Join Date: Jan 2013
I've got another 50% WC done, with stress coat and extra bit of Prime.
So here's what I know:
3 days ago, tank prams were perfect. 0 across the board except nitrates were 5. pH was 7.2.
Filter, bubbler, and heater all working order.
I got a piece of oak driftwood from a nearby lake. I let it dry in the sun for several weeks. I ran the dishwasher on an empty cycle, no detergents, with heavy wash on sanitize setting. Then I added the wood, ran it during the same settings twice. Inspected it well for anything unusual, saw nothing. Added it last night, around 5pm.
Last night, before bed, everyone was awesome.
This morning, I wake, the water is very visibly tannined. I normally add Blackwater Extract, also, i forgot to incude that up above, so this was even MORE visibly tanned. I always do headcount and body checks, including of the mollies. Everyone is up the top doing the food dance, except her. She's my favorite, I always look for her first. Didn't see her, figured she was just a late riser, kept counting/checking everyone else. They were all accounted for and acting fine. I have to actively hunt for her. I finally find her hiding in the back corner behind a plant, laying half sideways along the gravel. She looks slightly bloated, which she hasn't before. I decide, well, maybe there was still some residue of chemical from the dishwasher or maybe the tannins/pH has thrown her off. I remove the wood, and immediately do a 60-70% WC. Hubby helps, but my mom arrives dropping the kids off, and I get distracted and don't put the conditioner in right away and also, I drop it in the middle of the tank, not directly to the new water flowing in (we use a Python No Spill and Fill). It took me about 3 minutes before I added the conditioner. I did notice the fish all swimming near the spout, curious, and still hungry.
Done with WC. Fed them a very small pinch of Omega One Betta Buffet, since she was bloated. She did not even try to come up to eat. I let the tank settle for 15 minutes, rechecked. She is worsening, kind of drifting with the current, and occasionally making a suddenly-spirited dash to uptop air.
I decide something needs to be done, she's my favorite and my baby. I get one of my empty QT containers (a 1.5 gallon rubbermaid bin) and fill it within 2 inches of the top. Float her in a fs cup, in her tank water. I pre-dissolve 1 tsp of Epsom salt in 1/4 cup of her new conditioned water (with Stress Coat, per bottle instructions). While that dissolves, I acclimate her to the QT water, I add about 2 Tbsp every 3-5 minutes, and around 15 minutes in, I tip her in, letting as little of old get in as possible. By now, the ES is dissolved. I pour 1/4 of the 1/4 cup of ES-water in, opposite of where she is floating near comatose. I repeat the process. She seems to improve briefly, making quick jerky motions, and then starts going for air a lot. I notice the air just wooshes through her gills abnormally. I float her in the tank. I come in here and make my post.
I return, she is back to comatose, I almost think she is dead. I go look on here on the disease stickies. Takes about 4 minutes. Go check again. She's dead.
I take her out, and place on her a napkin. Look her over and her mildly bloated stomach is the only oddity. And even that, she may just have eaten well yesterday ya know? It doesn't look bad at all. It looks like a betta that has eaten a meal recently. Doesn't look pathological.
In the meantime, I had checked my water. pH was 6.6, ammo 0.5, nitrites 0, and nitrates trace (in between 0-5).
I go do a 50% WC, using Stress Coat AND a half dose of Prime. Decided I won't risk any reside being from that driftwood, so I tossed that. Angry at it too, tbh. Also looked for snails, there's been some stowaways from plants, and I wondered if one had died. It's possible, but I didn't see any, and they are all small/babies anyway.
So, that's what happened. I know I did some things wrong in my frantic dash to try to help her (rushing her acclimating, could have been more aggressive with the Epsom, should have done something different with the driftwood, should have checked the prams last night maybe? Could the changes have been then, the wood only being in for 4 hours?) What else did I do wrong or could have done better? I don't want to lose another. :(