Hello, all. I've long since been browsing these forums, though I hadn't made an account up until now. Whenever I googled something betta fish-related I usually found my way here to this website, and it's great to see that most of you really do care about your betta fish.
Anyway... so a problem came up a few days ago. For the past 5 months that I've had my betta fish, he's been in a 1.5 gallon 'tank'. He is a happy and active betta with a voracious appetite, though the past 1-2 months or so he had developed a deep reddishness on his lower long fin and top upper fin. (I'll get into detail on that later.)
About 5 days ago I decided to purchase a ten-gallon tank for my buddy. I had been planning to buy it more near Christmas, but hell, I was excited to do something great for my fishy friend sooner than later. Couldn't hold myself back.
Here's everything I got and put in it, just to be accurate:
- 10 gallon tank with Whisper Internal Power Filter 10i
- a 2-in-1 package of API's STRESS COAT (conditioner) & API's STRESS ZYME (biological filtration booster)
- aqua gravel
- an imitation/ornamental driftwood
- ornamental seashells
- 50W submersible heater
- 12'' fake silk plant
- marimo moss ball
Okay so, I did everything I was supposed to. I decholorinated the water, I rinsed everything before putting inside the new tank, and etc. etc.
Next day I acclimated my betta to the tank for about 1-2 hours before gently letting him in it. For the first day he was perfectly happy and super curious, exploring here and there. I made sure to create a mild blockage for the filter with a piece of sponge. I noticed my betta grew especially partial to the driftwood at the bottom, once he faced his fears of the dark and ventured inside it. (That one got my parents and I smiling.)
Everything seemed beyond perfect.
Next day I check up on him, I notice he's not swimming around the tank. I look inside the driftwood from the tank's side and notice he's sitting in there. Strange, I think. He's hardly ever sat still for more than 2 seconds even in his 1.5 gallon (unless it was nearing his bedtime). I notice he's pale, and when I check from the other side of the tank and see him from behind I see that his gills are going in and out, at a rapid pace. Something is definitely wrong.
At that point I was unsure of what to do and I had no time left for me before I had to go to work. I knew I had to put him back in his old 1.5 gall, at least for now, but I didn't even have any ready-tap/aged water to fill that up with. (I had naively disposed all of that assuming that the 10 gall would be without problems.)
So I got water ready and scooped my betta out of the tank in his 'betta cup'.
He was frozen stiff, pale, and his 'stress line' was so apparent on his normally blue body. :/
That night when I came home luckily he was still alive and I quickly went to work in gently easing him back into his old home. I used the conditioner I had before, the one specifically suited for Betta Fish by Tetra. That's the one I had been using for 5months.
Few hours later he perks up, although he seems a bit weak.
Next day, he's getting stronger, and such.
Today, he's completely back to his old chipper self. He's moving actively within his tank, boasting a healthy appetite, and responsive to whoever goes near his tank. I can't even start to explain how relieved my family and I was. He really is a part of our family, with the way we treat him and how he makes his way into our light jokes.
Anyways. It was definitely something with the water in the 10gall, I'm sure. I'm not sure if it was just
shock from being in a massive, new tank.
- the added live bacteria (stress zyme) perhaps caused an 'influx' of unnecessary bacteria which the fish wasn't used to? This was what the girl at Petsmart suggested.
- for the 10 gall tank I used a dechlorinator (stress coat) that the betta fish was not used to. for 5months his water has always been treated with Tetra's Betta fish-suited conditioner. The other woman who I spoke with today at Petsmart said this might be the problem, because he wasn't 'used to' the new conditioner, but I somewhat doubt it because she seemed to be severely lacking in knowledge on betta fish and spouting nonsensical facts... such as, "they don't even NEED a heater!" Not to mention she was slamming her hands down on the betta fish cups at the display sect... but nevermind my ranting.
I also took the chance to get my free water test today for both the 1.5gall and the 10gall.
Everything was clear in both except TWO
factors which didn't add up.
the 1.5 gallon tank has a pH of 6.6. Okay.
the 10gallon tank has a high alkalinity and a pH of 8.4. WHAT!?
How can that be possible when my tap water comes from the same source? Is it the live bacteria that was added to the 10gall or what is it, I don't understand. The 10 gall has been up and running for 5 days or less now.
I have a marimo moss ball in the 10gall at the moment but I'm not sure if it's able to get food source without fish in there atm? I know it consumes algae, but I don't exactly know how algae is produced... -sheepish-
I know this is so much to read and digest, but I would truly truly appreciate any responses. I am aware that you guys really care for your betta fish and if anything, this forum is a much better resource to turn to than the cluster of folks working at Petsmart. Not all of them seem so reliable, save for one knowledgeable lady there who's soon to become petcare manager...