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Old 01-05-2011, 01:05 AM   #1 
shinybetta
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Help! Emergency!

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 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? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Females, cories, albino BN pleco

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every other day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Dechlorinator

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? It hasn't
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? All but two of my females just lay on the tank ground, usually wedged under something, and only coming up for air or food
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I have not
Does your fish have any history of being ill? One affected fish has a history of being ill, one unaffected fish just recovered from something.
How old is your fish (approximately)? All bettas were obtained 6 months ago, but two who I purchased 1 1/2 months ago.

It is a sorority with 6 females. I have mopani wood, decorations, and some anacharis. They just lie on the floor, unless I put a net up to them, then they swim to the surface for food, before going back down.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #2 
CatherineMPLS
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Have you tested your tank water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH?
Have you tested your tap water's ammonia and pH levels?

How many cory cats and what species are in the tank... and are they very active?
Cories really should be kept in a group of 10 of the same species to thrive... 6 is okay... and 3 is really the absolute minimum. But I really don't recommend keeping them if you can't have at least 6 of the same species together.


You may be borderline overstocked in a 10 gallon tank. The bristlenose pleco will grow to 4-5 inches. Female bettas have varying sizes, but are approx an inch each. Then add in the cories.... definately over 10 inches of fish.


Also, your water change schedule seems a bit too frequent... I would never change 50% in an established/cycled tank unless it were an extreme emergency. But my tap water has a pH over 8 and the pH in my tanks around 6.7 -- which is a huge difference. Also, my tap water contains 1ppm ammonia.

So, in order to not abrubtly alter the pH and add excess ammonia I change 20-30% once a week in all of my tanks.

If the pH of your tap water and tank water are very close and you're using same temp water, then changing 30% every other day shouldn't be a problem.

If the pH or your tap water and tank water are not very close -- and you have ZERO ammonia/nitrite and nitrate between 5-20ppm -- I would recommend changing only 2 gallons once a week (which is 20% per week).

If nitrates are over 20ppm, then change a bit more water to get them down. But I'm guessing the anarchis helps keep the nitrates somewhat in check.

Stable water conditions (pH, temp etc) are very important to a fish's long term health. Fish can adapt to many different conditions, but get stressed when the conditions are constantly changing. The frequent water changes leave a lot of room for instability if you're not very careful.

Last edited by CatherineMPLS; 01-05-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:08 PM   #3 
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Yes the temp and PH are very close. And my shrimp and cories are fine.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #4 
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Are all 6 female staying on the bottom, hiding and are the cory cat and pleco acting okay?

You can either QT all the females or the affected females-or start doing some 50% daily water changes-make sure to add the correct amount of dechlorinator-don't add any salts to the 10g with the cory cats and pleco...you are over stocked a bit
Is the tank cycled and do you have any water pram numbers to post-check and make sure you don;t have any dead fish or other livestock in the tank that could be causing an ammonia spike
Do you vacuum the substrate-if so-when was it done last and filter media cleaning...how long has the tank been set up and stocked like this....
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #5 
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The tank has been set up for 6 months. The pleco is fairly new, like a week ago. I have a snail who I thought was dead, but was actually dormant. The pleco, cory cats and shrimp haven't changed their behavior at all. Only one female is never staying on the bottom, and another goes to the bottom but is very active down there. The worst is my CT female. She tries to get herself stuck under things and only comes up to breathe. I vacuum the substrate every time I clean. I have one female who has a record of being very sickly, but she is the healthiest right now.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:06 PM   #6 
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Do you have this info?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:


Just to confirm, you vacuum the gravel every other day?


Without knowing the water parameters.... it can be difficult to tell what's going on.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:09 PM   #7 
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I am going to buy a water test kit soon, but I don't have the money.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:18 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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I would limit the vacuum to once weekly

Are you sure the females are not behaving this way due to being chased/harassed by the other females and responding by trying to hide?
I would QT the CT female for sure...are you seeing any chasing by the other females......
Do you have live plants and if so how many and what kind

With your water changes I don't think it is a water quality problem per se, however, being over stocked between all the food and waste your levels can get out of whack pretty fast...I would do water only changes daily-re-home the pleco it is going to get too big for a 10g tank and they are poop machines to boot
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #9 
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The pleco is less than an inch long, but I will upgrade to a 20 gallon eventually. I have 4 or 5 stalks of anacharis. it has almost doubled in size since I got it, and it has many new shoots. What should I treat with? And the females aren't trying to hide from others. The least dominant female is the only completely healthy one.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:32 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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At this point I wouldn't treat until you know what is wrong...I would just QT with daily water changes and observe for now

Good that you have long term plans for your pleco

Its hard to say what is going on-I would double check the water temp, make a 50% water only change and add extra dechlorinated, QT the CT and observe.....
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