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Old 03-26-2011, 08:06 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Bettas keep dying within 24 hours

I'm trying to set up my first Betta tank. The guy in the store said add the bacteria, wait 2 weeks and you should be good to go.... It wasn't good to go. Result was one poor dead betta

I got a testing kit and the Nitrite levels were off the scale. So I patiently waited until they dropped, and tried again (took another 3 weeks or so). Within 6-12 hours of introducing betta, a cotton like fungus started growing on his side. I gave him a dose Pimafix, but by the next night he was dead.

2 weeks ago I brought a new bettza from a different store and same thing happened, this time I tried Methylene Blue (horid stuff) and it still died by the following night.

Most of the blue stuff is now out of the tank now and I'm thinking about one more try... Not sure what's going wrong? When I introduce the fish, I let the bag float for about 15 mins, add 1/3 more water for 15 mins and another 1/3 for 15 mins and then carefully add fish to tank

Any suggestions? Details of tank are below.


What size is your tank? 5 Gal.
What temperature is your tank? 78F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Mystery Snail

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Not got to that point yet!
How often do you feed your betta fish? N/A


How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Aquasafe

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

Ammonia: <0.6 mg/L
Nitrite: 0-0.3 mg/L
Nitrate :5 mg/L
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?Keep getting cotton like fuzz on sides and mouth
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Floats near top
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 6-12 hrs after purchase
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Tried Pimafix last time and Methelyene Blue this time
Does your fish have any history of being ill? N/A
How old is your fish (approximately)? New from store
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MO
Start over completely, rinse everything really well. You may even want to try cleaning with diluted vinegar to get as much of the chemicals and medicine out as you can, then rinse and rinse many times. Also change your filter media and rinse the heater, filter, and decor really well. You may want to just get new gravel altogether. When you set up your tank again, don't use any additives except the water conditioner.

To cycle a tank you need to add ammonia (whether from a fish itself or from a safe source), and the bacteria will breed on their own. It will take at least a month.

To do a fishless cycle, add ammonia from a safe source--some people use pure ammonia, some use fish food, and some use a shrimp (from the seafood counter, not the aquarium store!). I prefer pure ammonia because it doesn't dirty the tank and it's easier to adjust the amount to what you need. If you do the pure ammonia method make sure you use pure ammonia without any surfactants or detergents, I got mine from Ace Hardware. Add enough to bring the ammonia levels to 5 ppm. After a few days you'll see nitrites, and after a few weeks you will see those nitrites spike. Once this happens, only add enough ammonia to keep it at 2 ppm. It won't be long before your nitrites drop and your nitrates spike. Once ammonia and nitrites are down to zero, do a big water change to bring your nitrates down to a lower level, and you are ready to add a fish! If you aren't going to get a fish right away, make sure you continue to add a little bit of ammonia so that the bacteria don't die.

Doing a fish-in cycle is also an option. With this one, all you have to do is fill the cleaned, rinsed tank with water (don't add anything but conditioner to the water). Make sure the temp is right, and acclimate the fish the exact same way you did before. Do two 50% water changes per week until the tank is cycled. Once cycled, do one 50% change per week.
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