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Old 12-13-2009, 10:59 PM   #1 
BerrysBetta
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Unhappy Save the others before they suffer the same fate!!

Hey guys.
I new here, I really only joined because I'm really worried about my two betta fish.
Since August my sister and I adopted three female betta fish. We called them the Primary Colours, because they one was red, another yellow and the last was blue.
The fish share a 2.5 gallon tank which is filtered. They have been extremely happy together, up until a week ago. The eldest fish, Fern (red) who normally had the biggest appetite, stopped eating. My sister and I expressed concern for this to our friends, because Fern had been our "little piggy" and it was very odd for her to not eat.
We were told that she was probably feeling just a little off, and to give her sometime to regain her appetite.
This morning my sister was feeding our fish when she noticed Fern at the bottom of the tank, swimming rather listlessly and not eating. However, she did not know what to do (she's only 8) and decided to wait for me to come home.
However, by dinner time, she went to feed the fish again, and Fern was DEAD
She had turned completely grey and there was a large HOLE around her stomach area.
My sister and I were extremely distraught over the loss of Fern, and I fear that the other two fish, Taylor and Willow, will suffer the same fate.
Though they are both eating regularly, I feel action must be taken to improve their health.
I've done some research, but I've found no info concerning fish found dead with holes in their bodies.
I'm hoping someone in this forum can help me out with this. What happened to Fern? Will Willow and Taylor suffer this fate too? How can I help?

Please answer guy, Fern was my first pet and she only lasted 5 months. I feel terrible :(
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:41 PM   #2 
Rain Drop
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Sounds like she had some sort of parasite.
I would separate them immediately. Put them each in squeaky clean containers with warm water.
Watch them for symptoms.
Oh, and just to let you know, 2.5 G is way too small for three fish.
For female bettas, you need at least four in a well planted 10 G for a proper sorority.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:43 PM   #3 
Yuuki
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3 fish in a 2.5 gallon tank is extremely overstocked. The ammonia is building up insanely fast in your tank, and the filter doesn't get rid of that. I actually don't think a tank that size could handle that much of a load even if it were cycled.


First off...

-Is the tank heated?
-How often have you been cleaning it?
-How much water are you changing each time you clean it?
-Is the tank cycled?


I don't think the hole in her belly was caused by any disease. I believe the other two fish caused it. What we don't know... is whether they actually killed her, or if they did that after she died. She could have simply been acting sick because the other two were picking on her, stressing her out. If the other two are okay... I think that is the best possibility here.

Either way, I'd clean their tank immediately. And honestly, I'd separate the remaining two. They aren't going to live long lives together in a small tank like this. All you can do is wait it out, if the other two start acting sick, post their symptoms here so that someone can help.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:51 AM   #4 
kelly528
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I have to agree with Yuuki on this one. Aside form being overstocked, keeping female bettas in groups of less than 6 makes for an extremely shaky social structure. In larger groups the aggression is more spread out but in small groups female bettas may turn on each other at the drop of a hat, even if they have been coexisting peacefully for months.

Until you can grab another tank, I would separate Willow and Taylor with a piece of plastic canvas (like you get from the craft store) and do water changes 3 times a week to keep it clean. Then when boxing day sales roll around you should be able to pick up another cheap 2.5g tank and heater. Either that or you could get a 5g tank, divide it and keep the 2.5g tank for quarantine.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:42 AM   #5 
BerrysBetta
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Angry

Thank you all for providing me with your input, advice and opinions.
To answer some questions:
1. No my tank is not heated.
2. I do a full tank clean once a month.
3. In between full tank cleanings, I will do 30-50% water changes randomly.

The reason I didn't buy a heater or a bigger tank is what I find most upsetting, because I had full intentions of buying a large tank with a heater originally.
As I said, Fern was my first pet, and feeling unexperienced in the field of fish keeping, I went to a local PetSmart store seeking for advice. When I asked the woman in the fish department what heater I should use for my bettas, she actually told me I shouldn't get one. I confronted her about this claim...I told her the natural habitat for the betta was in warm climates, and they are accustomed to warm temperature water. The woman insisted I was being "overly dramatic about a little fish" and refused to tell me what type of heater to use. When I asked her about tanks, she told me a bowl was good enough.
I bluntly told her that couldn't be right, and we got into a sort of argument to be honest

My bf who was with me at the time, told me that she worked in a pet store and probably was right, and encouraged me to do as she said.

Hence...no heater. I bought a tank anyway, because I figured that whether she was right about bettas being okay in bowls or not, I didn't want them to be in a boring bowl.

To be honest, I figured my 2.5 gallons must have been excessive considering that bowls were the apparent norm.

I'm furious right now... the woman at PetSmart was completely ignorant! Her pathetic advice cost me my poor Fern's life
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:56 AM   #6 
Yuuki
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Sadly... lots of us learn the hard way that pet store employees are not too bright, so you aren't alone here. They're basically given information that makes bettas seem like "easy" pets. It's just so the stores can sell them faster.

Then the fish get sick. And either the customer comes back and buys another, or they spend a ton of money on medicines for the fish. Making the store a ton of profit.


A 2.5 gallon tank is fine for one betta, but it's best off if it's cleaned two times per week. Partial changes don't do much in tanks this size. You should be able to use a 25 watt heater in a 2.5 gallon tank; I've used them in mine, though the temperature on them has to be set quite low. (Just be sure to check behind them with a good thermometer often.)


I highly prefer 5 gallon tanks for my boys though. <3

Last edited by Yuuki; 12-14-2009 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:42 AM   #7 
ScuitoAmi150
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I would separate them as soon as possible! Add a little aquarium salt to each of their tanks and if any of them start showing signs find a good parasite control (i don't remember any of the names right now).

For a 2.5gallon it needs to be 100% cleaned twice a week. Preferably with partial water changes in between, because with 3 fish the ammonia would be crazy.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:22 AM   #8 
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I would definitely get a 5G if you still want them to be in the same tank, just divide it. When I started out with bettas, the employee told me I didn't need a filter or heater and just to clean my 2.5G every month...well as soon as I got on here I realized that he was totally wrong. It's pretty sad b/c you want to ask their opinion and you should feel comfortable to know you're getting the right information, but you aren't. Are you using water conditioner? This helps with removing harmful things in your tap water. Like scuitoami150 said, 2.5Gs need to be cleaned twice a week 100%. Also, they love having plants in their tanks to hide in, so I would make sure to have two or three silk plants for each of them. Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #9 
BerrysBetta
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by BettaxFishxCrazy View Post
I would definitely get a 5G if you still want them to be in the same tank, just divide it. When I started out with bettas, the employee told me I didn't need a filter or heater and just to clean my 2.5G every month...well as soon as I got on here I realized that he was totally wrong. It's pretty sad b/c you want to ask their opinion and you should feel comfortable to know you're getting the right information, but you aren't. Are you using water conditioner? This helps with removing harmful things in your tap water. Like scuitoami150 said, 2.5Gs need to be cleaned twice a week 100%. Also, they love having plants in their tanks to hide in, so I would make sure to have two or three silk plants for each of them. Good luck!
I know exactly what you mean...I got the same story with the employee I talked to. My friends and my parents keep insisting I'm taking a "couple of feeder fish too seriously" because they've heard that Betta don't need heaters. It's really frustrating.
My sister and I are in the market for a 5g tank right now, but we've let Taylor and Willow stay in the 2.5 for the time being. They get along perfectly fine...where as there has always been tension between Fern and Taylor. I have plenty of plants and caves for each fish to hide in, and I use water conditioners regularly.
Do I really have to clean the tank twice a week? Is that just for non-filtered tanks? Mine has a filter; is frequent cleaning still necessary?
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:38 AM   #10 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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I would be careful, the females could be getting along great and than all of a sudden, one could turn on the other. They say you have to get more than 4 for a sorority because two of them will gang up on the other one so that's probably what happened to the fish that passed. I would separate the two because you never know what might happen.
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