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Old 04-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #1 
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Unhappy Sudden betta death, how can I save the other one?

What size is your tank? 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 81 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? One male and one female separated by a divider.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin color enhancing betta bits or Top Fin freeze-dried blood worms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily except on weekends.

How often do you perform a water change? Once per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 10 Ė 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Betta conditioner, quarium salt, Stress Zyme +.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 7.6

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Highly sensitive little fishy to everything from temperature to light.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1.5 years

Sorry for the long story, but Iím not sure where this illness began.

I bought Tokyo about a year and a half ago from a pet store. From the start heís always been the most sensitive Betta Iíve ever had. At first he lived in a 2 gallon bowl. He was always a little lethargic and clamped up, so I added a water heater. He seemed to like the warmer temperature, and would swim around happily. Then one day, I was fish-sitting for someone with a female Betta, and her tank sat next to his. He seemed so much more active with her around, flaring up all his fins and showing off to her. When we took her away, he seemed to get depressed, and stopped being active again. So I bought him a female, Lima. Lima lived in a separate bowl right next to his, and came to me with a white slime issue that eventually cleared up. She seemed like a very healthy fish. I decided to give them more room, and bought a 10 gallon tank and divided it down the middle. After moving them into the 10 gallon tank, all seemed well, until the other fish that I was fish-sitting earlier died suddenly, and we have no idea what killed her. She didnít show any signs of illness.

About 1 month after moving into the 10 gallon, Lima, who had no signs of illness except being a little fatter than normal died suddenly overnight. She had lived only 8 months.

Tokyo seemed fine and healthy, so after a few days, we got Lima 2. They both did really well together, and he seemed to flare up more and show off to her more than Lima 1.

About 2 months after Lima 1 died, Tokyo started showing signs of stress. His fins were tattering and he was a little more lethargic than normal. There were some patches on his head only visible when I cast a light directly on him. Thatís when I started to add aquarium salt to the water. I also did several days of Melafix which has fixed up his fins in the past. Additionally, I did weekly 25% water changes instead of 10%. This seemed to improve him significantly and he went a little over a week without issues. He seemed to gain his activity level and actively flared up with Lima 2. The holes in his fins never fully closed, but he seemed better and the patches went away.
Yesterday and this morning he was fine. Sometime before noon today, he started swimming erratically and quickly like something was really bothering him. Then he started go sideways like he was having issues with his swim bladder, and his stomach very quickly bloated up. I made a mad dash to get the fishnet and his old bowl filled with treated water prepared with a salt dip (I didnít know what else to do). By the time I had gotten all that ready (less than 5 minutes), he passed away.

Since this is now the 2nd death in this tank, in addition to grieving the loss of Tokyo, Iím also really concerned about the currently healthy Lima 2. Iím really worried that whatever Lima 1 had passed on to Tokyo. And if thatís the case, then whatever Tokyo had, might already be given to Lima 2. Iím not sure how long fish diseases normally last. There has been about 3 months between Lima 1ís death and Tokyoís death today.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, is there anything I can do to save Lima 2?
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:08 AM   #2 
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I'm sorry for your loss and feel your pain. I've had a similar situation with a betta sorority where I've lost 4 girls and watching my last 2 healthy ones like a hawk. I speculate it's bacterial but I cannot give you true advice on that.

What I can say is you should put Lima 2 in a clean bowl and completely break down and disinfect the 10 gal tank before you put her back in (there is a sticky I think on best way to disinfect). Likely wait a couple of weeks before you get her another tank mate, to watch her for symptoms. Keep her water params perfect. And put her in a smaller tank if she develops any symptoms so you can do daily 100% water changes.

You may want to test your tapwater and make sure your conditioner is good. It does seem a little odd to have 2 months go by and then another attack... though definitely possible with hardy diseases. And I have not personally had good experience with stress zyme or any of the other 'additive' bacteria solutions, although others on here with more experience can better speak to that.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:23 AM   #3 
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Thanks so much for your reply Katy. I'll take her out for a month or so and clean and re-cycle the main tank. She's showing some silver/white on her gills and directly behind that I had not noticed before. Behaviorally she's just as feisty as she's always been.

Interesting that you mentioned the StressZyme+, because I only started to use that and StressCoat+ after I moved the fish into the 10 gallon tank. Since I need to break down the 10 gallon tank and restart it, is there a better recommended cycle product?
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #4 
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Ypur ph is too hig, it should be at 7, and set the temp to 78 unless the fish are sick, then you do 82-84

put the healthy fish n a new bowl with all new water, and disinfect EVERYTHING even the filter and change the filter cartridge. disinfect the appliances in the tank, the gravel, the filter, the heater, the divider, EVERYTHING, even the tank itself.

then put her back in and begin recycling it again and watch liek a hawk for signd of disease
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #5 
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My first instinct is to suspect something with the water changes. But I could be off.

The water params look perfect, I wouldn't even worry about the 7.6 Ph.

The other concern is there might be something in the tank... what brand of heater do you have? I've heard of topfin ones leaking something that seems to burn their fins. Also, do you always use AQ salt? Long term use can build up in the kidneys and cause them to shut down.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:55 PM   #6 
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I'm sorry for your losses. It's horrible to lose several in a row like that.
Did you quarantine each of the Limas before putting them in the tank with Tokyo? It can't help now, but for future reference, it's a good idea to keep new fish separate and watch for disease for at least three weeks.

I'm wondering if what happened here was the fish you were pet sitting had some sort of infection (possibly a parasite?) which spread to your other fish. Do you use the same equipment for all of your fish? I've accidentally spread things by using the same bucket for water changes with different tanks.

I would not use the melafix. It has tea tree oil in it, which damages the labyrinth organ.

(By the way, don't worry about your pH, it's fine. Your temperature is perfect. And re-cycle without the fish in the tank. It's not a good idea to put the added stress of cycling on a fish that may already be ill. Basically, do it like Katy said.)

Again, I'm sorry for your loss. Good luck with Lima 2.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:01 PM   #7 
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what is a abarynth organ? and the oh can cause stress, compromising the immune system.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:06 AM   #8 
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Originally Posted by Pogthefish View Post
what is a abarynth organ? and the oh can cause stress, compromising the immune system.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #9 
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While cleaning the tank, I pulled out the heater (TopFin) and discovered that it was no longer water tight. Grrrr!!!!
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:29 PM   #10 
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Erk, he might have some poisoning from the heater. I believe epsom salt? might help. I'll send Sakura, she should know the proper treatment.

Edit: If Sakura can't help, Pataflafla went through the same thing, she should have good advice Her and Ratchets story.

Last edited by Silverfang; 04-13-2012 at 10:32 PM.
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