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Old 10-08-2011, 02:31 PM   #1 
charlotte
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What am I doing wrong? Should I cycle a 5 gal?

A few days ago I got a white delta tail male betta. I had him in a 5 gal heated bowl, no filter. There is one plastic plant with smooth edges and one hamster tube thing. Ammonia tested at maybe .25 ppm if even that. Using test strips general hardness was 0, carbonate hardness was high, about 240, ph was about 8, no nitrites and there was a small amount of nitrates. The temp of the water was about 78-80 F. When I put added him to the bowl I let the bowl sit at least an hour and added small amounts from the bowl until I let him go. He was acting completely normal, swimming around a lot. The last day he was hiding in the plant near the surface a lot but he didn't really seem sick. He was eating. I didn't see any sign of disease, it looked like he maybe bit his tail a couple times but not much.
I had a female that was in a 1 gallon and she died within a couple days too.
Is the high carbonate hardness bad? For the boy I had the bowl covered with plastic wrap with holes poked in it. Could that be why? I have no clue what it could be.
Also, should I cycle the bowl if its 5 gallons. Or any other tank, I'm not sure if that's too small or not. I know if I don't I'd need to do frequent water changes.

here are some pictures of the fish and the bowl

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:41 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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What kind and how much dechlorinator are you using and any other additives.....tell us more about your source water...is it-tap, well, R/O etc...and if tap water-does it go through any type of home filtering system or softening unit (not recommended)
How was the new tank cleaned before use as well as anything used in it....


Sorry for your loss by the way.....
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:41 PM   #3 
Sena Hansler
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The syran wrap is perfect, so it is not that. Can you tell us any other changes in your guy? Like, is he gasping real bad? has the area beneath his gills become a bit more pink than usual? Any other changes?
How often do you do water changes... and was ther water conditioner added?
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:39 PM   #4 
charlotte
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I completely forgot to mention he died last night, sorry! I've been using stress coat but I my mom said our water doesn't have chlorine in it (she could be wrong). I've been using water from out sink which does go through a softener (I think we potassium chloride in it). We also have another faucet with more filtered water (reverse osmosis) but it has no minerals or anything (I think) so my mom said it's not good either. We also have hose water I could use. We have a well if that makes any difference, I really don't know much about any of this. But I've been using the sink water that goes through the softener. What source should I get it from?

I bought the tank brand new. I rinsed it out but other than that didn't use any cleaning products in it.

Last edited by charlotte; 10-08-2011 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:48 PM   #5 
Sena Hansler
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You can use vinegar and hot water to clean it out :) just rinse well. And always use water conditioner... I have not heard of many places not using some sort of cleaner (like chlorine) for their water so it's always a best bet :) And sorry for your loss :(
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:57 PM   #6 
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Having a high carbonate hardness is not a bad thing, but my eye is pointed at both the 0 General Hardness and possibly a pre-ill fish. The general hardness is what provides healthy ions and metals that your fish needs for nutrition (humans too!) and your water softener (and R/O unit) get rid of these ions.

I recommend finding a source of water that is not meddled with. If that isn't possible then the best (but fairly expensive) alternative is getting some natural spring water with all the minerals and ions in it.

I believe that the people who use R/O units in their home strictly for fish-keeping have mineral supplements they can add into it, but I am not experienced with those.

I'm sorry for your loss, he is extremely handsome :( Rest in peace, brother
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:00 PM   #7 
Sena Hansler
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Ohh that's right! There are mineral suppliments.. even just natural ones. BUT I have no idea about that.. I was told to be careful with stuff like foreign rocks (that have certain metals and minerals) because there could be "too much" of minerals/metals. Sorry I too am useless with that info :p
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:03 PM   #8 
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Generally well water is a good source of water to use with tropical fish, however, every well can be different-especially if you live in a farming area or a lot of chemical plants that can contaminate the well water...also, in drought or high rains can change the well water....

You need to bypass the water softening unit and if you truly have R/O water-this will be fine to use-but I would mix it 50/50 with well water from an outside faucet...not the hose-some hoses can have antifungals for mold imbedded in them that can be harmful to the fish...usually you don't need any dechlorinators with well water-but in your case I would find one that covers heavy metal just in case this is the problem...

Since you are having fish deaths like you are....it most likely is your source water related....or it could also be an acclimation issue....how did you acclimate the two Bettas to your water when you first bought them and added to the tanks.....so we can rule this out as a cause......
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:25 PM   #9 
charlotte
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I do live in a farming area kind of. I live on about 10 acres and theres no farms right next to me but theres one down the street. I'm guessing that would affect it.
we have the r/o water but also sink water that doesnt. theres basically 3 types of water I can use I believe. The water from the faucet which goes through the softener, the separate r/o faucet, and the hose water directly from the well i think.
is there any way to test the water for this? it's so overwhelming and even more so because I really don't know anything about it. Where can I find a dechlorinator for the heavy metal?

I don't think it's an acclimation issue, he would have shown signs before right? He seemed perfectly fine but I'm not that experienced so I could have missed something. For the male I let the cup sit in the water for about an hour and added some in from the tank slowly. The female I let sit for a few hours.

Should I take off the hose and get the water straight from where it attaches or is there mold and stuff there too? I would rather not have to buy the water, since the tanks are small I have to do frequent water changes and it would add up. Maybe if I mix it in?
Where can I get minerals if I need them?
I don't see why some of my fish have such a hard time and the others seem completely fine. I guess they're all just different.

edit:
is the general hardness supposed to be higher? should I test the water from the hose?

Last edited by charlotte; 10-08-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:12 PM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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Unless you are using a liquid reagent test product....I wouldn't trust the numbers you are seeing.....get the API brand for-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, KH/GH and test all water sources and compare numbers...if you have never used these type of test products-I recommend that you run each test twice on each water source and if they are different do it again.....

You have to take your water sample to the county office in your area to test the well water to check for contamination, metals...etc.........it cost about $100.00 or it does in my county

Prime by Seachem will take care of heavy metals

You may also need to run activated charcoal on your tanks

What other species of fish do you keep and tanks....

The Bettas may have been sick to start too....

Osmotic shock generally takes 24-48h to kill the fish

When you acclimate the Bettas-acclimate to the chemistry by adding small amount of the tank water to the holding container every 15 min for an hour or to tolerance-dump half the holding container water in the sink and repeat until 100% of the holding container is the tank water...watch for gasping, flared gills, rapid breathing, darting, trying to get out of the water, rolling over, distorted body, clamp fins, color changes and stress lines....

I would use the R/O and water from the outside faucet 50/50 and the Prime...this will add the lost minerals from the R/O water use

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 10-08-2011 at 05:16 PM.
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