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 09-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #1 
Feral
New Member
 
Feral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southern Utah
Red face Betta Newbie

Hello all-

As the thread title says, I am new to Bettas (well, fish period excepting the occasional and apparently indestructible garden variety goldfish) having accquired a male crowntail about three months ago. Except for the fact that he drove me bonkers for the first two weeks refusing to eat the freeze dried bloodworms and mini betta balls I bought him at time of purchase, freeze dried brine shrimp proving acceptable, I thought our relationship was going to be mutually contented- after being liberated from his Walmart cottage cheese sized container and sizing up his 1 1/2 gallon goblet with artificial foliage and a white gravel and green marbles bottom he seemed perfectly happy. The little booger would even depart his hiding spot in the foliage and dart to the surface to meet the inbound shrimp and didn't even seem to mind my presence.

In any case, I became emboldened and decided if one was nice, a pair of contrasting colored ones would be just super, so bought another one ( metalic blue to offset with the originals blood red), set him up in his own matching habitat and was pretty smug for another week as both seemed alert but not agitated. Fast forward two weeks...

Both are now listless, mostly disinterested in eating or my presence and one is hiding at the bottom of the tank, only coming up for air while the other is resting at the top. As of a week ago, the new family member had silently expired during the night and old number one could barely be provoked into showing any sign of motion. This is very distressing to me as I take the care of any living thing in my charge as a personal responsibility to be upheld, not just to keep them alive, but to make their existance a happy one.

Here I have obviously failed, and in just a few minutes perusing this forum I see that ther are several key points where I was was criminally ignorant and outright misinformed! As soon as this is posted, I will resume reading and looking for more answers, but in the meantime, I would appreciate anything you good folk can offer to help the survivor of my woeful attempts survive. Here are some hard facts regarding what I've done so far:

container: 1 1/2 gal clear glass goblets, open to the air.

water: 1 1/2 gal reverse osmosis city water, ala Culligan vending machine
at local market, changed completely once a week with with fresh
RO water at the same temp.

substrate: white aquarium gravel in one black in the other, both
rinsed in tap water, well drained and air dried.

environment: a west side room with afternoon filtered sun
and an overhead fluorescent light with plant tubes as the
room also contains several palms and cane plants.
Temperature is low eighties during the miday, mid 70s at
night enforced by an electric room heater set to come on as
the temp dips even slightly.

Foods: A) rejected outright: Tetra betta mini balls
Tetra bloodworms
Tetra Bettamin flakes
Sallys frozen brine shrimp

B) Tentatively interested: Tetra baby shrimp
C) Accepted with relish until recently: Hikari freeze dried brine
shrimp, cubed.

What I have NOT done: No outside chemicals of any sort,
including water treatments. No in tank heater
or filtration.

I hope this is enough information to give someone a clue as to where I should start. Obviously I have missed a LOT of essential points here and I want to do right by this guy. Living in the rural southwest, I am some 35 miles from the nearest (and only) pet supply place so would appreciate your help in compiling a shopping list for my next trip to the 'big city' (HAH!) I'd be broken hearted and very hesitant to try again let alone expand to two again if I lose this little guy.

Sorry for the wordiness and thanks so much for your help.

-F
Feral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #2 
Josiee
New Member
 
Josiee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Hi there :)

The factor that sticks out to me most in this situation is the fact that you're using RO water. This may sound crazy, but it is far too pure for Betta fish! There are no minerals in it or anything. I think you can buy something called 'Replenish' (? - haven't used it myself as my water is fine) which will add the required minerals to your water.

Good luck :)
Josiee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 04:22 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping and I hope you don't give up. Sadly this species is not a long lived fish in general with a few rare exceptions.

By the sounds of thing you did most everything correct, however, in less than 2g without filtration I would recommend an increase in water changes. One of the biggest killers or cause of death in most species is usually related to water quality.
Two problems-not enough water changes and R/O water without using additives to replace the needed mineral/electrolyte that the fish needs for good health...both easy to fix.....

I would start by making twice weekly 100% water changes and use a 50/50 mix of the R/O and tap water or 100% tap along with a good dechlorinator for chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals or if you want to keep using the R/O water get a product to replace what is removed- SeaChem has a good one called Equilibrium"

Also you want to remove any uneaten food after feeding
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 04:30 PM   #4 
Feral
New Member
 
Feral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southern Utah
thank you!

Thank you very much for your specific and quick replies! Yes, in, reading the FAQs, this seems probable to me. The thing that puzzles me is that my original crowntail (Little Dude, he is a showoff ) is still among the living while the late arrival expired in less that half the time. I have developed an enormous respect for LD's hardiness, one tough little guy...

Let me ask you this- my tap water is only lightly chlorinated and it will be at least three days before I can make the journey back to town from hicksville- do you think that I might be doing LD a favor by replacing his RO water with tap water that has been allowed to sit and air out? I realize this is still far from optimum and will correct ASAP, but I'm trying to buy time here.

One thing crosses my mind that might also be relevant- I had been using an oill warmer in that room to lend a jasmine fragrance to the air and it occurs to me that as the aroma spreads through the air, what it is actually doing is spreading OIL through the air- might I be creating a mini gulf oil disaster for my fish by putting a film of (perhaps toxic) oil on the surface here? I have stopped cold on this and will not resume, but might this be a primary cause? Anyone have experience with something similair in airborne traumas?

Thank you again Josiee and Oldfishlady! I do appreciate your help , will put them into play soonest and if he knew, I know LD would appreciate it too

Addendum-

Oh, and upon being horrified to read how many things I've been doing wrong, I promptly transfered LD to a five gallon bowl (he looks like an astronaut in outer space in that big thing, he is Sooooo small, even for a betta) and added a heater which is set for 78f- the 'on' light barely comes on and soon goes out, so I assume the temp is within acceptable parameters and yes, I have removed the excess food immediately upon the cessation of feeding- unsightly, and I did realize the problem of nitrates/ nitrites in the water from decomposing organics, but I certainly had no idea how rapid the effects could set in! I will follow your reccomendations scrupulously.

Last edited by Feral; 09-19-2010 at 04:42 PM.
Feral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 04:57 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I have read lots and lots on the hazards of smoke, oils and other pollution in the air, however, I burn lots of oils and insence in my house without any problems and my oil burners are pretty close to my tanks and I have yet to have any problems and my tanks are all open tops...so I can't say yes or no- if it is bad as I have never had any problems myself....... but I have read that others have...maybe I am just lucky......

If you live in the USA and use city water supply you also have chloramine in the water and this is a type of ammonia and deadly to fish and unlike chlorine it will not go away without an added binder...I would wait until I got the proper additives before I used tap water-if you are 100% sure you only have chlorine in the water then usually 24 h of sitting out and less with added aeration the water is usually safe for fish.......be careful........
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 05:04 PM   #6 
Capricorn
Member
 
Capricorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NW Connecticut
Many of the members here use a water conditioner called "Prime", and swear by it.. you could give that a shot, I'm sure it would be perfect for getting your tap water up to par.
Capricorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 05:21 PM   #7 
Feral
New Member
 
Feral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southern Utah
Again-

My thanks to you

No, I am not at all certain as to whether it is chlorine. cloramine (or who knows what else) in the water, only that it has that pungent odor I recall as being callled chlorine back in my city days... I will forbear changing his aqua yet again until I can be sure what he's getting is right- poor guy is traumatized and ill as things are. And here I thought I was being the good provider, spacious digs, 'good' water and all...

I appreciate your insights on the aromatics Oldfishlady, at least it seems I haver not DOUBLEY toxified my fish in my blindness then. Nonetheless, I shall refrain in the future though the aroma of jasmine goes so nicely with the decor- LD must come first. I suppose it's possible that 'dry' aromatics such as incense might be fine whereas an oil warmer which actually disperses oil droplets in the air could be a hazard- the oil coating the labyrinth organs and preventing the absorption of oxygen? I know a fellow (climate scientist) in New Zealand who's convinced we're headed for a new Ice Age because of the microscopic film of oils on the seas from a century of motor traffic and human waste disposal practices- scarey stuff! IF he's right, then the oil warmer can't be helping my poor little guy....

Thank you again for your insights, you seem to be a sort of Betta 911 and that's just what I'd hoped for.

-F


Addendum#2 : Goodness, ANOTHER response while I was replying to the last! Thank YOU too Capricorn, I will put in my possibles list, I may not have choices, but a recommendation is useful and long term, there is always my good friend, online shopping.

A GREAT FORUM you have here! I look forward to a day when I might have something useful to contribute instead of being a bundle of 'he should have learned this stuff BEFORE he bought the fish' questions.

Thank you all so much

Last edited by Feral; 09-19-2010 at 05:30 PM.
Feral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 05:30 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
I use the oil burners too, I make my own oils from patcholi, lavender and sage I grow, however it is mixed with either olive oil or mineral oil and maybe less toxic being homemade.....lol......but I do understand........
Oldfishlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 05:43 PM   #9 
Feral
New Member
 
Feral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Southern Utah
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
I use the oil burners too, I make my own oils from patcholi, lavender and sage I grow, however it is mixed with either olive oil or mineral oil and maybe less toxic being homemade.....lol......but I do understand........
Great, you make your own! I am impressed. would that I were so talented.

Theory (and the advertising claim from their Egyptian maker) is that the oils I have are pure distillates, that is, nothing added at all... and I do love them so The scent of jasmine or sandalwood, sometimes Egyptian musk wafting in the air on a summers evening accompanied by the chirping of a cricket chorus, well... it's what summers are for to me. I will carry on, but somewhere the fish won't have to experience it with me. But this is about Bettas isn't it, and here I am hijacking my own thread into forbidden waters. Doggone newbs anyway....
Feral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2010, 07:31 PM   #10 
Ajones108
Member
 
Ajones108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Ha ha. Your tone of words makes me giggle and impresses me. Welcome to the forums. :) You are in good hands with Oldfishlady, she's one of the best here who help us in our everyday errors and mishaps. At one point we all came here to the forums and were educated in betta keeping, and now after two months here myself, I too offer advice to the newlings who come about.

If you are far from the city, and of-age/able to pay for things online, I highly recommend the website www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com. This is where I bought my heater, my water conditioner, my two medications, my water testing kit, any other impulse buy I wanted, etc... It's $8.99 for flat-rate shipping but everything is so marked down from store prices so the more you buy, really the cheaper it is. They have all sorts of heaters at affordable prices, Prime water conditioner, and anything else you might need for your little friends.

Keep an eye on the ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in that 5 gallon tank of yours. Before the tank fully establishes its bacterial/nitrogen cycle the increase of nitrites could kill your poor betta before you even know what's going on.

What I can think of being the cause of your problems would be:

1. Lack of nutrients in your RO water, and lack of a good water conditioner. Prime and Equilibrium can fix both of these. :)
2. Lack of water changes. OFL touched on this.
3. Unheated tank. This could make the fish lethargic.
4. Fish diet. What I see is that you started your friend on freeze-dried bloodworms. While these have some nutrients, they're considered "snack" food for bettas and should only be used in moderation, not as a staple diet. :) What I use is Atison's Betta Food and my boys LOVE it, even my Wal-Mart rescue. Other foods that people recommend are New Life Spectrum, Ken's Betta Crumbles, and OmegaOne Betta Buffet Flakes/Pellets. Some people also recommend Hikari Betta Bio-Gold but they changed their formula to be a filler ingredient, which is bad. :p You can get Hikari off of Foster and Smith, but I just went to www.lnt.com and ordered my Atison's pellets from there. :p

For pellets it's good to soak them in tank water for a couple minutes to release the air that could bloat them. I've never had bloating with Atison's however. As for your freeze-dried blood worms, best to soak those a few minutes too, or just switch to frozen ones. :)

Sorry for the long post! But there's my two cents. :) Let us know if you need anything else.
Ajones108 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Betta Newbie - new 10g & maybe fin rot? PwnCho Betta Fish Care 22 08-12-2010 04:07 PM
Betta newbie greg6585 Betta Fish Care 8 08-03-2010 07:32 PM
New Betta owner and Newbie! ladikara Betta Fish Care 7 05-25-2010 04:01 AM
Betta newbie gbeauvin Betta Fish Care 3 04-24-2009 10:41 AM
yet another betta newbie billguerra Betta Fish Care 6 09-09-2008 03:26 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:13 PM.


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