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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ARG!!! I can't catch a break. Lets start from the top. I set up my sorority in my 29gal last month and made my own sponge filter. I wasn't expecting it to fall apart so soon. It so disgusting, there was fungus or something growing on it. Looked slimy and opaque and stuck to the sponge. Gross. I decided to go for a real sponge filter. The home made sponge filter was so bad (and smelly) I had to throw it out. So, of course, my cycle crashed. Unfortunately, I had to be away for that weekend after I had replaced the filter. Needless to say, my ammonia spiked and killed 4 of my girls. (2 definitely dropsy cases) I immediately did a 50% water change and bought StressZyme to add. I've been testing my water everyday and using Prime with water changes but the ammonia always seems to be so high. Today, one of my girls wasn't eating. I netted her and put her in the hospital tank. She's got severe pop eye. I used a bit of Melafix because it said to use in cases of pop eye. She hasn't eaten, she isn't pine-coned but her eyes are huge. I just don't know what the solution to my problem is. Oh and I have westeria? in my tank. Just a little bit. Any ideas? Here's a pic of the sick one.

 

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pic isn't showing up for me.

have you tested your tap water for ammonia?

How many fish do you have in the 29g?

Here's from the pop eye sticky:
Popeye
•Symptoms: One or both eyes will swell and bulge out. It in itself can also be a symptom of Dropsy.
•Treatment: Usually not fatal if treated, but your betta might lose an eye. Conservative: If the swelling is extreme then use ES first. Perform 100% daily water changes. You may be able to treat the popeye with just Epsom and clean water. However, if the swelling goes down but the eyes remain cloudy/white, then switch to Aq.Salt at 1tsp/gal or use medications. Do not combine Aq.Salt with medications but you can continue to use ES during medical treatments. Medication: If ES or Aq.Salt do not do the trick or it is a serious case of popeye, then combine the ES with API Tetracycline, API Fungus Cure, API General Cure, API Triple Sulfa, OR Mardel’s Maracyn.
Isn't Melafix bad? i'm not sure but it may be the one that contains tree oil that's bad for bettas. I'm not 100% tho, someone help me on that.
 

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Yes, Bettafix and Melafix are bad. As EvilVOG said they contain tree oil which can damage the labyrinth organ. They often do more bad than good. I would add Epsom salt and do more water changes, and do what the quote said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Right now i have around 10-15 girls in the 29gal. I did test the ammonia in my tap water and it was 0. I just tested my 29gal right now. I just did a 25% water change yesterday and these are the results. :mad: I don't understand.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have 8 plastic plants, 1 bunch of westeria, one bamboo plant, one medium piece of driftwood and two aquarium safe castles. I don't get it. Oh and about 20 ghost shrimp along with the 10-15 girls and 2 Oto cats (I will be adding at least 2 more Otos soon)
 

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I did find out that the "silicone" coral plants I bought at walmart have been reported to cause serious problems with ammonia levels. As soon as I took them out of my 1 10gal I stopped having ammonia spikes.
I also used Nutrafins cycle product. helped balance everything out when I did a 100% change and scrubbed everything with a firm toothbrush!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just added the shrimp yesterday. Don't think they are the problem. I forgot to mention I have 2 Corona beer bottles in there too. Could that be the issue? There is maybe one snail that was a stowaway on one of the live plants. The substrate is just normal little rocks I bought from the LFS.
 

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You say ten to fifteen in your tank...
Have you checked all of them carefully and done a good head count? A dead fish hiding somewhere in the tank can cause serious ammonia like that. I had "ten to fifteen" white cloud mountain minnows in one of my tanks - two died and I took them out... Checked the parameters and found I was having an ammonia spike. Changing the water didn't seem to help, I was panicking... I vacuumed like crazy. Didn't help. It was only when I took *every* piece of decoration out that I found one had wedged itself into a gap in a plastic plant where I couldn't see it and died.

I would take every single thing out and check them *well*. I wouldn't wash them in anything other than tank water to keep the good bacteria one them, but I would definitely check closely. Female bettas can be very tiny and get wedged in the smallest places where you would never expect. If there is any chance at all you have missed one, you might have a tiny corpse deteriorating somewhere hidden.
 

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The bamboo plant... is it live? If it is and the leaves are submerged it could be that the plant is rotting as it is only semi-aquatic causing it to foul the water. If only the stalk is underwater then I'm not entirely sure.

I'm sorry for your losses! :( I hope you're able to figure it out soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I counted 15 today. I've been doing water changes with a siphon so I have been vacuuming the gravel. That's how I found 2 dead fish. But so far, nothing else has died. The bamboo is completely submerged but looks very healthy; all green. I took the bottles out just in case. I did another water change today. On average I've been doing 25% water changes every other day. It is definitely a 29 gallon. The dimensions match what a 29 gallon should be. I don't get it. It's driving me crazy. BTW, the girl I had in my hospital tank didn't make it. If I feed the fish only once a day, or maybe just every other day, would it help? They are fed live and frozen bloodworms, New Life Spectrum pellets, live white worms, and sometimes mini meal worms if my frogs don't want them. But I've been feeding them 2x a day everyday because I'm not sure which female I will end up breeding and I thought I may as well condition them all.
 
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