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Old 01-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #1 
Hawkian
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How to introduce a Betta to a Tank...?

All,

I bought a Betta last week and he got infected by what i believe was columnaris (probably already had the infection when I got him at the store) and died over the weekend.

This got me thinking: what would be considered a proper way to introduce a betta to a tank? Should the fish be treated beforehand just to be safe? Should they be quarantined and if so, does the bowl they come in satisfactory for the quarantine?

What do Betta fish owners do to introduce a fish to a tank?

I am obviously asking because I plan on getting another fish but I want to do it right this time around...
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:09 PM   #2 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkian View Post
All,

I bought a Betta last week and he got infected by what i believe was columnaris (probably already had the infection when I got him at the store) and died over the weekend.

This got me thinking: what would be considered a proper way to introduce a betta to a tank? Should the fish be treated beforehand just to be safe? Should they be quarantined and if so, does the bowl they come in satisfactory for the quarantine?

What do Betta fish owners do to introduce a fish to a tank?

I am obviously asking because I plan on getting another fish but I want to do it right this time around...
I introduce a fish to a tank by floating it in its bag in the water for a few hours so it can adjust to the temperature. Then I gradually add tank water to the bag containing the fish, about a tablespoon at a time, so it can adjust to the chemical levels. (I don't let the water the fish came in come in contact with the rest of the tank, however.) It sounds like you're buying fish from a major chain pet store if they come in a cup; do you have a locally owned fish/pet store you could check out this time? They probably have healthier stock. ;) But you can do the same with a cup (float it in the water) and be careful to tape it to the side of the tank (or otherwise secure it) so it doesn't suddenly flip over/drop in.

I'm sure others will chime in with their suggestions as well.

Last edited by fosschick; 01-17-2012 at 03:15 PM. Reason: OFL hit the nail on the head
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #3 
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While QT of new fish is highly recommended in community tanks-often when it just a single Betta going into a tank alone-you don't need to QT per se....this is kinda the QT...

When adding a new Betta or after 100% water changes- it is important to acclimate them properly to the new water temp and more important the chemistry of the new water by adding small amounts of the new tank water to their holding container over 10-15min and sometimes longer depending on their tolerance-You don't want to add any of the pet shop water to the tank either since it can be full of nasty stuff.....

Some of the pathogens that infect our fish-like columnaris-this pathogen is always in the water or ever present...its the the fish immune response that prevents it from infecting them-the immune response can be compromised from stress and so limiting stress factors are important-they will have some stress regardless-but you can limit it by acclimating them properly and avoiding extreme temp and chemistry changes, turning the lights off and holding food for the first 24h-especially if the Betta appears to be compromised already from poor care at the pet shop or overly hyper....
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:11 AM   #4 
Hawkian
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Thanks for the replies folks!

Well I did everything right: floated him in the tank (inside his cup) for about 3 hours, added some tank water to it gradually, and didn't add any of the cup water to my tank. I have been keeping fish for over 2 years in planted tanks so it's not like I'm a newbie at this but I thought maybe acclimating a Betta was different, that maybe this type of fish had different requirements than other fish.

I guess the only thing I did wrong was to get the fish just before the weekend and not having medication on-hand. I live in the boonies so getting supplies is rather difficult on weekends. Had I had some medication on-hand already the poor fish may have had a fighting chance but as it was the disease developed too quickly for me to be able to get anything to help him out.

I am still on the lookout to add a Betta to the tank. There are currently three Oto cats in there keeping it somewhat clean and I'm anxious to get the main attraction in there (the Betta - that's the whole reason I started this tank). This time around though, I bought some Maracyn and some Ick medication... I want to be ready should something come up!

Here are some pics of the tank and the poor little guy who didn't make it...






In this last pic you can actually see the patch of white fuzz in its early stages just between the ventral and anal fins of the fish. Towards the end, 48 hours later, he was covered by it...
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:35 PM   #5 
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I'm sorry about your poor little guy. At least he died in a beautiful home with someone to worry and care. If not, he probably would have got the infection anyway, but died cold and alone in a store. You did right by him.
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