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Old 05-02-2011, 05:08 PM   #1 
Tbibs
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Exclamation Please help! Very poorly fish and new to fish keeping

Hello,

Sorry this will be a long thread but I really need another opinion on the matter of my Betta fish.

A bit of background :

I have a large tank with: 3 Mollys, 4 Guppys, 2 Loaches, 4 Cardinals, 1 baby Molly
I also have a nice big plant that keeps growing and all my fish seem really happy.

I went to my fish shop and told him what I had in the tank and he assured me that a male Betta would be fine to put into the tank. I asked him especially knowing how proud I am of my Guppies tails! Anyway he assured me that all would be fine and I introduced him ( I have named him Pan) into the tank.

A day later I notice that one of my beautiful Guppy's tails has been bitten in half, another has been nibbled and a Molly's tail has nearly been bitten in half.

My partner and I decided that the best thing to do would be to go back to the shop and ask for advice. We all agreed to separate him in a smaller tank and on the pet shop owner's advice I put water from the existing tank into the new tank and filled the rest up with bottled water so it didn't have any chlorine in. I also have always used a product called "Stability" which got my old tank up and running in 7 days (I made sure of this by testing the water at the pet shop). I didn't want Pan to get lonely so I got 5 black neon tetras to live with him and everything seemed fine in the new tank.....


.......Until this morning when all of the tetra's were dead with Pan just floating at the top right hand corner of the tank above the filter. I figured that this was because the water hadn't cycled properly even though I was told it would be fine. I didn't know what to do and I panicked so I managed to make him a "holding pen" out of a large plastic bottle that is submerged into the old tank and secured at the top of the tank. It has small holes in for the water flow so that he could go into the old tank but not get to the other fishes.

As soon as he got in the old water he was doing much much better and the fish aren't bothered by him being there as he can't get out and they can't get in...

MY QUESTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

I know that the situation in my tank isn't ideal but I didn't want my Pan to die. I also realise that the lack of space for him to swim around in is really not great either but IF I let him out he will carry on his rampage through my fishies tails.. Tomorrow I am going to go and get a divider for my tank so that he can have his own section but:

1) will he be ok overnight in my makeshift holding pen and will this damage him? so far he isn't showing any signs of discomfort and is looking much better than when he was in the smaller tank.

2) I am really scared to put him into the new tank again but I am keeping it cycling over. Would he be ok to go into the new tank in a couple of weeks?

Sorry everyone! I know this is probably sounding horrific to experienced fish keepers but I am trying my best :)
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:05 PM   #2 
LolaQuigs
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How big are your tanks? Do you have filters? Heaters? The temporary container should be ok until you can get him something permanent, as long as the bottle is fish-safe (hasn't been washed with soap, etc.). I wouldn't add the Stability stuff when you try again, chemicals are usually unecessary and potentially harmful. I would also just use tap water, and add a conditioner/dechlorinator...Prime is a great brand. More info on your tanks and setups will help us figure out what might have gone wrong when you switched him over to to his own home.
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #3 
XiaoYu
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I'm not an expert, but I'll try.

First, the holding pen for Pan is OK. I've seen many people keep bettas or nippy fish in smaller pens all in one tank with solid dividers so that the betta(s) aren't in flare mode 24/7. It's safest for all fish involved.
I would watch his behavior. Bettas are known jumpers. If the water level is just right, and the target is in his sights, he may try to jump out and attack.

The person at the store obviously lied to you (or was just dumb). Any brightly colored fish that can resemble a betta is going to be attacked. Guppies are a target. Guppy fry are delicious.
From what I've read, bettas do get along with loaches and other bottom feeders. But I'm not experienced with bettas in a community tank.

From what he was doing in the new tank, it sounds like nitrite poisoning. Was he gasping for air/breathing with his mouth?

I would wait until the new tank is cycled before putting him in. Unless there are signs from the dead fish that they had some disease or signs of some other poisoning.

I'd also check pH and temp and all that too. Try to match the conditions he currently lives in. :)
I've always heard that the best way to start a new tank is to use some filter media from an already established tank.
If you can put a second foam/floss pad in the old tank's filter, it takes about 2 weeks for the bacteria to colonize, and then you can put either piece in the new tank filter and let it go and see how it handles.

Otherwise a tank can cycle in as little as 4 weeks if the temperature is kept at 80 to 85. (bettas like it warmer too)
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:50 PM   #4 
gbose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XiaoYu View Post
I'm not an expert, but I'll try.

First, the holding pen for Pan is OK. I've seen many people keep bettas or nippy fish in smaller pens all in one tank with solid dividers so that the betta(s) aren't in flare mode 24/7. It's safest for all fish involved.
I would watch his behavior. Bettas are known jumpers. If the water level is just right, and the target is in his sights, he may try to jump out and attack.

The person at the store obviously lied to you (or was just dumb). Any brightly colored fish that can resemble a betta is going to be attacked. Guppies are a target. Guppy fry are delicious.
From what I've read, bettas do get along with loaches and other bottom feeders. But I'm not experienced with bettas in a community tank.

From what he was doing in the new tank, it sounds like nitrite poisoning. Was he gasping for air/breathing with his mouth?

I would wait until the new tank is cycled before putting him in. Unless there are signs from the dead fish that they had some disease or signs of some other poisoning.

I'd also check pH and temp and all that too. Try to match the conditions he currently lives in. :)
I've always heard that the best way to start a new tank is to use some filter media from an already established tank.
If you can put a second foam/floss pad in the old tank's filter, it takes about 2 weeks for the bacteria to colonize, and then you can put either piece in the new tank filter and let it go and see how it handles.

Otherwise a tank can cycle in as little as 4 weeks if the temperature is kept at 80 to 85. (bettas like it warmer too)
I had the same experience. I put a betta in with (female) guppies. I was told it would be safe, as they are fairly neutral colored. And he killed them both....

Your small tank isn't cycled, and that's what caused the problem. Keep your betta in the divider bottle until you can get a proper tank divider --- hopefully tomorrow?

Good luck!

GB
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:42 AM   #5 
Tbibs
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Hey everyone,

thank you so much for the advice. Will update on tank size etc. when I get home from work and fortunately my partner is going to be looking after Pan today and getting him a tank divider so it will all be sorted by the time I get home from work. I will keep you all posted when I get back how Pan is but so far he is looking fine and happy and all my other fish seem to think it's great fun that they can see him.

Thank you all again for your help! what a relief!

:)
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:21 PM   #6 
Tbibs
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http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/m616/Tbibs/Pan.jpg


Happy to announce that my Pan is in his own section and is happy and much better! Thank you all for your help :D x
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:11 PM   #7 
gbose
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Originally Posted by Tbibs View Post
http://i1134.photobucket.com/albums/m616/Tbibs/Pan.jpg


Happy to announce that my Pan is in his own section and is happy and much better! Thank you all for your help :D x
Good luck! Keep us infromed of his progress
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:24 AM   #8 
Tbibs
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http://s1134.photobucket.com/albums/m616/Tbibs/


Pan day 2 in his section of the tank- thought I would post a better picture :)x
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:56 AM   #9 
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Pretty!
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:06 AM   #10 
Tbibs
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Thank you :D
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