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Old 04-03-2013, 03:59 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Unhappy Why did my Betta die?

Hi everyone,

I set up a 20L tank for my fish about a month ago. When I set up I put in water conditioner and adjusted the pH to 7, then about two weeks later I realised I should put in some good bacteria, so added that. The fish were in there from the start. I have 4 black neon tetras and had my Betta in the tank. There are three live plants and two rocks. The tank is heated to 25*C, and has a filter/pump set up. I keep a light on above it for 8hrs a day. I feed the fish Betta flakes once a day.

About four days ago I noticed that the Betta was lying around on the bottom and not coming up to feed, then he spend more and more time on the bottom until this morning when he was kind of writhing around in the same spot, again on the bottom. When I got home from work this afternoon he was lying motionless on the bottom and had gone a pale silvery colour, so I assumed he died :(

I have been doing a 20% water change once a week, although once it was two weeks as I went away. I checked the pH two days before the he died, which had gone up to 7.6, so I adjusted it down a bit, but havent re-checked. I wasn't really worried as the Tetras have been fine.

I haven't checked the ammonia or nitrites, as I thought since the Tetras were okay it should also be fine.

I also had a small mirror floating at the top of the tank so my Betta could fight himself if he needed stimulation.

I really want to know what went wrong, as I would like another Betta but I don't want to accidentally kill him, and for now I really miss Percy! :(
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:16 AM   #2 
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What do you mean when you say you "put in some good bacteria"? Did you use a product for this? or were you doing a "fish in" cycle? or both?
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:21 AM   #3 
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I used a product by Seachem called Stability, which according to the bottle establishes an aquarium bio filter and prevents "new tank syndrome". Although I admit I didn't do its full course as there fish already in the tank for two weeks.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:22 AM   #4 
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Stability is a good product but needs to be used exactly as advised to be effective. Do not bother with adjusting the ph. 7.6 is way lower than mine at the best of times and fluctuations can be fatal if too much too fast. You need to do lots of water changes with an uncycled tank even when using Stability. Since you do not have a test kit I would think a spike in ammonia may have done him in. On a new tank like that with that fish load I would say 2x 50% per week minimum even using Stability until your tank is cycled. Test kit is the best investment ever for a fish keeper. Good luck we are all learning all the time so dont feel bad as this can seem like very complex stuff when you start out.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:44 AM   #5 
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My guess would be ammonia poisoning, you were not doing enough water changes, when a tank is new the ammonia is going to spike often till you build up enough BB's to handle the load, so new tank not cycled too many fish not enough water changes
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die tetra

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