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Old 04-29-2011, 03:25 PM   #11 
Oldfishlady
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Nitrate not nitrite.....when a tank is neglected...changes occur naturally and has to be controlled with regular water changes since its a closed system....the nitrate build up and due to the organics in the tank as they break down can cause the water to become more acidic lowering the pH....when a sudden changes is made with either of these....it can shock the system....this is one of the myths you hear about "A water change killed my fish" come from.....the water change didn't kill the fish per say...it was shock related from the sudden change in pH and nitrate with the water change.....

It can sometimes take 12-24h for the fish to show symptom and they will either get sick or die...if they survive the shock, often they will have a compromised immune response and you may have a secondary problem show up.

Sorry, I think you may have misunderstood.....you want to make 50% water changes with fresh dechlorinated water not old dirty water....

Epsom salt would be better to use in this case, if you want to try aquarium salt I would use 1tsp/gal....I would only treat while in the small QT, however, you may want to find something smaller to use so that you can float it in the heated tank to maintain a water temp of at least 76F...70F is really too low.

Tannins-come from Indian almond leaf you can find on-line or native naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf.

Good that he is eating...

Cloudy water in the new 5gal....could be bacterial, dusty gravel, new items not rinsed enough...etc.....I would make a 50% water change before you add the Betta back once he has recovered......unless you have other livestock in the tank like snails or shrimp....the live plants should start to take care of the water once they start to actively grow...but if the water is too cloudy it could hamper the light penetration for good plant growth...
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:42 PM   #12 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Nitrate not nitrite.....when a tank is neglected...changes occur naturally and has to be controlled with regular water changes since its a closed system....the nitrate build up and due to the organics in the tank as they break down can cause the water to become more acidic lowering the pH....when a sudden changes is made with either of these....it can shock the system....this is one of the myths you hear about "A water change killed my fish" come from.....the water change didn't kill the fish per say...it was shock related from the sudden change in pH and nitrate with the water change.....

It can sometimes take 12-24h for the fish to show symptom and they will either get sick or die...if they survive the shock, often they will have a compromised immune response and you may have a secondary problem show up.

Sorry, I think you may have misunderstood.....you want to make 50% water changes with fresh dechlorinated water not old dirty water....

Epsom salt would be better to use in this case, if you want to try aquarium salt I would use 1tsp/gal....I would only treat while in the small QT, however, you may want to find something smaller to use so that you can float it in the heated tank to maintain a water temp of at least 76F...70F is really too low.

Tannins-come from Indian almond leaf you can find on-line or native naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf.

Good that he is eating...

Cloudy water in the new 5gal....could be bacterial, dusty gravel, new items not rinsed enough...etc.....I would make a 50% water change before you add the Betta back once he has recovered......unless you have other livestock in the tank like snails or shrimp....the live plants should start to take care of the water once they start to actively grow...but if the water is too cloudy it could hamper the light penetration for good plant growth...
Thank you very much for the reply. And yes he definitely started showing symptoms in that timeframe you said.

I will get epsom salt, not a problem. Tannins any luck at petco or petsmart so I can get it quicker than online?

He is the only live thing I have in the tank besides the 3 plants. I feel like I want to change the water 100% and rinse everything with hot water (plants in cool water though right?) and then start over... letting the plants and cycle the tank - then add that water slowly to his tank after he starts to heal/recover.


When redoing the 5G tank,

I am going to add:

Everything rinsed off thoroughly and all in hot water except plants (cool/warm water?).

- Water Conditioner

- Should I add the 1 tablespoon of AQ salt to the 5G without him in it?

- Should I add the API stress coat - says 5ml for 5gallon tank that it helps the biological filter faster?



Would any recommend anything else to add to the whole brand new tank?

The bio bag in the whisper filter, should I rinse that off in hot water or not do anything to it?

I am asking this important question about what to do with new tank so if god forbid something happens to my guy, I would get another Betta and don't want this happening ever again. I feel sick that I could have caused this


Specifically to "OldFishLady": With a neglected tank as you say with lower pH/higher acid... is that a typical cause of fin rot / discoloration or does fin rot cause discoloration?

And any idea what that looks to be on his top side that I circled in the OP.

I am very grateful for your replies.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:14 PM   #13 
Oldfishlady
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In the new 5gal tank...NO aquarium salt....you don't want to use that long term especially with live plants.....I would make a 50% water only change on the 5gal and let it start the nitrogen cycle..the live plants will work as the ammonia source to get it started and to hold it....its a new setup so it needs time......keep the filter running and don't do anything to the filter media unless the water flow slow too much and then just a rinse/swish in old tank water to get the big pieces of gunk off...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is good......

Make sure you acclimate the Betta properly to both the water temp and chemistry of the tank before you add the Betta and all should be fine...regardless if it is this Betta after treatment or a new Betta should this one not survive......

The only additive you need to use in the 5gal and for long term housing- is a good dechlorinator for chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals-this is one of the reasons you always want to use a QT for treatments....

The most common cause for fin rot is poor water quality

The 10day Epsom salt treatment along with 100% daily water changes in a small QT container floating in a heated tank to maintain water temp in the 76-77F ranges will also help fin rot.......like aquarium salt the Epsom salt also has antibacterial/fungal properties......

Nutrition is also important...fed high protein foods in small amount several times a day every day...but not to the point of bloat.....if you have access to live foods like mosquito larva...gather some, rinse and fed...they can really help boost the immune response....

I have never heard of IAL being sold at pet shops...not to say they are not sold in pet shops in your area......that is why I like to use native oak leaf from my trees....lol.....and they are 99.9% the same as IAL..plus...Free for the gathering.......just make sure they have not been in contact with any toxic substance
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:36 PM   #14 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
In the new 5gal tank...NO aquarium salt....you don't want to use that long term especially with live plants.....I would make a 50% water only change on the 5gal and let it start the nitrogen cycle..the live plants will work as the ammonia source to get it started and to hold it....its a new setup so it needs time......keep the filter running and don't do anything to the filter media unless the water flow slow too much and then just a rinse/swish in old tank water to get the big pieces of gunk off...you want the filter media to look dirty...this is good......

Make sure you acclimate the Betta properly to both the water temp and chemistry of the tank before you add the Betta and all should be fine...regardless if it is this Betta after treatment or a new Betta should this one not survive......

The only additive you need to use in the 5gal and for long term housing- is a good dechlorinator for chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals-this is one of the reasons you always want to use a QT for treatments....

The most common cause for fin rot is poor water quality

The 10day Epsom salt treatment along with 100% daily water changes in a small QT container floating in a heated tank to maintain water temp in the 76-77F ranges will also help fin rot.......like aquarium salt the Epsom salt also has antibacterial/fungal properties......

Nutrition is also important...fed high protein foods in small amount several times a day every day...but not to the point of bloat.....if you have access to live foods like mosquito larva...gather some, rinse and fed...they can really help boost the immune response....

I have never heard of IAL being sold at pet shops...not to say they are not sold in pet shops in your area......that is why I like to use native oak leaf from my trees....lol.....and they are 99.9% the same as IAL..plus...Free for the gathering.......just make sure they have not been in contact with any toxic substance

Thank you again,

once my Aqueon water conditioner is done (1/2 way there) I am getting Prime as I see its very recommended.

Right now he eats 2 pellets am and 2 pm of the NLS betta formula.

Would freeze dried blood warms be better for protein? And above you said 100% daily water changes, you said before to do 50%. If 100% is better I will do that. Just let me know.


In the 5G right now there is AQ salt.. thats why i said if you want me to start over I will if its better.

Also what about adding that API stress zyme (as I see it has great reviews online and that it speeds the cycle process up).

In his quarantine bowl - just add eptsom salt as you told me 2 tsps and the water conditioner.

But for his large tank, yes or no to the api stress zyme.

Also for those 3 plants is there any other liquid out there you recommend i throw in to keep the plants lively and better?
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:55 PM   #15 
Oldfishlady
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When I recommended the 50% water changes that was a water only treatment...with any of the salt treatment you want to do 100% daily water changes...it can sometimes be easier if you pre-mix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water...add the salt to dissolve and use this water for the 100% daily water changes...this helps make correct dosage and water changes easier.....and if you have tannins to add all the better...the longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it.....

Adding in a few freeze dried BW along with the pellets/flakes will be fine...be careful feeding too much of the freeze dried products...frozen would be the next best food to live......

What kind of plants....

Since you have AQ salt in the 5gal I would make some back to back water changes or just tear it down and start over since its new anyway...its up to you what would be easier......

I don't know what that product is to be honest...but if it is intended for the nitrogen cycle...personally I think they are a waste of time and money....
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:26 PM   #16 
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Yup I'm just going to tear dowen and start fresh. Rinse everything in hot water.. except not touch the bio bag and warm water or hot on plants?

The 3 plants are a crested java fern, anubia both of them are 4 inches . And a a 8 inch amazon sword. Any liquids you recommend To keep them healthier and greener?

I feel much better with taking care of my betta now and future bettas. I truly enjoy how they act
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:43 PM   #17 
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Update 9:30 PM EST

Just got home for the 1st time since this morning. My fish is doing much better knock on wood and thank the lord.

As soon as I turned the big kitchen light on he came right to the top as he always does.. he is much more lively.. he is swimming around, he is coming to the top, and is flaring at me when i go up to the tank!!!

I just fed him 2 pellets (so 4 today total) I hope thats good for a 1 year + beta? and he ate them super fast 1 right after the other!

I hope this means he is recovering - he is doing so much better for sure!
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:58 AM   #18 
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Sudden cloudy tank is almost always a bacterial bloom, in new tanks it is guaranteed to be ammonia eating bacteria producing nitrite.

If you add in bottled bacteria in a tank that has a fair amount of ammonia you WILL have a shock bloom of bacteria and a massive nitrite spike.
Nitrite acts like carbon monoxide on fish, betta are able to tolerate more than most fish but it will still kill them.

If you're setting up a fully cycled tank the bacteria will take forever to begin eating nitrite if there is any appreciable amount of ammonia in the tank. If there is too much ammonia the bacteria will simply go to sleep.

You mentioned "bio bag"... no such thing. There should be an insert-frame with your filter that has a black sponge in it, this is the bio-media. Activated charcoal is simply a mechanical filter on a molecular level, not a magical material that makes biology work.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:18 PM   #19 
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Good to hear he is better......

Plant food-the sword is a substrate feeder and root tabs work well for them the fern and anubias should both be tied to something in the tank like driftwood or a decoration of some type....you don't want to bury the roots in the substrate-they will rot and die...they are water column feeders and the liq type plant food should be fine, however, these are slow growing and low feeders...usually the waste from the fish and any left over food is all they need...personally I wouldn't add any extra food unless they look like they need it...

Look forward to pic once you get it all setup.....
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:13 PM   #20 
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Ok after a long day. He is now in his 1 gallon QT tank _ its a cool shape like a sphere/triangle that is semi tall... it fits his hydor theo 25watt.. temp right now is 77 degrees - and he has his 2 tsp epsom salt in there, with aqueon water conditioner and api slime coat to help is fin rot/ bacteria/fungus on his back (pic is in original post).


The new tank was fully torn down and re done... rinsed everything in hot water, cept live plants in warmish water... and put it all back. the tank is running... put in slime coat for water conditioner and its cycling with the 3 plants... pic below - I am on Day 2/10 with my betta who survived shock from bad water to good water, and happy to report he is doing better.


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