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Everything posted by kiiarah

  1. Thanks Dirge, I just asked for you to look for this thread but here you are! lol Well he is having no trouble at all swimming. If I look at him from across our living room (medium apartment sized) he looks like an incredibly healthy little fish. It is only when I get right up by his tank and look closely that I can make out a slight roundness to his belly. It sounds like some roundness is alright though, correct? I think my biggest problem is that I have no idea how a normal betta looks so I have nothing to compare to. I know they shouldn't look like fantails, but it sounds like they shouldn't be skinny either. Do you think that if he was in fact constipated that I would see his stomach steadily getting more swollen over the next day or two? I am thinking maybe I can just fast him for today and tomorrow morning's feeding, then just observe him for a day or two? Seems like if he doesn't get worse that proves he is pooping, but since I haven't actually seen him in the act I worry that he isn't going at all. Actually, his belly doesn't really even stand out that much to me. The fact that I haven't seen him poop since bringing him home has got me scrutinizing his belly in case anything is wrong. If the only really scary symptom he has is that I haven't caught him pooping, but do you think that is reason to worry, or is it more likely that he is just doing it when I am not looking? I can't remember the last time I saw the goldies go, so maybe it is just normal not to notice?
  2. I was the same when I first got my bettas. If you have more than one you will see that they all have different habits, so you have to learn what is normal for each one. I have three females, one likes to sleep on the leaf of her silk plant, one sleeps floating at the top almost on her side (I always thought she was dead ) and the third one snuggles down in her gravel in between two glass stones. The only thing they have in common is that they flare a lot and eat like little piggies. Claude is very cute by the way. I never used to understand what the big appeal was with bettas. I was so used to goldies and bettas seemed so much less active. Now I know I was just watching the ones in vases crammed with lilly roots and no room to move! I had absolutely no idea how cool they are. I don't think I have ever had a fish that I got so attached to so fast. Even in the store I just couldn't walk away from those little lavender eyes. ^_^ He is such a sweetie too. He will gladly hunt and nip my fingertip at meal times but he won't even flare at his reflection. He is a lover not a fighter I guess.
  3. Thanks so much Edith. That also helps a ton to know that it isn't necessarily a problem to never see them poop. I have been trying to reason with myself by thinking about how rarely I actually see my goldies pooping and how much they eat. It must be so much more uncommon to happen to see a betta doing it. I think it is probably just the new baby jitters, everything is worrying me lol. He swims fast and I think parasites, he spits out his food and I think illness, he naps and I get scared that he died. I hope he trains me to calm down soon. I am officially way too fond of this little guy.
  4. I had read that peas are a good preventative to minimize the occurrence of constipation but I am now reading that they can permanently damage their digestive system. I think I will stay away from the peas (he has not had any yet) and opt for Daphina instead if I can find it, just to add some rough food. I am looking at him now and he doesn't look so chubby anymore. Is it normal for their tummies to get visibly larger right after eating, because I noticed the enlargement shortly after he ate. It was right after his feeding as I was trying to determine if he was over-full.
  5. I have seen some pics online of some very severely swollen bettas labeled as bloated, so maybe that wasn't the right term to use. I am more concerned that he have be starting to get constipated. Does something like that just gradually build up or would he be exhibiting other symptoms like loss of appetite and lethargy/floating if that were the case?
  6. I really hope he isn't. He is so tough to get a video of because of his color. It's hard not knowing what he is supposed to look like, makes it impossible to compare. I never realized how much I take for granted with the goldies. I can just look at them and tell if they are healthy. This guy throws me for a new loop every day. This morning I woke up and he was sleeping nose down in the middle of his fake grass bundle. I had read that they do this sometimes so I turned on the nightstand lamp, but no movement. Getting worried, I turned on the light in his tank hood, still nothing. Almost sure that some mystery killer got him in the night I finally stuck the turkey baster in and just barely poked the plant where he was leaning against it. Sure enough his fins flickered and he peeked his head out of the grass like "What?...Can't you see I am trying to sleep in?" He almost gave me a heart attack. He was back to his normal perky self about a minute later. xD
  7. Sure, give me just one second. Here we go, this is the best I could get. He is so close to the same color as the gravel! Hopefully this helps. : / http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/?action=view&current=d44cb90a.mp4
  8. Sure, give me just one second.
  9. http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/?action=view&current=5a70251a.mp4 is this link any better?
  10. As I was feeding Claude this morning I noticed that his belly was fuller than normal. I also realized that I have no clue what a normal betta's belly should look like when they are full, but not over-fed. I feed him two pre-soaked pellets in the morning and two pre-soaked pellets at night. He occasionally gets a bloodworm treat, freeze dried and also pre-soaked. He is very active and having no problems other than the slightly swollen belly. It is not dropsy from what I can tell, he has no scales poking out and the swelling is not visible from above him. He just looks full really, but I want to be sure that the size is normal. He is almost constantly on the move and is acting very comfortable. No lethargy and his appetite is good. I do not know if or how often he is pooping, which is one reason I am over-reacting a bit. His tank is lined with a natural colored gravel so it is possible that he is regular, but I have not caught him in the act yet. The light and camera angle make his belly shiny and it sort of looks larger than it is in the video. For the best shot of him skip to the second half where the camera moves around to the front of the tank. It is much easier to see what is going on. If this is constipation what would be the proper treatment? I am hoping this is just how they are supposed to look when they are eating regularly, but I don't want to assume anything and regret it later. Also the store he came from said they don't know how often the bettas are fed there but that they advise giving him one pellet a day, so I am guessing he wasn't fed all that much there. He has suddenly changed from a low protein diet of just a small feeding a day to larger meals and very high protein food. Could this have anything to do with it? Any opinions and suggestions would sure help me calm down lol. http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/e...t=5a70251a.mp4
  11. I promise this will be the last post tonight! Seems like every time I get on here I learn 5 things I could/should be doing. The latest is veggie wafers. Oddly enough, I have read tons of threads talking about veggies in goldfish diets, and always knew they were safe, but it never really clicked that goldies are omnivores and should have more than tons of fish based food and the occasional lettuce clip . I was reading over their new staple pellet ingredients and it dawned on me that I am feeding them primarily other fish, but that in the "wild" they would really be doing much more grazing than they do right now. I have done enough research to at least know that veggie wafers designed for algae eaters are safe for goldies. In fact, I am told that my mom's boys eat the poor cory's wafers before he even has a chance. However, I am still a bit puzzled as to what the best ingredients to look for in these would be for goldfish. I figure that since these are meant to be treats and to fill in the roughage portion of their diet that I would want some that are heavy in seaweed, meaning first few ingredients being seaweed instead of fish, but I have also read that too much seaweed can not only cloud the water but alter the quality and provide excessive iodine. I spent literally about two hours comparing the various brands out there earlier and have concluded that I just have no clue what to look for in these. Help!! Below are some links to the types of foods I was comparing. http://hagen.com/uk/aquatic/product.cfm?CAT=1&SUBCAT=108&PROD_ID=01067440030101 http://www.vvvv.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3433771 http://www.vvvv.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753115 http://www.vvvv.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753175&lmdn=Fish+Feeding Most of the algae eater wafers I have been seeing are the ones with fish listed first. Do these still have enough veggie content for a goldfish if they would be fed only occasionally and not at every meal? The last link I posted for the Omega One veggie rounds seems great, since they are mainly seaweed, but would that be excessive for a goldfish? Also I cannot find those in town and it looks like food with such a high vegetable content is sort of rare even at big stores. I will probably wind up deciding what to get based on ingredients listing, and probably with only two or three choices. I know that staple goldie food should be whole fish, but what about the veggie stuff? Do I need to make sure it lists seaweed as first and second ingredient or is some stuff with fish listed first alright too. Also how often should I feed them, or does that depend on which one I wind up with.
  12. I was lucky enough to have a relative find themselves near a pet store in the next town today and had them pick up some supplies, including a new pellet diet for Claude (and the goldfish as well!). The food is Omega One Betta Buffet pellets, and the whole fish ingredients sold me on it. The first food I bought, which he was given for a total of one feeding, was the tetramin betta pellets. The very first ingredient in these is wheat flour, which seems like a big red flag for a carnivorous fish. The next thing I got was Nutrafin Max betta pellets which seem to have a huge range of different foods, but nothing terribly high quality. They have some stuff I like about them, but they are not the best food I can access. My plan right at the moment is to offer a mix of the Omega One stuff and the Nutrafin Max, but I am not sure what the ideal balance would be, if I should feed one of each pellet at each feeding, alternate pellet brands (one feeding of each), etc. The ingredients in the Omega One for those who don't already use it are: Whole Salmon, Halibut, Shrimp, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Fresh Kelp, Astaxanthin, Lecithin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Phosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Natural and Artificial Colors, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folic Acid, Biotin, Inositol, Tocopherol (Preservative), Ethoxyquin (Preservative). Min Crude Protein: 42% Min Crude Fat: 5% Min Crude Fiber: 2% Max Moisture: 8.5% Max Ash: 8% Min Phosphorus: (.5%) and in the Nutrafin Max pellets: Fish meal, corn meal, fish protein concentrate, wheat gluten meal, salmon oil (preserved with ethoxyquin), krill, brine shrimp meal, earthworm meal, blood worm meal, tubifex worm meal, mysis shrimp meal, daphnia, dried yeast, squid liver meal, dried kelp, sweet potato, wheat germ meal, choline chloride, DL-methionine, calcium L-ascorbyl-2-monophosphate, yeast extract, fructooligosaccharide, dried red seaweed, calcium carbonate, ferrous carbonate, beta- carotene, inositol, vitamin E supplement, manganous oxide, lecithin, citric acid, niacin, zinc oxide, dried spirulina algae, riboflavin-5-phosphate, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, copper oxide, calcium iodate, biotin, folic acid, cobalt carbonate, vitamin D3 supplement. GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Crude protein Min. 40%; Crude fat Min. 6.5% ; Crude fibre Min. 3% ; Moisture Max. 8% ; Ash Max. 12% ; Calcium Min. 2%; Phosphorus Min. 1%; Copper Min. 20 ppm; Cobalt Min. 0.1 ppm; Iron Min. 450 ppm; Iodine Min. 1 ppm; Manganese Min. 100 ppm; Zinc Min. 70 ppm; Vitamin A Min. 9000 IU/lb; Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Min. 350 mg/lb; Vitamin E Min. 100 IU/lb I just can't seem to decide between these foods. The omega acids and whole fish in the Omega One are great but it doesn't have many different foods in it. On the other hand the Nutrafin doesn't have such great sources but there is such a huge variety of foods in it. Does it sound reasonable to feed primarily the protein rich Omega One and offer a lesser amount of Nutrafin as a supplement to increase diversity in his diet? I also have freeze-dried bloodworms for him that are used as an occasional treat. Right now I am thinking something like this as a feeding schedule: Monday: 2 Omega One pellets A.M. 2 Nutrafin Pellets P.M. Tuesday: 2 OO pellets A.M. 2 OO pellets P.M. Wednesday: 2 OO pellets A.M. 1 Bloodworm afternoon treat 1-2 OO pellets P.M. Thursday: 2 OO pellets A.M. 2 NF pellets P.M. Friday: 2 OO pellets A.M. 2 OO pellets P.M. Saturday: Blanched Pea A.M Fast for P.M. feeding (?) or 2 OO pellets Sunday: 2 OO pellets A.M. 1 Bloodworm afternoon treat 1-2 OO pellets This is just off the top of my head, but does something like that look about right given the ingredients in both foods? Also is 2 pellets at each feeding enough for him to feel full or would more be better. I would really prefer to feed twice instead of once a day, I am a sucker for the feed me dance, but only if I am able to give him enough at each feeding to keep him from being constantly hungry. Also, would it be better to give just a small bloodworm mid-day or substitue them for a full evening meal and just stick to two feedings per day on treat days? Also what is your opinion on fasting? It is another of those things that I hate the idea of doing, but if it is best for him I will deal with it. I know this is a ton of info, thank you so much to anyone brave enough to wade through it and help out.
  13. kiiarah

    Filter Intake

    Hi again everyone, this is one of two topics I have been meaning to get some advice about. The other is more general so I will probably start a separate thread for that one. I mentioned in my other post that I recently put together a home-made baffle for Claude's filter, which he loves, but as I was reading I noticed that many betta keepers will also restrict the intake of their filter to protect the betta's fins. Claude hasn't had any problems with the filter strength that I have noticed, but I would hate to assume all is well and then wake up to an injury one day. I would hate for the one time it would take to alert me to the problem to result in fin rot or worse. Is it recommended that the filter intake be slowed or covered, and if so what is the best method? I remember reading that certain slower or longer finned varieties of goldfish need this done to their filter, but my boys have never had any trouble. I always felt that with goldies it really just depends on how strong and fast they are, and thus if they are able to get away from the suction. Does this same rule apply to bettas, that some have more trouble with it than others or is it always best to be safe and just alter it? The main methods I read were the following: Mesh filter media bag drawn up around the intake. This seemed like a cheap, easy, and effective method but I don't really like the fact that the food particles and waste cannot be pulled into the filter and removed as the mesh is too small. Filter sponge wrapped around intake. This seems like it would be a little harder material to find in as small a town as I live in. Seems like it would have the same issue as the mesh bag with preventing waste removal. Plastic needle-point grid stitched together with fishing line to form a box around intake. This seemed by far the most practical and thorough method, but since this is the same material I used to make a divider for the goldfish tank I have felt how rough it can be. It seems like if rectangles of it were stitched together to make a box the edges would be very rough, and Claude loves to swim behind the filter intake tube. The nice thing is that the holes in the grid are still large enough to allow the filter to remove particles of waste and food. Has anyone used this method with success? Well those are the main ways I am seeing people doing this. I would really prefer not to mess with it, but I want to make sure he is safe above all else. Any advice on whether to do anything to slow it and which way is best would be very helpful. Thanks everyone!
  14. Hey everyone! Sorry it took me so long to post an update. Claude is doing great! It was a huge relief that the biggest suggestion was the filter. I actually unplugged the filter for a moment immediately after posting this question to see if he calmed down. It occurred to me that I had a similar problem with Felix before he got used to the filtration in his tank. Claude just seemed similarly agitated and sure enough he calmed right down and started gliding gracefully around his tank when I unplugged it. This prompted hours of research on homemade baffles. I finally settled on a plastic bottle type baffle, as I was lucky enough to be drinking a Coca-Cola while I was researching. I wouldn't mind some advice about the set-up if anyone is familiar with this style of baffle. It is made of the middle section of the bottle, cut to the width of the output and cut once to allow it to be stretched around as needed. I was quite concerned about putting anything in the water itself, especially since I could imagine his fins getting torn swimming along under the edge of the plastic. I was also worried about letting it arc into the water and rest against the glass under the filter casing. This latter method seemed to slow the flow well, but I was concerned that he would wedge himself in it and get stuck or swim up into the filter, since they notoriously love small spaces. I eventually settled for tucking the plastic just inside the output, so it doesn't enter the water, but it redirects the output into smaller and less violent streams. The end of the plastic is cut into a forked pattern to break up the current. He seems quite happy with the result and I am calmer knowing he can't wedge himself into it or get hurt swimming near it. Should the plastic be alright in contact with the water long-term or would it be better to try to find a sponge later on? Thanks again for the confirmation about what was going on, he is a much happier little guy now!
  15. Hi everyone. If you were following my last thread, Rain did pass away. The fish store owner I talked to recommended clean water and low stress, but he was gone by the end of the day. Yesterday my boys talked me into (or I helped them talk me into) giving it one more shot. We fell head over heels for this purple male betta, who we have named Claude. Since the only betta I have ever really observed was so ill, I am really not sure what a healthy betta should look and act like. I do know that they should have no obvious damage to body or fins and should be responsive. For this reason, we fed this little guy one pellet before buying him to be sure he was eating and also got a regular betta instead of a crowntail so that I have a better chance of noticing fin damage early. Of course, Rain was really heading downhill and that probably explains his lack of activity, but Claude is just so incredibly active. I am uploading a couple of videos to show his behavior. He seems so much more energetic than I was expecting, but is eating well and acting healthy otherwise. He just swims around a ton. I know flashing and darting can be signs of parasites but since I have no clue how bettas should look when they are swimming around normally I am afraid I would not recognize abnormal behavior. I obviously missed some major symptoms in Rain as he only lived a day and a half after coming home . I am so fond of this little guy and I don't want to let anything get past me this time. (tank specs, feeding, etc are listed below the vids.) Any feedback about whether Claude seems healthy and happy would be incredibly helpful. Thank you guys so much! The first video shows how he usually swims during the day. All three videos were taken withing about five minutes of each other. Sorry about the bad lighting and vid quality. http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/?action=view&current=841a91fa.mp4 These two videos illustrate the type of activity I am wondering about. Is this alright? http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/?action=view&current=939d1c0a.mp4 http://s229.photobucket.com/albums/ee277/tarynt_gryph/?action=view&current=5aab9284.mp4 Could he be chasing his reflection? He wasn't flaring but he doesn't flare at his food either. He tends to be fairly non-agressive. In fact, as I was separating the fish that were eating I accidentally set his cup next to a male crowntail's cup. The crowntail immediately flared up and stared him down, but he just checked him out for a minute and then went back to circling in his cup. He really didn't seem all that bothered by him. He doesn't swim up and down the wall like this during the day. Care Details: Claude came home yesterday afternoon. Tank size: 10 gallon, filtered Cycled: Yes but using a biological agent. I know there is quite a bit of debate about the effectiveness of bottled bacteria but this particular brand has worked for me in the past. It is called StartSmart. I will be testing the water regularly for ammonia and nitrite. Water conditioner: Prime water conditioner/dechlorinator. Equipment: Heater with thermostat auto-set to 78 degrees, 5-15 gallon HOB filter, thermometer. Water temperature: between 79 and 81 degrees. Usually right at 80 degrees. Decor: Small gravel substrate, four plastic plants (tested for smoothness) and three small Amazon Sword Plants (added this evening), glass canister as a betta cave. Feeding: Nutrimax floating betta pellets. These get pre-soaked and he gets 3 or so per feeding. The pellets are much tinier than most other brands. Freeze-dried and pre-soaked blood worms as a supplement. Strange symptoms: None besides the high activity level.
  16. Right, I read that they are prone to the floating issues since their internal organs are so cramped. I have been soaking all his food for like five minutes before feeding him, not that it matters since he won't touch it, lol. I may have to call and see when some closer to live food will be restocked at the pet store. I think I will do a small water change just to make sure there is no food on the bottom of the tank tomorrow and then try offering flakes just to see if I have any better luck with that. I really don't want him eating a flake diet but I suppose if he will accept them I could wean him onto pellets later.
  17. I am slacking like crazy on the pics lately! I may have to make that my chore for tomorrow. He is slow enough that I may actually be able to get a clear shot of him. I can't wait to get a picture of him flaring but I want to try to keep him as calm as I can for a while until he adjusts. I don't even have any pics of the bird yet and he has been home for two months lol. Definitely have some catching up to do. I did figure out just now that he is a red cambodian crowntail betta. His body is a sort of iridescent peach color with a slight lilac blue tint. He has a tiny bit of blue shiny streaking at the bases of his fins and the rest of his fins are dark red. He also has the cutest little white collar on the top half of his body behind his head. He sure is an amazing little guy. ^_^
  18. I was wondering what the whole almond leaf thing was about! So sort of like chamomile for bettas huh? Sounds like a pretty cool idea. How much do those cost usually? Unfortunately frozen fish foods are pretty hard to come by around here. The LFS is supposed to have them but they are out right now. Do you think he will accept the freeze dried ones if he gets hungry enough, or is there a risk of him completely refusing any dried food and starving?
  19. Thanks Dirge! He was indeed in a tiny little cup. Worse yet, it looks like this store hardly changes the water because when I picked him up to go pay for him all this crud swirled up into the water. There were little bits of slimy film everywhere, the poor thing . I couldn't leave him there knowing I had what for him must be an enormous unoccupied tank at home. I have been hoping to get him some live plants but the owner of my lfs scared me a bit when he said some plants are toxic. Yikes! Any advice on which ones are dangerous? He seems to be doing well otherwise, he is exploring a fair bit and no fin clamping so I am hoping it really is just the new home jitters. This is a bit off topic, but do you have any opinion about deliberately getting them to flare? A couple of sites I have read said it is healthy for them to get to "compete" every now and again so they don't get depressed, so to show them a mirror for five mins or so once a week. Other sites say their reflection causes them undue stress and should be hidden from view. I am sort of leaning to the not deliberately upsetting him side, but do they really need the activity?
  20. Hi everyone, I am new to betta keeping but not to the forums. Yesterday evening I brought home a male crowntail betta. (He is in a separate tank from my goldies of course.)I have read through some other topics about bettas' eating patterns, but none of the situations seemed to really fit mine. Please bear with me if this has been asked elsewhere. I should mention that the store he came from is not known for its quality so I can't be sure he isn't sick, but he was so beautiful and I had an empty tank at home so I decided to make him part of our family. He is active and otherwise looks healthy, he just has no interest in food. Here are the specifics about his set-up: He is in a 10 gallon tank with a filter. He originally had a bubble stone hooked up (old goldfish habits I guess lol) but I unplugged it because I have read that too much water movement is stressful. I also filled the tank to just below the level of the filter output so there would be less current in the tank. The tank was not run through a regular (month long) fishless cycle, but I did use a biological agent that I have had great results from in the past. The bottle claims "instant" cycling, and while I know this is a topic of debate, I have seen this brand work in the past. Just in case, I will be doing small water changes daily until I can be sure there won't be an ammonia spike. I also added some marbles from my established goldfish tank to help get the bacteria growing. The water was treated with Seachem Prime and the water temperature is a steady 80 degrees. I do not have a heater yet but I live in the desert and it does not cool off much if at all at night. My goldfish tank has been at a steady 80 degrees for about a month, so I am reasonably sure the temp. will not fluctuate. There is a thermometer in the tank so I can see right away if the temperature does change. The tank has a very thin layer of aquarium gravel in the bottom and three smooth plants to keep his fins safe. There is also a small terra cotta pot (unglazed) that he has already adopted as his hiding spot. The hole in the pot is blocked off as well to prevent injuries. There is a hood on the tank to prevent jumping accidents. (I am by no means an expert on betta needs so if there is anything in this area I am missing please let me know!) Since he came home he has been active and curious, but he has shown no interest in his food, either pellets or bloodworms. The bloodworms are freeze-dried but there are no stores with live food in town that I know of. I know it is not uncommon for fish to lose their appetite a bit when they first come home, but he will swim right up to the pellets and seems to not even realize they are edible. He doesn't even nibble at them. They are not too large, in fact they are some of the smallest pellets I have ever seen, and I have been pre-soaking them. He doesn't have trouble eating them that I know of, he just doesn't even try. Everything I have read indicates that his behavior is normal, the only odd thing is the lack of appetite. Today he has spent 5-10 minute periods in his clay pot resting/hiding, but after a short time he comes out and patrols the tank. He doesn't seem nervous, and never swims away to hide or acts startled when I come near. I know his appetite may be perfectly normal since he just came home yesterday, but I want to be absolutely sure I am not overlooking any problems. I am so used to goldfish behavior, I just can't figure this little guy out yet. I originally offered the same food the store fed him, but after reading the ingredients on the Tetrabetta floating pellets I went out and got some by Nutrifin Max. My goldies eat this brand of food and love it, so I am hoping he will learn to as well. I am pretty limited on food options where I live, the only other options would be Tetrabetta flakes or Aqueon betta pellets. I am just wondering if it is normal for a betta to show no interest in food at all so soon after coming home, or if I should be worried. I read lots of posts on other sites where people had bettas that would only nibble it then spit it out, but he doesn't even do that. Any other betta newbie pointers would of course be great as well! Thank you all so much!
  21. Hi everyone, just thought I would post an update. I did wind up doing a second large water change last night and added the Melafix. Apollo and Felix both seemed very confused when I first added it, but they have been acting fairly normal today so it looks like it isn't bothering them too much. Of course, it will take some time to be able to tell if the fins are getting better or worse. In the mean-time, are large daily water changes the safest option or should I leave the tank as it is until the treatment is complete in 7 days? Thanks so much for all the help, it is so much easier knowing there are knowledgeable and caring people willing to offer suggestions.
  22. vacuum and water change(half) just happened within an hr ago and usually every week the gravel is the original
  23. Yeah the whole floor of the tank is covered.
  24. I didn't remove the gravel and rinse it or anything, I left at least a third of the original tank water in when I cleaned it and used a gravel vac to suck the nasty stuff out of the bottom. It is about a half inch of gravel, though at the moment it is clumped up in some areas since it was just vac'd with today's water change. Normally it is about a half inch evenly spread across the bottom, maybe a tiny bit thicker where it is covering the bases of the artificial plants.
  25. I do. Should that be sufficient to sustain the cycle?
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