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Old 04-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #1 
Lena N
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My Bettas are active but breath heavily today

Hello, I thought I would ask what could cause my Bettas to breath heavilly since water parameters are not too bad. They swim ok, flaring at each other from time to time. But i see they have been breazing heavily since the morning...

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates (smth between 5.0 and 10)
Temperature between 78-80

I planted Petco live plant bulbs couple days ago, maybe they could release toxins?
Also could plants take all air from water or it is not essencial for bettas?

Also they have been had some white spots for some time but it seems hothing else bothering them (active, good appetite) so I really do not know if it is really ich...
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Thank you
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #2 
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Just an FYI, bulbs hardly ever actually grow, most are duds so it's better off just to get plants that are already grown. I tried the same thing and a month later it still didn't even sprout :( Also plant's won't take all the air, if you think about it Betta's in the wild live in rice patties which are not aerated and with a huge amount of plants so they'll be fine.

So the first picture doesn't look like Ich however the middle one does. I would go read the stickies in the disease section to properly diagnose and treat first.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:04 AM   #3 
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Thank you very much, lilnaugrim ! Some of my plants started to melt so I thought I would try bulbs. Also so hard to plant "ready" plants into gravel I have. The roots really do not want to hold.
About bulbs.
I put them into small cup with water for 4 days and Onion and couple Aponogens gave some sighn of life. The Waterlily though smelled not good and looked like roted right away. So I planted all not smelly ones into gravel. To tell the truth though I am very good with gardening and plants it was hard for me to identify were was the top and were was root side of Aponegens bulbs...So I am not even sure if i planted them right...
On the label of product there is such information:" All bulbs are guarateed to grow withing 30 days. If not, please send your plant bulbs back with proof of purchase and self addressed stamped envelope to:....and we will send you new for free"
So, if I find the receipt I will send bad ones to the company...

Thank you for commenting on pictures. Yes, it does look like smth bad but he doesnt rub himself into anything, has good apitite...They both sit in the same tank by the way. Blueno (blue betta) started to get those sighns right away after I put pink one devided together with him.

Last edited by Lena N; 04-21-2013 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:22 AM   #4 
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Well good for you and the bulbs! I really do hope they work better for you than they did for me haha. Also when plants are new to the aquarium some of them (mostly swords and sometimes java ferns) will "melt" because they are getting use to the water, but if you let them get used to the water more they will come back and start sprouting new growth. I'm great with aquatic plants but not so great when it comes to gardening lol

Even if they do have Ich they may not show all the signs of lethargy, itching or loss of apatite. I'm also battling Ich in my 33 gallon at the moment so I've been researching this. But Ich has 3 stages in it's life cycle, it can be free floating and we cannot see this with our naked eye, and then it attaches to the fish. Sometimes it can be knocked off and we think we have cured it but it can still come back.

Do a 50% water change first off to start getting rid of any free floating Ich. If you have any aquarium salt a good thing to do is add 1 teaspoon per gallon, pre-dissolve it first. Add it straight into the aquarium, it won't hurt plants or anything. Everyday do a 50% water change for about a week, make sure you replace the amount of salt you took out since it does not evaporate. So if you take out 5 gallons, replace 5 teaspoons of salt. Also if you can increase the temperature to 85 for a few days this will help as well, Ich cannot survive in those temperatures.

You can also use medicines instead of salt but you have to make sure they are plant/invertebrate friendly if you have those in the tank. Unfortunately with Ich you have to treat the whole tank instead of just the fish. I have been recommended to use Kordon's Ick Attack or Rid-Ick, both are plant/invertebrate friendly however if you don't feel comfortable using it with plants you could just take the plants out.

It is recommended you continue to dose even after you see the white spots gone because it can still come back, but it's usually dose for 2 weeks after you don't see spots. Hope this helps!
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:01 AM   #5 
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lilnaugrim Thank you so much for care! I am afraid if you did not write this I would keep doing nothing about treatment (you probably saved my fishes right now).
Now I am becoming sure that they have ich. Probably that is why they breeth heavilly. Oh , I even started to worry if they will be ok untill tomorrow.

I have Aquarium Salt, I was afraid to use it as I thought salt could harm plants. But it sounds it doesn't. So I will add some tomorrow. I made 40% WC the day before yesterday (because of nitrates level). I will try to do the salt/WC treatment as you described. These 50% WC everyday will not harm bialogical filter?
Unfortunatelly though my heater is regulated it doesn't regulate at all...Keeps 80 all the time...
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:11 AM   #6 
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Okay, heater at 80 is fine. Is your tank fully cycled yet? or is it still in the process? If it's completely cycled, keep the filter running while you do the change and it won't hurt it. If you are worried you get pick up Stress Zyme which is basically bacteria in a bottle and helps keep the cycle going. There is also Nutrafin Cycle which I used as well. They both do the same thing.

I think I heard somewhere that AQ salt harmed plants but I've used it in all my planted aquariums and it's never harmed my plants ever. I think that's more if you use salt on a daily basis rather than just for medical needs.

Ich doesn't hurt them right away, it's only when you see very large area's of white spots, that's when I would worry. But we seemed to have caught it in the early stages so just follow my little schedule up there and all should be good.

Also, this hasn't been confirmed by anyone yet but I have a feeling if you do one 50% water change one day and do about 30% the next and keep alternating for the week it should be okay and slightly less stressful for you biological filter.

And you are very welcome! I love helping people out when I can! I'm also glad to see someone else caring as much for their fish and plants!
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:27 AM   #7 
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-----------------------------------
I took a look at the tank right now, it is dark in that room and they sleep. So Cherryk sleeps and breathing havy...

I think my tank is sycled thanks to Eco Complete and plants, as I had no ammonia or nitrites since my fishes are in tank. Only nitrates (first 5.0 now between 5 and 10 because of plants melting and loosing leaves and the second reason - another fish added). I tryed to vacuum my gravel but it is not really easy.
To tell the truth I did not know I could not turn of filter at all. I was switching it off while changing water and started to turn it off when feeding.

Thank you very, very much lilnaugrim!!!

Last edited by Lena N; 04-21-2013 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:48 AM   #8 
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Well you can turn it off for water changes, but during this time I'd recommend not to as it will make it easier :)

Are you sure they are breathing heavily and not just breathing normally? It would be helpful for me if you could get a small video of it and post it on youtube so I could see or something.

Also eco-complete doesn't exactly cycle your tank, plants help while the process is going but there are specific things that need to happen. HOWEVER, if it is a very densely planted tank, and I mean plants everywhere, then this thing would happen called a Silent Cycle where it is safe to put in your fish immediately because of all the plants that suck up all the bad things like ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. But this takes time and you'll never get a reading if you have the appropriate amount of tanks.

Cycle aside though, just keep the filter running and as long as you don't leave it off for more than an hour it should be completely fine. If you want to learn more about the Nitrogen Cycle this forum has some pretty good stickies under the Betta Care forum I believe.

And it's very important to vacuum your gravel out because lots of things can get stuck down there like fish poo and other things floating in the water. If you want you can look up videos on Youtube on how to make it easier or how to do it properly :)
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:32 AM   #9 
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lilnaugrim Thank you so much for all your support! Sorry could not do today any video or photos as today was my wedding aniversary and I was so busy...and now so tired now.

Good news:

1. Water test(API) today befor WC the same:
Nitrites 0
Nitrates (I did not check)
Probably you are right it is queit sycle thanks to plants. I am angry at myself that through out the Kiyoto plants couple days ago because they were still ok. I just read in internet they are not aquatic...as the more plants the better.
I have micro swords that looks they will melt to nothing soon. So there will be less plants.

2. I did arounf 45% WC and added 5 teaspoons of salt (desolved). I have 5G tank. I vacumed the top of gravel with tube (how they do with sand).
3. I think I managed to find out how to make temperature higher and it is around 82-83 now.

Bad news:

1. I do not know why last night was critical but over the night fin rot returned to Cherryk.
In the morning around 6 a.m. I looked at him with lighter his face was almost blue so pale. Tale looks really bad. I can not beleive it, maybe he shreaded his fins over smth but he does look bad. He swims and eats well. But he is really ill.
2. During this night Blueno developed big hole in his a tale. Here I really blame myself as he was totally healthy (never had fin rot), but Cherryk probably gave him his infection and also to add Cherryk to his tank was stress for Blueno as they did flare through devider. Blueno liked his tank so much alone and was so happy there (looked so pretty).

Good and bad news in the same time
They almost do not flare at each other anymore (through devider).

MY NEXT STEPS:

I am going to do 50% WC and salt everyday.
But it may not help Cherryk as his fin is getting smaller rapidly. What should I do if he is worse tomorrow? I have maracyn 2. But I am really afraid to use it.
If you could give me more advises my fishes would be so greatful.

(sorry for me English, I do type with mistakes when hurry)
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Last edited by Lena N; 04-22-2013 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:31 AM   #10 
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Okay, first off. When you change your water, only add in as much salt as you took out because it does not evaporate. So say you take out 3.5 gallons, you have to add in ONLY 3.5 teaspoons of dissolved salt.

When vacuuming gravel make sure you push the vacuum into the gravel so it can get all the nasty stuff on the bottom and then you have to wait for the gravel to get out of the tube. I recommend putting it at an angle so it falls out quicker. Here's a kind of cute video to demonstrate an effective way to vacuum:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sSdyNQ5rxQ
You also have to remember that you've only got a 5 gallon, so vacuuming all your gavel at once won't really be possible. So one week siphon out one side of the divider and another week siphon the other side. This is what I do for my 10 gallon.

Also, it doesn't look like you have quite enough plants to have a Silent Cycle in there, but the ammount you have will help eventually. Just keep an eye out for your ammonias and nitrites which are the more deadly ones.

When Betta's flare too hard or too long they sometimes get what is called "Blown Fins", they just flare so hard that they rip a little hole in their fins. Usually you get small pinhead holes but sometimes if those holes get caught on something it can rip more.

Okay and are you seeing little white dots anymore? Or is it just the fin rot and tattered fins?
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