Hey everyone! I have a query. I recently came home to a dead betta :( i could not figure out the problem! Water temp was around 26-28 degrees celcius. I tested the water to try and fogure out the problem. Water parameters were perfect. However the ph was around 76. Spoke to the pet store guy and he said that that level of ph could not have been a problem alone. So im stil confused. My tank is filtered and ive done everything by the book. Anyways ive decided to get another betta. I purchased a ph stabiliser 7.0. Im just not sure how to go about gettin my tank ready for my new betta. First question is are there any possibilities u may know of that may have caused my previous betta to pass. Snd how do i go about doing water changes and fixing the ph prior to purchasing a new betta?
DO NOT adjust your Ph it is not a problem for a Betta & trying to adjust it can cause more problems. As for why your previous Betta passed, that's near impossible to determine, was he eating? was he active? how long had the tank been set up? what was your water change schedule? etc. etc. etc. As for a new Betta, if the tank has been sitting fallow then most likely the BB has died off because there's been no ammonia source to feed it, most parasites will die off without a host (fish) so most likely you don't need to worry about those. You can tear down the tank clean everything with hot water & a bleach solution (20:1) I think it is, rinse rinse rinse, let air dry for a couple of days then put it all back together. You will then have to either fish LESS or fish IN cycle the tank. There is a stickie regarding cycling you can read & then ask questions if there are any.
PH is not a problem by itself, unless it is being caused by high levels of ammonia and nitrates. High levels of ammonia and/or nitrates will kill your fish and cause a spike in ph levels. If this is the case, neutralizing the ph won't solve the problem of ammonia and nitrates, the only way to really solve those two are more frequent water changes.
How big was your tank, and how often did you do water changes? And also, do you have a way of testing for ammonia and nitrates?
I wouldn't bother with adjusting the PH. Personally I avoid "ammonia-gone" and "nitrate-free" and "PH-down/up" since it is just unneeded chemicals.
Did you notice anything off about your betta? Was he sleeping more? Darting? Gasping? Bloated? etc? How old was he?
If you wanted to, you could cycle the tank. That way the levels can be more even, and it would make water changes a lot easier. Plus, see if you can find an API Master Kit that tests the levels for you (PH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)
Shellieca - he was always active except for the last 3 days. Then he would just lie on the bottom of the tank. For those last 3 days, He would eat only small amounts. Not even a quarter of what he usually did. The tank has been set up for around 6 months. I was doing 25 - around 40% water changes weekly.
Ps: how long will it take for parasites to die off without an ammonia source?
Sainthogan - i had a 9L tank with a heater and filter. Water change schedule as per mentioned above. Always added stress coat to the tap water before adding it in. I was testing my water at the local pet shop every few weeks. However i invested in an api freshwater master test kit which i should recieve by tomorrow.
Sena hansla - i only noticed a difference in him the last 3 days. He was sleeping more. There were no other symptoms. No darting, no gasping, no bloating, no ich, no velvet, no fin rot, nothing. I started him on betta fix the last 3 days jus to stay safe until i was able to get my water tested but on the day i came home with him dead. I believe maybe it was an internal problem with an unknown cause. I dont know how old he was. I prchased him from the pet store around 5 months ago.
So i should just cycle the tank and not use the ph stabiliser. Should i treat this as my first tank setup? If i do 100% water change wont all the good bacteria go?
Generally for a tank that size, you should be doing at least 2 water changes a week. One 50% and the other 100% (unless you have plants - then do 2 50% water changes a week)
Also, most people here will tell you not to use Bettafix as it contains tea tree oil which can coat the labyrinth lung causing difficulty breathing and in some cases, cause death. (The company will tell you this is not the case, and accidental deaths after using their product are a result of over-treating, or using it to treat something that it's not intended to treat - I personally emailed them and can copy their response if you like).
It believe it's not actually the difference in pH that kills fish, but a change in the TDS (total dissolved solids) between the old and new water.
pH is really not that important as so many people make it out to be. 7.6 is fine for a betta and fiddling around with that is just going to cause issues as a lot of products offer only a temporary fix. You generally have to keep adding product daily to keep the pH value fixed.
7.6 is also a great pH for a tank that is going through a cycle as if your pH gets too low it actually inhibits the growth of the bacteria you want.
If there is no fish in your tank, your parameters are going to be perfect as there is nothing in there to create ammonia.
Is your tank currently empty, and do you run a filter? If so, any beneficial bacteria you may have are going to start starving because there is no ammonia being produced. If your tank was previously cycled and you are still using the original filter you should definitely either purchase some ammonia to use as a source of food until you are comfortable getting another fish or go out and purchase a fish as soon as possible.