Please help, I want to try to figure out why my Betta died after being healthy for so long! I recently took a trip to another university and my roommate (who supposedly has experience with Betta's) "took care" of him. I was gone for three days, when I returned, the entire tank was filled with green algae. I did a 25% water change on his 5 gallon tank the morning that I left. She has also just told me that she left the aquarium light on the entire time I was gone.. I know the excess light probably stimulated the algal growth, but the morning after I came back, I removed him and cleaned his tank with aquarium salt and water, then replaced everything with fresh water and tested it before I put him back in. ONE HOUR LATER, he was "swimming" vertically, with fins clamped, randomly darting around, and mostly lying on the bottom of the tank on his side. He also lost his color, he turned greyish and he was normally a vibrant royal blue. Not even two hours after giving him a new, clean tank, he was dead. I didn't clean the tank any differently than I ever have, and I use only filtered water, the pH, alkalinity, nitrates, nitrites, salinity, etc were all perfect... Please help me understand what went wrong so that this never happens again!
Did you use water conditioner? It sounds like you either poisoned or shocked him. The params in the dirty tank were likely a lot different then in the clean tank, even if they were perfect on a test they were different which is what matters. Did you acclimate him or dump him in?
If this happened so quickly after a water change, it's possible that the new water chemistry was very different from the old water, and caused a shock to his system. Or are you sure you added the correct amount of water conditioner?
You may know how to do this already, but just in case.... There are many ways to do a water change and acclimate (reintroduce) your fish back into the tank. Here is one variation:
Note the temperature of the water.
Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
Clean out the tank. Refill with water at the SAME temp. Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min.
Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
Let his cup float for about 10 min.
If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
A little advice, before you let your friend take care of your fish, you should ask them how they are going to care for them. I give strict orders to anyone who atches my fish, and I make sure they know exactly what food to feed, when to turn the light on.off, etc.
Next time, don't let your friend do the majority of the figuring out, especially if you on't know yourself.
From what it sounds like, neither you nor your friend knew the proper way to treat the water and do water changes.
I do 100% of a water change before leaving for a extended period of time, no matter the tank. I actually left my fish alone for 8 days at one point with no food, water changes, or lights, and the only problem was slightly ammonia burns.
When you say filtered water, what do you mean?
Do you mean tap water or distilled? In this case, you should be using tap water with water conditioner.
I also like to test my water straight from the tap and compare that to the water before a change to see if I have any water parameter issues.
First off: I use tap water with a water conditioner
Secondly: I'm not an idiot, of course I acclimated him, for a little over almost an hour (as I am trying to study for finals as well) and little by little exchanging old for new with him floating in a plastic container.
Thirdly, please don't accuse me of not knowing how to care for my fish, it's disrespectful and completely uncalled for.
You know, I was really hoping for some friendly advice after going through something very disheartening, and aside from @LittleBlueFishlets I've been treated very rudely. :/
Please read the rules you are not to be not to be rude to our members ! I am so concerned about what some of you had to say to LadyJoules. This issue has been a great concern on the forum recently and a new sticky was posted last night I will find the l link and post it in case some of you did not see it or read it.
I don't see how I was rude at all... I asked honest questions and provided information in a polite manor... Remember that we are all taking time out of our days to help out :).
It sounds like there was something off with the new water. It could be ammonia, chlorine, or other chemicals, etc. it is still possible that he was shocked, even though you acclimated him. Are you sure you used enough water conditioner?
Last edited by MattsBettas; 05-01-2013 at 08:43 PM.
LadyJoules, welcome to the forum and I'm sorry for your loss. Without knowing your betta's history, it's hard to say what could have caused his death. Is it possible you accidentally forgot water conditioner? Sadly, every aquarist does this at least once in their lifetime; most of the time we catch it and no permanent harm done but once in a while, fish do die as a result. Regretfully, I've lost a few tetras this way. Secondly, is it possible that any foreign substance could have gotten into the tank? Hairspray, Windex, air freshener, anything like that?
Do you happen to have any test results on the water prior to the big water change? MattsBettas is correct that the parameters may have been different before you did a 100% change. The good news is the test results you have AFTER the change show that there is nothing wrong with your tap water. Some tap water has ammonia or nitrates in it right from the tap.
Sorry Sakura i wrote something before i saw you post, it took me longer because i am doing work in my house:) But i want to post whatever i wrote
LadyJoules sorry for your loss. And sorry if you think that we were disrespectful i just think everyone just was trying to figure out what was wrong, so we really need to ask those questions. Even though that a lot of times it really silly questions but a lot of people really don't realize simple rules that you have to follow when you take care of the betta. Actually including me. 7 years ago i shocked my betta because i really didn't acclimate him and water temp was a lot of different than his. He was lethargic for 24 hrs luckily didn't die. But it was my first betta and i had no idea about acclimation. So please do not get offended, those people knowledgeable and just really trying to help our beloved bettas and their owners.