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SOS Please help! My betta is very sick

Discussion in 'Betta Splendens' started by Chloe07, May 7, 2019.

  1. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Remove everything from the tank except the plant, fish and filter. Something in the tank is raising the pH and it could be the gravel or something else. Plastic ornaments don't normally change the pH but gravel can. Then do a 75% water change with R/O water.

    When you have removed all the gravel and ornaments, put them in separate buckets of water. Test the pH of the buckets first and again 24 hours after you have put the gravel and ornaments in. If the pH changes over the 24 hour period, then whatever is in that bucket is raising the pH.
     
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  2. lyn Pisces

    lyn Pisces Member

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    I suggest doing a 50% water change right away... with de-chlorinated water... use prime or some other de-chlorinator. You did too much of a water change the last time getting rid of the "good" bacteria in your tank by making it too clean... when you wash the rocks and filter medium you also wash away the good bacteria so that the nitrates build up quickly in your tank. Change 50% of the water now and just wait. Next time just rinse out the filter medium in de chlorinated water to retain the good bacteria and try not to clean the rocks or anything else in your tank on which good "slimy" bacteria can reside.
     
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  3. Deanasue

    Deanasue Fish Herder
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    I have been skimming through all of this so hope I’m not repeating anyone or stepping on anyone’s toes. Colin is correct (as usual). You lost your bacteria when you cleaned everything. Your fish has been in an uncycled tank with toxic ammonia, nitrite, nitrates. Use Seachem Prime as your dechlorinator as it temporarily binds ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates protecting the fish. It only lasts 24-32 hours though and then the ammonia, etc turn toxic again. So you will need to do water changes every couple of days using Prime until the tank cycles again. Test daily with an API Freshwater test kit. Good luck!
     
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  4. Chloe07

    Chloe07 New Member

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    Thank you for your concern. I did water change yesterday and changed my internal filter to sponge filter. Few hours after water change and filter change my better seems to get better.
    I learned that I need to be extra careful for adding (like new gravel) or removing anything from the tank.
    thank you :)
     
  5. Chloe07

    Chloe07 New Member

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    Hello Colin, here is little update. I removed the plastic and new gravel. Did water change (added new water little by little prevent sudden ph change) and changed to sponge filter (had filter running in a bucket of RO water for a day)
    I increased the water to 3 gallon to dilute the concentration.
    I think the previous filter didn't do its job. Now he is so much better than few days ago, swimming peacefully and he is even playing with the bubbles.
    I put different gravel in different buckets and added RO water. RO water itself had ph 6.6
    Tested ph every 12 hrs, and as of today which is like 2days later, the river rock increased to 6.9, both fake gravel (marble & clear/blue one) is 7.3. The charcoal sponge that I put behind the filter cartridge increased the ph the most (7.6) This was so weird because people put this stuffs in their tank with no problem and maintain ph level balanced. Maybe because my tank was not cycled?

    In the tank now there is only plants, very few gravel left and the bio sponge filter. But in somehow the ph is still going up very slowly as well as the TDS, yet so much better than when it was with gravels and charcoal filter. so I'm adding little more conditioned RO water slowly.
    I'm still figuring out the reason for this.
    Current tank water is ph 7.4, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5ppm, TDS 98ppm
    I will keep monitoring him. thank you :)
     
    #35 Chloe07, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  6. Chloe07

    Chloe07 New Member

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    Thank you for your info. I recently bought API freshwater test kit. Water test in petsmart and Petco was incorrect, they told me water is perfect except the ph is little high(7.6) I was even told its not water problem so the best is to not to stress him by doing constant changes.
    I'm glad I bought API kit because it showed ph 8.2, and ammonia 0.25ppm, tds 175ppm. He was in the water win toxin and filter that doesn't function well.
    After doing the water change and everything, the tank water is so much better now. My betta improved his condition as well.
    I'm using topfin water conditioner, but I will consider to change to Prime as suggested. Thank you :)
     
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  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Did you have a separate sample of R/O water with nothing in, and monitored the pH on that too?
    This separate sample is used to compare the other containers of water to. By having a control unit, you can see how much the pH of just the water changes by itself, with nothing in it.

    Tap water (including R/O water) is under pressure and the dissolved gasses in the water can come out and change the pH. After the water has been exposed to air at normal air and water pressure, the gasses can stabilize and the pH can go up or down, depending on what gasses were forced out while the water was in the pipes. Normally the pH of tap water will go up a bit after it has been left out for 24 hours.

    It might be the rocks and gravel were actually reducing the pH and the carbon did not affect it at all, or it could be they all raised the pH. By having a control unit you can see what the pH of the water is when it has not been exposed to anything but the air. You can still do a control unit, just fill a bucket of R/O water and put it near the other containers and monitor the pH over a few days. See what the pH changes to in just a bucket of R/O water with nothing else in it.

    --------------------------
    TDS is total dissolved solids and includes anything and everything that is dissolved in the water. TDS is not really worth bothering with for most situations. If the R/O water gets a high TDS then it probably needs a clean, but apart from that, most aquariums will get higher TDS readings over time, and they get reduced with the water changes.

    If your pH is hanging around 7.4-7.6 then leave it there. It is better for the fish if the pH is stabile and doesn't fluctuate.

    A nitrate reading of 5ppm is nothing to worry about and is pretty good compared to most tanks so just try to keep it as low as possible. 5ppm will probably be as low as you can get the tank water to because of the nitrates in the water supply.

    Everything else sounds like it is improving so that is good. Monitor the fish over the next few weeks and continue with regular water changes using the R/O water.
     
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  8. Chloe07

    Chloe07 New Member

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    You are right! I have R/O water from 2days ago which was pH 6.6. I just tested now and it is 6.8
    I will still do pH test for couple more days to make sure which gravel to put in. My betta is swimming all day, very peacefully.
    The plants are floating because there is no gravel but I wanted to show how happy he is. Many thanks to you :)
     

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  9. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fishaholic
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    Looking much better and happier I agree! I’m so pleased he pulled through.

    You should consider entering the next tank of the month contest held in June. Your tank looks very lovely and clean!

    Best of luck.
     
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  10. Fishmanic

    Fishmanic Moderator
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    Great looking betta... in the second half of June, I will be starting a Fish of the Month contest.. you should really consider entering that beauty in that contest!

    The tank of the month contest resumes around June 1st.

    If you have a pet besides fish, right now we are running the Pet of the Month contest.
     
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  11. Chloe07

    Chloe07 New Member

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    Thank you, actually I'm watching lots of videos about bigger planted tanks since my betta is swimming around all day. Bigger tanks are easier to maintain I heard.
    For the new tank, I need to study more about cycling patiently. I appreciate your compliment, thank you :)
     
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  12. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fishaholic
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    You are correct, bigger tanks are much easier to maintain!

    Your Betta would probably love a bigger home, especially with lots of plants :)

    The nitrogen cycle isn’t too complicated once you get the hang of it. Best of luck!
     
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