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Old 01-08-2010, 10:17 AM   #1 
BettaDad
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Stressed Betta?

Hi,

For Christmas, my daughters each got a Betta Fish from Santa Claus and 5 gal. Tanks. My wife liked the fish so much that she got one too along with another 5 gal. tank. While I have been cycling the tanks (fishless method) we have been keeping the Bettas in bowls. So now I was suddenly the care taker of 3 Betta fish.

We change the water every day. Treat the water the day before and let it sit overnight near the bowls so the temperature is the same and then do the water change with that water the next day. For now we are keeping the Bettas in a room that we have a heater set for 75deg. (The 5 gal tanks all have heaters set at 82 when they get there)


The day before yesterday, while changing the water, my wife's fish got spastic and had what looked like a seizure.... then he swam lopsided and was not swiming well.... from what we could read it sounded like swim bladder dissorder so we started down the diagnosis and treatment path of fasting and trying to serve him a piece of cooked pea should he be constipated but he saddly died yesterday. I have no idea what I did wrong and was sure I was taking care of him better than if he had been left in the cold pet store with infrequent water changes but now I am very frustrated that somehow my lack of experience killed this poor fish.

It's worse.... last night while changing the water with one of our two remaining Bettas one of them freaked out when I put the net in the water and before I could even get him into his new water he also did a crazy swim and then acted like he also might die from a siezure ..... eventually he calmed down and made it thru the night. Today when my wife tried to interact with him he also went crazy... almost jumping out of the bowl and then appeared to die..... my wife called me in tears thinking he was actually dead and then called back to say that he had revived and was upright again and breathing but we don't think he is doing well and I don't know why

There are no signs if ick or any ailments of the fins or skin visable.... but he goes to the bottom.... could he just be stressed from the water changes? What else could this be? I have to change the water but when I do it feels like something is going wrong.... I have been doing this for weeks now and all was good up until the last couple of days and I can't think of anything I am doing differently.

Please help me before my ignorance kills another fish!

Thanks for any help you might be able to offer

Last edited by BettaDad; 01-08-2010 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:32 AM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Hello and welcome to the forum. Are you remembering to use water conditioner in your water when you do water changes?
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:37 AM   #3 
BettaDad
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Yes - I have always used the conditioner to remove any chlorine.... I do that when I set up the water for the next days change and then I let it sit overnight to make sure the water is the same temp as what they are currently in.....
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:41 AM   #4 
dramaqueen
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Since you haven't had him for very long, it may be that he's still adjusting to his new home and will, hopefully settle down soon.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:05 AM   #5 
BettaDad
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Is it possible that this siezure like behavior and near death experience is just stress? Or am I overlooking something else? What concerns me is that it was not stressful up until a couple of days ago..... we had a couple of weeks of everything being fine so if it was an adjustment to the new home it would seem like it would show up right at the start
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:06 AM   #6 
BettaDad
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What is the best method for complete water changes? Is a net OK to use?
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:10 AM   #7 
Zenandra
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What size are the bowls? They may be cold, since the room temp is set to 75, the water is always going to be a couple degrees cooler. The seizuring, spazzing behavior is what I would expect from a fish living in poor quality water. But it sounds like your doing well. Maybe they are stressed from the constant daily water changes.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:19 AM   #8 
BettaDad
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I moved them out of the "margarine tubs" they came in but they are still in small bowls of about 48 oz until the tanks are ready. THey had been in even colder temps until we got a space heater to run in one room. In the pet store it was definately under 70 degrees air temp so if anything I thought I had at least improved living conditions until the tanks are finished cycling. Ironically I am getting close on the tanks as both the Ammonia and Nitrites are dropping now but need to keep them alive until I can get them in the new homes
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:23 AM   #9 
Zenandra
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Ok, so I honestly think that the combination of being in a small space, mixed with the cold water and constant water changes is what is freaking them out. Is there any way they can go in the 5 gallons now even though they're not completely cycled? I think a big heated tank is what they need now.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:25 AM   #10 
BettaDad
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I have even tested the water in the little bowls and found traces of ammonia after a day so that is why I do daily changes.
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