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Old 01-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #1 
Arctic Cat ZRT
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Location: Pennsburg, PA
Can't take this anymore

Housing
What size is your tank? 3.5
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? N/A

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tetra Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, but has hardly eaten since I got him

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Neutral Regulator, and freshwater aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: a but above normal, but not extreme.
Nitrite: normal
Nitrate: normal
pH: neutral
Hardness: ???????
Alkalinity: ?????

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes since yesterday, very slow movements, no flaring from reflection, resting ALOT

When did you start noticing the symptoms? This afternoon
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? ???Had him for less than a week
How old is your fish (approximately)? 4 days from purchase.


My betta was doing excellent from when I bought him this last monday, until today. All of a sudden his behavior has changed. He does not react at all to his reflection, and seems to be dying very rapidly. He has hardly eaten since I got him. He has take just a few nibbles from a pellet. Right now he is just floating vertically at the top of the tank, or is resting on plants or on the tank floor. I have removed uneaten food from the tank. I am at wits end. I've tried for 4 months now trying to keep fish, all seem to end in failure. I have actually had the most trouble with betta so far. I am about to pack it in to be honest I am tired of constant disappointment regardless of the practices or chemical I have tried.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:30 PM   #2 
XxxXnoodleXxxX
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Just out of curiosity, how old is the aquarium/filter?
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:37 PM   #3 
Arctic Cat ZRT
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The tank and filter has been going since end of september and I have changed the filter twice. There was one 100 percent water change at the end of november per instructions by local fish shop using their purified water. Last filter change was at about this time last december. I rinsed out the filter this past week.

I did try adding some regulator a few minutes ago and stirred it to dissolve...I also set some water aside to do a 25-35% water change in the morning if he makes it till then. I just don't understand what made him take such a sudden turn.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #4 
callistra
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Why are you using the Neutral regulator? The ph changes while using this are unstable and potentially fatal. Also I found it just flat stopped working since Seachem somehow changed their formula about a couple years ago. I would discontinue it, but make sure to acclimate your fish very slowly to the change of ph. What is the ph of your regular tap water? As long as it's between about 6.5 and 8.5 or so you should be perfectly fine.

Aquarium salt can also only be used for up to 2 week, 10 days is safer. Anything longer can cause premature organ failure.

Tetra pellets are sub par and you should only be feeding them one at a time in small amounts twice a day.. (like maybe 3-4 pellets split up into two smaller feedings) you shouldn't be adding enough to leave uneaten food at all. A good quality pellet will have the first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal and even worse would be wheat. No matter what you feed your fish needs one fast day a week with no food. How much have you been feeding?

"Ammonia: a but above normal, but not extreme." Any ammonia at all is not okay. What are you using to test it? What's the actual level?

A tank that size should get two water changes a week - one 50% and one 100% which should include a rinsing of the gravel. A lot of people will tell you not to bother trying to cycle anything under 5g and you will always need these changes, but you can try. If you wish to try you need to invest in a reliable drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Test daily and do a 50% water change any time you see any ammonia or nitrate show up. In addition to this a twice weekly 50% including cleaning of gravel (stir/dip method or turkey baster type siphon) will be needed. Cycling takes up to 2 months and at first you will see an ammonia spike, followed by nitrite spike. Ammonia should eventually stick to 0 and then nitrite. At this point a twice weekly 50% w/gravel clean may be all that's needed but it may take a long time to get to that point or not at all.

You need to invest in a water conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. Neutral Regulator does not do all this.

--------

At this point you need to do a 50% water change with proper conditioner and gravel clean and then stay up on top of water changes after that.

Also fast a few days and monitor poop. After which get a better pellet and feeding routine.

ETA: Purified water? You're not using RO water are you? AQ + NR is not an appropriate treatment for RO water.

Last edited by callistra; 01-19-2013 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:54 PM   #5 
Arctic Cat ZRT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Why are you using the Neutral regulator? The ph changes while using this are unstable and potentially fatal. Also I found it just flat stopped working since Seachem somehow changed their formula about a couple years ago. I would discontinue it, but make sure to acclimate your fish very slowly to the change of ph. What is the ph of your regular tap water? As long as it's between about 6.5 and 8.5 or so you should be perfectly fine.

Aquarium salt can also only be used for up to 2 week, 10 days is safer. Anything longer can cause premature organ failure.

Tetra pellets are sub par and you should only be feeding them one at a time in small amounts twice a day.. (like maybe 3-4 pellets split up into two smaller feedings) you shouldn't be adding enough to leave uneaten food at all. A good quality pellet will have the first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal and even worse would be wheat. No matter what you feed your fish needs one fast day a week with no food. How much have you been feeding?

"Ammonia: a but above normal, but not extreme." Any ammonia at all is not okay. What are you using to test it? What's the actual level?

A tank that size should get two water changes a week - one 50% and one 100% which should include a rinsing of the gravel. A lot of people will tell you not to bother trying to cycle anything under 5g and you will always need these changes, but you can try. If you wish to try you need to invest in a reliable drops kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Test daily and do a 50% water change any time you see any ammonia or nitrate show up. In addition to this a twice weekly 50% including cleaning of gravel (stir/dip method or turkey baster type siphon) will be needed. Cycling takes up to 2 months and at first you will see an ammonia spike, followed by nitrite spike. Ammonia should eventually stick to 0 and then nitrite. At this point a twice weekly 50% w/gravel clean may be all that's needed but it may take a long time to get to that point or not at all.

You need to invest in a water conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals. Neutral Regulator does not do all this.

--------

At this point you need to do a 50% water change with proper conditioner and gravel clean and then stay up on top of water changes after that.

Also fast a few days and monitor poop. After which get a better pellet and feeding routine.

ETA: Purified water? You're not using RO water are you? AQ + NR is not an appropriate treatment for RO water.
At this point I am confused out of my mind. Lets start with the conditioner. Neutral Regulator is sitting right in front of me and states "removes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia."

Next, my fish has not eaten at all since I got him this past Monday. I try to feed him 2 pellets a day. I have seen him take in a pellet and then spit it right back out after two seconds. I have also not seen any fecal matter in the tank.

Also some terms, what is ETA, RO, and AQ? Sorry, I am a bit of a noob. Also my water right now comes from my well water, I do not have city water.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:55 PM   #6 
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Yes but it does not remove heavy metals, so it is not a good enough conditioner.

RO is reverse osmosis water. You said you are getting purified water from your fish store so I am wondering exactly what this is? AQ is Aquarium salt.

The reason he won't eat is probably stress and probably from the water issues so that's what I'm focusing on.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:00 PM   #7 
Arctic Cat ZRT
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Alright, let me get this clarified a bit. At the end of November before I even tried betta I had to do an emergency water change to save the fish I had as when I went to my fish store they said my water was pretty much deadly. So they gave me 4 gallons of their purified water, and 1 gallon of their cycled water. There has been many water changes since then so, it should mean my tap water makes up the majority of the water at this point.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:13 PM   #8 
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Okay well that's fine..

But why are you using Neutral Regulator? Why are you using Aquarium Salt?

Tap is fine. You need a real conditioner that also says it removes heavy metals. Neutral Regulator should be discontinued and aquarium salt needs to be removed.

ETA: So you used to have another fish in that tank? What fish was it and what happened to it?

Last edited by callistra; 01-19-2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:22 PM   #9 
Arctic Cat ZRT
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I use it to help to treat my to try and keep all of the chemical values the same. I believe my tap water is slightly acakiline. I thought using a conditioner was best practice.

I'm just really confused and frustrated right now. All of the advice that I have recived through mulitple outlets are in conflict. I take to heart what my fish store tells me as they have a large/successful tank cleaning/care busniess. I just don't know anymore

EDIT:

I used to have tiger barbs, my most successful one(4 months) passed recently and abruptly.

Last edited by Arctic Cat ZRT; 01-19-2013 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:35 PM   #10 
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It's okay for your tap to be a little above 7. Bettas can acclimate to a wide variety of ph but the swings are really hard on them. If they swing wide enough or fast enough they can even be lethal.

Tiger barbs in a 3.5g? Sorry to bring this to your attention but those require at least a 20g and large schools.

Sometimes fish stores give incomplete or bad advice.. unfortunately it's rather common.
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