Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Care
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-03-2013, 12:16 AM   #1 
brennasmith94
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Advice needed, trying for a fresh start.

Sorry about the length of this, I just want to be thorough about everything. I've bolded the important questions for easier reading.

And to start, I've created this thread because I've now read through dozens of others on a lot of different sites and everything I've read is so situation based. I don't want to make a mistake because my situation is different from another.

Around Christmas I asked for and received a 3 gallon tank from my secret santa. At the time I didn't know too much about fish and caring for them so I rushed into buying a betta and putting him in on the first day. I had him for a few months and was more then a little lax about cleaning his tank and I unknowingly cleaned it 100% water change every time. He recently developed fish rot and died before the medicine I gave him could work.

I want to do better this time and care for a new betta fish properly.

My fish tank set up:

Round gravel/rocks on bottom with a few bigger ones that were rounded on top, clear, and flat on the bottom.
Three plastic (smooth) plants
Two random decorations (one shark, one dragon) with smooth edges
One coral reef type decoration that had two holes. One he could swim through (sorta) and one that he couldn't.
One heater with a thermometer next to it (on the outside of the tank, now stuck on there forever)

I also own a filter that I never ended up using.

Yes I used the proper water conditioner
No I never checked pH, ammonia, or nitrate levels
I fed my fish once a day around 9pm and never fasted him
I have LED lighting with a cover to keep him from jumping out.
I had NO other fish or creature in there.


So now I'd like to get a new (male) betta and create a proper home that he'll be happy in but I don't want to go into it the same way I did with my first betta.

Since my last fish died of fish rot pretty recently all I've done is a thorough washing of all the old decorations and tank and boiled the gravel. What else should I be doing to make sure all of the disease is gone from the tank? Everything is out of the tank and the tank is empty at the moment.

Now, I want to buy new decorations (with more suitable hiding spots) so those won't be a problem. And the three plants happened to be out of the tank when he got sick. Should I buy a few live plants instead of my fake ones? Will those be more suitable for the new betta?

I didn't know about cycling when I had my old betta, in a 3 gallon tank is cycling necessary? I hear its hard to maintain in a tank so small. How should I be dealing with the ammonia and nitrates if I'm not doing a cycle?

The test kits I see in the stores are too expensive for me right now, a starving student, what other options are there? I may invest in one later when I can afford to.

Should I be setting up the tank a day or more before I get the betta or is setting it up just before okay?

Can I add another creature to the tank, should it be right away with the betta or a few days or weeks later? I was thinking either an aquatic frog, a snail, or a ghost shrimp (or anything else suggested). What are things to keep in mind once I get a second living thing in this tank?


Sorry for the length and number of questions, I'm sorry if someone has added something similar to this before. I may edit this later if I've forgotten anything.

All the help I can get is much appreciated! I don't want to be a bad fish owner anymore.
brennasmith94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 12:43 AM   #2 
Micho
Member
 
Micho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by brennasmith94 View Post
What else should I be doing to make sure all of the disease is gone from the tank? Everything is out of the tank and the tank is empty at the moment.

You can clean your tank with a part vinegar part water solution, or you could use bleach as well. :) I think they're both the same, 1 part bleach 19 parts water. Wash the tank with hot water, as well with the decor.

Should I buy a few live plants instead of my fake ones? Will those be more suitable for the new betta?

Live plants require some care, but there are some easy low-light plants that virtually require no care, in my experience Java Fern and Anubias are the best starter plants and they can thrive in almost any tank.

They can be buried into the substrate but not their rhizome, the thick root part, it's pretty obvious where the rhizome is, it's kinda like the odd root, it's thicker. Or you could attack it to some driftwood or a rock, maybe even leave it just floating there is cool too. :)

How should I be dealing with the ammonia and nitrates if I'm not doing a cycle?

I feel like anything smaller than a 5 gallon is hard to establish a cycle and you may experience a mini-cycle but not a true real cycle. Get a test kit, and test regularly if you're worried about the water parameters.

Water changes are your friends when it comes to keeping the water clean, I would suggest two 50% water changes per week to keep that ammonia and nitrites/nitrates down.

The test kits I see in the stores are too expensive for me right now, a starving student, what other options are there?

Testing kits are expensive, but they are invaluable. If you can't afford one right now it's best to just to do extra water changes to ensure your water is clean. When you do get one, don't get the strips test kit, those can be inaccurate as I've read. The solution ones are better.

Should I be setting up the tank a day or more before I get the betta or is setting it up just before okay?

Setting it up just before should be fine, since you're not establishing a cycle, you can just set up the tank, buy a new boy and acclimate him to the tank nice and slow.

Can I add another creature to the tank, should it be right away with the betta or a few days or weeks later? I was thinking either an aquatic frog, a snail, or a ghost shrimp (or anything else suggested). What are things to keep in mind once I get a second living thing in this tank?

If you add friends into the tank you will have to be more concerned about your water parameters, every living things poops and will increase the ammonia levels! Snails are big poopers, if you want a snail I would get a Nerite snails, they can't reproduce in freshwater and stay relatively small. They eat algae so if you have any of that they're great.

No to the frogs, most commonly sold ones are ADF, and they are messy eaters plus they like to be in pairs, since they are social creatures.

Shrimps are a miss or a hit with Bettas, some chomp on them or just poke them to death. While some leave them alone, great thing about shrimps is that have little bioloads and are great cleaners. Ghost shrimps are inexpensive and are good at cleaning food that have sunk to be bottom. You could try those. :)


Sorry for the length and number of questions, I'm sorry if someone has added something similar to this before. I may edit this later if I've forgotten anything.

All the help I can get is much appreciated! I don't want to be a bad fish owner anymore.
Hope this helps! :) Everyone makes mistakes, it's fine!
Micho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 01:35 AM   #3 
HeadlessLegoMom
Member
 
HeadlessLegoMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I am poor myself, but you can get a liquid water test kit on Ebay for cheaper than the pet store sells them for. Also, sometimes people sell them cheap on Craigslist, but make sure to check the date and make sure they are for freshwater not salt water. They last a pretty long time because you don't have to do a daily check if you are doing frequent partial water changes.

As far as plants go, I say stick to what is most comfortable for you. If you prefer to stick with fake ones, silk plants are highly recommended and you can get them cheaper than the pet store if you go to a fake flower shop or craft store. Just make sure to rinse them well. You can also buy aquarium weights for a dollar and change at a pet store and weight them down if you want.

I can't help with some of your questions, but you can keep nitrates down by adding a handful of Nitrastrate beads into your tank. They come in different colors and look like translucent little pebbles. I think I paid five or six dollars for a bag of 250. The only downside is that they float into the siphon when you try to do a partial water change.

As for ammonia. Frequent partial water changes are the best way to keep ammonia to a minimum. You could also try using a different water conditioner. SeaChem Prime temporarily neutralizes ammonia for a day or two turning it into ammonium which won't harm your fish like ammonia will.

Also, when you say your fish died before the medicine could work. What kind of medication were you using? A lot of people on this forum advocate against the use of medications for bettas because they often cause more harm than help.
HeadlessLegoMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #4 
LizbethDawn
Member
 
LizbethDawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Bakersfield, CA
What else should I be doing to make sure all of the disease is gone from the tank?
When I had a boy with fin rot pass I let everything dry out and then soaked everything in HOT water I had large natural pebbles instead of gravel so I just put everything in a sink full of the hot water and filled the tank with hot water and let it all sit until the water wasn't hot anymore then pulled it all out and let it all dry in the sun and reassembled.

Now, I want to buy new decorations (with more suitable hiding spots) so those won't be a problem. And the three plants happened to be out of the tank when he got sick. Should I buy a few live plants instead of my fake ones? Will those be more suitable for the new betta?
I would get some silk plants and maybe one or two little live plants and if you find you've got a black thumb you have the silk ones as back up.

How should I be dealing with the ammonia and nitrates if I'm not doing a cycle?
Water changes will keep the water right. I do two 50% and a 100% a week in my 3 gallon.

The test kits I see in the stores are too expensive for me right now, a starving student, what other options are there?
I don't test my small tanks that get multiple water changes in a week unless I suspect something is wrong. Maybe find some other students who are fish keepers and you can all pitch in for the big kit?

Should I be setting up the tank a day or more before I get the betta or is setting it up just before okay?
If you aren't going to try and cycle the tank then just set it up that day and that way the heater can slowly heat the tank water and the water in his cup to help him acclimate.

Can I add another creature to the tank, should it be right away with the betta or a few days or weeks later? I was thinking either an aquatic frog, a snail, or a ghost shrimp (or anything else suggested). What are things to keep in mind once I get a second living thing in this tank?
The shrimp will help with the waste in the gravel and a african dwarf frog would be more entertainment for you so it just depends on what you want.
LizbethDawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 02:06 AM   #5 
brennasmith94
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Vancouver, Canada
I used tetra fungus guard, it comes in fizz tabs at my local pet store. I was sure to cut it down to the appropriate size for my tank. I added the medicine a day after I noticed the white spot on his back. Percy (my betta) didn't seem to react well to it, he started sleeping a lot more and hiding in the back of the tank. Once the medicine seemed to clear up he woke up and moved around more (but the fish rot on his tail got worse) and so I did what it said on the box and did a partial water change four days later and added more medication. (it made the water a blue colour both times, is that normal?) He slept a lot again after the next dose of meds were added and then died a day later.

He never slept as much as he did during this time. Was that because he was dying or the medicine?

(Thanks for all of the help everyone who's replied so far)
brennasmith94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #6 
2LittleFishies
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
The API freshwater kit is $30 at PetSmart but on Amazon.com I got it $10 cheaper
: ) and free shipping
2LittleFishies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Since you have both good and bad bacteria/microorganism-it is balance that is important and often what many hobbyist unknowingly wash down the drain and what sets the livestock up for problems.
By disruption of the balance you can allow the bad stuff to take over since the bad is fast growing/colonizing than the good.

No matter what the test result-you generally will do the same thing..."Water change" If you can't afford or don't understand the science...save your money and just do partial water changes, however, IMO, it is never a bad idea to learn the science of water.
IMO/E- both the test strips and liquid reagent are accurate-On the internet it seem that the myth of test strips being inaccurate lives on. Often it is user error or a hobbyist that doesn't understand the science.

Nitrogen cycle-you can establish the nitrogen cycle in anything provided that the needs of the beneficial bacteria are met. Again, understanding the science can be helpful. Its a lot easier than you might think too....It only sounds confusing, overwhelming and difficult.

Don't over think it and make it more difficult than needed.

IMO/E-you can safely setup the tank and add a healthy Betta all in the same day.

Give your tank a good rinse, fill with dechlorinated water, bring to temp of at least 75F, properly acclimate the Betta to both temp and chemistry-add and enjoy.

Depending if you have a filter or live plants-water changes will vary....
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 01:56 AM   #8 
HeadlessLegoMom
Member
 
HeadlessLegoMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Brooklyn, NY
I was really scared of the water test kit myself, but I got one off Ebay for about $19 and found the instructions suprisingly easy to follow.

I am not sure what the common message board opinion of Tetra Fungus Guard is, but I know a lot of people advocate against hardcore medicine on here. I believe that there is a sticky post at the top of the Emergency forum with a guide to the best/most effective way to treat various illness.

Also, you say that your fish died of fin rot, but now you are mentioning white spots. Was it a patch of white cottony looking stuff or white specs that looked like salt? Neither of those things are fin rot. Fin rot is when the fins, either starting along the edges, or sometimes the base of the fins, turn to a dark charcoal color and start to disintegrate. If I am not mistaken, that doesn't sound like what your fish had. If the ailment was mild, the medicine you provided may have caused more harm than good, which is not your fault, but I want you to be more successful this time around.
HeadlessLegoMom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
beginner, cleaning, fish disease, new betta fish

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.