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Old 01-20-2013, 12:54 PM   #1 
loveiszen
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Help! Fin Rot & Possible Velvet!

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallon

What temperature is your tank? 82 degrees F

Does your tank have a filter? Yes, Aqua-tech 5-15 power filter with bio-fiber biological filtration and EZ-change #1 filter cartridge

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? At the moment no, but I do own an air stone that I could use.

Is your tank heated? Yes

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 4 Betta Fish in total, separated by custom made dividers.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Zoo Med Micro Floating Betta Pellet Food 0.65 oz.

How often do you feed your betta fish? I try to feed them only once a day and as many pellets as they'd like. They always eat all of them, I never exceed 10. There are other people in my house who feed them so every now and then they get fed more than once.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly (In my old small 2.5 gallon tank I changed the water 100% weekly, I've yet to change the water in this new 10 gallon tank because I only just set it up last weekend.)

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% (Again this was when I was using a 2.5 gallon tank.)

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Typically none because I use distilled or spring water but when I set up this new 10 gallon tank I used Tetra Water Conditioner.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I tested it after I set up the 10 gallon tank and the pH came up high, so I then added the Tetra Water Conditioner.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
To make thins easier I will provide details on the 4 Bettas I own and a Timeline.

Older Blue Betta, nearly 1 year-old, housed formerly in 2.5 gallon tank, now in 10 gallon tank.

Older Orange Betta, nearly 1 year-old, housed formerly in 2.5 gallon tank, now in 10 gallon tank.

Older Red Betta, deceased early December, housed in 2.5 gallon.

Younger Yellow Betta, purchased 1 month ago, housed formerly in 2.5 gallon tank (replaced Older Red Betta), now in 10 gallon tank.

Youngest Blue & White Betta, purchased 1 week ago, housed in 10 gallon tank.

I purchased Older Blue, Orange, and Red Bettas nearly 1 year ago and they were housed in a 2.5 gallon tank with dividers, a sponge filter, and an airstone. Water changes were 100% weekly, if not bi-weekly at the latest. Water was not conditioned because I used Spring or Tap Water. I left the fish under the care of my grandfather who overfed them while I was on vacation for a week and when I returned the entire tank was brown and all 3 Bettas were gasping for air on the bottom. I immediately went out and purchased a brand new tank (same build) and transferred the fish and began treatment using Betta Revive. While using Betta Revive I turned off the filter and left on the airstone with the Older Red Betta who appeared to be the worst. Unfortunately he did not make it. The Young Yellow Betta was then purchased and replaced the Red Betta after another 100% water change. The Yellow Betta did not take well and was sluggish on the bottom of the tank and the Blue and Orange Bettas began to appear sluggish as well and their fins began ripping with little black coloring along the edges. I read up on Bettas and realized the temperature was most likely too cold and the size of the tank was cruel so I went out and purchased a 10 gallon tank. I set it up with dividers, plastic plants, the new filter, a heater, a thermometer, distilled water, and Tetra Water Conditioner. I let the tank sit for 24 hours then acclimated the 3 Bettas as well as a brand new Betta I purchased the day prior. I then released the Betta's in the tank after an hour and everything seemed fine until yesterday. I noticed the water cloudy despite a bigger filter and size tank and the Blue Betta, Orange Betta, and Yellow Betta's fins have taken a turn for the worst. Black frayed edges everywhere and now their pectoral fins are destroyed with little white spots. The Yellow Betta even has black visible on his gills. The Orange Betta has a goldish look to him (which I read could be Velvet, or perhaps I'm paranoid now) and developed a white spot on his mouth where the color has come off completely. I administered Betta Revive to all fish this morning but left the filter on because when I tried to turn it off the fish instantly appeared sluggish and got me worried. But I went to check on them now in the afternoon and their condition seems to be worsening. The yellow fish's dorsal fin is no longer flowy but seems to be stuck together. I'm very concerned. The youngest Blue & White Betta seems to be ok for now but I'm afraid everything will spread.

I'm considering doing a 50% water change, changing the filter, leaving the youngest Betta in the 10 gallon tank, and moving the 3 sick fish to the old 2.5 gallon tank and medicating them all with 100% water changes and salt I've heard works? But I think moving them from tank to tank will stress them out and make them worse. I will attach photos in a following post.

Thank you for all your help.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:13 PM   #2 
loveiszen
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Here is a photo album showing my tank set up and the Betta's when they were acclimating compared to this morning.

http://s1340.beta.photobucket.com/us...20Betta%20Fish
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:32 PM   #3 
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They really don't have much room in there. IMHO, I would not put more than 2 bettas in a 10g, 3 maybe. Also you really don't have much coverage next to the dividers so they can readily see each other. Many bettas are extremely stressed by this and that can lead to serious illness. Some bettas really need to be kept apart no matter what you try, and others adapt better to it, but you want to put a lot of plants and thing right up next to each side of the divider to block their view as much as possible.

I also see you have lots of plastic plants. Usually silk plants are better because a lot if not most plastic plants will rip bettas fins. Did you test them by dragging women's pantyhose thoroughly through each plant? If it snags at all it will not work.

Your tank is just starting to cycle. While this is going on you should be using a reliable drops kit to test daily for ammonia and nitrite, eventually nitrate. Any time you see as little as .25ppm ammonia or nitrite you should be doing a 50% water change. In addition to this, a weekly 50% change with gravel siphon is needed. First ammonia will spike, then nitrite. Ammonia will stick at 0 first, then nitrite, finally leaves you with only nitrates. Those can be removed with water changes. Cycling will take up to 2 months and at that point a once weekly 50% change with graveling cleaning should keep things ok.

You can't use spring water with fish. "spring water" like the type you buy in gallon jugs from the grocery store is actually RO or DI water which does not have the necessary minerals and electrolytes to keep fish healthy. Even if you are using real bottled spring water, most of it is not appropriate for keeping fish. Why aren't you using tap water? What's the ph of your tap? What's the ph, gh and kh of this "spring" water? It's important to know and not assume it's fish safe.

Quote:
Water was not conditioned because I used Spring or Tap Water
You always need to use conditioner with tap water..

So at this point your bettas are suffering from lack of minerals in the water you are using and you probably have an ammonia issue after a week of not monitoring your cycle. It'a also possible the intake tube in your filter is tearing up your betta's fins. I would for sure be using a prefilter sponge because the boy in the same section as that filter cannot get away from it at all. He has no cover and nowhere to swim - this is another problem with dividing so much.

-----

Your sick bettas really need to not be subjected to a cycle as their fins can't heal...

I would do a 50% water change on the main tank, using tap water with conditioner (unless you know the tap water is unsafe for fish? Why?) if really can't use your tap water, you need to remineralize the RO you're using using Seachem's Equilibirum or Kent's RO Right. They can't live in distilled water. This needs to be addressed asap. Be careful with these water changes.. keep the new water the same temp as their current water and I would actually cup them, float them and add a couple tablespoons of new water every 10 minutes for an hour or more because you will be seeing a ph change and you don't want to shock them.

After doing that I would QT each one individually and treat with more frequent water changes (how much depends on size of QT) and 1 tsp per gallon predissolved aquarium salt for up to 10 days.. 4 bettas is a lot to QT so if you don't want to do that then you could leave them but you'll have to do be daily 50% water changes in the 10g along with redosing of salt. In the meantime you can use some fish food or drops of pure ammonia from Ace Hardware to do a fishless cycle in your aquarium. Before you readd them to the main tank you should see no more signs of rot and a little fin regrowth. You should also do a 90+ wc on the main tank down to the gravel before acclimating them back.

Last edited by callistra; 01-20-2013 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:10 PM   #4 
loveiszen
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Thank you for your reply.
As far as the Tap Water issue, I meant I use Spring or Distilled. I don't use Tap Water because I live in South Florida and I've been warned numerous times to never use Tap Water with fish because there are frequent chlorination periods (they tend to send out warnings when they do this). Overall I just think it's unsafe.

As far as the plastic plants, they weren't my first choice and were more so just a temporary fix because I screwed up and didn't add soil to the tank when I set it up for live plants. I will try the stocking test though.

As far as the dividers, my Betta's previous dividers were glass, they always seemed to enjoy puffing up and flaring at one another and it never has been an issue, they actually have barely flared at each other now since I added the new dividers. If anything the aggressive behavior has been reduced.

I believe I'm going to take your recommendation and do 50% water changes daily and do gravel vacuuming along with salt dosing. Hopefully over time this will solve my problem.

Should I clean the filter? Or switch to an air stone and leave the filter off?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:25 PM   #5 
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Well that is the purpose of the water conditioner.. to remove this chlorine... and there are legal limits of chlorine in drinking water so if you're using a good conditioner I don't see how this would be a problem... If you're really that worried you can always double dose conditioner and/or cut the tap 50/50 with pure RO - must be mixed EXACTLY the same each time with same water source.

If you won't use tap water then you have to buy a product like Equilbirium by Seachem or Kent's RO right. You also need a KH buffer like Alkaline buffer by Seachem because the kh of true distilled (RO) water will be zero and you need at least 3dkh. The water you're using now is not safe for bettas. I also highly suggest investing in a kh and gh and ph test kit to test your current and treated water and not assume everything is ok.

Not all distilled or "spring water" removes everything down to 0 gh and 0 kh. That is the purpose of an RO system but I've found they aren't all that good.

It's also super important not to keep switching up water sources. Pick one water source and stick to it. Also however you treat it you need to do it exactly the same every time. This will be a lot of work and trial and error in mixing buckets before you get it right and your fish really need stable water now..

I can tell you how I do my mixes. I start with pure RO with 0 gh and kh. I use 5 gallon mixing buckets and use 1/4 tsp of alkaline buffer and 1/8 tsp of acid buffer. This brings my kh to 3 and my ph to 7.4-7.6. PH isn't so important but the kh is. I then add 1/2 tsp of Equilibrium and 1/4 tsp of aquarium salt. This brings my gh to 3. Some people may tell you to use a full 3/4 tsp per 5 gallon of Equlibrium and/or leave out aquarium salt. All I can tell you is this is what works for me. Why AQ in RO water? Most remineralization products contain this, it's in all of our tap water and the ratio I have used is done after many many tests comparing amount of salt in water sources and remineralization products. It's an ammount comparabble to what would be found naturally in non RO water or other mineralization products (actually about HALF what most remineralization products contain)

Again, your mixes will vary depending on how pure your distilled water really is. You're aiming for something between 3-6dkh and dgh. You should also wait 24 hours to test to know for sure.



I would not turn your filter off or you crash your cycle and any bb will die and add to ammonia build up. I would put a prefilter sponge on the intake tube and look into baffling it if they look like they're fighting the current.

At this point adding salt will help your fish a lot not just because of the rot but because it will restore some electrolytes that they need to live. It will buy you time to get your proper mix with the Equilibrium or other stuff ready.

Last edited by callistra; 01-20-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:47 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveiszen View Post
As far as the Tap Water issue, I meant I use Spring or Distilled. I don't use Tap Water because I live in South Florida and I've been warned numerous times to never use Tap Water with fish because there are frequent chlorination periods (they tend to send out warnings when they do this). Overall I just think it's unsafe.
You can request a Water Quality Report. All water municipalities are required to publish this report every year, and it must be presented in a way that consumers will understand the information. (There are also upper limits as to the amount of chlorine and chloramine that can be added. They are not allowed to exceed these levels.)

In fact, you may be able to find the Water Quality Report online. I just typed "Ft Lauderdale Water Quality Report" into Google, and am looking at the report right now. (It was the first place in South FL that I thought of.) They use chlorinamines to disinfect the water, and the amount detected was well within 'allowable' levels. (2.5 detected, within the allowable 2.1-3.5 range.)

If you're worried about the amount of chlorine added, you could age the water in a bucket. As the water sits, the chlorine will slowly leach out. You'll still need to use a water conditioner though, as it removes/neutralizes harmful substances in the water.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:36 PM   #7 
loveiszen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Well that is the purpose of the water conditioner.. to remove this chlorine... and there are legal limits of chlorine in drinking water so if you're using a good conditioner I don't see how this would be a problem... If you're really that worried you can always double dose conditioner and/or cut the tap 50/50 with pure RO - must be mixed EXACTLY the same each time with same water source.
Well using tap water will save me $$$ as well. So if I test my tap and its within parameters, I should warm it to equilibrium with the tank, add water conditioner, and salt and mix. Then vacuum and bring the water down to 50%, rinse the filter in the old water I took out??? Then slowly add in the new water and test again? Now that I have changed the water and added salt do I continue use of Betta Revive? Or is there no point in using meds when running a filter? And salt + meds is too harsh for their little organs?
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:01 PM   #8 
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I wouldn't use Betta Revive it's a massive combo of a lot of toxic meds for a wide variety of conditions. I would just use salt.

I would test the ph of your current water and the ph of the tap water. I would cup each one and float them in the main tank with the new water or 50/50 cut if you'd like. I would very slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new treated and heated (just get the tap to the right temperature coming right out of the faucet) every 10 minutes for like 2 hours. You may need to empty back down the cup once or twice if it gets too full. At thtat point I would test the water in their cup and if the ph matches the tap or is at least within .2 of it I would do one final 50% change and then put them in. Acclimating to a large change in ph can take several hours and should be done very very slowly.
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