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Old 05-31-2011, 12:53 AM   #1 
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Thumbs down I keep loosing fish, what do you think I'm doing wrong?

I got my first fish (betta) late this last winter. Since then that betta died, four shrimp, and my current betta has what I believe to be dropsy (bloated, raised scales... currently have him in a salt bath in clean water and covered but from what I've heard it's not very curable.)

I have a filtered (it has zeolite in it, which works wonderfully but makes it difficult to cycle. I've had no readings of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate) and heated 5.5 gallon tank with plants (java moss and anubis). The temperature hits a constant 74 F (well, except now where I've raised the temperature to low 80's) I use Prime on all my water changes, where I do about an 80% water change at least every week, sometimes more if the fish are loosing color or showing other signs of stress (particularly this betta, he's black and red but will turn transparent at the slightest sign of stress.) The fish were all at separate times (the shrimp were between the two bettas). Whenever I check the levels the ammonia is 0 the nitrite is 0 and the nitrate is 0. (I've never had it show above 20 ppm) Between each pet I've cleaned everything in very, very hot water, certain pieces in light bleach. This current betta has lived just over a month in my care. The shrimp died in about a week. The first betta survived about 2 weeks.

Stress seems to be constant with both bettas. The first betta I put in a 1 gallon, realized that wasn't okay and bought a 5.5 gallon. Then he got the filter. So I thought stress killed the first betta.

The shrimp died so fast I decided it was probably poor acclimation. I've heard shrimp were sensitive- but I did it much like I did with a betta (let it sit, ad some water from the tank, let it sit, scoop out and place in tank w/o water from old tank) However, this is when I put the plants in. I intended to have a planted shrimp aquarium. However, way too disappointing.

This last betta had to survive a move from the dorms and into my apt. However, I thought he was doing alright. I left for 3 days and came back to him being so sick. I changed the water before I left. (and the fact he hadn't eaten in 3 days is what makes me sure he wasn't just bloated)

If he dies I'm not very sure I want another fish, but I loved all the fish I've had. But I feel like a perpetual fish killer. I don't want to have to put another fish through death for my own company. I just don't know what more I can do for them. I don't want to stress them out too much, especially since I think the first betta died of stress...

(Note: it's midnight here, my room is spinning, and this is a VERY long post. I apologize- posting it anyways)
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:00 AM   #2 
Arashi Takamine
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Location: Cerulean City.
I think you should probably try a different water conditioner. Also perhaps it's the place you've gotten the animals from? Like did you get them from Petco, Petsmart ect. How do you rate their fish care specifically on the betta's from 1 being the worst to 100 being the best you've ever seen?
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:46 AM   #3 
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Sometimes it isn't you but rather the place you purchase from. Most forum members have their WalMart bettas die within months, PetSmart bettas with disease, etc. Try buying from a different place that cares for their fish well!
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:42 AM   #4 
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
I dont think its the Prime at all. Get Stability from Seachem and add that to the tank as well as the Prime. I found my 1 special boy at a garden nursey that sells fish and he was in just a glass of water that I had to get him. I didnt think he would make it but hes doing well!

Product Description
StabilityŽ will rapidly and safely establish the aquarium biofilter in freshwater and marine systems, thereby preventing the #1 cause of fish death: "new tank syndrome". StabilityŽ is formulated specifically for the aquarium and contains a synergistic blend of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria which facilitate the breakdown of waste organics, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Unlike competing products, the bacteria employed by StabilityŽ are non-sulfur fixing and will not produce toxic hydrogen sulfide. StabilityŽ is completely harmless to all aquatic organisms as well as aquatic plants, thus there is no danger of over use. StabilityŽ is the culmination of nearly a decade of research and development and represents the current state of the art in natural biological management.

My brother and I found since we started using Stability we have suffered less fish deaths due to unknown causes.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:28 AM   #5 
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The Stability mentioned above is a great product.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:55 AM   #6 
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I agree. It's probably where you got the fish from and the fish's own individual sucseptibility (I'm a horrible speller, sorry!) to stress and other factors. There is also the possibility that the fish have been ill even before you bought them which means that this would of happened to anyone. You are giving your fish the best life possible! Trust me, you're a great fish keeper. You're just trying to provide the best life for your fish as possible. I'm sure there are thousands of Bettas out there that would kill to be under your care! Many excellent fish carers feel like they have been "cursed" or have "bad luck" with fish when in reality it's normally just the fish that have a disease or are not good at handling stress. Hope this makes you feel better! :)
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:59 PM   #7 
Join Date: Dec 2010

I think your problem is just that your tank hasn't cycled. If all your readings are zero, then it certainly hasn't.

I had the same problem; thought my tank had cycled and it hadn't. I lost 2 bettas in quick succession, and then started over. I did a fishless cycle with ammonia, and put in a new betta after that was over....

I'd do daily 25-50% water changes for the next few weeks, until you get the right readings (ammonia and nitrites zerio, nitrates > 0).

Good luck!

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Old 06-01-2011, 08:01 AM   #8 
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try petco betta bc that there job to take care of the betta. and the people that work at petco they love animal .wal mart worker they just throw them in a cup then feed it and change the water out ever 2 week .
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:20 AM   #9 
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I got one from petsmart and one from and individual reatailer. The petsmart fish LOOKED more healthy then I've ever seen them in petsmart/petco/walmart type stores. They still had them in cups and what not, but they were a bit larger and all looked clean. The one from the other (less known) retailer came to me strong, but clearly under stress. He's always been the one to show the greatest reaction to stress and changes. I don't know if it was their care or just being hassled too much, but I've never seen him as gray/brown as when I first got him.

As far as cycling I've tried fishless cycling, but due to my filter I cannot get enough ammonium to stay in the tank for the cycle to start. The zeolite does a really good job of sucking all of it out of the water.

He's actually looking a bit better. I've had him in the hospital tank and the swelling has gone down somewhat. He's looked darker than he ever has since moving... What are the chances of it just being bloat if I had been gone for 3 days without being able to feed him and it developing over those three days?
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:17 PM   #10 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Maybe take the zeolite (?) out, until your tank cycles? just a thought...

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