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Old 07-23-2012, 02:43 AM   #1 
Withered
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At my wits end with fish! HELP!

Okay, so after I lost Jack...I decided to go ahead and get another Betta, but now this one is acting the same as Jack did before he died. Floating at the top of the tank...his fins look like they are getting rugged and comming off, and he just doesn't look well. I did use the stuff I was using with Jack except the gravel...but I washed everything out with steaming hot water, let it soak in vinegar for an hour..and air dried it all in the sun for an hour. I thought that would be enough to kill any germs or whatever else might have been in the tank but am I wrong? I'm also thinking it could be the water as well. I'm not sure if it's just plain drinking water or bottled water or what considering we use it for our water cooler. I'm afraid to use the tap water here because of how contaminated it looks/smells but I'd be willing to change to if it would be better for my fish. I'm also confused about the water changes. I hear all the time to do 100% water changes but does that mean to dump all the water out and fill it with new water...or do I need to save some of the old and pour it back in with the new after cleaning the rocks/gravel/deco and everything? I've heard that it's not good to change the water completely unless the fish is sick. I guess i'm just so confused because every site says something different and maybe i'm just trying to many different things. I just want to do the RIGHT thing and keep my fish for as long as I can.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:57 AM   #2 
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A 100% change would mean dumping all the water, but it's only bad if you have a larger tank with established beneficial bacteria and a filter running 24/7.

Okay, it sounds like he has fin rot, where they start to rot at the edges and "dissolve".

Can you answer these questions for us?
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?

Also,
Is his spine straight or does it have an "s" shape?
Is his poo (if you've seen it) stringy and clear?
Are his scales raised, like a pinecone?

Thank you very much.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:02 AM   #3 
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You might also consider putting him in a QT tank as well, and re-washing the tank you have. I know some people try bleaching there tanks to eliminate germs.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:05 AM   #4 
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What size is the tank?

100% water changes wont hurt your betta as long as you do them properly.
Cup him in some of the old tank water. Remove the rest of the water and clean the tank. Put in new water with water conditioner. Then you need to acclimate the betta to the new water before releasing back into the tank.

I only have one tank that I have to do 100% water changes on that isn't a hospital tank. The rest are big enough that I have them cycled.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:20 AM   #5 
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Sorry, the tank is a 3.5 gallon I beleive. I will fill out the info sheet asap. I think I might be doing wrong not aclimating him back into the tank but I wasn't sure how to do that. When I first got him, I added spoonfulls of new water into his cup and let him sit for about 15 minutes, then added a few more and let him sit for another 15 minutes and then added him to the tank. Usually though I didn't think I needed to aclimate him if the water temp of the tank when i added the new water was the same and or close to what it was before I changed it. I make sure it's within 2 degrees before I add him.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:29 AM   #6 
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I have a feeling you didn't properly SANITIZE the tank properly.

Most people don't know REALLY understand how to clean properly.

  • Hot water doesn't KILL much unless it REACHES a certain temperature.

From what I know, to sanitize with HOT WATER you need the following temperatures & need to expose the ITEM to this degree of water for this specific amount of time.
  • (185F) for 15 minutes
  • (176F) for 20 minutes

Most acrylic tanks & decorations, accessories, I highly doubt can be subjected to a hot water soaking for that long without some sort of damage/warping from the heat.

That's the reason WHY if I'm cleaning for germs, I spray with a 2-5% solution of bleach & +90% water, leave the tank out in the sun for about a week, spray the inside with water every day.

Bring the tank outside, leave it out in direct sun. Approximately 2 days out in the sun should be sufficient, but I'd rather leave the tank out to bake longer just in case there's a little bleach residue left that hasn't neutralized.

You mentioned soaking your 3.5 gallon in vinegar? Do you have a picture of the bottle of vinegar that you used?

The largest container I have of distilled white vinegar is 1 gallon.

I'm pretty sure I've NEVER seen a 5 gallon jug of vinegar. Even @ Costco.

  • There is a high possibility that there's some sort of disease still present in your tank from what you're describing.
  • This is why a lot of people will throw aquarium related things away instead of attempting to clean after a disease outbreak. They just don't know how or it's too complicated for them.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #7 
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I have an acrylic 5 gallon tank. Had a boy that was sick in there and he died suddenly. I clean the tank using a solution that was 1 part vinegar and 8 parts water. I then rinsed it until there was no vinegar smell and let it air dry. I now have a very healthy and active male in that tank.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #8 
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It was heinz distilled white vinegar that I cleaned everything with. I thought that would be enough, but I guess it wasn't. I should have just bought a whole new tank. :( Twilight seems to be doing a little better today though, he's swimming around and eating, but he's having a hard time eating pellets and his fins still look bad. I'm just wondering if maybe it's has something to do with the water. I guess I'll have go to out and buy a kit to check the parms.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:35 AM   #9 
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You didn't mention using water conditioner...just to make sure...*are* you using water conditioner? If not, get some asap! (Prime by Seachem is recommended by many, I use Stresscoat by API - which if your boy is having fin problems, might be a good one to use for you too)

Distilled / bottled water will usually be missing a lot of minerals that keep your fish healthy, so unless you know there is something particularly bad with your tap water, conditioned tap water is still the best.

Good luck, I hope Twilight keeps improving!
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:49 PM   #10 
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Thanks guys for your responses!! Shadyr, yes!!! I am using Prime, but I also have the API Stresscoat as well. I was wondering should I add a little stresscoat to the water treated with Prime for fin regrowth/help with stress or is the Prime enough?

I was also thinking about getting one of those things you put on the faucet to filter the bad stuff out of tap water too, but if I did that...would he still be losing the minerals? Sorry for so many questions...I just want to do things right.

He seems to still be sick..and he's swimming a little funny, but he also has a small hump on his back (he was like this when I purchased him) so I think that he may be having trouble swimming because of it. I'm pretty sure he's just formed that way though. I'll take a picture and fill out the form when I have a little more time as I am on my lunchbreak from work right now!
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