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Old 06-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #1 
prodrumernate
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my bettas died.need advice on aquarium

i had a betta sorority in a 10 gallon filtered aquarium.lots of fake plants and hiding places.with heater..water was around 78 to 79 degrees F...my nitrates and nitrites were at 0 and still should be.my ph was around 7.6...but my ammonia was just awful..it was always at 2ppm or higher.a couple fish died.1 was attacked.i quarantined them in several small tank i had to heal the rest and work on the tank.left my oldest in there who for a while seemed happy as he can be..finally the other 4 got so sick..slowly started to die off.the last 1 just died this morning.yesterday i checked my ammonia.it was at 1ppm..i till have 1 female i had to remove a while back because she was too violent..shes in a 2 gallon currently..

what i want to know is should i redo my tank.empty the water.clean everything...and recycle my tank and put her in..or should i just leave the setup as is and lower the ammonia and put her in?im assuming my other girls died from ammonia burns.they wouldnt swim much.stayed at the bottom.went from their colors down to a grey ghost white..

i dont want to take the risk of hurting her.im upset because my other ones died.the 1 i have in the 2 gallon likes to go down inside the bubble tube a lot.she doesnt get hurt or anything.but want to put her in my 10 gallon.or possible get a male and maybe breed some since i have a 15 gallon hex tank and a 20 gallon long.sorry i typed so much,just want to give details..oh the first 1 that died had ICH ...i treated her.but i think i put her in the tank too soon..i did a lot of research before getting these fish.months of research and planning.i came here a lot to do that research..

but what im getting at is.completely clean the 10 gallon.or leave as is and lower the ammonia level and use it for her?

thanks in advanced nathan
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:27 PM   #2 
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I'm not an expert by any means, so hopefully someone more experienced can give you some better advice, but I'd clean the tank and everything in it thoroughly and start again.
It almost sounds like there's something in there that's causing the water parameters to be funky, so maybe clean everything (Boiling works great, just plain water, but getting it that hot and letting it boil on the stove will kill anything without having to use soap and risk residue, you can boil the plants, most of the plastic peices, and I'd throw out the gravel of if you use marbles you can boil those too. And you can run the tank itself through a dish washer cycle, just don't put any soap, just run the washer through once with only the water and rinse everything really well when you're done just in case there is some dish detergent residue from the washer.) and the put it back in a bit at a time, and see if you could isolate any sort of weirdness that way? I'm with you, I'd be afraid to put a fish in there after the die-off until I'd cleaned everything and it all started reading correctly. Good luck to you!!
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:44 PM   #3 
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having so much trouble.....

You may have started with sick fish from the get go and the added stress of a newly setup aquarium/sorority compromised the immune response and things snowballed so-to speak.......

I agree that you do need to start over, however, I think a good cleaning/vacuuming of the substrate, large water change with a good rinse of the filter media is all that needs to be done on the tank itself.

Most of pathogens/bacteria that become problematic to our fish are always in the water/environment and no amount of cleaning will rid all of them-Then you risk killing off all the good bacteria that help take care of the bad bacteria/pathogen-What help keep the fish healthy/prevents issues- is their immune response. But since this is a closed system we have to help by maintain water quality.....

Have a few questions-
What type of testing products are you using, tell me about your source water-is it city supplied tap and if so-does it go through any type of water softening system, well water...etc....Have you tested the source water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, if so, post those numbers. Type of additives used, type of filter and filter media care, type of substrate/how deep.

How long was the tank running-I suspect the tank wasn't cycled since you didn't have a nitrate reading. How much and how often did you make water changes.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:42 PM   #4 
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thank you Blue Fish and Oldfishlady...i really appreciate the replies..

my dad had pointed out that the fish could have gotten sick from the plants i had put in there.i had bought them off craigslist from a local guy..i did clean them using hot running water in the sink.but wanted to throw that in there anyways..

i do think i had a sick fish from my LFS..i do want to completely clean the tank out.but knowing if i do i have to completely recycle the tank.though there is no rush since my last betta i fine in her 2 gallon.

sorry i forgot to mention more details about my setup and everything..

What type of testing products are you using? i use API Fresh Water Master Test Kit

tell me about your source water? its city water..i live in Phoenix, Arizona..i dont have any water softeners or anything hooked to it.im in an apartment complex.


Have you tested the source water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH?just tested it.these are the results..
ammonia-0 nitrite-0 nitrate-0 pH-7.6


Type of additives used?
aquarium salt.usually about 1 teaspoon for the 10 gallons.but i rarely use it..water conditioner.i currently use Aqueon brand.but have several other types at hand..API Bettafix is what i ue to medicate for fins and skin..

type of filter and filter media care? it came with my Aqueon 10 gallon basic aquarium..the filter is Quietflow Power Filtration..

type of substrate/how deep. ? white rocks,about an inch to an inch and a half deep.

How long was the tank running? i actually had the tank running for a week before adding any fish in it..didnt realize it takes a lot longer than that for a cycle.but i have had it setup for about 2 months now..

How much and how often did you make water changes.? i did about a 25% water change about twice a week..the past week with my fish getting so sick.i changed it more often and up to 50% a couple times.

i can also take pictures of the 10 gallon as is.only difference is no more fish in it..
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:49 PM   #5 
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sorry i also forgot to mention that the first fish that died that had ICH..at the top of my tank was what looked like fish oil which caused bubbles to accumulate
at the top.using a paper towel to soak some of it away..after she died and i took her out.it all went away and top water was fine.so i think she was the sick one that caused my others to get sick since they attacked and killed her.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #6 
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What kind of plants and how many...are the plants thriving or growing well...what type of lights do you have....watts and kelvin as well as PP.
Did you add any ferts...

It sounds more like overstocking in an uncycled tank......really odd that you never had nitrate reading in 2 months...but this could be the plants or user error on the test product.....

Be sure and shake, bang on the table and shake some more on the #2reagent nitrate bottle-it tend to settle and can give skewed readings....as well as follow the directions to the "T" especially on shaking between drops and reading results....
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #7 
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they are al plastic plants..all are soft..most are in the gravel.i have 1 floating...its the basic incandescent light bulbs...maybe 5 or 10 watts each..they are cheap bulbs that comes with any starter kit..

i shake them a little hard..but dont go crazy with it..i read at 1 point to shake hard to even bang them..though i should try a little harder.i read the instructions to the point i remember it by heart...i was kinda curious myself y i didnt have any nitrate.i know i should have some after the tank is fully cycled....i kept checking waiting to see the ammonia readings to go down and nitrate to go up as i read on many aquarium forums....ill check the readings again and some pictures and post in another reply...going to take a few minutes.my niece and nephew just got here so i can babysit them :)
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #8 
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ammonia seems to have gone up a little.though there hasnt been any fish in the tank for the past couple days..its at about 1ppm..though i have not changed the water the past few days... ph is at 7.6 nitrate looks to be just a little above 0 maybe around 1 roughly..and nitrite is at 0...i took some pix of the setup,hopefully they will upload here.i thought about getting some rosy red minnows to put in there and see how they do.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:57 PM   #9 
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I'm a new betta owner, but from what I've read ammonia should be at 0, right? You said you're only doing about 25% water changes twice a week, I usually do 50% water changes 1-2 times a week plus a 100% water change 1 time a week, but I also have a 3 gallon tank, it might be different for you.

Another question, how many females did you have in the tank, and did you have a male in there too? I don't know if that's a typo or if you have a male. Ammonia burns might be due to low water quality, and over crowding. I'm not 100% sure, but maybe someone else can help better.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:26 PM   #10 
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yes it should be at about 0.being at 0 i will have some nitrates..which is odd bcuz the tank shoulda cycled already and still no nitrates or nitrites.

since i have a filtered aquarium above 5 gallons i read and was told its recommended to do about a 25% water change so i dont remove a lot of beneficial bacteria...

i had 5 girls in it.i had told a few others on here and it was because my tank wasnt cycled.but after giving more detail on what wa wrong with them in other post.some say it wasnt so much ammonia that did it.my ammonia wasnt high enough to really cause any harm to them and was at the stage of cycling.

someone mentioned about some kinda blood disease and gave me the symptoms and signs which is just about on the money what my fish had.and they all died at the same time.which they shouldnt have if it was all ammonia poisoning.

oh i didnt have a male in there.just 5 girls..and thank you for replying.im glad its still being viewed
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