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Old 12-09-2012, 12:07 AM   #1 
Starfish1
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Can anyone help me understand why my betta got sick?

Hi,

OK so I have a giant female plakat betta fish, about 9 mos. old, with holes in her fins. She's in a 10 gal tank with filter. Change carbon every month. Water parameters have been consistent throughout the time I've had her:

Ammonia 0 (30% water change once a week)
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Alkalinity in "ideal" range between the 120 and the 180 colors
ph 7.0
chlorine 0 - I leave her water out in the same room with her for at least 24 hours before water change to let the chlorine evaporate and the temp reach the same temp as the water in the room

I put 1/2 tsp of aquarium salt in for each gallon during every water change.

I had not been using a heater, because I got her in June, and its not super cold here yet. My house is a consistent 74-75 degrees. Her water temp during the fall has been 72-74. I am wondering if that is too cold for a betta? I've since put a heater in her tank, at 76-78 degrees. She is very active, happy, hungry, eating well, etc. doesn't seem to notice her fins. One thing is, during the hurricane last month we lost power for 3 days and her water temp dropped to 70-72 degrees, I checked it constantly and during the nights I put hot water treated with Prime in to bring the temp up a degree or two until the next day when it got warmer. Nothing drastic just a degree or two. After the power came back on, I threw out all her old filter media and replaced it, and since I wanted to be extra careful I did the 30% water changes every 5 days instead of every 7 and kept an eye on the water parameters to make sure everything was ok while the biological filter in her filter media re established itself. Everything has been perfect. So 4 weeks after the power outage was when she started to get holes in her fins. Is it because her water temp dropped too low during those 3 days? Can fin rot take 4 weeks to start actually causing holes in the fins? Or is it because 72-74 is too cold for her? I have 5 other bettas in other tanks and they all seem to do fine at that temp.. is that too low?

Thanks for everyone's help!

Last edited by Starfish1; 12-09-2012 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #2 
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Ideally their temp should be between 78-82. They can survive in the lower 70's and into the upper 60's but its not healthy for them and I'm sure they don't like freezing. I lived in Alaska and even with heaters my water would dip into the upper 60's in winter.

Sometimes I find holes in my males fins - not really sure what causes them but I tend to find them when I skip on the water changes. Try doing a larger then normal water change - say 50% and see if that helps. Longer finned males can bite their fins which sometimes start out as small holes but I have never seen or heard of a female bitting her fins.

Are you also adding in water conditioner or just letting the water sit for 24 hours? Letting it sit gets rid of the chlorine but it will not remove heavy metals and stuff like that. Any fish water conditioner will do. Alot of people like Prime. I like stress coat. Stress coat will also help with fin regrowth because it has aloe in it.

What kind of filter do you have? if you have one that uses cartridges like an aqueon quietflow or most other HOB filters - unless you need the chemical filtration from the carbon - there really is no need to replace them every month. The bacteria you want is in the cartridge so if you toss it, there goes most of the bacteria. It's best to just swish it around in old tank water when you do the water change. UNLESSS you have an aquaclear OR marineland biowheel filter. Those are set up differently. For the Marineland ones - the bacterial will be mostly on the wheel and the aquaclear has the carbon speperate so you can replace it without loosing most of the bacteria. Personally I just stuff my filters with aquaclear foam - it lasts longer then the cartridges and it WAY more cheaper

However, since you lost power from that storm, the bacteria would of died off so in that case - yeah, replacing everything was a good idea. If you had turned it back on, all the dead bacteria would of went into the tank and there would of been an ammonia or maybe nitrate - not sure which -spike from the dead bacteria.

My advice - do a bigger water change and add in some stress coat. You don't have to use AQ salt, many people say using it all the time is not a good idea as they are freshwater fish.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 12-09-2012 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:55 AM   #3 
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Hi,

Thanks for your help!

I did the 50% water change just now and turned the heater up to 79 degrees.

I have Prime here but wasn't sure if it was better to just let it sit out and then leave the water alone rather than putting chemicals in it.. Two of my bettas seem to be more lethargic when I put any type of water conditioner in and then more active without it, and then all the others seem to do fine either way. I have no idea!!! lol I get a little worried putting chemicals in their water but then I figure probably most fish owners put some type of stress coat or water conditioner in they seem to do fine! I can try the Prime again or maybe just leave it out of those two fish's tanks and use it in the rest of theirs.

I have an Azoo Mignon filter, I was originally going to do a saltwater tank a few years ago but changed my mind and used the 10 gal and filter for the betta. I ordered it from a saltwater store online. It's just a basic filter no biowheel or anything like that, it has a few sponge type things in there that I either washed in hot water or replaced after the power outage. It does seem to work very well based on my water test results. I'm confused about the filter though, doesn't the carbon wear out every month if I don't replace it? Will it still filter the ammonia out and if not every month, how often do you recommend I replace it instead?

Also, can you or anyone else help me with heater recommendations for 3 gal tanks. I have 5 other bettas in 3 gallon tanks. I found a few 10 watt heaters online but when I read the reviews almost every single one for several different models said the heaters were making the water 90 degrees and above and killing the fish! A few people recommended using a good quality 50 watt one and putting it on a very low temp setting and the water would stay at around 78 in theirs - I have a hydor theo 50 watt set up in an empty 3 gal tank right now so I can see what it does for a few days before putting it in any of my tanks! I have no idea how this will go! I don't want any more of my little ones to be cold or get sick but I don't have the room for all 10 gallon tanks in here. I have no idea what to do. Right now I have a space heater in here to try and keep it as warm as possible.

I cannot believe your water was in the 60's with the heaters that is unbelievable!!
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:12 AM   #4 
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I LOVE API Stress coat. It has aloe and all kinds of good stuff :3

http://www.petco.com/product/116663/...um-Heater.aspx

This one is not cheap but it does look like it may be good for your 3 gallon tanks. At the very least, it may be worth a shot as long as you can return it.

I bought a real cheap heater at Walmart (a Tetra brand one) and it ended up beating my more expensive one.

The best thing to do is try one. Each individual heater can vary, not just brand to brand. When I put mine in I monitored it very, very closely (probably closer than I should have).

Good luck :3
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:45 AM   #5 
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Hi,

That hydor theo is a smaller version of the really nice one I have! Mine's 50 watt and this is 25 watt! Wow thanks it looks great, think I'm gonna order it! They're having a sale too :D

I'll keep you guys posted on how it works in the 3 gallons. That's supposed to be a really good brand. I will keep a very close eye on it though.

Thanks :)

Btw that is a beautiful fish you have!

Last edited by Starfish1; 12-09-2012 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:46 AM   #6 
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Share some pics of yours :D I'm sure he'll perk right up soon.
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