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Old 09-20-2009, 05:53 PM   #1 
Bluefin08
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Am I doing something wrong?

Here's the short story. In the past year, I've had two bettas. The first one died back in March. His symptoms towards the end included lethargy, not eating, inability to maintain a depth (would sink to the bottom), and a reddish tint around the gills. My most recent one, Blue, died this morning. He was showing similar symptoms. He starting eating less about 2 weeks ago, and went from dancing around the front of the tank when we walked up to just staring at us. Then, Thursday, he would swim around, but his back half would drop down and he would look like he was swimming vertically. Then yesterday, he would just sit around, and showed no interest in coming to the top.
My tank setup is an Eclipse 3. I get my water from the local pet store, which sells pre-treated water for cheap. I have a heater in there which keeps it at 78. Originally, I didn't have any other fish in there for awhile, but just put in two otos and a small piece of drift wood Monday to help take care of some brownish red algae that was growing all over the place. They seem to be doing OK right now. I had been changing 25% of the water once a month when I changed the filter, as that's what the directions said. I realize now I should have been doing that more, but with the filter, I wouldn't think that alone would kill him.
What might I be doing wrong? I hope to get another betta to put in there sometime soon, and want this one to live more than 6 months.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:14 PM   #2 
AngelicScars
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Possibly ammonia poisoning? I'm not exactly sure.
Unless you cycled your tank before hand, you should have been changing the water WAY more frequently. (I'm not sure how often you change the water after you cycle).
I have all uncycled tanks and I do a 50% change once a week in my 5-10 gallon tanks. Then a 100% change once a month. I would assume it is cheaper just to buy water conditioner and use it in tap then buying special water.
I use Prime water conditioner and I really like it.
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:15 PM   #3 
kelly528
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Hmm... Lethargy, and red gills are sure signs of ammonia poisoning. Never listen to stoopid box instructions. Next time around, change the water weekly and your guy should be fine cause everything else you're doing looks good. Some other pointers

a) Store-bought betta water. Doesn't do much. It's not exactly bad, but it is a waste of money. Just rinse out an old milk jug (I like sunny delight jugs, personally). For a 3 gallon, any jug or bottle around 2 or 3 litres will suffice. Fill it up with water and age it for a week, then throw in some dechlorinator and add the treated water after you clean. Then fill it up for the next week. Easy.

b) Eclipse systems. They are notorious among betta keepers for their excellent (but far too strong) filtration system (that bio-wheel thingy). You should look up some DIY baffles to prevent the current from blowing your betta all over the tank.

Also, Eclipse systems are one of the few 'all in one' aquarium kits that come with a fluorescent light (as opposed to cheapo incandescent) so feel free to try some easy, low-light plants! (Just had to insert that, as a planted tank newbie).
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:55 PM   #4 
Bluefin08
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What do you mean by cycling? I don't have a clue here about a lot of this stuff. And where would I look about making/buying a baffle?
the water is actually pretty cheap. It's not 'special' bottled water like what they sell at Petco or other similar stores. It's just tap water they treat for you. It's about $1.20 per jug, or if you bring in your own and have it filled, it's about $.70 per jug. To me, the convenience is worth a few extra cents.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:49 PM   #5 
kelly528
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Cycling is the process of the nitrogen cycle establishing itself in your tank. Check a newbie section of the forum. They should have a few stickies on it.

Google DIY baffle. I would give you some great links from another betta forum, but mods would probably frown upon that.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:53 AM   #6 
Bluefin08
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So I tested the water, and the ammonia is at 1.00 ppm. Ya, I know, bad. I'm surprised the otos are still alive. What are the next steps to get this cleaned up? I'm going to try a 25% water change a couple of times a week, as well as vacuuming the gravel (I didn't do that before), but is there anything else that will take care of this fast?
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