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Old 07-15-2011, 02:33 AM   #1 
SageMyster
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Question Vinegar, fog, and ocean rocks, OH MY!

Hey, I'm Sage and I'm new around here. I got my little guy Harlot three days ago from Petco, where he was very poorly mistreated (no surprise there).

Since his fins are torn and jagged from improper maintenance/rough handling, I've put him on an aquarium salt treatment (he is on day two). He's currently in a 1gal aquarium with sponge filter, and his water went through a 100% change on Tuesday and a 75% change today. I tested his water levels, and the only thing out of the ordinary is a nitrite reading of .5 and a pH that may be a little high (7.8-ish)... strange, because he's going through regular water conditioning!

His water looked fine all day, until I left to dogsit for five hours. I just got home, and there's like a diluted clear smokey material rising from from the bottom of the tank. At first I thought it might be because I put a new "shelter" in for him today that may have had preservatives on it (it was a smooth coconut half-shell that used to have ice cream in it years ago... I've held on to it for a long, long time - and for the record I steamed it well before placing in the tank). So I took the coconut out and thoroughly washed it with vinegar, and it is now sitting in a cup of steaming water. But the steam-like substance is still there, floating towards the filter! What on earth is it, and what do I do?

Second, I wanted to make sure my method of sterilizing is the correct one, if in fact the coconut was the cause of the issue all along. Can something cleaned with vinegar be harmful to a Betta? What if it still smells like vinegar after I've left it out to sun-dry?

And my third and last question is, I found a very pretty rock at the beach several months ago that's been sitting on my counter, and I had the idea to place it in Harlot's aquarium. But since it still smells like the ocean and surely still must have some essence of salt on it, can it also be cleaned in such a way that it will not be harmful to my little guy... or should I just not risk it?

Thank you all so much in advance! I apologize for my ignorance, but this is just my third day of owning a Betta fish, and I want to make sure he is as happy and healthy as he can be!


Gratefully,

Sage
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:20 AM   #2 
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Could the smokey-looking stuff just be his natural bacteria floating around? SOS!
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:37 AM   #3 
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Strange, now the fog is gone! What could it have been? So odd!
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:42 AM   #4 
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Do another water change, bettas don't really need caves or shelters of any kind so you can get rid of the coconut. The best decor you could go with for bettas would be aquatic plants as they help keep the water clean. Get a heater for the tank if you don't have one already. What chemicals do you use to treat his water when you change it? Is the sponge filter seeded or cycled?
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:19 AM   #5 
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The filter is cycled and I use basic tap water combined with water conditioner, not including the salt treatments.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:28 AM   #6 
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I washed my hands thoroughly before putting my hand in his bowl to arrange a few things and remove some gravel - Harlot didn't mind at all. That couldn't have contaminated anything, could it have? I read that it wasn't harmful to a Betta, but... trying to throw ideas out there.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:11 AM   #7 
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hhhurrrmmmm Did you sand down all the fibers before you put the coconut in the tank? It should be fine.. :/
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #8 
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Yup! It's smooth as a baby's bottom. It actually came that way when I got it.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:01 PM   #9 
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Any suggestions about the rock I found at the ocean, anyone?
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:46 PM   #10 
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I had to boil my coconut for a few hours in a pot to release the tannins. It could be that the coconut had some sort of polish on it? I probably wouldn't use vinegar on a coconut..It is nice for cleaning used tanks and some decorations but it needs to be rinsed off really well. coconut is sort of porous and I would be worried about the vinegar still being on there. Usually boiling the coconut should be good at getting rid of anything harmful that could be on it. If it still smells like vinegar I would boil it and soak it for a few days to see if that helps with the vinegar smell.Also, soaking it will help with keeping an eye on anything that may be leeching into the water.
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