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Old 03-30-2013, 03:33 AM   #1 
Muggs
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Sick or just Anti-Social?

Hiya, I bought my first Betta on Tuesday to occupy a 50 Litre planted tank that I had set up and fully cycled over the past month.
The first day went without a hitch, Ezio moved in made himself at home with no signs of stress or ill health.

His tank is densly planted and until yesterday he spent his time swimming vigeriously during the day and sleeping on plants at the back of the tank of a night (so very cute!)

Last night I noticed he was sleeping on the substrate or just floating in quiet corner at the top of the tank, and while usually he is bright and active when I'm around but now he didn't respond to anything, isn't eating and is 'blanked out' for lack of a better description.

I had planned to talk to the lady at the Aquarium shop but go figure today is a public holiday and the shop is closed for four days for Easter.

So I figured it was best to ask first rather then worrying all weekend about the little guy.


Housing
What size is your tank? 50 Litre Blue Planet Classic.. I think that's about 12 Gallons?
What temperature is your tank? 30 degree c (Not good I know but the heater seems to be stuck at that temperature for some reason even with it turned to minimum).
Does your tank have a filter? Yeppers.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? The filter does aeration and there's live plants
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Just plants atm.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Betta bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 bits once a day or 2 bits in the morning, 1 in the afternoon.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekley
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Normally 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Trio-Start Water Ager/Conditioner

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


Ammonia: below minimum
Nitrite: below minimum
Nitrate: ?
pH: 7.5
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ?

Can't test the others as I don't have the test kits & petshops are closed

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Not since I bought him, only concern is a tiny hole in his bottom fin that he had when I got him and he seems to have a little bulding near his tail (but that could just be normal??).
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not interested in food, acts lethargic and spends most time in corners at the top or bottom of tank not moving much and hiding.
Previously he was very active and spent a lot of time swimming against the glass and would react to changes of lighting and when I came in the room.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday, though the day before I noticed that he was rubbing against the plants a bit.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Performed 50% water change, removed all decorations minus the live plant and adjusted flow setting to minimum agitation, also attempted to lower temperature down without luck.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of, he was the healthiest one in the store.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him less then a week.

Picture:
..Normally he'd be moving around so much that pics where just a colourful blur
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #2 
shellieca
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When you say the tank has been cycled for a month how did you cycle it? Are you using strips or a liquid water test kit? What does below minimum mean? If the ammonia & nitrites are not 0 then your tank is not cycled. When was the last water change? I owuld do a 50% water change & see if that makes any difference in his behavior. Your water temp may be a little too warm, 30C is 86F, try slowly lowering the temp to 80F or 26-28C, turn the heater down a degree every hour or 2 until the temp is where you want it. When you say rubbing against plants, does it look like he's scratching himself?
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:23 AM   #3 
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Hi Shellieca, It actually only took me 3.5 weeks to cycle. I used some filter material from a friend with a healthy tank for a kickstart and raw prawn bits for fishless cycling since it's hard to get pure ammonia in Australia. I added the first plants after 2 weeks.

During cycling I did daily tests using the liquid tests until both ammonia and nitrites where at 0.
After getting Ezio I tested the water every 2nd day with the same results. No ammonia, no nitrates.

Today I did a 50% water change, no difference in activity levels and I'm stuck on the temperature as the heater wouldn't go lower and I couldn't replace it till the shop opens later this week.

Two days ago he was kind of bouncing off the plants mostly to rub against one side.

Anyway it's all academic now, I went to check on the brand of test kits and found Ezio dead by the filter. Now I guess it's more to figure out what could have caused it before I risk getting another fish.

I'm kicking myself because I know I could have done something if only the pet shop had been open. :(

R.I.P Ezio.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #4 
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Ahhh so sorry he passed. Unfortunately all too often Bettas from stores are ill so there may not have been anything you could've done. I'd say whatever he had was fairly advanced since he passed so quickly. You can break down the tank & sanitize but then you'll lose your BB & you'd probably want to replace the filter media which obviously restarts the cycling process.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:51 AM   #5 
Muggs
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Thanks Shellieca, I did try my best to get the one who looked the healthiest hoping that wouldn't be the case. :(

I'm not sure how to go about sanitizing the tank without killing all the plants, and what does BB stand for?

It's pretty late her so I'll try to have a closer look at Ezio in the morning to see if there's anything that could point to the cause. I don't really want to risk another fish till I've got some idea that whatever it was isn't contagious.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #6 
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BB is beneficial bacteria which is what processes the ammonia, nitrites. Depending how long you're going to leave the tank fish less you need to provide an ammonia source. Most people sanitize with a bleach solution, 1:10 bleach:water if I'm not mistaken. Some things such as external parasites, which could be why he was rubbing, have to have a host (fish) in order to survive so leaving the tank fish less for a week or two may be all you need to do. No matter how hard we try to get a healthy fish some things don't show up for a while.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:30 AM   #7 
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Ah of course!

I've still got plenty of assorted prawnbits in the freezer (boy did that get me funny looks at the supermarket) so I'll go fishless for a week or so while I try to decide on what to do next.

Hopefully daylight will shed some signs on what went wrong.
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