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Old 10-17-2010, 12:44 PM   #1 
awesomeapril
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cloudy water, lathargic fish

I'm getting a new fish, so I'm also Getting a new set up. 20 gal devided to hold three fish. the mesh is dark so they can't see each other very well so they don't get stressed. The two bettas in there a in the farthest compartments. They were previously in 2.5 gal tanks, unfiltered, the heaters weren't adjustable, frequent water changes. However I've been having a problem with cloudy water lately, and it normally clears up a day after changes. I thousght the bigger tank with the better heater would be nice for them and I'm working on getting more hiding spots.
Housing
What size is your tank? 20 gal, previously in 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank?82
Does your tank have a filter?yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?no
Is your tank heated?yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 male bettas, seperated can't see eachother

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? just switched to bio gold, before was feeding aqueon pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day or twice depending on if I'm around, I also don't feed them one day out of the week.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? plan on changing full every other week, with partial changes in between

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:10, this is higher than when tested in the 2.5 gal tanks
pH:7.4
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? no difference

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? very lathargic

When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I put them in them new tank, last night

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? no

Does your fish have any history of being ill?both had fin rott when I got them, they are cured now but the one I've had for almost a year can't flare because of it. Also the older one also freaked out when I was coaxing him into his water change cup so I could float him and I Think He hurt himself because the left side of his face is a white/grey color. :(

How old is your fish (approximately)? probably about a year and a half, and 4-6 months old.
Thanks!!!
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:44 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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How long has the 20g been set up? if just set-up-was the tank seeded or do you have nitrates in your source water-I am confused a bit with your numbers and set-up time in your post........

With a filtered tank-no need for 100% water changes-50% weekly with vacuum should be enough to maintain water quality for two fish

For the cloudy water I would do some daily water only changes and check the filter media and give it a swish/rinse in old tank water or dechlorinated water and make sure you have good water flow through-out the tank...sometimes the dividers can be the cause...also-what kind of decoration are in the tank, live plants...etc.....

What kind/brand and how much on the water conditioner and any other additives used like a cycle product or anything....I am just confused on a new set up with nitrate-my first thought was normal bacterial bloom of a cycling tank.....

What kind of testing products are you using...liquid reagent or strips

With a lethargic fish you may want to QT until we figure out what is going on with the tank
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:00 PM   #3 
awesomeapril
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How long has the 20g been set up? if just set-up-was the tank seeded or do you have nitrates in your source water-I am confused a bit with your numbers and set-up time in your post........

I set up the 20 gal last afternoon and put them in later on that night. When I woke up the water was cloudy.

With a filtered tank-no need for 100% water changes-50% weekly with vacuum should be enough to maintain water quality for two fish
Good to know thanks!

For the cloudy water I would do some daily water only changes and check the filter media and give it a swish/rinse in old tank water or dechlorinated water and make sure you have good water flow through-out the tank...sometimes the dividers can be the cause...also-what kind of decoration are in the tank, live plants...etc.....
Will do, The deviders aren't impeding the water flow, I made them my self out of a lighter weight plastic mesh. I have some silk plants and a hide away hut. The heater is used from aquabid, but I rinsed it first. The filter I had used before in my own tank, but it had a fresh cartridge. The fake plants were in their previous tanks

What kind/brand and how much on the water conditioner and any other additives used like a cycle product or anything....I am just confused on a new set up with nitrate-my first thought was normal bacterial bloom of a cycling tank.....
20 ml top fin water conditioner

What kind of testing products are you using...liquid reagent or strips
liquid, test kit.

With a lethargic fish you may want to QT until we figure out what is going on with the tank[/quote]
They are out of the tank, when I went to get the younger one I has afraid he was dead, I poked him twice before he moved. :((( THe other one hates getting moved! he put up a fight even though he seemed to be in pretty bad shape
I'll keep you posted on weather or not they get any better. They did seem to perk up a bit though once they were out of the big tank.

I'd like to have that tank ready for the new fish this week, he should be here by Thursday. If not there are allways critter carriers I guess. Does it need to go through the whole cycling process before I put them back or can I just clean everything out with super hot water and try again?
thank you so much for your help.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:34 AM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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I would check you source water for nitrates

It usually take about 4-8 weeks for the nitrogen cycle to complete-
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:37 PM   #5 
awesomeapril
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yes, I have nitrates in the tap water. Is there anything I can do about it?
Also, I came back from work today and their tanks are cloudy.
today's nitrates tests read
big tank: 10 ppm
tap:10 ppm
old fish:5 ppm (I don't get it)
young fish:10 ppm
Haven't been around enough to really monitor their behavior today, but They seem to be a bit more active, they may have just perked up because i was around though. BUT I did get one of them to eat.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:48 PM   #6 
awesomeapril
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Also, the nitrate in my female's tank is 5ppm, the water isn't cloudy and she's her usual self
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:27 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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With nitrate in the source water it can make it a bit trickier to cycle but more related to monitoring the water than cycling per se-with a new set-up the cloudy water is most likely related to a cycling tank that water only change will take care of-as long as the fish are acting fine in the cloudy water I would monitor the water and make water changes when you have readings of ammonia/nitrite 0.25ppm and greater-once you have 0ppm ammonia/nitrite several day without water changes and nitrate 20-30ppm you are most likely cycled and this can take 4-8 weeks with just 2 fish in the tank
Because of the nitrate in the source water I would recommend fish-less cycling with pure ammonia or lots and lots of stem plants and floating plants-another option would be R/O water
And then once cycled try and keep the nitrate below 50ppm..again live active growing plants can help a lot when your source water contains nitrate
What is your pH?
In the female tank-any live plants
Make sure you shake the test tube on the nitrate test for a full minute really hard after bottle #1 drops and shake the bottle #2 nitrate really good, hit it on the table and shake some more before you add the drops...this is for the API master test kit band-sometimes if you don't shake long enough after #1 drops or get the reagent mixed really good on the bottle #2 you can get skewed reading-#2 bottle tend to settle and needs a good hard shaking/mixing before use
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:45 PM   #8 
awesomeapril
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the ph is 7.4.
What does R/O mean?
I jumped the gun when giving you the reading on the female tank, I must not have waited the full five, because when I came back it was 10 ppm. Sorry about that.
I will look into the plants, I really can't tell if the water they are in now is bothering them or if they are all tuckered from all of the big tank drama. Should I get them bottled water in their small tanks for now?
Off to petsmart I go!! Wouldn't it be nice if they could give actual advice on fish?
I can't thank you enough for helping me.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:35 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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pH is fine-just wanted to make sure it was not an issue
R/O-reverse osmosis-usually you can get this at pet shops it is pure water without any mineral and they have to be added back

For a 20g tank bottled water would be costly-also bottled water is often just filtered tap and may still contain the additives like chlorine/chloramain but the filtering process can also remove all the needed minerals that the fish needs for good health like the R/O water-but they have produces you can get to add them back.
On the small tanks-they need frequent water changes and again cost of bottled water and added minerals-but a 50/50 mix may wark to decrease the nitrate
Nitrate are not bad in low amounts-high level of nitrate can affect the immune response of the fish and cause shock issues with sudden changes
Because of the two different bacteria that are needed for the nitrogen cycle even with nitrate in the source water you still need the cycling process to get them established

Live active/fast growing stem and floating plants are the simple answer to nitrate and ammonia in the source water-however, depending on the levels- smaller percent and more frequent water changes may be easier on the fish.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:35 PM   #10 
awesomeapril
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now their small tanks are cloudy doing a 50% water change
I sitill don't quite get whats causing the cloudiness, how can bacteria bloom so quickly?
Can't go to the pet store tonight :((
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