have an anubius, a petite nana, mini brazilian pennywort, blyxa japonica, needle leaf java fern and marimo balls.  Eventually I’ll incorporate a few river stones, some moss and something fluffy.  Ironically I can totaly see her fish playing in his toy house and I can see mine swimming through the plants.  Despite the fact that we didn’t actually see our fish in person, I feel like we did a great job picking one that would fit well with our own personalities.

As much as I enjoy the planning phase of things, it will be nice to have these tanks fully set up so that we can simply enjoy our fish without needing to change much.  As it stands every time Shoku makes a wonderful bubble nest I need to come the next day and change the water, ultimately leaving only traces of what he worked so hard to make.

change is a good thing

Today I noticed that Rei’s fins were looking a bit ragged.  Water tests confirmed that we are indeed having mini-cycles or maybe the “instant” part of the instant aquraium didn’t work so well and this is the true cycling of the aquarium.  In any case it was time for a 50% water change in both tanks.

I noticed in one of the aquariums that the fungi on the sand was rather thick in nature and the syphon wasn’t strong enough to get it up.  I’ve got plants coming this week so when I put them in I will be sure to take that out.  After things settle a bit we are going to retest the water to see how everything is looking and will do that again tomorrow.  I hate to think that our fish have been getting attacked by bacteria eating away at their fins; but that seems to be exactly what happened to Rei.

The only good news about all of this is that once we are cycled I know that the worst is behind us and that we are cycled!  Today in addition to the elevated Nitrite levels there were also elevated Nitrate levels, so the cycle is still in effect.  Thankfully the Ammonia is still at the .25 that it has always been at (I probably should test our tap water).  Our pH also seemed to have gone up a bit to 8.0 when I swore that I’ve seen it more like7.6.

I feel so sad to see Rei’s tail look tattered, I really do hope that a month from now we have a happy betta with a tail that looks like it did when we first saw the picture of him.