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Old 05-15-2011, 08:45 PM   #1 
Vayla
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Betta stench...

I got two bettas for my boyfriend (Adam) for his birthday. He used to have many of them, but he's never dealt with the problem we're currently having. We have 2 males, each in 1 gallon 'tanks'... they're actually candy bowls. There aren't any filtration sytems in them. There is a synthetic plant in one, and a decorative animal skull in the other. It was all purchased new, specifically for these fish. We got them on May 7th. We are currently using "Revive" water conditioner. Adam has been trying to establish a natural "filth"balance for them, so he's been replacing half of the water once every ten days. The problem we're facing is that the fish are incredibly dirty. They smell awful... they're actually stinking up the whole main floor of our house. They start to smell the day after Adam replaces half of their water. There is a crazy amount of scum that appears in their bowls soon after they're cleaned; there is a build-up of mucus that I've never seen before. The fish themselves seem mediocre. There aren't any obvious parasites, but they have lost a bit of color. Does anyone have any idea what is going on? Do we simply need to set up some kind of filtration system, or switch water conditioners, or is there something wrong with the fish themselves? I'm worried about the fish... no-one should smell that way!!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:54 PM   #2 
laughing
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Hi umm.... THEY'RE GONNE DIE! D:

1 gallon bowls need 100% water changes daily, if not 50% one day 100% the next.

There's no "filth build up" in a 1 gallon bowl. Please, please, please tell him he's horribly wrong and needs to do water changes!
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:59 PM   #3 
Burd
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1 gallon tanks can't properly cycle or as your boyfriend is putting it 'establish a filth cycle'... It's hard to do in a 5 gallon and easier the more water you have but a 1 gallon just will not do it. There is no excuse nor reason for betta fish to stink. Both of my 10 gallon tanks are smell-free.

Water changes need to be done at least every few days, ideally every day. It's a pain in the butt, yes, but if you don't, you get your fish 'stinking' and literally burning itself by ammonia in it's tank from it's feces. Try asking him if he'd like to live in a bathroom for a week locked in there without a flushable toilet. Might change his perspective. ;)

I didn't read whether you have a heater or not but if you don't have them, please get them. :( Your fish will thank you by acting far healthier and coloring up.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:31 PM   #4 
wallywestisthebest333
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^^^ Agreed. You really need to change their water 100% as soon as possible. I think I have a 100% change guide on my computer. I'll see if I can find it and copy it in this comment for you.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:44 PM   #5 
Neil D
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100% changes daily in bowls wont be too hard, but they've got to be done nonetheless! Agree with above comments^^^ good luck
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:58 PM   #6 
Vayla
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Thank you guys so much! He's getting the water changed as we speak. We will pick up some heaters asap. I guess he's been getting info from the wrong sources. He'll teach me to change the water, and I can help with the cleaning. I'm so ignorant when it comes to fish; my experience is limited, and this is proof of that. I will learn to care for them as much as I care for the other animals of the house!
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:00 PM   #7 
wallywestisthebest333
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Well I can't find it but it's really simple.

First off you need a home that's big enough to fit a heater.

If you want two tanks that you can cycle you'll want to buy a couple of 3 gallons or larger. 5 gallons are nice. Here's a particularly good 5 gallon. or you could go with this one which is glass; I have that one.

Then you'll want to read up on cycling here.

While cycling you'll either want to buy a liquid test kit and change the water before the ammonia levels get above .25 (where the bacteria actually die and it burns your fish like it is now, although you ammonia levels are much higher by now) or you could do partial changes of 25 or 50% every other day and get your water tested once or twice a week at your local petsmart or petco for free. They'll tell you your levels.

What you're looking for is a boom in ammonia, then a little bit later a fall in Ammonia at the same time that you get a boom in NitrITEs, then later on a fall in NitrITEs and a boom in NitrATEs.

When Ammonia and NitrITE are 0 ppm and NitrATE is above 0 and below 20 ppm then you're cycled. You'll want to do a 50% change once a week after that.

Keep in mind though, it could take over a month to cycle with your fish in their tanks.

Now HERE'S the directions for a 100% water change:

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING to make things easier on you and to make sure that your water is completely dechlorinated:
You'll want to buy 2 or more gallon jugs of water at your grocery store (they tend to be less than a dollar each) and then empty them.
Then you'll want to fill them with tap water.
Next add the required dose of water conditioner (I recommend Seachem's PRIME. It costs about 9 dollars for a small bottle BUT you get more water conditioner out of that tiny bottle than you do out of bigger ones because it only takes 2 drops to dechlorinate and treat 1 gallon of water. Really good bang for your buck) to each jug.
Next let it sit for at least 2 hours to dechlorinate or over night (I prepare my water the night before as it's easier on me that way. makes water changes faster) to make sure that it dechlorinates.
After the 2 hours or overnight period you go to your jugs and then tap and knock on the sides to make sure the bubbles of chlorine gas move to the top and escape the water. This usually takes me 5 or so minutes.

If you have a heater in there with them unplug it.

Wait for an hour or so until the water has cooled down.

Scoop your bettas into the cups they came in and then pour out water till the cup is only half full.

Take the bowls or whatever to the sink or a bath tub and empty them.

Wash them (DO NOT USE SOAP, that will kill them and make sure there's no soap on your hands) with only hot water scrubbing or rubbing the sides of the enclosure to make sure it's clean.

dry them with a paper towel inside and out.

place them back where they were.

Fill the enclosures with your pre-treated water from the jugs after tapping said jugs to make sure you've gotten rid of the chlorine gas.

Clean your heaters with hot water while scrubbing them with your hands.

Dry your heaters off with a paper towel. (so that you don't mix water with chlorine in it with dechlorinated water)

Put them back in your enclosures and plug them in.

At this point you take the cups with your bettas in them, take their lids off, and put them into their respective enclosures to float them in their new water.

As the water in the tank heats up so should the water in the cup this will help acclimate them to the temperature.

To acclimate them to the water you'll have to dip the cup into the watter just slightly to let little bits of water in every 5 minutes.

After 30 or 40 minutes your water should be back up to 76 - 82 degrees (wherever you set it) and you can let your fish swim out of the cup and into their enclosures.

Last edited by wallywestisthebest333; 05-15-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:05 PM   #8 
Vayla
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Adam is saying that he was told to have an "underwater bacterial growth in the rocks to establish pH". Does this apply??? There is no filtration system or heaters...
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:06 PM   #9 
wallywestisthebest333
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For better time estimates it usually only takes 2 minutes to clean/scrub the enclosures and the heaters if your tap water is already hot. the long part is mainly the dechlorination and the acclimation. I halve my time spent changing water by dechlorinating overnight.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:07 PM   #10 
wallywestisthebest333
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Adam is confusing that with cycling. I meant to link to the cycling sticky earlier but the link failed let me try again. if it works then you can look up at my really long post near the top and see a bunch of links...

You really don't need to mess with PH. fish will adjust to PH.

If your PH tends to swing a lot then you have soft water. If you want to stop PH from swinging then you could add crushed coral to your substrate. It will raise water hardness and it will keep your PH from swinging.

Is that what he was thinking of?

And the links are fixed now.

Last edited by wallywestisthebest333; 05-15-2011 at 10:11 PM.
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