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Old 02-27-2012, 12:19 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
2 Fish Dead Immediately after tank changes

So I had 2 female bettas in separate tanks (1 gallon each) and I just changed their water and barely an hour later one was dead. I just noticed that the other is dead also! I have no idea what went wrong, it's the strangest thing. I treated their water, but I think I may have added too much aquarium salt, would that kill them so quickly? It wasn't like a massive overdose. I maybe put in 1/3 tsp instead of 1/4. Any thoughts??
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:26 AM   #2 
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Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
Did you acclimate them to the new temperature? It might have been too cold or too hot for them and shocked them.

For future reference, be sure to acclimate to temperature and water after each water change. Aquarium salt doesn't have to be used full time in the tank with bettas. It tends to make treating with it more difficult since measuring out the correct dose for treatment can become difficult as well as parasites and bacteria building up a tolerance to it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #3 
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There are several possible causes, and all together can very well kill quickly.

1) As mentioned, a sudden temperature change is very stressful for fish.
2) These are tropical fish, and as such require a heated aquarium. If not kept heated they will be well outside their comfort zone and be stressed. Stress = lower immune system.
3) Sudden water quality changes is extremely stressful. 1 gallon is an extremely small volume for these fish, so water parameters can swing quite rapidly (namely Ammonia, but also pH).
4) Use of 100% RO/DI water. This has zero buffering capacity for pH. You can get a catastrophic drop in pH simply from it absorbing CO2 from the air, which is acidic. Normally the KH in water will buffer it, but RO/DI water has 0 GH and KH.
5) The process of being 'cupped' is stressful for fish.
6) Salt can be used as a medication, but these are not brackish or saltwater fish, they are freshwater, and should not be kept long term in salt.
7) Not de-chlorinating the new water, you mentioned treating it though.

Stress has a major impact on fish, and as you can see there are lots of possible causes of stress.
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