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i had a betta sorority in a 10 gallon filtered aquarium.lots of fake plants and hiding places.with heater..water was around 78 to 79 degrees F...my nitrates and nitrites were at 0 and still should be.my ph was around 7.6...but my ammonia was just awful..it was always at 2ppm or higher.a couple fish died.1 was attacked.i quarantined them in several small tank i had to heal the rest and work on the tank.left my oldest in there who for a while seemed happy as he can be..finally the other 4 got so sick..slowly started to die off.the last 1 just died this morning.yesterday i checked my ammonia.it was at 1ppm..i till have 1 female i had to remove a while back because she was too violent..shes in a 2 gallon currently..

what i want to know is should i redo my tank.empty the water.clean everything...and recycle my tank and put her in..or should i just leave the setup as is and lower the ammonia and put her in?im assuming my other girls died from ammonia burns.they wouldnt swim much.stayed at the bottom.went from their colors down to a grey ghost white..

i dont want to take the risk of hurting her.im upset because my other ones died.the 1 i have in the 2 gallon likes to go down inside the bubble tube a lot.she doesnt get hurt or anything.but want to put her in my 10 gallon.or possible get a male and maybe breed some since i have a 15 gallon hex tank and a 20 gallon long.sorry i typed so much,just want to give details..oh the first 1 that died had ICH ...i treated her.but i think i put her in the tank too soon..i did a lot of research before getting these fish.months of research and planning.i came here a lot to do that research..

but what im getting at is.completely clean the 10 gallon.or leave as is and lower the ammonia level and use it for her?

thanks in advanced nathan
 

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I'm not an expert by any means, so hopefully someone more experienced can give you some better advice, but I'd clean the tank and everything in it thoroughly and start again.
It almost sounds like there's something in there that's causing the water parameters to be funky, so maybe clean everything (Boiling works great, just plain water, but getting it that hot and letting it boil on the stove will kill anything without having to use soap and risk residue, you can boil the plants, most of the plastic peices, and I'd throw out the gravel of if you use marbles you can boil those too. And you can run the tank itself through a dish washer cycle, just don't put any soap, just run the washer through once with only the water and rinse everything really well when you're done just in case there is some dish detergent residue from the washer.) and the put it back in a bit at a time, and see if you could isolate any sort of weirdness that way? I'm with you, I'd be afraid to put a fish in there after the die-off until I'd cleaned everything and it all started reading correctly. Good luck to you!!
 

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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having so much trouble.....

You may have started with sick fish from the get go and the added stress of a newly setup aquarium/sorority compromised the immune response and things snowballed so-to speak.......

I agree that you do need to start over, however, I think a good cleaning/vacuuming of the substrate, large water change with a good rinse of the filter media is all that needs to be done on the tank itself.

Most of pathogens/bacteria that become problematic to our fish are always in the water/environment and no amount of cleaning will rid all of them-Then you risk killing off all the good bacteria that help take care of the bad bacteria/pathogen-What help keep the fish healthy/prevents issues- is their immune response. But since this is a closed system we have to help by maintain water quality.....

Have a few questions-
What type of testing products are you using, tell me about your source water-is it city supplied tap and if so-does it go through any type of water softening system, well water...etc....Have you tested the source water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, if so, post those numbers. Type of additives used, type of filter and filter media care, type of substrate/how deep.

How long was the tank running-I suspect the tank wasn't cycled since you didn't have a nitrate reading. How much and how often did you make water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thank you Blue Fish and Oldfishlady...i really appreciate the replies..

my dad had pointed out that the fish could have gotten sick from the plants i had put in there.i had bought them off craigslist from a local guy..i did clean them using hot running water in the sink.but wanted to throw that in there anyways..

i do think i had a sick fish from my LFS..i do want to completely clean the tank out.but knowing if i do i have to completely recycle the tank.though there is no rush since my last betta i fine in her 2 gallon.

sorry i forgot to mention more details about my setup and everything..

What type of testing products are you using? i use API Fresh Water Master Test Kit

tell me about your source water? its city water..i live in Phoenix, Arizona..i dont have any water softeners or anything hooked to it.im in an apartment complex.


Have you tested the source water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH?just tested it.these are the results..
ammonia-0 nitrite-0 nitrate-0 pH-7.6


Type of additives used?
aquarium salt.usually about 1 teaspoon for the 10 gallons.but i rarely use it..water conditioner.i currently use Aqueon brand.but have several other types at hand..API Bettafix is what i ue to medicate for fins and skin..

type of filter and filter media care? it came with my Aqueon 10 gallon basic aquarium..the filter is Quietflow Power Filtration..

type of substrate/how deep. ? white rocks,about an inch to an inch and a half deep.

How long was the tank running? i actually had the tank running for a week before adding any fish in it..didnt realize it takes a lot longer than that for a cycle.but i have had it setup for about 2 months now..

How much and how often did you make water changes.? i did about a 25% water change about twice a week..the past week with my fish getting so sick.i changed it more often and up to 50% a couple times.

i can also take pictures of the 10 gallon as is.only difference is no more fish in it..
 

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sorry i also forgot to mention that the first fish that died that had ICH..at the top of my tank was what looked like fish oil which caused bubbles to accumulate
at the top.using a paper towel to soak some of it away..after she died and i took her out.it all went away and top water was fine.so i think she was the sick one that caused my others to get sick since they attacked and killed her.
 

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What kind of plants and how many...are the plants thriving or growing well...what type of lights do you have....watts and kelvin as well as PP.
Did you add any ferts...

It sounds more like overstocking in an uncycled tank......really odd that you never had nitrate reading in 2 months...but this could be the plants or user error on the test product.....

Be sure and shake, bang on the table and shake some more on the #2reagent nitrate bottle-it tend to settle and can give skewed readings....as well as follow the directions to the "T" especially on shaking between drops and reading results....
 

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they are al plastic plants..all are soft..most are in the gravel.i have 1 floating...its the basic incandescent light bulbs...maybe 5 or 10 watts each..they are cheap bulbs that comes with any starter kit..

i shake them a little hard..but dont go crazy with it..i read at 1 point to shake hard to even bang them..though i should try a little harder.i read the instructions to the point i remember it by heart...i was kinda curious myself y i didnt have any nitrate.i know i should have some after the tank is fully cycled....i kept checking waiting to see the ammonia readings to go down and nitrate to go up as i read on many aquarium forums....ill check the readings again and some pictures and post in another reply...going to take a few minutes.my niece and nephew just got here so i can babysit them :)
 

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ammonia seems to have gone up a little.though there hasnt been any fish in the tank for the past couple days..its at about 1ppm..though i have not changed the water the past few days... ph is at 7.6 nitrate looks to be just a little above 0 maybe around 1 roughly..and nitrite is at 0...i took some pix of the setup,hopefully they will upload here.i thought about getting some rosy red minnows to put in there and see how they do.
 

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I'm a new betta owner, but from what I've read ammonia should be at 0, right? You said you're only doing about 25% water changes twice a week, I usually do 50% water changes 1-2 times a week plus a 100% water change 1 time a week, but I also have a 3 gallon tank, it might be different for you.

Another question, how many females did you have in the tank, and did you have a male in there too? I don't know if that's a typo or if you have a male. Ammonia burns might be due to low water quality, and over crowding. I'm not 100% sure, but maybe someone else can help better.
 

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yes it should be at about 0.being at 0 i will have some nitrates..which is odd bcuz the tank shoulda cycled already and still no nitrates or nitrites.

since i have a filtered aquarium above 5 gallons i read and was told its recommended to do about a 25% water change so i dont remove a lot of beneficial bacteria...

i had 5 girls in it.i had told a few others on here and it was because my tank wasnt cycled.but after giving more detail on what wa wrong with them in other post.some say it wasnt so much ammonia that did it.my ammonia wasnt high enough to really cause any harm to them and was at the stage of cycling.

someone mentioned about some kinda blood disease and gave me the symptoms and signs which is just about on the money what my fish had.and they all died at the same time.which they shouldnt have if it was all ammonia poisoning.

oh i didnt have a male in there.just 5 girls..and thank you for replying.im glad its still being viewed
 

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Oh no I'm so sorry! You've been very helpful for me on my thread!

I don't have a lot of personal experience but I've read a lot of articles. From what I've read whenever you see massive deaths in a tank, you should use bleach to soak this container that housed whatever might've killed your bettas because they get rid of 80% of anything that could've caused their deaths (except for tuberculosis and dropsy, of which there is no known cure, and if your pets had that throw away the tank, according to the article). I would do some research for the specifics though, and if I stumble on the article again, I will definitely forward it. Hope that helps, good luck!

Found it on bettatalk!!

u how to sanitize a bowl that housed a sick fish

1. Soak empty jar/bowl, fishnets, tank accessories, filters heater etc in a mixture of tap water and Clorox (1 part Clorox to 20 parts water ). WARNING: Bleach kills fish. Do not allow bleach to come into contact with your betta, plants, snails etc... Ever.

2. Allow to marinate for up to one hour.




3. RINSE RINSE RINSE and RINSE again!

4. Wipe dry with a paper towel.

5. I recommend you then let everything sit in the direct sunlight for one to two days. Sunlight will zap any residual bleach left in or on the tank/jar etc, so it will be safe for you fish to return to his home...





u how to sanitize a tank that housed sick fish

1. If a whole tank is infected badly, you might want to tear it down. Move all fishies to new quarters.

2. Empty contaminated tank.

3. Throw away any LIVE plants (they cannot be sanitized).

4. Remove all rocks and gravel ( rocks and gravel cannot be soaked in Clorox as they will absorb it and then probably poison your fish. Since I have always used natural gravel, I have always put the gravel and rocks in a tray lined up with aluminum foil and baked them in my oven at 450F for about an hour. Kills everything. Now if your gravel is coated, I hear it may cause some problems, possibly melt the coating. Perhaps you can test a few rocks and see what happens. If the coating melts, then try baking the gravel at only 250F and bake it a bit longer. Should do the job. either way, when done baking rocks LOL, let them cool off and put them back in your tank (AFTER YOU HAVE RINSED TANK FROM THE CLOROX/WATER MIXTURE).

5. The tank should be filled with water and Clorox should be added (same proportion as above).

6. Throw in there the filter (Throw away all the filtering media before soaking filters), heater, thermometer, any plastic plants, anything plastic.

7. Let it soak for a couple hours.

8. Then empty and rinse rinse rinse etc…

9. If you can (have garden or balcony) let everything sit in direct sunlight for a couple days.

10. Put brand new filtering media in your filter, and put your tank back together, fill with water and let it run for a few days before adding bettas to it. I recommend using “CYCLE” which helps reintroduce the nitrobacter which are necessary to your tank’s filtration. I also recommend doubling the dose of Amquel the first time you fill the tank, just to be sure.



u important warnings!

1. CLOROX KILLS BETTAS!!! Do not allow ANY bleach to come into contact with ANY living thing, especially your fish! It will KILL THEM pretty instantly (or within minutes).

2. Do not bleach plants.

3. Do not bleach rocks or gravel.

4. Do not bleach any ceramic ornaments .

5. You can only bleach safely plastic and glass.

6. Almost all bacteria are killed by bleach, but not ALL of them. If you are dealing with very very serious infection/epidemic, I recommend throwing everything away and starting over from scratch (i know it hurts, but take it like a man! LOL).

7. Air drying alone will not kill all bacteria. It may kill some, while others will live through it and flourish again once the conditions become right (adding water and new fish). hence air drying a tank alone will NOT sanitize it.

8. Hot water and salt will not kill all bacteria. It may kill some but many will survive. Hence bleaching is a much better approach (more efficient). Use salt and hot water for routine maintenance, but bleach for sanitizing contaminated tanks/bowls.



Well... What are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves and GET TO WORK! (and make it snappy LOL)
 

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its ok :) i learned from my mistakes.its sad that these girls had to suffer like that.but alteat not they die in vain and i can share with others to prevent it..thnak you missmayr also for the post.i was thinking about doing something like that but wasnt sure about the gravel and exactly how to do it.someone had posted on another thread that it might have been blood poisoning or something like that and it killed them off.i thought of getting the cheap feeder fish and putting in there also as a way to test and see how they react.i wanted to get feeder fish as a pet.so if they survive even better.

though i hate to put them through it.but they will be remembered and help save other fish life..again thank you :)
 
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