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Old 01-03-2013, 10:50 AM   #1 
Shepaski
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Confessions of a horrible keeper

(long post)

Hello, my name is Shepaski...and I am here to admit that I am a horrible aquarium/fish owner.

I hope I am writing this is the correct section of the forum, this is like an introduction of myself and I am writing my greetings in this way because I don't want people to start scolding me when I ask a completely ignorant question or when they see how horrible I am treating my fish (though I am prepared to get scolded in the beginning). I come with an open mind to learn, and I now wish to learn how to care for my Betta fish properly.

I am what most people would see as a extremely "normal" Fish owner, or what i would like to classify as a human, who keeps fish's mostly as décor or for novelty because I like viewing a tank with fish swimming around, and I like the fact that I am keeping them.

Before I get going with the story, I shall list why I am considered a horrible owner.
My fish live in a 30 X 30 square tank. It's filtered with a H-300 Dolphin filter. And that is it, I have never considered to get a heater at all(despite the fact that the tank is in my room where my brother and I turn on the AC occasionally), I do not understand the use of adding a pump and i have never checked the pH level of the water in my tank

I own a bunch of corydoras, some otocinclus cat fish suckers. one balloon lamp eye fish, 2 black phantom tetras, 2 female bettas and 1 male betta. All of which are in the same tank, no divider what so ever

I currently have 2 sick fish in my tank, them being my Phantom tetra and one of my female Bettas. My female (named Tiny) is the reason why i have decided to come online and actually figure out things i never bothered to look up before. I noticed Tiny had some white growth on her head some months back, it looked like a wound and I, being your "average" owner didn't think to look twice when I fish saw the wound (or growth, i really don't know what i is). Thanks to my ignorance, roughly 2-3 months later, Tiny's head is now half eaten and now i have to put her down or let her die. please refer to this thread for pictures http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=124488.

In the past (and still in the present) I have never cared for any of my sick fish before in my 3 years of owning this tank. I've had about 8 betta fish die due to disease under me, 1 of which I..murdered.. each usually living up to a year or so before passing away. 3 out of these died because of my inexperience with tubiflex worms, 1 died because she jumped out of the tank and her head wound from drying up never healed, eventually catching Dropsy and dying. 2 males died, one from dropsy (my fish betta) and the other..i suspect from old age, but he was always hiding, and his color begun to fade with a slight case of fin rott (he was with me for 2 years but he was roughly 3 because he was adopted form my friend who bought him on impulse), 1 female passed away from dropsy. The only fish i ever murdered was a very territorial female I once owned who refused to allow any of the other fish to even go near the food in the tank, I flushed her down the toilet alive and I understand that i shouldn't have and regret that i ever did that. Also, because i have never heard of euthanizing a fish before(thought never crossed my mind). I left my Bolivian Ram in a bucket in the bathroom when it was unwell and waited for it to die.

All of these cases, I never bothered to look up the cause and methods to cure them (a trait passed down from the friend who got me started in all of this). But this time, because the wound on Tiny's face is so bad (literally half her face is gone including one eye) I really feel that I should start caring for my fish the way i would care for any other animal. Because i've still been doing it all wrong, because i've been neglecting them when they are sick.

Before i got into owning fish, i knew nothing about caring for them and my bettas would only last a month(or 2) under my care (no filter, wrong method of changing water). it was only until a friend of mine(then my bf) taught me how to keep my fish alive 3 years ago and since then the survival rate of my fish has been a lot better, in my current stock, some of my fish have been with me for a full 3 years and my last healthy female betta has been with me for about 2 or so years.

But as you can read all my wrong doings above, i think i'm not quite there yet when it comes to making my fish happy. Their basic necessities are there (minus the heater and pH lvl part) they're alive and well (for now)
but from what i see here on these forums, what i have is not nearly enough for my fish is it?
Currently i am waiting for all my fish to die out, but while i do that, i want to keep my current fish alive and happy with me, Rehoming them is a bit hard for my country where i am still unsure of how the betta fish community is like and my fish will most probably end up with another owner like me.
So i come here to learn and hope i can improve in caring for my fish more then i am now.

With this, i hope i can pick up a few things here. and i hope to path to becoming a better fish owner won't be as rough as i expect it to be, considering the amount of thing's I've done with my ignorance.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:05 PM   #2 
Shewbert
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Hi and welcome to the forum
Firstly don't beat yourself up too much about being a horrible owner, if everyone on here was honest they will admit to starting off with lots of mistakes and disasters.
Ok you will have to get used to doing regular water changes, 50% of your water changed every week.
(good clean water means good healthy fish) you don't want to change all of the water as it contains good bacteria that the fish need.
I won't go into the fish choice you have at the moment as they are in the tank with nowhere else to go, all we can do is help to make the fish a lot happier and healthier than they are at the moment.

So buy a heater, I hope you have a water filter, air pump for oxygenating the water?
If not go to your local fish stockist and buy them,, it is not expensive for a basic heater, air pump with tubing and air stone and a basic water filter, I do not know what equipment you already have but get what is missing from the list.
A bit of heat/oxygenation and filtration will make an instant change to your tank, within hours your fish will perk up and look a lot better.
All of this has to be in your tank before advice can be given about your sick fish
(you can pour medicine into your water,,,but if the water condition is poor it will not work)

Try all of this first, if you are stuck with anything just post it on here as there are loads of helpful members willing to give advice.
Ray
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:34 PM   #3 
Bluewind
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That's right Ray. Yes you messed up. And we called you on it in your other thread. But you are willing to learn from your mistakes and that is the most important thing. Heck, if I hadn't had a friend who is a total fish nut (I am allowed to call her that btw because she is and considers it a term of enderement ), I would have probably made all the mistakes you did! Now, you have us to help you like she helped me
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:11 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the forum and like the first two posters...I agree, a lot of us most likely did a lot of what you did in the beginning.....What is most important IMO, is that you are here-ready and willing to learn.....

We have a lot of great members on this forum ready and willing to help-Keep an open mind with an understanding that there are many different ways to keep fish successfully. Sometimes you need to use bits and pieces of several different methods to make things work-Be warned that we also have some outspoken folks that have a great deal of passion for this hobby and might not come across as very nice-don't take it personally since they mean well.

You made the right decision in coming here and I am sure we can help get you on the right track and on the road to successful fish keeping. You are already successful in that- you know you need help and willing to listen and learn. Knowledge is power.....
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:28 PM   #5 
Shewbert
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Yip I made my mistakes, years ago heaters came with separate thermostats,, I didn't know this, stocked my tank with a load of fish and plants,,,was proud of it,,, woke up in the morning and the tank was boiling.
I only bought a heater but no thermostat.
At least I am brave enough to admit it.
I thought that I had better put this on here before Mandy put it on to embarrass me
Ray
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #6 
Bluewind
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IMAO! I'm sorry Ray but that is the most horrible yet funny thing I have ever heard! A boiling fishtank!?! Oh my God! I would have cried for a week! Those poor babies, but I gotta say, you made your first major mistake will style. Mine was stocking a tank with 1 male betta, 1 cory cat, 10 Ghost Shrimp, 3 Neons, and 1 Black Widow Tetra. I didn't know Black Widows were little psychos without schools and the thing KILLED all but 1 shrimp, killed my cory cat, and shredded my Betta's tail! I was mortified. The Cory was still alive, so I came on here to try to get some help. Found out Corys were schooling too and I needed at least 4! But that wasn't the half of it. I got chastised for everything I had done and what I should have done to prevent it. Then, people were nice and I realized that they were only trying to help and teach me an important lesson.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #7 
5150wicd4fish
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I agree with above posts and yeah I've done some horrible stuff myself due to not really finding out what is involved with fish keeping.. I can remember my first beta, I bought a bowl lamp with a little tiny light, all pretty chrome, thought I was all get out, and had no conditioner, no heater, but a beta in there, and God only knows why it survived..I felt sorry for him, cuz water was cool, so I at least changed water, alot, but I ended up placing a tiny candle under lamp to try to keep him (water warm)..:( you know the rest I'm not gonna go into details...but yes I had and at "reds" sacrifice learned the hard way..
That was 15 years ago, and for past 7 years have read up on just about everything I can on fishkeeping and can truly say its my passion now, and yup knowledge is power!!! :D
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:47 PM   #8 
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I had my fair share of mistakes too...when I was 12 we got a 10 gal and stocked it with 6 neons, 5 cory cats, 1 pleco, 2 goldfish and a male betta, not cycled, added them all in one day. Neons started dropping dead, betta ate the neons, goldfish started floating upside down...who knows what happened to the corys, the pleco rotted and the betta was moved to a vase to live off the roots of a lilly....one bad home to another...but I didnt know any better. I lost all those fish, lost several bettas due to the stupid vase. I got out of fish for years....then a few years back I rescued moms neglected betta...from there on out I began to learn and grow in fish keeping. Took a couple years off and now back into it better than ever before! This sites been a lot of help! Good luck with your future fish keeping and welcome!
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:10 AM   #9 
Shepaski
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Thanks all.
i had to post this so that i get this all out or else people will just get the wrong idea and misunderstanding will happen which is not what i'm looking for here.

already purchased a heater and a thermometer for my tank and i understand now..why my friend never bothered to tell me to get a heater. I live in a tropical country and when i placed the thermometer in without turning the heater on, the temp of the water in my tank was already 84.4F. Guess i only need it if i'm turning on the AC in my room.

the only thing now is to set the curtains up (cos my tank is very close to the window) and see what else is needed to be done for my current fish.
especially the tank maintaince part, so far i'm only changing 50% of the water once a week and swiping the glass.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:52 AM   #10 
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Yep! I am still ini the making mistakes stage... And I was somewhat prepared! Only thing I didn't know I needed was a heater... but I think that cost me big time... For some reason I guess I got a delicate betta. He is very suseptible... either that, or I bought him with some underlying problems already, who knows.

BUT I am learning to treat him! So if I get another betta, I will know exactly what to do at the first sign of illness! So sad we have to learn through mistakes, though :/

I must say, though, these people on here are VERY helpful. Just be careful with the outspoken ones, like OFL said. For the most part I've had some very kind and considerate people help me.
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