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Old 02-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #1 
LoriKeet
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Exclamation Tank Contamination Question

Backstory:

My room mate has a 10 gallon community aquarium with a Betta, a couple of Cory Cats, a few tetra, and a pair of dwarf frogs. I have a temporary 1 gallon aquarium with a single Betta; he's getting a 5.5 gallon upgrade all to himself on February 15th.

Situation:

My room mate and I discovered yesterday morning that, not only did the Betta in the community tank die suddenly, one of her dwarf frogs was also on his way out.

Symptoms:

The Betta had started to lose some of his color around the face (we chalked this up to old age), but had also developed a strange cyst behind his gill that also appeared rather suddenly. The frog's face was also white and appeared to be covered in some sort of white, fibrous material -- we think perhaps his skin was rotting off? He has since passed away.

It might be worth mentioning that Paul (the late, great Betta in the community tank) was a Wal-Mart rescue; I've since been reading a lot of sickness stories from Wal-Mart fish.

The Concern:

My room mate and I, to give our fish more variety, share our fish food supplies. She often dips her fingers into the water and lets her fish eat the small blood worms from her hand. Although I don't do this with my fish, I do know that sometimes she 'double dips' and that our mutual food supply has been touched by the other aquarium's water and fish.

Question:

Should I be treating my betta with some sort of proactive agent to make sure he's safe? And if so, what and where can I acquire it? Will it hurt him to treat without any signs of illness present?

Aquarium Specs:

My Betta's temporary, 1 gallon tank has a heater that keeps the water between 76-78 degrees. I change the water once every six days by about 40% with a siphon hose and add aquarium salt to the treated water. I have the water tested a day or so before I change the water, the tests so far confirm that ammonia and nitrates are at zero. There is no filter in the smaller tank, but there will be one in his new arrangement later this month. He has white gravel and a single leaf hammock.

Although I haven't had him for very long, Luna (the name of my little, black half-moon Betta) has wormed his way into my heart. I'd be devastated if he met the fate of my room mate's Betta; please help!

Last edited by LoriKeet; 02-04-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:07 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum,
IMO/E-the 1gal unfiltered tank is fine to keep a Long fin male long term-provided that water quality is maintained, not overfed and uneaten food removed within a reasonable time.
Water changes of twice weekly-1-50% water only and 1-90-100% should maintain water quality. If removing the Betta for water changes-be sure and properly acclimate back to the fresh-like temp-dechlorinated water.

I would be concerned with the double dipping of the fish food-but more due to the food getting wet. The moisture can cause the fish food to rot/mold-causing Aflatoxin poisoning that can kill the fish and there is not treatment.

Why are you using salt....
Aquarium salt (sodium chloride) is a great product to use for the right reason, dosage and duration with salt tolerant species.
It is not recommended to use salt long term with this species due to the long term problems it can cause-this being kidney damage, osmotic issues and resistant issues.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Why are you using salt....
Aquarium salt (sodium chloride) is a great product to use for the right reason, dosage and duration with salt tolerant species.
It is not recommended to use salt long term with this species due to the long term problems it can cause-this being kidney damage, osmotic issues and resistant issues.
No kidding? Wow, I had no idea. I wish the Betta book I purchased had bothered to mention that little tid-bit.

So far I've only put salt into one of the water changes, I'll be sure to stop that practice immediately. Thanks for the heads up.

Also I was warned against taking the Betta out of the bowl for water changes -- that this over stresses the fish or something like that. I'll be sure to change his water completely now that I know better.

So, just to confirm, you're not worried about the fish sickness from one tank getting to my Betta?
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:57 PM   #4 
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IMO/E-100% water changes should be limited-especially with a compromised fish due to stress. Personally, wouldn't remove the Betta from the tank unless you have to. Leaving them in the tank even for 90-100% water changes is much better IMO/E. With that said, sometimes you will need to make a full or complete tear down and cleaning-especially if you overfeed and don't have live plants. When/if you do-you want to properly acclimate back to the new water by adding small amount of the new tank water to the holding cup over 15-20min to error on the side of caution.

Most illness is related to a compromised immune response and if you prevent that-usually the fish will not become ill-except when it come to poison from contaminated fish food.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:02 PM   #5 
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I wouldn't worry too much, not unless your betta starts acting strange.
If he does, I'd treat with something broad spectrum like maracyn plus, which you can get at petsmart, petco, pet supplies plus, really any fish store. Or you can try jungle's lifeguard which is cheaper and easily available at Walmart.
But I wouldn't treat unless he starts to act sick. You don't want to treat for no reason.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:03 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
IMO/E-100% water changes should be limited-especially with a compromised fish due to stress. Personally, wouldn't remove the Betta from the tank unless you have to. Leaving them in the tank even for 90-100% water changes is much better IMO/E. With that said, sometimes you will need to make a full or complete tear down and cleaning-especially if you overfeed and don't have live plants. When/if you do-you want to properly acclimate back to the new water by adding small amount of the new tank water to the holding cup over 15-20min to error on the side of caution.

Most illness is related to a compromised immune response and if you prevent that-usually the fish will not become ill-except when it come to poison from contaminated fish food.
Excellent, thank you for your advice; you've made me feel worlds better. I will continue with Luna's current water changing schedule for the time being till I'm ready to switch his tank, and I'll put a stop to using salt. Thank you again for all your input and for the warm welcome to the forum. :)
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:06 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
I wouldn't worry too much, not unless your betta starts acting strange.
If he does, I'd treat with something broad spectrum like maracyn plus, which you can get at petsmart, petco, pet supplies plus, really any fish store. Or you can try jungle's lifeguard which is cheaper and easily available at Walmart.
But I wouldn't treat unless he starts to act sick. You don't want to treat for no reason.
Thank you for the feedback, whether or not to be proactive was a decision I was struggling with. I'll keep a close eye on Luna and perhaps purchase some maracyn plus just to have around in the case of something going awry.

On a side note, what do you think of 'Bettafix'? That was the product I was thinking about last time I was up at Petco.

Fortunately for me, my Betta is nearly solid black so it'll be cake to notice if any white spots or growth appears.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:41 PM   #8 
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I wouldnt use betta fix. It has some kind of oil (i think tea trea) which can damage the labrynth organ in bettas *which is what they use to breathe air* i would avoid it at absolutely all costs. I dont undertstand why they advertise that product for betta's when it causes so many problems in them.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
I wouldnt use betta fix. It has some kind of oil (i think tea trea) which can damage the labrynth organ in bettas *which is what they use to breathe air* i would avoid it at absolutely all costs. I dont undertstand why they advertise that product for betta's when it causes so many problems in them.
Good grief, these companies have no shame. Still, considering that most pet stores shamelessly sell Hartz flea and tick products despite the adverse and even deadly effects it has on animals, I shouldn't be surprised that they'd sell Betta medicine that could potentially kill the Betta it claims to help.

Thanks for the tip, I will let my room mate know right away too.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:54 PM   #10 
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goodluck!
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