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Old 06-11-2013, 12:49 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Black Monday

Came to work yesterday, and Ragnar was dead. This makes 3 in the last 4 weeks. I'm down to my last betta, and can't figure out what is going wrong.

What size is your tank? 1 gallon (each one)
What temperature is your tank? 74-76 (office, AC during the day, off after hours)
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Y
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon pellets and dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x day, none on Sat and Sun


How often do you perform a water change? Every other day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Because of every-other day 100% changes, I only test for Ammonia.
Ammonia: 0 first day, .5 on the second day
Nitrite: donít test
Nitrate: donít test
pH: 7
Alkalinity: pH 7

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Began with noticeable red veining in bottom fin, along the edges, pale around the face. Has since passed. Second died Sunday. Third one is still hanging in.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Was resting on the bottom, gills pumping about twice as fast as normal, occasionally going to the surface for a gulp of air, once or twice racing around the tank. Gill movement went back to normal after a few days, but still was resting on the bottom. He was Ďtail heavyí, couldnít suspend like normal, when resting on the bottom he was head down. Second one died on Sunday, so I didnít see. Third is just sitting on the bottom.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About two weeks ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Just clean water, changing daily.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? First one was recovering from ammonia poisoning, fins growing back, about half way. The others, no.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Less than a year, purchased about 6 weeks ago.

Steve is the last one. I've had him for going on two years, and he is just sitting on the bottom, has been like this since last week, started just before Jessie died.

*sigh* This is awful, and I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have any more bettas at work...
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:26 AM   #2 
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Location: Macon, GA
The red veining sounds like it could be columnaris. I treated my fish for antibiotics with this. Normally, I would tell you the one gallon tank is unacceptable, but since you are doing so many water changes, it really should be fine...

Perhaps living in a constantly sterile environment is having a negative effect on them? I'm not sure if that is possible or not.

Can any more experienced fishkeepers step in here?
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #3 
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1) Is it possible to post a photo of him, and another photo of his tank?

2) How old were Ragnar and Jessie when they died? Did they display similar symptoms before their death to what Steve is doing now?

3) What type of water test kit do you use?
Your water change schedule looks excellent. It's more than sufficient to keep the ammonia and toxins levels low. The 0.5 ppm ammonia reading on day 2 seems higher than I would expect. Do you consistently get this reading on the second day?

4) You mentioned that another fish was recovering from ammonia poisoning. Do you know if this was specifically what he had?

5) Is 74-76F the temperature over the full day (24hrs)? Do you know if it falls lower than this at all? Is your heater adjustable?
(Don't change any temperature settings right now. I'm just trying to get some additional information.)
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #4 
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Thanks guys, for responding, I really appreciate it.

Steve is at home now. I am treating with epsom salts and have him in a dark place, and fasting. Could it be constipation? Can that cause them to die? I can't think of anything else. I recently upgraded the food from the cheap crap to Aqueon, which from my understanding, is still not good enough.

Jessie came to me several months ago with ammonia burns on his fins. He was getting better, fins growing back very nicely. Then I had let the tanks go 5 days without a change, and the ammonia went to 2-3 ppm (my fault, ergo the constant water changes now). After that, he started laying on the bottom, darting around the tank on occasion. He was like that for 10-14 days before he died, on a Monday.

Ragnar had no issue at all, was dancing and hungry and looked great. Saturday my friend fed him at work, said he was normal. He is the betta avatar. That's how he looked when I saw him last. He died on Monday.

Steve has been resting on the bottom since a few days after the incident with Lokie (flaring over the weekend, stressed Lokie and he died). He comes up to eat, then goes right back down to the bottom and stays there. Yesterday he shot into the glass and down into the bottom so hard it made me jump, just crashed into everything, then stopped and looked at me. Poor guy...

Water temp never goes below 74, or over 76. Of course I'm not at the office at night, but the AC is off, so the temp goes up to 76 by 9:00 am, and slowly drops to 74 by 5:00 pm. I returned the heater, has no settings.

These were young fish, bought at PetSmart in the last 2 months.

Attached is a pic of Ragnar's tank. I always have spare jar, with clean water and conditioner, so when I change water, I literally scoop them up and transfer to the second jar, so the temp is always the same.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:18 AM   #5 
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Oh, and the test kit is API. I only test for ammonia because there is no cycling of the tanks. GH, KH don't matter, nitrites and nitrates are 0. pH is neutral. The ammonia doesn't always go up to .5, it seemed it was just Jessie's tank, and I think when fish are not well they produce more ammonia. The other tanks show .25 or less after 2 days.

I did add a moss ball, and it was in Jessie's tank first. It has been in everyone's tank at some point. Can that make them sick? Are there any diseases that can be carried on moss?
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:42 AM   #6 
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He's still hanging in there, yesterday just stayed on the bottom but this morning came up to meet me, acted hungry, so I fed him several very tiny pellets (he won't eat a pea). Then we went back to the bottom. I did see one poop yesterday, looked normal.

Should I keep him in water with epsom salts, and for how long? Is there anything else I can do for him?
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:28 AM   #7 
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Do those lids stay on the jars? If so, are they loose enough so they get some air circulation on the water surface? Does the temperature change much after hours? Not enough fresh air and temperature spikes could certainly directly and indirectly affect their health.

Hope you figure it out and that your remaining fish pull through - I have a halfmoon boy on my desk and I love having him in the office.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #8 
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I was going to say the same thing as Shadyr. they need air. if you buy some cheese cloth and fasten it to the top with a rubberband it should work a lot better. Also i would try to upgrade their tank size, your doing good with the water changes but that could damage the fish in the long run, it causes too much stress and diminishes their slime coat. get a 5 gal tank w/ heater and a sponge filter, you can divide it with some mesh screen (sold in pet stores) and have 2 males in one 5 gal tank (2.5 Gal each) or 3 males in a 10 gal (3.3 Gal each)

just some ideas, hope it helps!
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #9 
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I have spacers to lift the lids about 1/2", so they get good air circulation. Cheesecloth is a good idea though.The temp never fluctuates more than 2 degrees. Steve's been at the office for over a year now, always been healthy and beautiful.

I'm not approved for a proper fish tank and the recent casualties have been depressing for everyone. All tanks are gone now, and Steve will remain home, and I will stay out of the petstores until he is back to normal.

My desk looks so barren and void of life...
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:10 PM   #10 
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What constitutes a "proper fish tank"? My deskmate lives in a Crescent 3 G. No filter so no noise. It's a good size. The Minibow 2.5's are also nice (and what I started out with in the office, until my kitties at home got caught one too many times sticking their paw into the openings on the 3. The 2.5 hood is more catproof, so home it went.
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