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Old 11-03-2010, 12:49 AM   #1 
SecondmateFlint
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Exclamation Too much salt in the tank? Urgent!

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? around 78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Two peppered Corys

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1x a week (not as faithful as I should be)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Salt and Tap water purifier

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Sitting in corner breathing really hard
When did you start noticing the symptoms? As soon as he got in the tank
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Just recovered from two popeyes
How old is your fish (approximately?) 16 months

So Badonkadonk was in isolation for a long time in a one gallon tank with popeye in his right eye, just as soon as his right eye was better, his left eye got popeye.

I finally was able to clean his five gallon tank with the two corys today. I rinsed all of the plants, ornaments, filter, raked the gravel, and cleaned the sides. When I was adding salt I was supposed to do one tablespoon but a lot came out of the container and I fear there may be as much as two and a half tablespoons.

I let Bdad and the two corys float in the tank to regulate their temperature for around 30 minutes but as soon as I let Bdad in, he almost immediately started breathing really, really hard and floating in the back corner of the tank. He also gulps air frequently.

What did I do to him? Is it shock or too much salt? I don't know what to do to help him.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:01 AM   #2 
Adastra
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
First of all, I would do a big water change to get out as much of that salt as possible as soon as possible. Bettas are hardy fish which can deal with salt on a treatment basis for about 7-10 days as needed, but cories are very sensitive scaleless catfish that do not deal with salt well at all. To be perfectly honest, you should return these two catfish to the petstore or rehome them through your local aquarium society or craigslist ASAP. These are social fish that need to be kept in groups of 6 or more--these are fish that swim in groups of hundreds to thousands in the wild. In small numbers they tend to get very stressed and do not live as long. A five gallon tank is simply not a suitable container for your betta to have fish as tankmates. Unless you upgrade to a tank that is ten gallons or larger, you will only be able to have shrimp and snails with your betta.

You also need to take more care with acclimating your fish. Allowing them to adapt to temperature is only one part of the acclimation process. Every few minutes you should be emptying out small amounts of water from the bag and replacing it with new water from the tank until the bag is roughly filled with only new water by the end of the 30 minutes.

You should also take the time to research the nitrogen cycle if you have not already. Poor water quality is likely what led to your betta's popeye problems--understanding the nitrogen cycle plays a major role in how you should be maintaining your fish tank.

Last edited by Adastra; 11-03-2010 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:10 AM   #3 
SecondmateFlint
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
I will do a big water change right now. I've had the two cats for nine months without any problems but I will try to find a new home for them. Either that or upgrade tanks.

I was not aware of the acclimation process besides temperature but I should have known better.

I slipped up in my betta care. I usually maintain a very strict regiment of water change once a week but I screwed up. Thank you very much for all the help.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:18 AM   #4 
Adastra
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Good luck with your water change and rehoming the cats--unfortunately there is often a very steep learning curve involved when you get into this hobby. Everyone makes mistakes--but you can always make up for it with a bit of research and extra attention. A lot has changed in this hobby over a relatively short period of time--we understand a lot more than we used to about how to properly care for different species of fish and how to maintain good water quality. Not everyone who gives advice or writes articles out there is in the here and now, however, so it's important to ask questions to multiple people (preferably not anyone who is trying to sell you anything) and look up multiple sources.
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:35 AM   #5 
SecondmateFlint
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
I changed 3/5 of the water and even though Bdad is still breathing hard he is at least moving around a little bit and swimming in the current. I don't know what else I can do for him tonight so I will watch him tomorrow. I think I'm going to try to get a 10 gallon for the cats. But I don't know if 4 cats and a betta is still way too much for a 10 gallon. I would just be very sad giving them up.

I will have to start really studying water quality. I keep a clean tank, but I don't know about all of the "behind the scenes" chemical changes that are happening. Thank you again for all of the help.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:32 PM   #6 
Adastra
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Unfortunately the behind the scenes stuff is actually the feature presentation, lol. You should do a bit of research and purchase a liquid master test kit, like this one: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...fm?pcatid=4454

The whole thing sounds a lot more intimidating than it really is. All you really have to do is test frequently and do changes according to the results for about 3 weeks--until the ammonia and nitrite are consistently 0ppm and your nitrate has spiked. Then you do one big water change and you're good to go. It's really not difficult and once you read through a couple of basic guides you'll find that the concept is extremely simple. :)

If you're serious about getting a larger tank for the cats and the betta, you should research how to do a fishless cycle before you add any fish. It's easier than doing it with the fish in the tank, and it also tends to go faster. If you're planning on adding a whole school of cories, it's really the most practical way to go about getting the tank set up.

Also, you should consider going a bit bigger on the tank size. Peppered cories are one of the bigger species of cory--they can get to be about 2.5 inches, if I recall correctly. You really couldn't get a nice, big school of that particular species in a ten gallon. If they were one of the smaller species like panda cories or pygmy cories, they would fit more easily. If you got a 20 gallon long style tank, you could easily fit in 8 cories, your betta, and heck--you could put in 6-8 Chili Rasboras or Celestial Pearl Danios if you wanted. They are both very small minnow species that have lovely coloration. I don't think you'd be able to get away with larger species like zebra danios or neon tetras, but you could manage a school of little ones.

Last edited by Adastra; 11-03-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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