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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My very first pet (a betta male) died yesterday, so I just want to make sure I don't make the same mistakes I did when I go and get my next one.

By the way, I got him from one of my neighbors who was moving away - who kept him in an unheated 1 quart bowl. He came to me in a really bad condition, with fin rot and ich - which he seemed to fully heal from within 2 months. He never really ate much or moved around much - but when he came to me, he would just sit at the bottom of the tank, so there was some improvement. So why did he die?

By the way, he lived for about 8 months after I got him.

Anyway, here were his living conditions with me (when I wasn't treating him for the fin rot) : (PLEASE tell me if I was doing anything wrong)

- 10 gallon tank (although I only filled it up to about 8.5 gallons)
- 81 degrees F
- no tank mates
- pebbles at bottom
- filtered
- 2 gallon water change once a week
- fed 2 pellets twice a day (but he didn't usually eat it all)

Oh, and finally - how should I clean his tank before getting the next betta, since I don't know what killed him?

ANY advice that will help my next betta live longer would be much appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Did you have a heater for his tank?

Also you should have been doing 50% water changes (so about 4 gallons) a week but the 2 gallon water change would not have been the reason that he died.

Did you cycle your tank?

My first guess is that his health was seriously impaired by his prior living conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot for the water changing tip!! And yes, I have a heater for his tank but no, I did not cycle his tank. How exactly do you do that? I've looked up a lot of sites, but every one of them says to do something different. Thanks!!
 

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Here are some links to some information about it.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=111960
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=107771
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

Its actually much easier to do then you think.

Right now you have a choice. You can either do a fish less cycles or a fish in cycle. I personally did fish in cycle with bettas and didn't have any issues.

What you'll need
- Seachem Prime Water conditioner
- API Liquid Master Freshwater Test Kit
- A filter (duh :D)
- An Ammonia Source (I personally prefer fish in method so your fish would be the ammonia source)
- bottled beneficial bacteria (I like Tetra SafeStart)

set up the tank - filter, heater, and all. Add the Prime. Let the filter run.
after 24 hours pour double the amount of tetra safestart then the bottle says directly into the filter.
Now you need to start testing the water every single day. When the ammonia or nitrite reaches .25ppm. Do a 50% water change.
in addition to testing the water, add 2-3 drops of Prime directly into your tank every single day
The levels in your tank will be as follows, First the ammonia levels will drop and you'll start to see nitrite levels and then those will drop and you will start to nitrate levels. When your ammonia and nitrite levels are at zero your tank is cycled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That does seem much simpler! Thank you so much for the links and such a detailed explanation! Sorry, but I just have one more question that I didn't find an answer for in the links - How often should I cycle the tank? (I assume not very often since cycling in itself takes quite a bit of time?)
 

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You only need to cycle it once. Once it's cycled then it's cycled for life as long you as keep the filter on and always have an ammonia source in the tank :)
 
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