I spent all last weekend renovating my betta tank so that it now holds 10 bettas, it said on the silicone to leave it to dry for 7 days and then rinse before adding the fish. I did all of this and actually rinsed it thoroughly twice just to be sure. Finally yesterday I set it all up and added the fish. After 10 minutes in the tank they began to look unhappy, just lying on the ground and not moving much. I put it down to stress thinking they would pick up, the PH was neutral and seemed quite stable and the temp was 26 degrees Celsius, ammonia 0.
By this morning my poor bettas look so much worse they are hardly moving and have gone pale, though strangely they are not breathing fast like they usually do when they are distressed. I gave them a 60% water change hoping it would help but an hour later they looked no better. I had been using rain water in their tank which I always use and usually they are happy. I couldn't help but notice the water had a slight yellow tinge and this morning their tank looked slightly murky. In case it was the rain water causing all this trouble I gave them a 100% water change and gave them town water this time which was nice and clear. At first one of the bettas looked like he might be picking up a bit and went for a short swim a couple of times but now they are looking just as unhappy as they did this morning. I cannot understand what could be wrong, the silicone that I used was designed for aquariums so I cannot see that that is the problem. The only other new thing in the tank is the fly screen that I siliconed to the divider frames, they already had fly screen in the 5 dividers that were already in the tank but this screen I used this time is different 'pet proof' stuff that is stonger though I cannot see that this would really make a difference as it looks to be made from the same materials as the other screen that is in the tank.
If anyone can think of anything else that I can try please let me know, I was so excited about setting this tank up so that I could get some more bettas but it has turned into a nightmare and the last thing I want is dead bettas for christmas has anyone had a similar experience? any advice would be greatly appreciated as I have run out of ideas of what to do or what could be causing this...
the tank is designed to hold 10 bettas, they are in about 10L each. The water flows through the entire tank but of course being males they are separated with divisions made from glass frame with fly screen stretched over it.
As Callistra suggested -- Have you taken them out of the tank and put them elsewhere, using new clean and conditioned water? If there is something toxic about the tank or screening, they'll be much better off in cups (or anyplace else), with new water, (not tank water,) until you can figure it out.
Did you wash or soak the fly screen before putting it in?
Since the water had a yellow tinge and appeared murky today, what if you:
a) Move the bettas into individual containers with NEW conditioned water (if you haven't already done so), and
b) Empty the large tank, then add HOT water to fill it. Let it sit overnight, and see what happens. Since the fly screen is new, maybe there is something like a dye or coating leaching out of it.
I only have tiny jars to put them in so I don't want to leave them in there for long, yes I use Biotec water conditioner that removes, chlorine, ammonia and heavy metals etc plus contains stuff to help the fish slime coat. I added some to the tank already.
Using rain water isn't the best. As most know it goes through the water cycle. It rains, runs into bodies of water or evaporates or starts over. When it tains you could be getting water from a waste plant with human poop,pee and other stuff. It's best to use tap or bottled betta water. Chemicals could be in the rain.
The rain water runs off the roof of our buildings and into the tanks and we drink it. All water evaporates but only the water ends up back in the clouds, the contaminates are left behind. However for the fish I agree with you, probably better to use the town water, not all fish like rainwater anyway, I have never had a problem with it before except with the guppies. The bettas are now in town water. I did a 100% water change a few hours ago and replaced the rainwater with the town water however they look no happier.
Just thought I would give you a quick update on the situation. As many of you suggested I removed my bettas from the tank and put them in new water. It has taken a good 24 hours but little Eclipse is pretty much back to normal and is nice and active but his colour is still a bit pale. Secret who I thought was the worst has improved quite a bit and has become a bit more active, also I managed to get all three bettas to eat last night and this morning. Poor Berry who I thought was the least affected turns out to be the worst. His colour is very pale and he hardly moves, only to the surface occasionally to grab a gulp of air but he darts back down to lie on the ground and does not move again until he needs another gulp of air. As I mentioned I did manage to feed him last night and this morning so fingers crossed he improves, at this point I am not sure if he will survive or not but where there is life there is hope right....
Back to the tank, the only possible cause of all this that I can think of is the screen that I used as dividers. As mentioned there was already screen in the tank and I had no problem with it but then yesterday it hit me..... The screen that was in the tank with no problems had been sitting in our shed for 10 years before I put it in the fish tank. The screen that I think has caused all of these problems is pretty new.... maybe 6 months old so I am thinking that because it is new it may has leaked some toxin into the water. Sometimes new rubber does smell and although I couldn't smell the screen I guess it could still have leaked something harmful into the water.
So what am I going to do about it? I am cutting all of the screen out of the tank and buying plastic dividers when I go to town next that are specifically made for fish tanks. I will use these to divide the sections. Then I am going to fill the tank with water and leave it sitting for maybe 3 days to a week and then empty it and refill it and let it sit again and I will do this three times, why? because I am worried incase the silicone in the tank may have absorbed some of the toxins and will make my fish sick again. I am going to be so worried adding my bettas to the tank again even after all of these precautions in case something goes wrong. Hopefully my bettas will get better and I will be able to get the tank sorted do that it is safe again.
If anyone else has any recommendations as to what I can do to make sure all of the toxins are gone from my tank please let me know, I don't want to take any more risks.
Thanks for all the support, Berry, Eclipse and Secret and of course I appreciate it very much