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Old 01-03-2011, 10:35 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Exclamation New Year's Troubles


Unfortunately, not so happy New Year for my 5 gallon betta tank at work.
There was a power outage on Friday morning -12/31/2010. I was off work until today and the power in my office didn't come back on until this morning.

Here's what I found when I got here... because of the power loss:
-Temp 57'F
-Filter not running
-No lights
-No Air Pump
-All inhabitants still alive
-Approx 1/2 an algae wafer with white fluffy stuff all over it
-More fluffy stuff on some of the plants
-Musty smells from the water

I assume this fluffy stuff is some sort of mold? I've never seen anything like it in any of my tanks before.
My first instinct is to move everyone to a temporary container, and scrub the whole thing, bleach dip the plants, wash the gravel.... essentially start over. But maybe this isn't necessary? I just don't want the stuff to spread and am not sure if a gravel vac along with daily PWC's will get everything out.

All equipment is up and running now. So in the meantime, I manually removed as much white stuff I as could and changed 1 gallon of water. Also, I am currently in the process of bringing the temp to 65'F, and then gradually bring it up to 70'F. I typically keep the temp at 78'F... so there's a ways to go to get to "normal."

I'm just not sure what the next steps should be

Thanks in advance for your advice!!
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:32 AM   #2 
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Just tested the water parameters:

pH 6.7 (Normal)

Ammonia 2.0 ppm (YIKES! So I just changed another 2 gallons & will test levels again soon. I do use AmQuel Plus which binds ammonia upto 1.2 ppm)

Nitrite 0.0 ppm

Nitrate 5.0 ppm (I did just do a water change before the Holiday weekend and didn't test it after the change... but I'm guessing that no new nitrate has been produced since then)

Can the nitrifying bacteria even live at 57'F? (It's possible it got even colder than that over the weekend)

I'm really starting to think my tank has "uncycled" and that I should clean everything and start over. And just keep my betta in a glass bowl during the fishless cycle. I have well established tanks at home that should help speed the process along.

My betta has ventured away from the heater and is swimming around now ... good sign I suppose :)
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #3 
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Location: Arkansas and Minnesota
The mold overtook one of my tanks (the house sitter didn't change the water in 2 weeks!). All I did was a full water change and focused on grabbing as many of those moldy things as possible. I read that there's always mold in the water, but if the quality gets too bad, then they start growing like you saw.

You're on the right track! Just keep bringing up the temp and changing water and everyone should be just fine :)
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:38 PM   #4 
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It's been a rough 1-1/2 weeks since this happened.

I brought the tank home (on Jan. 4th) so I could keep a better eye on things without being distracted by work. I continued with daily water changes, rinsed and bleach-dipped the plants and everyone seemed completely fine.

My betta looked healthy, fins looked good when I put his mirror in, he had a good appetite, no signs of illness at all.

Monday morning (Jan 10th) I noticed a very small "hole" toward the end of his tail and fuzzy stuff around the hole. I added aquarium salt.

Monday night, the hole was noticably bigger. Water change and aquarium salt.

Tuesday morning, The hole was no longer a hole. The "fuzz" had eaten away a lot of his tail and started to grow on his body. Did a water change and added BettaFix. He did eat his pellets and he was swimming around the tank in his usual manner.

Tuesday night... tail getting even worse. Tried to find a fungus treatment product at a LFS without any luck. Purchased Jungle Fungus Eliminator online.

Wednesday morning, I found him dead with fuzzy stuff all over his tail and some of his body. It almost looked like someone dipped his tail in acid and it just dissolved away :(

Thursday... Fungus Eliminator delivered by UPS. Too late.

I can't believe he went from "normal" on Sunday.... to dead on Wednesday.

Super sad. If only Comcast had never hit that power line underground and blew the transformer on New Year's Eve. Poor little fishy!
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #5 
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Sorry to hear that, you probably did all the wright things. His immune system was probably stressed by the temp. drop and ammonia build up. I no a lot of hobbyists don't like salt but I have been using it for many years (non iodized) with great results. Some things we cant control...
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