Hello everyone, firstly I'd just like to say that I'm a long time reader since I got my betta nearly a year ago. And I love the fact that everyone here is so passionate about betta's, its a very lovely thing to have such a community like this.
Basically I have a 20l tank, which is think is about 5gls. Which my betta, Freddy, shares with 10 Neon Tetras and 2 Cory-dora Catfish.
As an amateur, I only have a PH testing kit, PH is currently neutral, I use regular tap water when I do water changes, but I use an additive which removes chlorine, chloramines and ammonia from tap water. I do a 50-75% water change once or twice weekly depending on how busy I am.
Last week one of my neons died, I can't say how long he was in there for as I was asleep, what I do know is, my water heater failed during the night and because it is winter here in Australia the tank temperature dropped to about 15degrees Celsius, I usually keep it between 22-25 degrees.
Since the neon died Freddy has seemed a little odd, usually all day hes racing along one side of the walls of my tank, like a dog chasing a ball, in the last week however he has been lying on the rocks in the bottom of my tank or hiding in the plants. He also had a small white lump on his head which I identified, I believe as Itch. For the last week I have been treating the entire tank with a general antibiotic. And I did a 75% water change when I got home from work the day the fish died.
Enclosed is a picture of the tank when I first got it, its primarily the same setup today.
PS. I received Freddy at a wedding I attended, everyone couple who attended the wedding got one, I'm very glad I was given Freddy as it sparked a whole new love for me, unfortunately others were not very pleased and I'd say about 25 poor bettas lived quite sorry, and possibly short lives, please spread the word not to give these as pets in scenarios like this if you every hear of them, looking back on it I am quite horrified they could have done such a thing.
Thanks in advance, if you need anymore information please ask :)
Hello and welcome to the forum. First off, I agree that bettas aren't wedding favors unless you know that each and every person attending the wedding will take care of them, like if you invited only members of your Betta Appreciation Club or something. So I will be sure to spread the word.
Secondly, I think it is quite possible your tank is overstocked which means ammonia is building up very fast. Also, bettas like their personal space and with 9 tetras and two corys, it's a little crowded. I'd suggest either getting Freddy his own tank or upgrading your existing tank to at least a 10g (about 38 L), maybe more.
Did Freddy have any other lumps aside from the one on his head? Ich makes a fish look like he has been dusted with sea salt so there will usually be many small spots. He may have had a missing scale, possibly from a tetra nipping at him.
I think the reason he isn't feeling good is because he is in an overcrowded environment with too much ammonia possibly. Five gallons is one big enough for one single betta, no other fish. Corys need at least 10 gallons and need to be in groups of at least 3, preferably five. The tetras also require about 10 gallons. I would definitely separate the betta. He must have been having a hard time with too many tank mates and not enough space and hiding places.
I'd just like to mention regaurding the over crowding, that he has been sharing this tank with the same amount of fish for about 9 months and has not had an issue with it, he actually enjoys chasing them around.
He had one on his head and one very small one on his back.
What size is your tank? 10l
What temperature is your tank? 22-25 degress celcius
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I think so
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Neons, Corydoras
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Blood Worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day with about 3 worms.
How often do you perform a water change? Once or Twice weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% or 75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Zyme + and Stress Coate +
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?White spot on head and lower spine
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Resting on the bottom of the tank, seems lazy, not as active
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? One dose of Melafix daily.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for 10 Months, he was the same size he is now when I got him.
Well, bettas do come from pretty still waters so the current could be playing a part in things. Try a filter baffle and see if that helps. Maybe chasing around his tankmates wears him out, too? I'd suggest if you intend to keep all of them in the 10 L tank that you up your water changes to 50% three times a week and 100% once a week, more if you can handle it. Even with a filter, you have a lot of ammonia building up pretty fast and your biofilter could crash, causing you to lose all of your fish. I'd say a 38 L/10 G tank would be better for the cory cats and the tetras and let Freddy have his own tank. If you do upgrade to a 38 L, you can get two more cory cats and they will be happier in a group. Definitely don't add any more fish to a 10 L.
The spots could be and likely are ammonia burns. They are greyish in color. To prevent these, up your water changes or get a bigger tank. It's also possible the spots are missing scales, which can happen to a betta with tankmates. Keep an eye out and make sure none of the tetras are nipping at him or that he's getting spiked by one of the cory cats. You probably don't need to continue the melafix unless you want to, though.
Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems....I know it sounds like we are ganging up on you...we are not....like you, we only want what is best for your fish........
As posted the 5gal filtered tank is overstocked and poorly stocked...... the fish may seem happy swimming together for 10 months.... it was just a matter of time before things went bad.... now a problem is starting to show up in the form of dead and sick fish due to the root cause of over/poor stocking.........it was just a matter of time......
You can't properly meet the needs of all the fish in that size tank long term.....and the only way to fix it...is a larger tank, another tank or re-home some fish.....
Right now-I would get the Betta in a small QT container and start aquarium salt 1tsp/gal treatment along with 100% daily water changes for 10 days
In the 5gal-I would start 50% daily water only changes for 2 days-then 50% with deep vacuum weekly and 25% water only mid week on a regular bases at that bioload without the Betta in the tank....
It was just a matter of time before things went wrong...but its an easy fix and by the sound of your post...... you want what is best for your wet-pets and just received some bad advice..........
Keep us posted.....and I know you will do the right thing...I can tell by the way you write......if you didn't care you wouldn't have asked.......
Hi Bakesale, how is it going? Have you made any decisions about what to do? Just to let you know, Oldfishlady really knows her fish and I always respect her advice. I'm sure you'll make the right decision. Keep us posted, okay?
Hey guys thanks the replies, I've decided to upgrade to a 100liter tank, 5 times the current siZe I have, I should have the tank ready in about 3-4 days, is it a good idea to isolate Freddy for the next 3-4 days and introduce him to the tank with the other fish or keep him isolated for the next 10 days?
The only problem I have with isolating him is that I dont have another heater to keep Freddy at a steady temp.
Wow, 100 liters. Lucky you, I wish I had room for a tank that big. As for isolating Freddy . . . hmm. If you follow OFL's advice and put Freddy in a small QT container with salt, then you can keep him isolated for 10 days. I'm not 100% sure but it may be better for him to be in the salt at room temp. That will give you plenty of time to get the tank up and running. I'm not sure about cycling the tank though. I know both tetras and cory cats can be very sensitive to water quality so if you plan to cycle the tank with the fish in it, you'll have to keep the water super clean for a few weeks, at least until the biological filter stabilizes. One thing you can do is put some gravel and/or the filter from the old tank into the new tank. This will really speed up the cycling process.
What kind of cory cats do you have? I'm hoping to get some panda corys for my tank soon. I'd love some pygmy corys but I can't find any around where I live.