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Old 06-09-2012, 02:24 AM   #1 
Coastal Bettas
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My problem with imports...

Hello all,

I've just joined the forum and am in some need of advice. My question mainly pertains to the care of "import bettas" and my bad luck when it comes to owning them.

Last summer I got into breeding and had a sucessful spawn from one import pair and a pair from a US breeder. After those two spawns I had a change in my schedule and was too busy to keep going with the breeding, however I now have a good chunk of free time once again and was eager to get some pairs to breed. I bought two Red DT pairs from Kit of Aquastar 71 who has amazing fish, but after recieving them from the transhipper, setting up thier new containers (I use plastic soda bottles) and prepping treated water for said containers, I woke up to find EVERY betta dead I had just bought.

I am aware of how to acclimate imports to the water, slowly adding the new water to the bag every hour and if they seem ok then finally adding them to their new home once the bag is filled to the top. There were no signs my water caused them distress, and my imports from a year ago had no problem with my water. I actually never used to treat my water (I am using NovAqua plus) because we get our water from a well and it has no chlorine or other nasty things and good reading, like a pH of 7 I believe. I raised the two spawns on the untreated water as well so I think if fry were ok with the water I don't understand why these imports drop like flies in it??

All the fish that are from a US breeder or I bred myself are absolutely fine with the water I have, treated or untreated it doesn't seem to make a difference. I was actually thinking of not using the NovAqua any longer because it makes everything slimy and gross with residue on tanks/containers.

I guess my main question is what is the deal with imports? Are they just so fragile you have to be a seasoned expert to get them to survive once they arrive at your home? I'm honestly just baffled because as I said before I never had any problems with the other import pair dying off in one night. This is very discouraging because with the two pairs and transhipper fees I spent close to $175 which is down the drain because the bettas weren't DOA so there is no reimbursement.

The only thing I can think of is the plastic tub I treat water in needs to be cleaned more? I use boiling water to get any bacteria out because I'm wary of bleach. The only other change I have made is using the plastic soda bottles instead of the tiny glass Mason jars.

Any tips advice/or similar problems people have come across would be a great help. Thank you!
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:29 AM   #2 
ao
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sorry cant help you :( try the breeder thread of this site. You will probably get your questions answered quicker there :) good luck!
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:31 AM   #3 
Coastal Bettas
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I'll post there as well. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:37 AM   #4 
Enkil
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The only thing I can think of is an ammonia spike caused by such a small space. Or the temperature. I don't think imports would handle the fluctuation we get in the states as well and this is why heaters are so necessary. They are tropical fish.

I've had no trouble with any of my fish and do the shock treatment when putting them into their new tanks. I float them in the tank so they get used to the temperature slowly and then just scoop them into the tank.

If your NovAqua does as you say, I would recommend something different to treat your water. I use Prime and don't have any issues with it causing any trouble with our water.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:05 AM   #5 
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Enkil - I do put all the plastic soda bottles in plastic tubs filled with water and then stick a heater in there so the temp. is a constant 78 degrees. The room they are put in is heated to 70-71 degrees. You think the ammonia spike occurs when they are shipped from Thailand to the transhipper and then the transhipper to me? They were shipped without a heat pack and their water was somewhat cold when I felt it. I wonder if that weakened them or they were shocked going from hot to cold to hot again?

I am definitley going to try out Prime, everyone seems to have that as thier "go to" for treating water. Is that available at Petco/Petsmart? I hate shopping at those places though since they overcharge so much.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:56 AM   #6 
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I get my Prime at PetSmart. Little bottle lasts quite a long time. I got a little one and have had it for months. Still have quite a bit left. A few drops treats my water and does everything I need it to.

I was thinking a possible ammonia spike with their small living space. The plastic bottles really just aren't big enough.

I saw on your other thread that someone mentioned there might be trouble with the seller's fish. Always have to take that into consideration. Perhaps look at their feedback on AB to see if anyone has complained or had any issues with the fish. Were you told anything about their background?
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:53 AM   #7 
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I will make a run out to Petsmart as soon as I can to try out the Prime, thanks for the info! As for the plastic soda bottles, I use the large 3 liter ones, not the small individual bottles, is that still not enough space?

As far as Kit's fish go, he has a ton of feeback on AB and nobody has mentioned this problem. So I'm thinking it's either on my end or these guys had something happen en route that left them weak and vulnerable to death. I honestly just can't make sense of it. Like I posted in my other thread, I will use Prime in my water from now on but the only way I'll be able to test if the import's death was water conditioning related would be to buy more and see how they fare this time around. It just costs so much to get them here, that's why I think it's best I stick with US bred fish for now. If they spawn for me though and the fry survive with my water treated the way it is, I don't see how an adult import could die overnight...weird.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:04 AM   #8 
Enkil
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The rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per 1 inch of fish. Bettas really do better in 2 gallons or bigger. I keep 10 gallon tanks that I divide between males and my females are in a sorority. I also have my 5 gallon for my plakat/halfmoon plakat male (he doesn't flare so telling tail type is difficult).

Stress could have lowered their immune systems. Especially if their water was a bit cold when they got to you. Did they seem stressed at all? Lethargic?
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:54 AM   #9 
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I can only think of a few things. I believe 3L are fine, especially if you are breeding fish. However it probably is more important to know how often do you change out the water?
I am also incluned to think that at certain temperatures, soda bottles might "melt" and create toxins.
Lastly, did they have oxygen?

I think perhaps the imported Bettas are less immune to Ammonia as their US bred countrr parts. Many are bred in close to natural pond/tubs.
Either way, I think you can msg the transhipper and ask him/her. If they are nice they might give you a free pair if you pay shipping...
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:41 AM   #10 
dramaqueen
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Could it be the plastic soda bottles? I know some people have had issues with certain plastics.
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