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Old 03-12-2011, 11:22 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Newbie who made mistakes

Hi. I will try to make this short so I don't bore anyone to death..

My dd wanted a betta, so last Saturday we went to Petsmart and got a betta, 2 gallon round tank with under gravel filter, bubbles in the middle and led lights. The lady said perfect for betta. Said to put distilled water in tank with StressZyme, no heater, and can put fish in immediately. Water changes only once a week or less.

So we go home set up tank put fishy in and then decide to get a fake plant or two. We hop in car go to Petco and fall in love with 2 bettas and get 2.5 betta bow tank with divider. Lady there says get heaters, and use purified water not distilled. Water changes a couple of times a month maybe. Go home set up..Wake up middle of night to use bathroom and find fish can get around divider. So I spend 10 mins trying to catch one to put in cup til morning.

Sunday, go to Petsmart and get 5 gallon tank, set it up and put the betta in it.

Tuesday and Wednesday the betta in 2 gallon tank and 2.5 gallon die. None of them have eaten since day one and they all had been floating on their sides or nose down in gravel. The one in the 5 gallon is still hanging in there he hangs out in the corner by the heater and filter. The water is constant 79 and I have turned off filter as it seems too strong. All water tests read perfect.

We also got a 10 gallon tank the other day and set it up with tap water, Prime, and 6 females and 10 ghost shrimp. One shrimp died in transport. The girls seem ok except there is one bully that may have to be removed.

Now I find this site and see that I totally screwed up..I feel horrible. I don't know if I can go back and fix it but want to know what I can do going forward.

1. What might be wrong with my male? He did come out of his corner to look at the girls in the other tank for a little bit. LOL Still not eating and doesn't flare anymore. He is just beautiful and I want to do right by him.

2. Water changes and cycling just confuse be completely. With the smaller tanks, I don't understand the cycling or how to do it and since I have the 10 gallon set up how do I cycle that now?

Anyone who made it through all that...Thank you! And any help would be much appreciated. I really wish I would have found this site a week ago...Poor Percy and Ares might still be alive..
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Betta keeping....sorry you are having problems.....but your here and we can help......

First-I would get a good declorinator like Prime by Seachem and use your tap water....distilled or bottled water are not good for fish as they can lack the needed mineral that the fish need for good health

You say you test the water-what kind of testing products are you using and can you post the numbers

Without a filter in the tank you don't need to worry about the nitrogen cycle

To be clear-you have how many Betta in what gallon tank, with or without filter and if filtered what kind.....

Don't change your fish over to your dechlorinated tap water from the distilled and/or bottled water without first acclimating....the sudden pH change could be want to add small amount of the dechlorinated tap water to the fish over 20-30 minutes until they are in 100% of the dechlorinated tap water....

Once we get all the information on tank size, filter that each Betta is in...we will go over the nitrogen cycle and water change needs

What kind of fish food do you have on hand....

Again welcome and we will be happy to help you get on the road to happy Betta keeping......
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:36 AM   #3 
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What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 79-82
Does your tank have a filter? yes but I dont run it constantly way to powerful
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? I just put some ghost shrimp in there

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon betta pellets and have tried Hikari bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Since he is not eating, only once a day a couple of pellets


How often do you perform a water change? The tank has only been set up 1 week today so only one partial
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and aquarium salt

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: between 8.0 and 8.2
Hardness: I can't remember the number but we have VERY hard water
Alkalinity: Dont remember this one either

Everything came back in the good to safe area but hardness and pH but what I have found is that those 2 things aren't as important as the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His color is seems to fade in and out.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? The first day he was very active until I had to try to catch him to move him from 2.5 divided tank (that he kept squeezing around the divider) to his new 5 gallon
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2nd day have only had him a week
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Dont know
How old is your fish (approximately)? only had about a week. Dont know before that

Any help would be great. He is a beautiful crowntail. Pretty blue and now has red in him too. He is a fighter (as in I havent managed to kill him yet). So I really want to see him through this.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:42 AM   #4 
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I forgot to mention...He was in the 5 gallon by himself until yesterday when I added a few ghost shrimp. I added them to help with the food that he wasn't eating. He came out of his corner a bit to check things out. He also likes to check out the girls in the other tank sometimes.

He really doesn't "swim". He just floats more across the top, using his little side fins? He doesn't appear to be in distress at all but he has a 5 gallon tank and uses a corner.

I am going to go check on him soon. I am housesitting for my mom and going back and forth to keep an eye on the fish.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:18 AM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
You either need to turn the filter on and baffle it to control the water flow or take it out....right now I would start by making 50% water changes for 2-3 days to get the water quality improved and then twice weekly 50% thereafter if you use the filter until the nitrogen cycle establishes (4-8weeks)......... without the filter...twice weekly 50% with a monthly 100% or 90% since you have shrimp that can be hard to catch...or add some live plants like naja grass, water wisteria, crypts and floating plants like water lettuce, frogbit, hornwort and you could remove the filter all together and make 50% weekly water changes.......

Is he floating on his side or having buoyancy problems and/or does he look bloated???
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #6 
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Location: Blowing Bubbles in T-Town, AZ
I just wanted to welcome you to the forums and wish you a happy journey with your little betta friends. You're in good hands with Oldfishlady, she'll give you all the help you need. :)
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:42 PM   #7 
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He is not floating. In fact, when I went home to check on them he was kind of swimming around. It is like he is gliding more than swimming. I took tons of pics. He has lost his red color in him and has some green in him. I did do a 25% water change and he perked up a bit. I think he is more active with the shrimp in there. I had to turn the filter on because I found a shrimp swimming in the filter. LOL I fed a couple of pellets and the free goldfish flakes for the shrimp. He still did not eat.

The water levels in all 3 tanks read good except the ph and hardness are way to high. I will go get some ph down this afternoon.

Once I figure out how to get pictures from my phone onto here I will post pics of all the fish and tanks.

I can really see a difference in water clarity between the different tank sizes. The 10 gallon which is only a few days old is perfect. The 5 gallon which has been running for over a week is cloudy. It does get more indirect sunlight thought. And the 2.5 that I just cleaned out and set up is cloudy too. I wish I had set up all 10 gallon tanks instead.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:35 PM   #8 
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Here are some pictures of Moe. He looks a bit better today. His color is still a bit off. The green must have been due to the flash.

Last edited by livismom; 03-13-2011 at 07:38 PM. Reason: add a picture
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:01 PM   #9 
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Don't get the ph down stuff. Ph fluctuations will stress your betta out so I would leave it alone. Bettas will adjust to basically any ph.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:07 PM   #10 
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Thank you soo much! This is more stressful than bringing home a newborn...
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