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Old 10-04-2011, 06:39 AM   #1 
titusthebetta
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Cause of Death?

So I'm still reeling after Claude's death, and I want to try to make some sense of it. I had him for about two days, and I did see a shift in his behavior, but I assumed it to be from stress or that the water was too cold.

Here were some symptoms:
  • Saturday night he would not leave his log, AT ALL. He came up once every hour or so to get air and then would retreat to it.
  • He wasn't as active Saturday night/Sunday morning, seemed lethargic.
  • Never ate anything, even when he seemed pretty content. Didn't even blink twice at flakes or pellets.

And now here are some of my deductions, although none of them really make sense to me:
  • The water was too cold that he couldn't live with it. I mean, they JUST turned the heat on in my dorm yesterday morning. Even with the lamp over the tank, I was only able to keep it at 72-73 degrees. But I didn't think two days of exposure to that temperature would kill him. My friend's betta lives in an unheated tank and has been fine, even though her room is just as cold as mine
  • Starvation. He never looked too skinny for me, but it's a possibility. I can't say I knew when he was last fed at the store, but he never wanted anything I gave him.
  • Something else... I'm no expert on betta diseases, but when I got him I made sure he looked healthy. There was no ich, his fins were perfect, his eyes clear, and his scales were fine. He looked like a healthy betta, and I still don't understand how he could have died that quickly.

The only thing I wasn't able to check that I was curious about were the water parameters. I don't know what the pH/ammonia levels were, but I was going to buy the testing strips when I got my paycheck later this month. I don't know if the pH or ammonia levels were off.

So what can anyone tell me from this? My friends said the best way to get over his loss is to get another one, but I still want answers for Claude's death. I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I should be getting a new guy this weekend, and hopefully my heater will be in by then (if not, I have another one). What can anyone tell me from this?
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:10 AM   #2 
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Is there a petstore that you can bring your water to be checked for free? Could be that he was sick to begin with. I had a beautiful guy that only lasted about 4 days and his replacement is thriving in the same conditions.

I'm sorry he died on you.:(
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #3 
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I was only able to keep it at 72-73 degrees.
I doubt that would of killed him. my tanks can drop down to 65 with a heater in winter.

Did you use water conditioner?? something in the water may if killed him if you didn't.

or he may of been sick when you got him. Even of he looked OK, ammonia levels build up fast in those cups - maybe ammonia or nitrate poisining.

also, did the tank have a filter? no one told me about the nitrogen cycle and I lost a few fish that way
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:14 AM   #4 
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I had a 2.5 gallon tank, filtered. I heard it's too small to cycle, but I let it run for almost a half hour before I put him in. The cup I got him in looked pretty clean; there wasn't much debris floating in it. I put in the amount of water conditioner recommended, and let it sit for a few minutes before acclimating him.

Unfortunately, I washed out the tank already, so I didn't collect a sample for testing.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:25 AM   #5 
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Sorry for you loss...it can be really frustrating.....

How did you acclimate him to the new tank water...how much and what kind of dechlorinator did you use.....
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:33 AM   #6 
titusthebetta
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Sorry for you loss...it can be really frustrating.....

How did you acclimate him to the new tank water...how much and what kind of dechlorinator did you use.....
I floated his cup in the water for a few minutes. Then I poured some of the tank water in his cup and let him get used to it. I tried netting him, but he didn't like it, so I poured some of the cup water in the sink and tried to pour him in the tank without getting too much of the water from the cup in it.

As for my conditioner, it is Tetra Betta Safe (expires 6/14). It said to use 7 drops for every gallon, so I put in around 18 drops.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:52 AM   #7 
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Its hard to say...but it is really important to acclimate a new fish to the new water chemistry...you did good by adding some water, however, I would add more of the new tank water over a period of time....empty half the pet shop water in the sink and add tank water to fill over 10-15 min and repeat until he is in nearly 100% tank water in the holding cup....add water to his tolerance...this can take 10-30min and up to an hour in some cases......
Be sure and use dechlorinated water to top off the tank if needed after acclimation....
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:45 AM   #8 
titusthebetta
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This is sort of a random question on the subject. Can there be something in the air that poisons the water? For example, my roommate uses a lot of hairspray/perfume and I'm not sure if they contain chemicals that are harmful to fish.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:17 PM   #9 
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Could be. I put layers of towels over my tanks before I use flea spray on the dog. (I spray the dog outside, but I'm afraid the chemicals will leech into the tank)
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:25 PM   #10 
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I'm so sorry to hear about Claude, he was a beautiful fish. Most likely he already had something going on from the pet store that just weakened him too much. I suppose chemical contamination is sort of possible, but i think it would actually have to be sprayed in the tank for it to kill him. I paint my nails all the time in my bedroom where my fish are and I've never had a problem.
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