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Old 08-12-2011, 04:25 AM   #11 
Sakura8
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Thank you Bahamut! *giant bear hug*
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #12 
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Good Morning fellow fish friends.

Sakura - How are you this morning? Guess it is pretty early out your way yet.

Thanks for taking a look at the pics. I'm glad the paleness underneath is not a huge worry. I have heard that when they are sick, their bellies get white. Well, the pic shows the face but a little bit of the belly is also whitish as you can see from the side shot.

Also, he is not as bloated as he looks there, but I agree that he might be a tad constipated. I think just for good measure, I am going to try a pea this morning as there were no excrements in his little QTank this morning and I do know that he ate and kept down several small pellets and there is no throw up or anything else either.

Oh, and no, he is not a big fish. I think I just got really close up with my phone to take the pics. heheh He's about an inch and a half without the finnage and not too fat these days either since he skipped a few meals.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:52 AM   #13 
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Good morning, SVC. Yes, it's about 9 AM here. For some insane reason I get up at 6:30 AM every day to feed my cats but I'm a night owl who didn't go to bed until 4AM. I'm crazy. How are you today?

Princess Goldie has a cute face, does he have blue eyes? (when I was in 3rd grade, my very first betta was a red betta named Princess. ^_^)

If you try pea, make sure to use either fresh pea or NO SALT ADDED frozen peas. Boil it for 3 minutes, then soak it in ice water for 1 minute. Cut it in half and remove a piece from the inside of the pea, no bigger than one of his fish pellets. I can't remember, did I tell you to put him in epsom salt? You can, if you feel he needs it to help stimulate his system. It's 1 tsp per gallon.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #14 
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Hello Bahamut285, thanks for taking a look here. You must be the chemistry genius Sakura spoke of. Also, I sincerely apologize for how lengthy my posts have been. I think I have been through so much with this tank that I am afraid to leave anything important out because as of this moment, there are so many unknows and any piece of the puzzle might help figure out what is going on. I really take my hat off to you for getting through most of it.

So, in answer to your questions;

a) How often and how much have you been changing the water in the attempt to fix your pH? I haven't been doing anything yet to fix pH. I only found out my pH is off the last few days since I got the Master test kit. I noticed that my pH is always higher after a w/c and then sinks all the way down to minimum on the colour chart by the next night.

b) Do you know the KH or dKH of your water? Unfortunately, no clue. I don't have a test for that and wouldn't know where to begin.

c) How often and how much do you normally change your water? Usual maintenance is once a week w/ a 25% water change. I've been told any more could stress/shock the fish.

Another thing you can do for me is to leave a bucket of freshly treated water over the course of 24h, testing it periodically. Sure thing! So I add the dechlorinator I normally use to the water in the bucket?

For your ammonia spike, low pH can cause your beneficial bacteria to cease functioning, or at least under perform. They don't like it, xD Ah I didn't know that, but isn't it also true that having a low pH will reduce the toxicity of the ammonia to the fish? If my pH increases, and I still have high ammonia, my fish will get sicker right?

As it stands right now, my *personal* course of action would be to do the largest water change you can physically do (something like 95%). I believe that the amount of medication you have been using may have caused some disruption in your water's buffering capacity, and still lingers. Ok, dumb question alert: if I change out 95% of the water, won't I be getting rid of too much of any possible good bacteria I still have? Also, am I just removing water without gravel vac'ing? Incidentally, since my fish are out of the tank now, I did do a 50% w/c yesterday so still change out 95% or do another 45-50%?

I will check back on this tomorrow! I hope your tetras and betta get well soon :) Thank you! Unbelievably, the tetras are still kicking, and the betta is none too pleased with me at being in that small QT container :(

I will check my parameters until about noon tomorrow and post the results.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:27 PM   #15 
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A fellow night owl like myself! I usually don't go to sleep before 2 or 3 am either since it is the only peace and quiet time I have after husband and kids finally sleep! However, I try to watch some shows I have pvr'd at that time as a way to wind down otherwise I can't just get in bed and sleep.

Yes, Princess the Goldie is very cute (thank you) and amazing how they all have such different personalities and are quite smart! Speaking of smart, I think I have figured out the reason she was hiding under the clam shell. I think this past few days there has been so much going on in the tank with me taking the tetras out and putting them in their QT and then trying to clean those white flakes out with a net that I think he was scared he was going to get netted or meet a similar fate. Hiding under there meant I couldn't net him probably. Poor thing. I did manage to just scoop him into the container though as he was swimming along the top so no mean net for him.

I can't tell really about the eye colour as it looks very dark. I would say black. There is an iridescent part around the eye that is bluish though, I think that is the under eye though and it's cute how they have eyelids. lol I never noticed till I started inspecting him up close. Oh, and that is really cute about your first betta named Princess! Was it an actual female betta? My daughter didn't care when I explained that this betta was actually male. She said Princess the Goldie is going to be "her" name. Ok, then. She actually picked the red one because she figured the blue ones were boys. lol

Now, about the pea... Yes, I did feed it to him and he gobbled it up! Yay! Only thing is I had already fed it when I got your message about the no salt part. I had a mini panic and checked the bag. They are frozen Green Giant peas and there was no ingredients list on the bag so I assume there are just peas in there and nothing else. The caloric information on it did say 150mg sodium per 3/4 cup but isn't that the natural sodium the peas would contain? I guess if there had been added salt, there would have had to have been ingredients listed on the package. I didn't boil it for three minutes though. I boiled water and put the pea in there for several minutes in a small espresso cup and when I went to it the water was cool already so I peeled it and gave it a quarter of the pea cut into pellet sized pieces. I had actually read this online a while ago. I did not do the epsom salts though since I had read in a few places that it is best to try the pea first and leave epsom salts as a last resort because it can stress the fish out sometimes. Hopefully he'll "go" soon. I did see a few small whitish specs on the floor of his container though when I gave him the pea. Could that be poop? They weren't his normal brown mounds though. The tetras on the other hand did have a few normal looking poops in there.

I need to change out their water now. Should I just replace it with 100% fresh water from the tank? It already matches in temp and has been treated since yesterday.

Btw, the really sick tetra has some more colour back today. He still didn't eat but he doesn't look as pale as yesterday. I am going to put in another couple of drops of rid ich in there today and see if he continues to improve. These guys sure are resilient little buggers!
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #16 
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Yes, you're probably right about the reason why he was hiding. I do know they hide when they scared, stressed, or sick. Or mad at you. One of mine hides in his cave when he has to be fasted. But he seems to be afraid I'll forget about him so he pops his head out every few minutes as if to say, "Just to let you know, I'm still mad at you" and goes back in.

Haha, no, my Princess was a male too. I don't remember, I don't think anyone at the pet store bothered to explain to my parents and me that it was a male. He was a bit darker red, if I remember correctly. But that's funny your daughter thinks the blue ones are males and the red ones are female.

Yup, sounds like you did the pea right. As long as it's fully cooked and softened and you don't feed too much. Frozen brine shrimp is actually an even better option for constipation since it's meaty and bettas are carnivores but peas work great in a pinch, I've used them before. I usually head straight for epsom salt though if my fish are having trouble. It's funny, most people here on the forum would say use the PEA as the last resort and go for the epsom salt first. It's all a matter of personal preference though.

Can you describe those whitish specs? How big were they?

You could use the water from the tank, sure. That would work great.

It's funny, I'd always heard tetras were delicate lil things that needed a specific pH or they'd curl up and die. I'm glad to hear they're actually quite hardy because I'd like a few for my community tank. I'm glad the sick one seems to be doing better, good for it!
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:24 PM   #17 
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Mhmm, what I have gathered in my short two months of betta ownership, is that they LOVE to eat when they are well! I get such a kick out of the way PTG will snap his head back and forth while eating the pellet - just like a lion ripping meat apart. They definitely don't like food being withheld. Funny how yours gets mad at you. It's like you can see that look on their faces. Bettas have a generally turned down mouth anyway which makes them always look kind of irritated, but when they really are, somehow it shows!

Haha about you having a male princess too. I have to admit, I did a lot of research before getting him because I knew in advance that fishies would be the loot bag at my daughter's friend's b-day party so I knew that the long finned ones were the males. The only thing I knew about them before that was that you can't put two together for fighting.

It's funny about the pea thing. I guess that is the problem with having so much information readily available online. Everyone has a different idea about things and it's hard to know what to follow when you don't know enough about it to judge. Anyway, there has been no poop yet. I wonder how long it should take them once they eat the pea?

As for the white specks, there aren't too many of them (2-3) and they are really small - like specs of regular sugar I would say. There are also a couple of fuzzy things in the water; whitish and almost like the fuzzy stuff that grows on some of the decor. There is no fuzzy things on him though, it is just a couple of small pieces floating in the water. No brown poops though. If/when he poops the pea out, should it be green since it doesn't get digested? Based on the results of PTG's output, I might search for some of those tannins OldFishLady suggested earlier. I wonder though, if there are parasites in the tank, should I maybe put in fresh, treated tap water to avoid getting it on the fish again? If I do it this way, it will give the ones in the tank a chance to die off without a host.

Also, I have one quick question of the things Bahamut asked me. I was asked to do a 95% water change but since I did 50% yesterday, should I only do another 50% today or still the 95% Sorry to ask again but I need this information before tomorrow morning when Bahamut will check on the thread again.

Oh, about the tetras, yes I was told at the pet store that they tend to be finicky and get sick quickly too and I have to say, a few of them have gone overnight. But these two are hanging on through all the crap I have put them through with medicating and bad parameters etc. I originally lost one of my tetras long ago when I added water a couple of degrees warmer than tank and they were gasping at the top and one died that way. The rest recovered and then I lost 3 more to this past weekends tank issues. I guess some fish are stronger than others too as an individual thing within their own species.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #18 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVC View Post

I haven't been doing anything yet to fix pH. I only found out my pH is off the last few days since I got the Master test kit. I noticed that my pH is always higher after a w/c and then sinks all the way down to minimum on the colour chart by the next night.

b) Do you know the KH or dKH of your water? Unfortunately, no clue. I don't have a test for that and wouldn't know where to begin.

c) How often and how much do you normally change your water? Uusual maintenance is once a week w/ a 25% water change. I've been told any more could stress/shock the fish.

Another thing you can do for me is to leave a bucket of freshly treated water over the course of 24h, testing it periodically. Sure thing! So I add the dechlorinator I normally use to the water in the bucket?

For your ammonia spike, low pH can cause your beneficial bacteria to cease functioning, or at least under perform. They don't like it, xD Ah I didn't know that, but isn't it also true that having a low pH will reduce the toxicity of the ammonia to the fish? If my pH increases, and I still have high ammonia, my fish will get sicker right?

As it stands right now, my *personal* course of action would be to do the largest water change you can physically do (something like 95%). I believe that the amount of medication you have been using may have caused some disruption in your water's buffering capacity, and still lingers. Ok, dumb question alert: if I change out 95% of the water, won't I be getting rid of too much of any possible good bacteria I still have? Also, am I just removing water without gravel vac'ing? Incidentally, since my fish are out of the tank now, I did do a 50% w/c yesterday so still change out 95% or do another 45-50%?

I will check back on this tomorrow! I hope your tetras and betta get well soon :) Thank you! Unbelievably, the tetras are still kicking, and the betta is none too pleased with me at being in that small QT container :(

I will check my parameters until about noon tomorrow and post the results.
Okay thank you! From what I can see, I recommend the following:
- Yes put dechlorinator into your test bucket
- IGNORE what I said about the 95% water change, yes it would reset your tank and I was aware, but that was basing off of no information and the "easiest" way to fix it. (Albeit the laziest)
- Start by doing very regular changes of water to keep the pH stable. Maybe do something like 10% in the morning and 10% before you go to bed.
- They do sell KH and GH chemical tests, but in my experience the strips for these two are actually pretty good. It would be worth the investment to purchase one, because you don't need it often.
- Yes, you are correct that low pH will hinder the toxicity of ammonia, but low pH will cause damage to internal organs (especially reproductive) to your fish. Judging that you are saying that the pH doesn't go below what you are currently seeing, it may be dangerously low. A pH of around 4-5 range can kill healthy adult fish.


Considering you are only aware of this problem recently, do you have any plants? If not then I suspect that this problem has been somewhat ongoing, and could be related to low KH. The CO2 that your fish exhale will contribute to the decreasing pH. Plants also tend to suck nutrients from the water and can occasionally cause pH crashes, although I have no experience with plant-related crashes.

EDIT: OR go to your LFS/LPS and ask to test KH and GH for you

Last edited by bahamut285; 08-12-2011 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #19 
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Okay thank you! From what I can see, I recommend the following:
- Yes put dechlorinator into your test bucket
check!


- IGNORE what I said about the 95% water change, yes it would reset your tank and I was aware, but that was basing off of no information and the "easiest" way to fix it. (Albeit the laziest) glad I didn't already do it. I'm terrified of having to break things down and start all over!
- Start by doing very regular changes of water to keep the pH stable. Maybe do something like 10% in the morning and 10% before you go to bed. Ok, sounds good.


- They do sell KH and GH chemical tests, but in my experience the strips for these two are actually pretty good. It would be worth the investment to purchase one, because you don't need it often.
I wonder if my Petsmart has them. I didn't see anything like that when I was looking for my test kit. I will look again tomorrow when I go back.

- Yes, you are correct that low pH will hinder the toxicity of ammonia, but low pH will cause damage to internal organs (especially reproductive) to your fish. Judging that you are saying that the pH doesn't go below what you are currently seeing, it may be dangerously low. A pH of around 4-5 range can kill healthy adult fish. Yikes! I certainly don't want to damage them in any way. :(

Considering you are only aware of this problem recently, do you have any plants? If not then I suspect that this problem has been somewhat ongoing, and could be related to low KH. The CO2 that your fish exhale will contribute to the decreasing pH. Plants also tend to suck nutrients from the water and can occasionally cause pH crashes, although I have no experience with plant-related crashes. No live plants. I don't think I'm that advanced yet in the hobby. I think I need to get everything settled first and everyone healthy before I add another dynamic in the tank. Also, my tank currently has LED lights over it which I don't think are the right kinds of lights to sustain plants.

EDIT: OR go to your LFS/LPS and ask to test KH and GH for you Darn it! I just came back from the LFS. Last time I was there, he told me to come in today and bring both my tank water, and regular tap water to see if there was anything off to begin with from my tap. If I had seen this post before I went, I could have asked him to test the KH and GH. No biggie though b/c I am going to go back tomorrow so I'll ask for that to be tested then.

_______________________

Just an interesting observation here. I have noticed over the past couple of days of testing that my regular tap water (untreated) has an average pH bet'n 7.6-8.0. My tank water starts out around 7.0 after a water change and then starts dropping after that. My second testing was 30 hours after a pwc and the pH had dropped to about 6.0. There is less of a differnce between yesterday's freshly changed reading and today's reading. Yesterday a few hours after the w/c it was 7.2 and today it was 6.8 but then less time had transpired between these two readings than the first two readings. The results from the LFS were a bit different still, since they use the test strips. For example, while my ammonia is showing between 0 and 0.25, his strip showed 0.5, but then the strip doesn't have the grade in between. It just goes from 0 to 0.5 Everything else was clean (0) and pH he said was "slightly acidic" but not as low as my readings.

Also, he suggested I get a few danios to put in the tank as they are very hearty, and because he said they will keep the tank cycling. He also said that if the tetras recover and go back in the tank, they will get along nicely with the danios and won't bother the betta.

Thanks very much for checking in here again today, and I will report the findings of my water testing from the set aside and treated container tomorrow around noon. :)
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:17 PM   #20 
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Once I get the results from your test bucket, I can make a better conclusion. Right now my main conclusion is that there is SOMETHING in your tank causing these ridiculous drops in pH.

Considering you said your tap water's "average" pH around 7.6 - 8.0, I'm guessing it is different each day? How different is it each day? Is it very close (like: 7.9-8.0, 7.6-7.7) or is it very different from day to day? (like: 7.6-7.9, 8.0-7.7).

If there is nothing wrong with your tap water and your test bucket, then it is definitely something in your tank, and you MAY have to restart it.

However right now I'm thinking you have a KH problem.
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