Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping fish.based on what you have described, I see a few different potential causes of the problem. Can you send me a picture of Bread so I can see his condition? You can upload a photo by clicking on the paper clip icon in the toolbar at the top of the space where you type. Instructions should pop up. Thank you.
It’s here. I’ll take a look and be right back.
I’m going to go to work on some information for you, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
You’re welcome, and thank you for waiting. I suspect there is a problem with your water. Black spots are most often caused by ammonia or nitrites in the water. The way you clean the tank, with full water changes and rinsing the gravel is good, but you aren’t doing it often enough. Every other week will almost certainly result in a build up of waste from the fish. Once a week might be ok, but if you want to wait that long, it would be best to have a test kit. You can test the water a couple times a week, and change it sooner if need be. An alternative would be to change it every 5 days. It’s unlikely a problem would build up that fast.
I would take the air stone out. In nature, bettas live in still shallow water. Being in a current stresses them. In a 1.7 gallon tank, an air stone can create enough current to bother him.
Bread’s fins do look a bit frayed, but it’s hard to tell if he has fin rot or if there’s just a little wear and tear. At this point I would add 1.5 teaspoons of aquarium salt to the tank. When you do a complete water change, add that much again, but don’t add any more between water changes. Keep a close eye on his fins. If it becomes obvious that they are deteriorating, you’ll want to treat with Maracyn 2 or Furan 2. If you can’t find those locally, Amazon and other sources sell them online.
If you don’t have a small heater in the tank, it’s possible the water has become too cold in your dorm room. It should be 78*F to 82*F. They make special little heaters for bettas. The only trouble with that is that you’ll need two of those heaters. Otherwise you won’t have a source of water at the proper temperature for water changes. You can keep some water in a pail or a large bowl, and heat it there, so it will be available.Here is one example of those small heaters:
If you take all these steps and Bread doesn’t improve, you can consider treating him with one of the medications I mentioned above, but do a water change first to remove Tge salt.
If you have more concerns, just let me know. I’m glad to help. I hope Bread will be fine.
You’re very welcome.
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