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Old 10-23-2011, 10:18 AM   #1 
Alvin K
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Alpharius is weakening by the day.

Hi, I've been a lurker to the forum and have gotten my betta about 8 days ago and he seems healthy until recently, so I really have to ask what's going on with my betta since I have no idea what's going on despite the fact that I've done so much research on them before I purchased my Crowntail.

Male Crowntail named Alpharius, I'm unsure which colour category he fits into, some help on that would definitely be appreciated. This is my first betta by the way.

The past few days the fish in my tank started dying for unknown reasons, they looked bloated for some reason, like their belly areas are red or just really huge.
From the last 3 days, these are the fishes that died:
3 out of 8 Beckford's Red Pencilfish.
5 out of 7 Neon Tetras.
2 out of 3 Otocinclus Catfish.

I couldn't find 1 of the Neon Tetra's dead body and one of them seem to be eaten by the rest, I only saw it's bones. Same goes to one of the Oto Catfish.

Some of the Neon Tetras that died seem to be overly bloated, so I really suspect that they ate up the dead.

I'm not sure if my betta has done the same, but it looks as though it has and now gotten bloated. Either that, or there's something wrong with the water (I did a water change about 1 and a half weeks ago and I did another today).

I'll do my best to be specific.


Housing
What size is your tank? About 50-60 litres. Dimensions are 13.5"x13.5"x19.5" (inches). Not sure about gallons though.
What temperature is your tank? Unsure. But I live in Malaysia, the weather is always hot here.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, an awesome one.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Nope.
Is your tank heated? Nope. Like I said, I live in Malaysia, it's the country between Thailand and Singapore. Should I get a heater though?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 Neon Tetras. 5 Beckford's Red Pencilfish. 1 Chinese Algae Eater. 1 Oto Catfish.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes and pellets for the top feeders (which the betta goes for, and 1 wafer for the bottom feeders.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, just some flakes. I suspect that he goes around picking up leftovers from the leaves and the floor of the aquarium.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 2 to 3 times a month.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%, but about 80% this time since I suspect there's something wrong with the water.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress-free enzymes, dechlorinator, and plant CO2.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Nope. I should buy the water testing kit though.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Seems bloated.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Slower swimming and always at the top of the tank rather than hiding.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've changed the tank water and confined my betta in a container since I also suspect that the other fish are carrying a disease.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unsure, I've only had it for 8 days.


Alpharius when I first got him.











Alpharius when I noticed that there's something wrong and I've isolated him in a temporary container. I've drilled about 20 holes at the top, don't worry. I stick my finger in once in a while to see if he's still swimming. Though he only moves away when I touch him.









My tank. I've had the tank and some of the other fishes since late August.




My tank after I cleaned the water and moved the plants around to look for the remaining dead bodies.





Any help would be appreciated, do let me know what's wrong and what I can do to improve the current situation.

Last edited by Alvin K; 10-23-2011 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Adding more info.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:55 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum...50-60l is about 13-15gal-filtered with live plants....how long has the tank been setup and did you add all the fish at one time...did you QT any of them...how much and how often are you making water changes on the tank...

Good that you QT the Betta...if you have any tannins..IAL (Indian almond leaf) or dried Oak leaf......Add some to the Qt and keep making 50-100% daily water changes with some premixed tannin stained water for now

On the tank start making 50% daily water changes for 3 days then twice weekly for a few weeks....

Can you take some of your water to the pet shop to have it tested for Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and post those numbers....also find out if they use strips or liq reagent type testing products...

Are you injecting CO2 or is it in liq form....

Don't replace any of the fish....you need to pick one or the other for your stocking...either the pencilfish or the Neon...not both in that size tank...also, Otos need to be added once the tank has matured and fully cycled-they can be really delicate and hard to keep....

What is the water temp...I know you may not need a heater due to your location...but we need to know the temp.....
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:12 AM   #3 
Alvin K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Welcome to the forum...50-60l is about 13-15gal-filtered with live plants....how long has the tank been setup and did you add all the fish at one time...did you QT any of them...how much and how often are you making water changes on the tank...
The tank has been set up since mid-September. I had to be in UK for two weeks so I returned and then changed it once (no deaths whatsoever since then) and then today I did another change.

I added 3-5 fishes at a time over the course of a few weeks. I did not QT them prior to adding them into the tank, even though I should.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Good that you QT the Betta...if you have any tannins..IAL (Indian almond leaf) or dried Oak leaf......Add some to the Qt and keep making 50-100% daily water changes with some premixed tannin stained water for now
I don't know where to buy that, or maybe they call it something else over here, I'll go Google it up and look for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
On the tank start making 50% daily water changes for 3 days then twice weekly for a few weeks....

Can you take some of your water to the pet shop to have it tested for Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and post those numbers....also find out if they use strips or liq reagent type testing products...

Are you injecting CO2 or is it in liq form....
Roger that, I'll be changing the water more frequent then. I'll take some water to the store to have it tested and buy a water testing kit this time. The CO2 was in liquid form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Don't replace any of the fish....you need to pick one or the other for your stocking...either the pencilfish or the Neon...not both in that size tank...also, Otos need to be added once the tank has matured and fully cycled-they can be really delicate and hard to keep....

What is the water temp...I know you may not need a heater due to your location...but we need to know the temp.....
I won't be replacing any for now, I'm gonna see if there's anymore deaths tomorrow and the day after.

I'll need to buy a thermometer to check the water temperature since I didn't really think that I'll need it.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:44 AM   #4 
earthworm88
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Hi Alvin, welcome to the forum. You are in good hand, OFL is one of the experts here.

IAL is daun Ketapang, you should be able to find them pretty much everywhere. Be sure to rinse them well prior to preparation though.

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:56 AM   #5 
Alvin K
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Sadly, it's only been a few hours since I had it in QT, and currently, it's pretty much lifeless. I watched him getting weaker and weaker and finally, his gills stop moving. Though sometimes he'll move a little bit, but I think I can't do much already except wait till the morning.

At the time I posted it was 11:18pm for me, because I was frantically changing the water and whatnot.

This is probably gonna be the last picture.





Thanks for the advice Oldfishlady and earthworm88.

I won't be adding any new fish or will I be visiting the fish store and I'll just take care of the remaining fish in my tank, though I smell some kind of fish killing disease going on in the water.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:37 PM   #6 
Indyfishy
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Wow, that fish is beautiful, I'm so sorry that he might not make it =( do you have any epsom salt??? It would help with the swelling. Probably not a miracle cure, but it might make him more comfortable.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:52 PM   #7 
Alvin K
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Yeah, he's such a beautiful fish. From what I can see, he's gone. Any other of the fish in my tank dies, I don't feel as bad. But when this one goes, it's like there is no way he can be replaced. :(

The only conclusion I can make out of this is that 1 fish died, Neons and Alpharius ate the dead fish, more Neons die from overeating, then the other fish and Alpharius fed on the dead again, hence all the bloating symptoms on the dead fishes.

Or probably some psycho disease killed them all. It's like half of the residents in the tank are dead.

Anyone knows what category of colour my betta is from? Coz I'm not really sure. And I do plan to only get another betta that is either identical, or closely similar, or something that looks close to the Alpha Legion (Google that to know what I mean).
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:13 PM   #8 
Indyfishy
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Poor guy, with bloating that bad it looks like he has some sort of internal infection =( As for colouring, I'd call him either a multi color or a grizzle with red wash. There's usually alot of crowntails on aquabid with that coloring, you could check there!
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:31 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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Sorry you are having such a hard time with your tank and fish......I think the biggest problem was water quality in an uncycled tank due to limited water changes and stocking that overwhelmed the biological filtration and this caused stress and this in turn cause compromised immune response in all the fish....Even with the live plants a new system that is overstocked and poorly stocked can fail.....this can happen to anyone......

What I would recommend-get a liquid reagent type test kit...API makes a good one...Freshwater master test kit-it has nearly everything you need...Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH high and low and this will help you cycle the aquarium safely with the current livestock to get you on the path of success....if you can't get a test kit-you can still establish the nitrogen cycle provided that you are willing and able to make the needed water changes.....and you can use the pet shop testing the water to help take some of the guess work out of it....it can sometimes be more of a challenge to do this with live plants in regards to water prams-but in the long run live plants can help too.....

Get a thermometer so you can monitor the water temp...you may or may not need a heater...your goal is to maintain a somewhat stable water temp that meets the needs of the livestock and plants...this may vary since it is a mixed species tank and depending on what species you want to keep-I would look for species that require the same chemistry and temp-plants can usually do fine as long as extremes are avoided...

What kind of dechlorinator are you using and when you made the partial water change-how much did you use...did you dose for the full volume of the tank or just the replacement water....

Do you understand the nitrogen cycle

Do you keep the filter running 24/7

All additive used in the tank

You posted that the tank was setup in mid-Sept and water changes 2-3 times per month...correct.....

Source water-if tap water-does it go through a home water softening unit (not recommended)-if so, can you bypass it or are you using well water, R/O/DI water...do you know if you have hard or soft water?

Type of lights-age of bulbs, kelvin, watts and photoperiod

Number and species of plants and how planted-any plant food used and what is the CO2 product you are using-how much and how often is this added

Type of substrate and how deep...

When you first started seeing the fish decline and you made the water change-how long had the last water change been from that one and how much of the water did you remove-did you also vacuum and if so, did you move anything....

Is this your first aquarium and fish keeping experience

I am asking all the questions to better understand what happened and how to help you fix it......we want you to be successful...this is a great hobby to be apart of and I can only speak for myself...but I went through the same thing when I first started this hobby a really loooong time ago and we didn't have the internet or even computers small enough to fit in the house way back then....lol....what I am trying to say...these things happen and it is an easy fix with a little time and work.....just don't want you to give up or feel like you are alone.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 10-23-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:53 PM   #10 
Alvin K
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I don't think I'll buy a fish online, kinda risky isn't it? But maybe I can look for the proper supplies and tools there in aquabid.

I will definitely be getting the water test kit, a thermometer, and some other stuff that I may need.

I'm using the water conditioner from Aqua Protect to remove chlorine. My CO2 booster and Stress Zyme+ are from API. When I make the water change, I use the dose for the amount of water I changed, but this time, I think if I were to dose for the full amount of the tank, it should be better.

I haven't really understood about the nitrogen cycle. I should read and study more about it.

My filter runs 24/7 at low current to avoid making the water too wavy.

I'm using normal tap water.

For the plants, I've got 2 anubias, and the other 3 I'm not too sure, I kinda forgot about the names. Will find out when I go to the local fish store later. I only add the CO2 booster when I make a water change. I got 3 different species of plants in the tank, 2:2:1 which makes a total of 5 plants.

I'm using black gravel for the substrate (I'm finding it difficult to translate that, since I'm actually better in English than my local language). It's about 1 inch deep.

My lamp is 11watts, that's all I know about it. I didn't get much info from the box either.

For the last water change before this one is about 10 days ago. I did not move anything, I did some vacuuming, and I changed less than 50% of the water.

I learned about fish keeping 9 years ago when I was 14, my parents took care of guppies, I cared for Neon Tetras, and a flower horn. It only lasted for about a year since my parents kinda lost interest and I'm the only one cleaning and maintaining everything till they think I was too obsessed with fishes and they kinda stopped me from continuing till the number of fishes declined to 0. I wasn't very knowledgeable back then as the internet wasn't widely available and we were living in a temporary place while the newer house is being built.

I'm definitely willing to learn more about fish keeping. So feel free to educate me.
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