Trying to stay positive (kind of rant) - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 127
Unhappy Trying to stay positive (kind of rant)

Two bettas lost in two days...

I'm having a really hard time not wanting to just give it all up. I don't understand why I have such a difficult time keeping bettas alive for more than a few months! Good food, heated and filtered tanks, regular water changes...It's all so discouraging. I lost three in about a week and a half a couple months back. I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong, or if there's something I should do that I'm not. I just try and try and the longest I've had one is nine months. The rest are a few months if I'm lucky!

Someone please convince me that it's worth continuing to pursue my betta addiction/hobby! Every time I lose one I really take it to heart..I get attached to them and it hurts a lot when I lose them. Well, I guess most of us are probably like that really.

Anyways, sorry for the sad down and out rant...Off to go bleach my tank from those dang camallanus worms
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 185
Oh, I'm so sorry. It's heartbreaking when you lose one, and then to lose many is just devastating. I lost two in row, and it near killed me.

Would it be all right if I ask a few questions to help possibly solve the mystery? Don't answer if you don't want to.

1. Do you have a liquid water test kit (to test for ammonia and stuff)?
2. How often/much were your water changes?
3. Did you have live plants or decorations?
4. Tank size?
5. What did you feed? How much per day?
6. Did your bettas show symptoms before dying? What were they?

This will give us some data to work from. Perhaps new sets of eyes looking at this will help figure it out. Nobody on here wants you to quit, believe me...I'm new and I can already tell we're all enablers!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Red River, NM
Posts: 2,241
Also, what kind of water conditioner did you use?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 127
Thanks, it really is so upsetting. And absolutely I'll answer, I'm open to any advice to bettering my fish keeping skills.
1. Yes, I have the large API test kit for the ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH - low and high.
2. Upon reading the sticky here of OFL water change recommendations I see that I'm probably not doing frequent enough water changes. I'm generally doing about 50% weekly on each tank. I haul water so it can be difficult to get to all of them more than once a week because sometimes I run out of treated water.
3. Depends on the tank, I have some that are live plants only, others are mixed, some are decorations only.
4. 2X 2.5 gallons, 1X 5 gallon, 2X 10 gallon.
5. I feed the New Life Spectrum small fish formula pellets, and just got my hands on some frozen bloodworms but I haven't fed those yet. Since the pellets are super small, about half the size of a "betta" pellet (like those hikari ones) they get 6-8 a day. Fast once a week.
6. The one that died today, showed pineconing, bloating, and I could see camallanus worms coming out of him; also looked to have some fungus starting on him, one that died yesterday was an aquabid buy - died a week after shipment arrival - heaving breathing, inability to properly swim and pineconing, another couldn't swim to the top of his tank, stopped eating and eventually I noticed slight pineconing, another bloated and had swimbladder just up and died, no idea why and the other got tangled in some plant roots. I think that's all of them :/

I'll probably get over all this in a day or's just so not a nice feeling. Thanks for the support. I really do appreciate it.

Edit: I use prime water conditioner
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 185
It seems like you've had a lot of bad luck...a betta that dies a week after arrival is probably sick at the get-go, or took badly to the stress of transport. Worms...well, not your fault.

50% weekly water changes are actually not that bad in a cycled tank. However, if the tank isn't cycled (0amm,0nitrite,consistently), that's not enough. Ammonia can build up fast, and nitrite is deadly in any amount really. It is also really difficult to maintain a cycle on a 2.5 gallon. Stressed fish from water quality are more vulnerable to other diseases.

I wonder how water changes could be easier on you, since you have to haul water (I hope it isn't any great distance). Can you kind of "stock up" on dechlorinated water one day and use that through the week? One day if heavy exertion is better than doing it multiple times a week (unless you really want to tone your arms!).
Maybe this helps, maybe it doesn't, but I hope you feel better.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 06:40 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: minnesota,usa
Posts: 993
2.5 is too hard to keep water params. thats why so many people do so many water changes on small tanks. i never cycled my 2 gallon and my betta lived 5+ years.bacteria has a hard time colonizing by the time the ammo is high enough to feed a colony and needs to be changed or your fish can get ammo burns. immune system will be impared and then is susseptible to bacterial infections and so on. bringing about dropsy,ich etc. just as bethymt described above.

bettas-goldfish-shrimp-snails-planted tanks
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,952
I understand. I lost one tonight. I only had him a week, and I tried so hard to keep him alive.... It sounds like you've had a string of bad luck. Things like worms isn't caused by anything you did, or could have done. The aquabid one may have just been really stressed out by the transport, which made him susceptible to other issues. Etc..... Not sure what to suggest about the hauling water, but I use empty juice bottles (well-washed) to store extra treated water. Maybe if you get some of those and stockpile the water, at least you wouldn't have to carry it all at once? Don't give up though. It sounds like you're working hard to be a good owner. Sooner or later, your luck should improve....
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 10:56 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Norristown, PA
Posts: 268
I gave up for a while because I was frustrated, but just recently got another fish, I even threw away / donated all my old fish supplies beforehand! I wish I didn't; don't give up!

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