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Old 01-04-2012, 02:29 AM   #1 
krump
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fish out of water...literally & Care recommendations

Hello,

My daughter (5yrs) won a free goldfish at school, but had to go to the sore to collect. Long story short, we never went and just decided a betta would be a better option than a gold fish. We bought a tank, I would guess 2 gallons. My daughter named the fish "Jake" and everything was great for 2 weeks. I changed his water because it was getting cloudy. The next morning my daughter comes screaming in my room that her bed broke, he fell out and jakes tank fell over and she cant find him. It took about 10 min to find him... I thought he was dead for sure. He ended up surviving and we went out and bought him a 10 gallon tank with heater and filter since his smaller unt was destroyed. He was a bit banged up from the incident, fins tattered. but he was happy in his new tank.

I started looking further into the care of the bettas and decided I needed to use a ph stabilizer. I used the "Jungle tabs". It took 2 tabs to get my ph to "neutral" (I think 6.8) according to the dip strip. All the sudden the water got real cloudy. I read up and understand there is a cycle process, and some cloudiness is normal, but Im unsure on what I should do from here. After reading all of your posts, I realized I didnít cycle the tank properly, but I cant really keep Jake in a tupperware bowl. So I need some recommendations on where to go from here. I did a (approx) 30% water change and its cleared up a bit (tap water with conditioner). the water had a slight "urine" smell to it (ammonia I assume?) The tank is a solid 80% in temp, It runs on a filter with charcoal pad. I have the filter on a timer and it runs multiple times a day, Id say about 10 hours a day total. I think he was getting over fed by to many people trying to take care of him also. Hes swimming around the tank and goes to the top, bottom and everywhere in between. Also I have a bare tank...for now. No gravel or decorations.

Where should I go from here, water is still cloudy. I need a solid recommendation. My wife is going to divorce me if I keep buying new things on a daily basis to try. But I want to give Jake proper care.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:46 AM   #2 
Roxy
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Generally, it isn't a good idea to use a ph stabilizer due to the fact that sudden ph changes are harmful to fish.

What is the ph of your tap water?

If it's about 7-8, it should be fine and there should be no need to alter it's ph level.

Try doing a 100% water change without using a ph stabilizer and see if the water is still cloudy. :)

I would also suggest to let the filter run 24/7.

Here is a good advice on the proper way to do a water change:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=89665

Since his fins are tattered, it would be a good idea to keep his water clean to aid it's healing process. A water conditioning product called API stress coat would also help.

Last edited by Roxy; 01-04-2012 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:47 PM   #3 
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Thanks... Im going to go home tonight and change him out 100%. The PH of the water was on the low side, so thats why I used the tabs, but honestly he was doing fine without it treated. Thought it would just make it better for him.

What do you all suggest as far as tank "decoration " items. I do want to get him something he can hide in if he wants, but I really didnt want to mess with gravel and increase the maint. work load. Is there anything wrong with keeping the bare bottom tank? or am I missing something.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:10 AM   #4 
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There is nothing wrong with bare bottom just something to add to the tank or you would need substrate for most living plants. On the cheap side you could get terracotta pots, the small ones shouldn't cost much. I would either get plastic plants or silk plants. With plastic make sure they aren't really rough or your betta's fins won't be happy. Anything else to help you?
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:20 AM   #5 
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Well, do remember that gravel on the bottom of a tank provides surface area for the beneficial bacteria to live on. It would certainly help hold a cycle. But yeah, it is all a matter of opinion and aesthetic.

A lot of people recommend caves of some sort. I've used just coffee mugs... Those oil warmers where you put the candle in beneath a dish for oil... A vase... Just stuff there is laying around. +1 to kfry's comments about the caves and plants. I would go with silk, just because it gives me personally more [eace of mind that my dudes aren't ripping themselves up when I'm not looking. My bettas are neurotic. c:
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:11 AM   #6 
krump
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Before I left for work (10am) I turned his filter on and took it off the timer. I got home from work at 11:30pm and his tank is really clear! Jake seemed happy and his color looked better than it did yesterday. I checked the Ph and it was 7.2
So for now his filter is staying on! I need to baffle it this weekend when I have some time off.

Great idea on putting the plants in small pots and the use of a mug or the candle/oil warmers. I think I'll have to stop by the thrift store this weekend... I am sure there are tons of thing that will work after a good hot water scrubbing!

Im not totally against gravel or rocks in the bottom....it does look nice. Im just trying to reasonably avoid any more maint. than I have to do. I work long hours ad I can't rely on my 5 year old to do it, and with 2 other young children.... my wife has enough cleaning to do. So It's all on me and shared with my 5 year old.

Thanks for your opinions, its much appreciated. I look forward to learning more!
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:10 AM   #7 
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Hello and welcome to the forums!

You mentioned your filter runs on a charchoal pad. Do you mean carbon? If your filter has a carbon cartridge you should need to replace it every 2 to 4 weeks - or you can remove it entirely (there won't be any problems there). Carbon has a habit of sucking stuff out of the water (nasty chemicals, there is talk that carbon can also suck out good stuff too though) but it also nullifies medications, so if you find you need to use medications be sure to take the carbon cartridge out of the filter before treatment.

Otherwise it all sounds good. If you don't want to use gravel you can always get some plastic gems from a fish store and use those instead; while they would likely still require some maintainence from time to time you might find them easier to work with (though I read a case of someone finding oddly shaped large objects harder to clean, I'm not really sure). Another benefit is that they may be more appealing to your kids as they can be brightly coloured and lots of different shapes. I do like gravel myself as it harbors beneficial bacteria that helps break down toxic wastes but it is all down to personal preference.

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:35 AM   #8 
krump
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpookyTooth View Post
Hello and welcome to the forums!

You mentioned your filter runs on a charchoal pad. Do you mean carbon? If your filter has a carbon cartridge you should need to replace it every 2 to 4 weeks - or you can remove it entirely (there won't be any problems there). Carbon has a habit of sucking stuff out of the water (nasty chemicals, there is talk that carbon can also suck out good stuff too though) but it also nullifies medications, so if you find you need to use medications be sure to take the carbon cartridge out of the filter before treatment.
Thanks for the info. Yes, I probably meant to say carbon filter.

Everything is going great now, Were probably going to get him some plants and decorations this weekend.

Thanks for all the replies
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:25 PM   #9 
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@Spooky: Charcoal IS carbon.....lol..
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:59 AM   #10 
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Ah, I'd read an article that stated they were different. All right then, I know better now. Thanks.
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