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Old 01-02-2011, 08:51 PM   #1 
BettaCavy
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Re-Starting after Betta Death--Hoping for advice

First off, a HUGE thanks to everyone who offered advice in my previous thread. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, Oscar the Betta did die :( However, I am not giving up on Bettas, so any advice on how to improve what I'm doing would be really appreciated. So here's what I know of how Oscar progressed in the past two weeks since he's been in my house:

WEEK 1
Oscar is purchased at Petsmart and transferred to a half-gallon plastic tank. I don't know when/if his water was changed or how often he was fed, but when I got him on 12/28 (he was a gift from my parents), his gravel was littered with fish flakes. He was kept in my dad's office in the basement, where the room temp was probably between 65 and 75.

WEEK 2
12/28: My parents gave me Oscar. He was in the half-gallon tank. I did a 25% water change (the water seemed very dirty) and treated with what was probably too much dechlorinator. He stayed in the basement (again, room temp between 65 and 75)

12/29: Woke up, did another 25% change, tried to feed Oscar. He was stationary, lurking at the top of the tank behind a plastic plant. Went to Petsmart and picked up a 2gal tank, a heater, pellet food & freeze-dried brine shrimp. Tried to feed Oscar pellets and brine shrimp. Took a little nibble of brine shrimp, but refused pellets and I took the pellets out after a few minutes. Fully set-up tank.

12/30: Woke up, tried to feed Oscar, he refused. Did 25% change. Similar activity to the day before (which is to say, not much). After tank had been set up and running for 24 hours, began to move Oscar over. Took 4 hours, each time adding ~20% new water to tupperware container full of old water floating in the new tank. Oscar darted around, was more active than I'd ever seen him. After 4 hours, introduced him to new tank. Swam around and seemed happy.

12/31: Tried to feed Oscar, he refused, did 25% change. Swam around a little more than he had in the smaller tank but did not swim around as much as the night before. Mostly stayed near the top, by the heater.

1/1: Tried to feed, he refused. Did 50% change. Similar activity to day before. Oscar's fins, which had been very crimped, began to expand a little more and he gained a bit of colour.

1/2: Did 50% change, did not offer food. Went to Petsmart to get an adjustable heater instead of the pre-set, introduced to tank at ~3:00pm. Oscar was very interested in the heater (set to keep tank at 78F) and swam around it. At ~5pm, tank temp was at 71 and Oscar was swimming around. He would occasionally sink to the bottom, stay there for a few minutes, then dart up and start swimming around again, only to go back and repeat. At ~7pm, tank temp was at ~75F and Oscar was swimming around pretty energetically. His fins had become much more normal looking although his stomach looked rounder than I would have liked and his mouth was moving a lot as though he were gasping for air although he would do this while he was sitting at the bottom. He had begun to get colour in his body. I went down to dinner, then came back up at ~8pm to find his dead body sitting at the bottom of the tank, looking healthier than he ever had except that his fins weren't moving.

Oscar was my first fish, and I honestly didn't expect him to live this long because of how terrible he looked when I got him. My dad and brothers know nothing about Bettas (I originally was going to purchase one for myself, after I'd done quite a bit of research on them, but was waiting for birthday money to come in so I could afford the setup I wanted) and I'm pretty sure that the week he spent in my dad's office basically involved flake food being delivered whenever they remembered to feed him. Plus, most of the Petsmart Bettas look sick anyways...however I really want to keep a Betta (alive, preferably) and so would be interested to see if anyone has advice about what to do next time before I get another one. Also, is there anything special I have to do to my tank to get rid of dead fish germs or is it okay? I have enclosed a picture of dead!Oscar at the bottom. Like I said, this is the healthiest he has looked in the time I have had him.

Thank you all so much!

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Old 01-02-2011, 09:12 PM   #2 
fredythefish
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Alrighty, i'm sorry about your fish! Here's alllll of my advice.

I honestly think a 2 gallon is too small. 2.5 g at the least! BUT if you want to keep your fish at it's maximum health get a 3+ gallon with a filter, adjustable heater, thermometer....

Get the highest quality food.. i would avoid flakes as main food source. Get water conditioner that is acceptable for betta's. Try to get fake plants that won't tear at his/her fins.

With a 3 gallon (or if you decide to keep your 2 g) do 1- 50% and 1-100% water changes weekly. (I could be wrong on this though...)

Heating- i would say keeping your tank at 79* is the best so that way, when it gets sick you can increase the heat. If it does get sick, you'll want to keep at QT bowl, either .5 or 1 g bowl. Keep aquarium salt, and epsom salt on hand.

Don't overfeed either!

Good luck. You can ask me questions even though i'm not a total expert!
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:08 PM   #3 
KennyBooBear
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Bugger.

Having bought my Betta on Friday from Petsmart, I think there's something in that blue water that drowses them out. He just sat there in the jar almost as though he was lethargic. I picked him up as he had the better colors of the rest (although after going to Petco today I found that they have a really nice selection of Bettas, crowntails, halfmoons etc.) and after getting him into a more proper aquarium, he really came to life. So in short, they may not be as sick as they appear lol

Best of luck this go around. I'd give advice on a tank setup but I probably don't have an optimal setup due to me having no tank heater (namely because my water temp. is stuck at 79-80F without one) but this is what all I've gotten/done but will say what I'm doing and maybe it can give some insight on what to and/or not to do.

Have a 10 gallon tank (obviously with a lid and lights, don't need ole fishies jumpin out.) De-chlor, API's Stress Zyme (to help promote a proper tank cycle, woo bacteria!), freeze dried brine shrimp and blood worms, oddly enough he also seemed to dig into the Algae wafer for my Oto......

Temperature is a huge thing for these fish as I've come to realize. And have salt on hand for when they're sick. I've got 2 teaspoons of aquarium salt added for my 9 gallons of water, though I've been informed I shouldn't regularly add salt as a preventative because it makes the fish more susceptible to disease when/if it does rear it's ugly head and less likely that the salt will take much effect.

With a tank of your size, as was stated above, from the information I've gathered, you'd probably want to flush the water at least 100% and 50% weekly.

Hope this go around is much less stressful for both you and good ole fishy. Sucks that he succumbed AFTER he got someone to take care of him. How's that for irony? Cheers
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:24 PM   #4 
HayrideHaunter
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aww, I'm sorry...but Oscar paved the way for new and healthier fishies! And of course he is in the big ocean that is fishie heaven, so he is happyful now =)

Sorry I have no advice to offer, but good luck with your next fish!
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:54 AM   #5 
Stardancer
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Also, is there anything special I have to do to my tank to get rid of dead fish germs or is it okay?
I've heard from others that the best thing to do is wash everything in really hot water (no soap).

I'm pretty new, but it sounds to me like your next betta has a much better shot at living. You've got decent food and a heater, which is good. Remember that pellets and freeze-dried food need to be soaked before feeding.

Also, fredythefish was right about the water changes. I'm not sure about the exact amount, but in a tank that small, you probably do want to do about one 100% and one or two 50% changes a week. 25% isn't enough to make much of a difference.

Good luck to your next fish :)
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:02 AM   #6 
dragonfair
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So sorry about your little guy.

I'm certainly not the most experienced, but there are a few general things every betta needs: warm clean water, places to hide & explore, food. There's sooo much info on this forum - you'll find everything you need to know here.

Don't go out and try to buy a whole new set-up. Two gallons is perfectly fine for a betta. Just remember, if your tank doesn't have a filter: the smaller the tank, the more frequently you have to change the water, because clean water is one of the most important things you can give a betta. For a tank that small a lot of people recommend 100% water changes at least every other day or every 3 days. I do it differently than that in my 3 gal tanks & my guys are fine. I also don't have gravel, so that makes it easier to upkeep multiple tanks... IMO.

Bettas are pretty hardy little fishies, but they are tropical so the right water temperature is also a must. What people say varies, but the average seems to be 78-82 degrees. It's good that you got an adjustable heater. They're easier to control.

Hmm.. let's see... you're conditioning the water. Oh, if you don't have a top on your tank, make sure you keep the water level low enough that your fish doesn't try to jump out.

I don't soak my pellets before feeding them, but I do feed one pellet at a time and make sure they eat it before giving the next one. People do it differently but I feed mine 3 pellets in the morning and 3 in the evening. It seems to be the magic number for mine. Everyone is different.

Good luck with your next one!
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #7 
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I would go to petco to buy a betta. They have a better selection of tail types and colors. I usually see healthier fish their too.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:32 AM   #8 
jschristian44
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hey
i bought my walmart betta male that looks almost identical to yours. they could be twins. but so far he's outlived any fish i ever had. he wouldn't take the goldfish flakes so i searched online and found betta bio-gold pellets. he eats them, just when he wants to. and honestly, i think thats what killed your fish. you fed him pellets, but he didnt eat them right away so you took them out. i pour about 4 small pellets in Leon's tank and he eventually eats them. i do that once in the morning and once at night. i also just got some bloodworms for a snack. by chance, did your fish just linger at the top all the time and didnt swim hard at all? i think he might have had indigestion or whatever they call it. when they dont look like they move around at all, feed them a frozen pea that has been microwaved for 10 seconds. just one pea. split it up in like 4 halves and put each piece in seperate. watch them gobble it up. your not supposed to feed them peas unless they dont look like they can swim or look half dead. do tons of research, this forum is the best for stuff like that, but google stuff too. it seems like your fish bowl size was fine, as well as your water. so that wouldn't have killed him. i just think he had swimmer's bloat or whatever and thats what killed him. but honestly after reading your entire post, i think it was the pellets you took out. they are really really picky eaters, which is not a good thing. get some betta bio gold pellets, sprinkle 3 or 4 of them in the tank and just let them sit there. you will see eventually they will be gone. some sink but not usually. they should just disappear slowly as the fish eat them. good luck in the future. and i couldn't help but lol when you said this was the healthiest he looked in the dead picture lol.
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