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Old 09-01-2010, 02:49 PM   #1 
Sivan
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Sudden pH changes and picky eating habits

So now that Fabio is no longer dying due to the toxins in our college local water that PetSmart so graciously didn't tell me about, I have noticed come things. During his deadly ordeal I noticed that his pH changed very drastically (from 7.0 to 8.0) over night. Everything was done in a sterile way and my father who has owned many fish in his time and is more meticulous than most people in care details had dealt with the first water fill of the tank to show me how to use the water test kit. Everything was perfect but by the morning it was not.

I was wondering, what causes that? Is it something I should look out for on a regular basis? Also, what causes water to foam and sizzle when using an under gravel air pump?

Now that Fabio is better he is having a hard time eating food. That is, his pellets. He eats his bloodworms well enough, occasionally spitting some parts out. When he goes to eat his pellets though he is very interested, puts it in his mouth and then the food pops back out. Sometimes he tried several more times to eat it and it will either pop out immediately as though he is spitting it out or he makes motions that look like he is chewing it and after a few moments it comes out of his mouth anyway.

I know I cannot feed him just bloodworms but I also don't want to see him starve.

Ideas?
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:37 PM   #2 
Cutar
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Try soaking the pellets in water for a little bit until they get nice and soft then try feeding them to the fish
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:57 PM   #3 
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Good to hear that he is better....

That is how a fish chews and/or checks food out to see if they like it or not---spiting out and sucking it back in over and over and some they just gobble it down instead.....
If you soak it only use a very small amount of tank water so not to leach out the vitamin and minerals added to the food.

You pH is going from 7 up to 8...correct? or starts at 8 going to 7?

This is usually from either the source water after it has gases out or something in your tank is causing it

To check_
pour a clean glass of water and add an air stone for 24h and then re-test
Do a pH test on the water before and 24h after it has had time to gas out to get an accurate reading-this can help tell you if something in the tank is causing the pH swing, usually it is either gravel, rocks or decorations or if it is a normal de-gas, but usually it is not that much unless you have an aerator on the faucet.

How is he tolerating the pH swing
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:25 PM   #4 
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He won't eat the food if it is soaked. I am starting to consider that he just doesn't like the pellets, which is bad because I do have two brands here.

The pH changed while he was almost dying. I had changed it to 7.0, which is what we have it at home and our fish have thrived, but here it is about 8.0. It had changed from 7 to 8 over night and he was dying. After you taught me how to fix things, I haven't touched the pH. I have cleaned everything very thoroughly and he is acting fine (although he does breathing a little heavy from time to time) aside his eating pickiness.

I was just wondering how that pH changes in case it happens in the future. My other worry is that when I go home from College Land that our cleaner water won't be good for him. I will be bringing a sample to PetSmart tomorrow and getting it tested to see what those current levels are and hopefully I can reproduce them.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:33 AM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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Okay, you had been changing the pH.....
Without the proper buffers added the pH will change back to what it was when you use most of the pH changing chemicals, this is why most people should not mess with changing the pH...especially in the small tanks that need frequent water changes...that bouncing pH can be stressful if not deadly in some cases.....

I would let him adjust to the school water and when you go home for short visits (a week or less)-take at least 2 gallons of the school water with you to use for water changes.

If going home for the summer or longer than a week-I would slowly acclimate him to the home water with daily 10-15% water only changes and do the same when you go back to school....they usually tolerate the slow change in pH...but those sudden large swings can be deadly...

I would hold all food for 2-3 days and get him hungry and offer small amounts of the betta food, if he continues to refuse to eat it- hold food for another day...etc....don't feed any of the freeze dried bloodworms until he is eating his staple diet well....they can get addicted to that stuff and it can be hard to get him off of it.....he will be fine without food for much longer than you think...sometimes it can take a week or two to get them to eat the food you want them to....so don't worry that he will starve to death...he won't......honest.......

You can also add a couple of drops of fresh garlic juice on the food to stimulate appetite...fresh works best and it doesn't take much...get a garlic clove and cut a small piece off of it and smash it-roll the food in it and let it set for a min or two-then feed......
remove any uneaten food after feeding
When he get hungry enough...he will eat.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 09-02-2010 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:49 AM   #6 
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At best I may only be able to take a 2L soda bottle filled with school water because I travel 8 1/2-9 hours by bus to get home. I do not have a car or any other way to leave the small town on the Canadian border. Since I go home for about 2 months for winter break, I will also have heavy luggage and a laptop bag to carry. I will try and figure something out though.

Also, when I go home, I only have a smaller tank for him. I don't like how tiny it is (I think my sister had gotten it or GloFish, but am unsure as it was store in the attic) so I am thinking of allowing him a temporary vacation home of a large fish bowl I had gotten when I was a kid. It has no pump or light, but I can fill it with some gravel and fake plants to make it more homey. Heat won't be an issue because he can stay in my room or the guest room--the hottest rooms in the house during winter. His tank should stay about 78 degrees there to 80 degrees.

He will be traveling in his PetSmart cup on the bus.

I wasn't sure how long I could put off feeding him. I am glad to know a few days won't kill him because I was wanting to try doing just that, I figure he'll learn to eat his food if that is all he gets!
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #7 
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Take as much school water with you that you can when you go home for the 2 month break. Then place him and the dechlorinated school water in what ever temporary winter home he will live in along with the water in the cup (you want this to be about half full or less)-then add a half cup of your home dechlorinated water of like temp to this container every 30min until it is full and then make daily 10% water changes for about a week.

Monitor the pH during this time and monitor the fish- as long as he is tolerating the added water continue until full-if he start to show stress with the added water- wait longer and add less water to his toleration....repeat this process when you go back to school
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:00 AM   #8 
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Thank you so much! I will be doing this in order to keep him happy and thriving. You are a very wise person.
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