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Old 02-18-2011, 10:26 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE US
2 new bettas are sick? please help!

OK, so Valentino (bought 2-14-11) can from a very dirty little bowl in the pet store we just found. He was a bit skittish in the bowl, but is very pretty so I bought him anyway. Got him home and slowly introduced him to his new tank, he seemed fine, was somewhat friendly towards us, but spent a lot of time pacing the back of the tank. He was eating, but not as well as the other fish. We got him a new heater, the old one was one of those "betta" heaters that only increase the room temp by 5 degrees. We kept the house a warmer 70 for the couple of days waiting for the new heaters to come in. We slowly brough his temp from 75 to 79 and then he stopped eating. He'd try a bit then spit it out. Even the worms were spit back out.

Oliver who was bought from a different pet store on 2-12-11 was your typical hyper begging for food every time he saw a shadow type fish. He had the same betta heater and his tank was also 75 and is now 79. Same thing, slowly introduced him to his home, he LOVED it. He was super friendly and fun to watch.

I did water changes on all three tanks, added the conditioner even though we have well water with no chlorine. (it's been tested and everything is fine) Everyone seemed fine and ate their worm treats.

Last night we came home from work and Oliver and Valentino were just sitting at the tops of their tanks. Barely breathing. Not much gill movement. We noticed that Oliver has foggy eyes, like a blind animal has. His eyes were crystal clear that morning. We skipped their dinners as neither were eating.

This morning the same thing. Both are still floating and not breathing much and no gill movement. No eating again. No response when we come up to the tank. I tried to stick my finger in Valentinos tank and could actually pet him very lightly and he wouldn't move. He finally would move up to breath but that was it.

Aside from the heaters nothing is different. It wasn't a drastic temp difference only from 75 to 79 and it took 4 hours to do it.

Is this just bad luck and the new fish were most likely sick? It really can't be something with the heaters can it? The third tank has the same heater, although over a year older. When we switched that tank from the betta heater to the new one he was fine and it didn't phase him at all. He had the same water change. The same readings. Same temp. Same everything.
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, Texas
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:28 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Along with the requested information by you have a way to test your source water for nitrate....sometimes cloudy eye and being lethargic can be due to high nitrate in the water and since these are new setups I doubt it would be from the tanks but could be from the source water...especially well water if you are in a farming or industrial area that chemicals could leach into the ground water and wells....just a thought....

It can also be dietary related from the fish farm they came from......

Can you post a pic?
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:59 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE US
Sorry for the slow response, our internet went out about 20 minutes after posting that.

Valentino has died sadly. He was gone when we got home from work.

Oliver was given a 100% water change when we got home from work with salt. Within a few hours he was swimming around a bit more. The next two days we did 50% changes and he seems to be getting better slowly. He's begging for food again, his eyes are about half as cloudy as they were. When we get home he'll get another 50% change.

On Saturday we did get another fish. I knew if I didn't just go out and buy one I may not replace Valentino since I was so upset with losing one. He also seemed a bit unhappy so we added the same salt and seemed to have caught the stress a bit earlier and he seems to be doing well. Their water is still both a bit cold as we're bringing them up slower then we'd like to, but I want as little additional stress as possible.

For more info we have 2.5 gallon unfiltered tanks. The older fish is at 79 degrees the two newer ones are about 73-74 right now. I'm hoping to get them to 79 in a couple days. We do 100% changes on the older one adding the betta water conditioner. They eat worms after a tank cleaning otherwise it's betta bits 2-3 times a day. The older guys who is huge gets 2 in the am, 2 when we get home from work and 2 after dinner. The two little guys get one at each feeding, but the one who's getting healthier gets two at one feeding then 1 at the others.

I don't know the levels off the top of my head, but everything is in range according to what it's supposed to be. We have gone back to the bottled water though just in case. The only one who's had the bottled water was the older one, the newer ones went straight to tap/well, the older guy didn't get bothered with the switch to tap/well, but we're going to switch him back to bottled too with his next water change.

I'm not sure if it was the temp going up too fast (I assumed going from 75-79 in a period of 4 hours would have been ok- am I wrong- the petsmart said a degree an hour should have been fine) but it all seemed to start with the new heaters being added.
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