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Old 04-03-2008, 01:15 AM   #1 
Ametrine
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Am I a bad mother?

I need an opnion from an impartial source that knows about bettas. I have lost four bettas since Christmas. The question is am I a bad betta owner (if so what am I doing wrong) or is the local pet store selling me bad bettas?

The first to go was a cheapy double tail that was sickly to begin with. He was the only one of my boys with a heater due to his health. During the nasty winter snow storm the power went out in my town for 4 days, and so did his heater. I wrapped my boy's tanks up in towls with a small breathing hole. Unfortunately the cold got him.
The next was my red cheapy crown tail. He stopped eating and became listless for a few days and suddenly died.
To fill my two empty (and throughly cleaned!) tanks, I got two more bettas. Both of them within in a week and a half died. They both started getting covered with white mold looking stuff. The drops the pet store owner gave me did nothing. It is a little suspicious to me that they both developed the same problem, but there was NO sharing of water between the tanks. (I am a little on the paranoid side.) The pet store owner fed me so BS about the fish dying essentially not being his problem. I wouldn't be surprised if other bettas of that batch had the same problem

In the past one of the bettas I got from the local pet store developed a tumor! He was happy, but not healthy.

I clean their tanks once every week and a half to two weeks. I add aged/treated tap water or distilled water if i didn't remember to prepare water. They have java moss in their goldfish bowls. I feed them once a day. The water in their tanks is a little on the cool side, but that's the way of things.

Now, is it something I am doing, or am I buying poorer then usual quality bettas?
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Old 04-03-2008, 05:21 AM   #2 
Flashygrrl
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When you say "cool side" what does that mean? 70 degrees? Betta's NEED to have 78 degrees, no ifs ands or buts. If you are not willing to provide that for them, do not buy any more fish since most sold need that temp (And no, you cannot have goldfish in a goldfish bowl either).

Also, tank size: The common misconception is that Bettas are happy in small areas. Not always true. They can survive in tiny amounts of water but prefer to have larger space. They do well in 2.5 and 5 gallon tanks because the water stays cleaner, especially with light filtration. And it's easier on you with not having to change all the water out at once. However, your bowls are still better than some of the things I've seen Bettas kept in :(

Now, tell me how the store was keeping the Betta fish? In cups? Bowls? Were the bowls clean or did they have junk and yellow water? Did the Betta look happy and active or just lay there? Usually Betta get the short end of the stick when it comes to care in the store. I'd say from now on, take a very close look at what your buying. If the water is dirty and the fish are inactive then do not buy anything.
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Old 04-03-2008, 01:42 PM   #3 
Ametrine
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Cool side means 70 in the winter and 75ish-85ish in the summer. (I know you can't have gold fish in a gold fish bowl.)
The pet store keeps them in tiny wine glass like things. The water is usually not very clean, with debris floating around. I pick out the most active and healthy looking of the poor fish.

Hypathetically, since 1 gallon tanks are difficult to heat (and not over heat), I could get a 10 gallon with a filtration system, partition it and have two boys. Or two 5 gallon tanks with filtration. If I do this, is there any advice for a filtration system?
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:38 PM   #4 
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Either idea works well, divided tank is probably cheaper :) For Betta tanks you could use either Whisper filters or Aqua Clear since they both have flow control, probably either the lowest rates gallons per hour or close to it. Most people love Aqua Clear filters. As for the heater issue, personally I like the Hydor Theo's (you need a 50 watt for whatever brand you pick out if you do the divided tank thing) but you'll do ok with any type as long as it ain't Top Fin and most if not all of them have auto shutoff when they reach the designated temp. I'd have a hiding spot in each, and some floating plants like Elodea or water sprite.

Let us know how setup goes, you should read up on tank cycling and do that before adding your fish. I'd purchase an API Freshwater Master Test Kit too, test strips are NOT the way to go. Good Luck!!!
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:50 PM   #5 
okiemavis
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I'd go for the divided 10 gallon, as it will be much easier to cycle. Sponge filters also work very well in betta tanks. They are cheap and you can keep the water flow down. Also, it sounds like you need to find a new LFS, as this one isn't doing you much good!
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:23 PM   #6 
Oldman47
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Something else that I noticed about your first post was that you did a cleaning every week and a half to 2 weeks. If that was a fish bowl, your fish were not getting enough water changes. In a fish bowl you should be changing at least 25% daily. Switching back and forth between tap water and bottled water puts the fish through a very large change in the solids content of their water. They can adapt fairly well to high or low solids content but its not fair to ask them to change every time you clean the bowl.
I'm not sure what you meant by preparing water in advance but if you are hoping to rid your water of chlorine by letting it sit out, be aware that many water supplies now use chloramine that will not be gone just by letting the water sit. Because of that, dechlorinators are now really needed, not just convenient like they used to be.
If you clean too thoroughly you run the chance of destroying the bacterial colonies that develop on your tank walls and in the gravel. This means the fish are exposed to lots of low level ammonia between the frequent water changes. That can be very hard on the fish so please do not scrub everything. Just suck up the solids on the bottom of the bowl when changing water and refill. You can clean the front glass gently but a spotless tank is not usually a healthy one. On the other hand a dirty tank is not healthy either.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:33 PM   #7 
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Something else that I noticed about your first post was that you did a cleaning every week and a half to 2 weeks. If that was a fish bowl, your fish were not getting enough water changes. In a fish bowl you should be changing at least 25% daily. Switching back and forth between tap water and bottled water puts the fish through a very large change in the solids content of their water. They can adapt fairly well to high or low solids content but its not fair to ask them to change every time you clean the bowl.
I'm not sure what you meant by preparing water in advance but if you are hoping to rid your water of chlorine by letting it sit out, be aware that many water supplies now use chloramine that will not be gone just by letting the water sit. Because of that, dechlorinators are now really needed, not just convenient like they used to be.
If you clean too thoroughly you run the chance of destroying the bacterial colonies that develop on your tank walls and in the gravel. This means the fish are exposed to lots of low level ammonia between the frequent water changes. That can be very hard on the fish so please do not scrub everything. Just suck up the solids on the bottom of the bowl when changing water and refill. You can clean the front glass gently but a spotless tank is not usually a healthy one. On the other hand a dirty tank is not healthy either.
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