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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. I used to breed betta fish for years before I joined the military. I moved down to South Carolina, and missed my betta babies, and got a cute lil doubletail. It died before the day was out. I tried again, checking the water chemestry, and being careful bringing the new one home. The white VT seems content. Two days later, bottom up. I am frustrated. I buy a new tank, double check the spring water, and get a gorgeous halfmoon DT. He stays alive. Good. Two weeks pass, I get a cute yellow VT. They are both happily swimming. Next full water change... The DT dies. I cried a little. The VT stays alive for another month.

What am I doing? I check the water chemestry each change, they both had gallon tanks, I gave them a regular diet between blood worms and pellets, regular temp at 77... I am at a loss. Is it the store I am buying from? Or do I have death fingers? I am afraid to get another. My tanks have lain empty for four months now.
 

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You say you're using Spring Water? That could be it, as it doesn't have any nutrients in it. Why don't you try tap water and condition it with stress coat? Before you get another one, clean everything in the tank REALLY good with really hot water and maybe a little white vinegar. Then rinse it REALLY REALLY good and try again. BTW, what size is the tank?
 

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oh nooo! i'm so sorry to hear about your troubles. :[ it could possibly be the store you're buying from. i had a little spell where a few of my bettas died before a week was over. ugh. so now i'm REALLY careful of which ones i get.

you didn't mention conditioner though, are you using one?
 

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oh and i agree with the spring water! totally forgot about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was using betta plus conditioner, I used tap water the first time, smelled really strongly of chlorine. I was using the same brand of water from when I bred fish, but they may have changed how they proccess their water. Ugh. Thank you... I am going to shop around for a different store, though, before I try again. Their tanks are 1 gal shallows with bottom filters.
 

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If you need to use spring water then add stress coat to it to add some nutrients.
 

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Just use tap water and treat it with Tetra Bettasafe or another one. I like to use bettasafe because it heals the betta fins and slime fast.
 

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Poor you, and poor fishies..

It most likely is the store you are getting them from.. what I call "New Fish Syndrome".. basically they die soon after purchase for unknown causes. It happens a lot unfortunately, especially stores that purchase from mass breeders (which is most).

Agree, tap water with water conditioner..

For a 1 gallon, you necessarily don't need a filter, as you won't be able to hold a cycle in something that size. I would say dump the filter and do 1 50% and 1 100% water change per week.. otherwise recommended with filter for that size is 1 50% water only, and 1 50% substrate vacuuming per week.. which can be tricky in a 1 gallon.

I am assuming you are using a heater? If not, the temps may be fluctuating too much during day/night, which can cause stress/shock when it's too great and too quick.

You don't need to use Stress Coat.. I don't like to use it as my main conditioner as it lacks certain elements and protection as others (see signature link). I personally only place in a couple drops if needed along with my regular conditioner. Stress Coat is safe to use, haven't had issue with it over the last 17 years.. but it doesn't protect from chloramine and ammonia (not all will, it's just a personal preference).
Personally, the ideal ones to use are Seachem Prime, Tetra AquaSafe and AquaScience Ultimate.

Again, I'm sorry you are having troubles with your little ones.. wish there was an answer, but it could of been anything from internal parasites, to rot, etc that came with them. One thing to keep in mind, even though we want to "rescue" the ones who are the smallest, thinnest, who are missing fins, etc.. we can't always. Look for one(s) that are swimming and moving actively, who doesn't have black edging on their fins that look crusty and flaking off.. don't get the overly skinny ones, as they may just be hungry, or they may have internal parasites (I am assuming you know this stuff from your breeding experience.. this was also to help others when picking out new fish :) ).

Good luck, and I hope you don't give up on them.. as since you have had them in the past, you know how wonderful these little ones can be.
 

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Dang the luck.....it can be so frustrating when you have unknown deaths like that.....but don't give up.....since you have already received good information from others I won't go into some info...

One question I have....how did you acclimate the Bettas to your source water and with the 100% water changes....sometimes with an already compromised Betta the smallest chemistry change can be fatal.

What are the water pram numbers of tank water and source water without any additives-for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and KH/GH if you have that too and what kind of testing products are you using

What kind of additives are you using and have you added/used any type of medications.

Do you work with any chemicals or any new chemicals used in the house, are the tanks kept near the kitchen or bathroom, do you wash your hands before working on the tanks or feeding the fish(I am sure you do)-this is to help rule out environmental causes/contamination...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just had a huge post that got deleted. *sigh*

Anyways. I am across country visiting family, so I dont know what test strip brand I had. But when I restart, Im thinking I am going to start keeping a log book again like I did for my spawning tanks.

My husband is paranoid that my "Betta Madness" will kick back in. But if that is what it takes to keep my pretties healthy, then he will just have to deal with me taking over the spare bedroom!

Thank you for the product suggestions! I dont feel confident in my knowhow after that long line of losses. And I sure am glad to have found this site. Before I didnt have any way to ask for help if an entire spawning went bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
BTW... If I went back into the swing of it, if you have bred bettas, what have you used to feed the young fry? I had issues with daphniea cultures, and brine shrimp clouded the water.
 

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The same thing happened to me. First 4 bettas all died in like 24 hours :shock:

I came to the conclusion that petco just sucks. I make sure the fish is alert in his little cup and does not have any fuzzies growing on him.
 

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The same thing happened to me. First 4 bettas all died in like 24 hours :shock:

I came to the conclusion that petco just sucks. I make sure the fish is alert in his little cup and does not have any fuzzies growing on him.
The two I bought from Petco died within two days. My Petsmart boys do fine. My Walmart guy has lived the longest. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I finally figured it out. I had to get a new testing kit, and discuss water with the local freshwater fish store.

South Carolina is one of the worst places to use tap water.

I need to double shock the water with detoxifier, and water treatments. The ammonia levels in the tap water are so high the test tubes turn black, and that is after using the recommended amount for treatment.

So, I have to treat my water every week, and watch levels carefully. All my previous fish died... including my lavender Double Halfmoon Rosetail...

I now have only ONE fish. And he is a red walmart veil tail with horrible red loss. His name is Hershey's Kisses...and he is indestructible.
 

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Where in SC are you? I used bottled water when I had betta before, but read that tap is better. Didn't have a lot to invest so haven't gotten a test kit. Just conditioner. Little nervous now. Sorry to revive an old post. We are in the upstate. Wondering if it is worse near the coast or if it makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Where in SC are you? I used bottled water when I had betta before, but read that tap is better. Didn't have a lot to invest so haven't gotten a test kit. Just conditioner. Little nervous now. Sorry to revive an old post. We are in the upstate. Wondering if it is worse near the coast or if it makes any difference.
It isn't that expensive to get the ammonia test kit, or the all in one strip. I just make sure I use an ammonia detoxifier, and a water conditioner. Then I test the water again...everything is going great with my bettas.

Oh, I live near Charleston.
 

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Oh, I'm so sorry about your losses...but I'm glad you were finally able to figure it out...even if the water sucks. :p

I had the same thing happen with the walmart fish...It blows my mind that the fish from walmart are the healthiest/toughest. Seriously...and it seems to be all the walmarts, not just ones in certain areas. Bizarre.
I've also noticed that certain breeds seem to be healthier. My crowntails are definitely the toughest, followed by veils...and then everything else.
Petco fish are usually really sick I've noticed, fortunately I've only had one death, and he died the night I purchased him, and I was not surprised. I have one who is apparently just determined to live, because he had ammonia poisioning so badly his scales were sloughing off in his tiny cup full of rancid, food and waste laden water. :( Fortunately, he made it through and now has lovely delta fins...when he doesn't chew them off...But he's my little survivor.

Petco does NOT take care of their fish. :( I can't tell about the ones at Petsmart, because they use a blue dye in the water...I like to believe that's to help the fish, but I'm mostly positive it's to prevent people from really being able to see the fish and hiding the nasty water. :(
Pet Supplies Plus seems to do a fairly good job, and walmart...of all places...seems to have pretty decent water conditions. There's never enough water in there, but it's usually pretty clean, and they always have the "betta water" sitting around with the cups. I think they just dump them out and add water in every couple of days, so there's not really any "care" going on, but they're inadvertantly doing the right thing. Or maybe they just rarely get fed at the walmart, so their water is less polluted? Weird.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now, I'm so glad you were able to figure out the problem! :)
 

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I can't tell about the ones at Petsmart, because they use a blue dye in the water...I like to believe that's to help the fish, but I'm mostly positive it's to prevent people from really being able to see the fish and hiding the nasty water. :(
I work at PetSmart. We are told that it is a medication to prevent things like fin rot. I do not know exactly what is in it (as I do not work in the pet care department). But, I can say that at my store I have never noticed any fin rot issues. Actually, at my store the fish are generally very healthy. The pet care people really do care about the fish. Actually, I think almost everyone in the store owns a betta themselves.
 

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I work at PetSmart. We are told that it is a medication to prevent things like fin rot. I do not know exactly what is in it (as I do not work in the pet care department). But, I can say that at my store I have never noticed any fin rot issues. Actually, at my store the fish are generally very healthy. The pet care people really do care about the fish. Actually, I think almost everyone in the store owns a betta themselves.
Thanks so much for the information!! I had hoped it was something positive like that. :) I've only purchased one from Petsmart so far, and he's actually a gift for a friend's daughter, so I'm thrilled to know that he should be healthy. :) Thanks again! :)
 
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