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Old 12-12-2012, 08:01 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Betta & Rainwater

Hi guys! Need some advice and comment to my action, 2 days ago i changed my male betta tank water to a new one with 80% of it is rainwater which i got from a heavy rain at night. My male betta was active as usual and he even make lots of bubbles until 2 days later (now) he was acting weird. Scratching all over the tank and the plant deco, flaring excessively and moving his mouth a lot (and his gills but breathing is good so far)..

Typed the behavior on net, it's like the same symptom as external parasite problem: It will dart and scratch itself against anything it can find, such as gravel, rocks, heaters, tank walls, etc…

What should i do? Is it really parasite problem? I read some suggestions like using aquarium salt but also found some that indicate it wasn't a good idea too..And some mentioned aquarisol..Anyone can confirmed the right way and safer way to kill parasites for my betta?
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #2 
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Could be ich or velvet, gill flukes, etc... I would stick with just tap water, as it has the proper, healthy minerals they need. Unsure what could be in the rain water as it is falling through the sky with chemicals (acid) and pollutants in it. As well as unsure what was in the bucket with the rainwater. Some may say it's fine - but me personally there is too many "ifs" because who knows what is upstream to you, it lacks the natural buffers (pH, etc) which can cause your tank to crash..

I would use AQ salt at first to see if that helps - raise the temp to around 85, AQ salt @ 1tsp per gallon and every 12 hrs add in another 1tsp until you have a total of 3tsp per gallon (after that when you do water changes just add in the 3tsp at once; make sure to dissolve the salt prior to placing him in it), daily 100% water changes with the AQ salt/water conditioner for no more than 14 days.
Make sure to clean out his home tank really good as well.

Basically, doing the ich treatment with the AQ salt, if it's external parasites then it should remove them. If for some reason it doesn't, then you could use the API General Cure - that should work. Don't mix medication with salt.

Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:22 AM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Since it is a behavior change related to a change in source water and he doesn't have any signs of external parasites-It might be due to something in the rainwater that is making him feel itchy-Heavy metals will do this to some fish. As Myates explained about the pollution in rainwater.
All rainwater can be different due to location, drought, collection...etc....

What I would try first-make 25% water changes every 15 min for 1 hour today-using your regular dechlorinated tap water and if this doesn't resolve the problem-then do the salt treatment as Myates described.

How did you acclimate him to the change in source water.

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2012
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I know you have been cautioned about using rainwater, but I just wanted to + 1 that advice. The frequent and indiscriminate use of pesticide and herbicide has left most rainwater tainted with the chemicals that go into them. Here in the upper midwest, our rainwater is made up of the chemicals in Monsanto's Roundup. I do no know where you live, but I can almost guarantee that your rainwater is contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. If you live in an agricultural region (or in its weather pattern path), it will be even worse.

I should say that this information came from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Last edited by NeptunesMom; 12-12-2012 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:19 PM   #5 
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Thanks for the advices guys, currently i transferred him to a bigger glass tank filled with dechlorinated tap water. He seems fine so far, better than on the previous water just swimming around the new bigger empty tank. I realize the previous water is bit cold and when i checked carefully the water got some soft barely visible tiny dust, i guess the rainwater is contaminated..My bad Just now I adjusted the temperature on the new tank before acclimating him.

So far no more itchy problem, hope it stays that way. If it occur again soon, I'll do what Myates suggested.

Oldfishlady - I do the Float the cup method for acclimating. I just got a heater so i can now adjust the temperature. The only thing missing is the kit for checking and adjusting pH..Need to get that one once i got the cash.

NeptunesMom - I live in Borneo island, the home of Mouthbrooders Betta macrostoma. You got the point actually, my brother just remind me of the Liquefied Gas factory not far from here so we can expect a polluted rain/acid rain..

Thanks everyone, will update on my betta condition again.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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It is important to acclimate to both the temp and chemistry by adding small amount of the tank water to the holding container over 10-15min or to their tolerance. Especially with new Betta or with 100% water changes or using new source water-to help prevent shock issues.

Most Betta will adapt to your source water pH-provided that it isn't extreme and its better for them in the long term to allow them to adapt-than to use chemicals/products to change the pH-especially, if you don't know the KH/GH and change that too-otherwise the pH will most likely rebound and those pH swing can sometimes be stressful.

For most source water-the only chemical additive you need is a good dechlorinator that covers chlorine and chloramines...IMO/E.....
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