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New to forum with SICK beta:( Advice please!
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paisley
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012

PostPosted: 2012.02.26(Sun)3:03    Post subject: New to forum with SICK beta:( Advice please! Reply with quote

Hi~
I have had my beta (blue male veiltail) since around Christmas, so 2 months about. He was sick once before and I treated him with cephalexin, beta revive and epsom salt. This worked wonders and he was almost back to normal. Then about 2 days ago I noticed he wasn't looking so good any longer. He is clamping his fins down again and swimming in weird jerking motions. Also he is floating at the top agian and not just while sleeping:( Not sure what is going on. We have a 10Gallon tank that has almost completed a fishless cycle and were going to put him in there when it's finished. For now he is in one of those 2L cubes. I do 100% water changes EVERY day and usually add a grain or two of Epsom salt since his first illness. I did stop adding the salt once he got better since I didn't think he would need it.
I also noticed that he does look like he is coated in a thin white, not neccisarily salt looking though, more fluid than that. I began to treat him again with cephalexin and beta revive yesterday. It has been a month since his last course of antibiotics and I don't want to overtreat him but what do I do differently?? I know the cube is too small that is why I do 100% changes but the tank isn't yet cycled. It will be ready in about a week. Can beta fish get yeast?? What else should I do, it breaks my heart to see him so sad and unhealthy. Please help!?!?!?
Paisley
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2012.02.26(Sun)4:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK.

Remove the ammonia source from the 10 gallon tank and do a 100% water change using dechlorinated, temperature matched water. Leave for half an hour & then repeat.

Then put the Betta in that tank.
The the toxin levels in a cycling 10g tank will be far less than you are subjecting him to in the 2L cube not to mention the stress of 100% water changes and the temperature changes.

Strangely once you give them appropriate conditions they often make a speedy recovery.
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paisley
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012

PostPosted: 2012.02.26(Sun)11:26    Post subject: Add beta to tank??? Reply with quote

OK, I just have a few more questions before I add him to the tank.
Here are the water parameters of the tank as of right now:
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: between 2ppm-5ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
I did this testing with the API freshwater master liquid one. I tested the pH on 2/22 and it was between 7.2 and 7.6 so about 7.4
The tank was pretty much done cycling on 2/23. I would add over 1/4tsp ammonia and it was gone in 12 1/2 hrs!! YAY! However, I decided to add the plants first before the fish just so I wouldn't have to deal with the Nitrite spike with the fish in, and b/c he doesn't seem to be in the best of health. Here are the parameters the day before plants 2/24
Nitrite: 2ppm
Nitrate: 40ppm
Plant were added at 1pm 2/25 and 7 hours later the Nitrite had gone down to 1ppm.??? And as stated above this morning 2/26 the Nitrite: 2ppm was increasing slightly as expected. However, I have not added any ammonia since the night of 2/24 since I thought some of the plants wouldn't make it and would create some ammonia in their decay. The plants are doing great though and the Nitrate: 5ppm has gone down significantly from the plants. I am assuming that since I didn't add any ammonia source the plants are consuming the nitrates.?
I just started the fishless cycle (with NO bio help) on 2/10 and I am scared to put the beta in there already b/c of the Nitrites. Wouldn't 100% water changes in the 10G tank destroy some of the beneficial bacteria that I have established??
Sorry for all the questions, I just don't want to loose this fish!! I am on well water so no need to dechlorinate. My well water naturally has 10ppm Nitrates as well, so the tank only having 5ppm shows it is cycling good right?? Also, I plan on drip acclimating the fish before putting him in just to be safer.Smile
Thanks,
Paisley
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2012.02.26(Sun)12:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bacteria you have been cultivating don't live in the water but adhere to surfaces so a water change won't remove them unless you shock them with unsuitable new water.
If you have some nitrites reducing the tank will support the Betta and he will be safer than in the death cube.

The nitrates in the tank being less than well water is noting to do with the cycle -it is the plants at work.
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paisley
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012

PostPosted: 2012.02.26(Sun)22:15    Post subject: Nitrite issue!! Reply with quote

Okay I took your advice and did a water change on the 10Gallon. I was unable to do a 100% change all at once since it seemed that the tall plants were going to break if I took out ALL of the water. So at 4pm I changed out about 1/3 or 3 gallons of water, I tested at 5;50pm Nitrite was still 2ppm!!! It didn't go down at ALL!! So I changed the water again @ 6:15pm and took out 14Qt.s or roughly 3 1/2 Gallons. I just retested @ 7:41pm and Nitrite was STILL 2ppm!! What gives???
So just in case (we have well water) I tested our tap water and Nitrite 0ppm as it should be. I don't understand how the Nitrites have NOT dropped at ALL with a total change of 9 1/2 gallons on a 10 gallon tank.!? Someone please help me!! I do not want to put the beta in there with the Nitrites that high but if I don't get an ammonia source in there soon or add ammonia again the good bacteria will die off. However, I don't want to add ammonia since it will just become Nitrite and make my problem continue! I feel like I am in an endless cycle! I would almost say that the Nitrite looks as if it may have went up, right in between 2-5ppm!!!
Should I add a tiny bit of Epsom salt?? Will that hurt the plants? Any other suggestions???
Paisley
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diademhill
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PostPosted: 2012.02.27(Mon)3:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do the maths - you took out a third so diluted the remainder with the ammonia still present.
You then repeated this and each time ammonia had chance to be converted again.
You actually only did a 50% change as the second time was of a dilution.


The plants will be fine if you drop the water out - that is how they are shipped.
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paisley
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012

PostPosted: 2012.02.27(Mon)14:38    Post subject: NO ammonia was present Reply with quote

Actually there is NO ammonia source in the tank. I was using janitorial strength 10% ammonia liquid when I was adding ammonia to the tank. However, I have NOT added ANY ammonia at all since 2/23 and it is now 2/27!! When I tested the tank 12 hrs after I added the ammonia on 2/23 it was already 0ppm, and NO ammonia has been added since. The reason I quit adding the ammonia was b/c I added plants to the tank on 2/24 and the LFS guy said that some of the plants may break down and die causing ammonia and a Nitrite spike. So I expected that. The plants are doing just fine and the Nitrites are steady at 2ppm and never went up or down. However, the plants have been consuming the Nitrates which were at 40ppm prior to plants and are now at 5ppm. So I did all of those water changes with NO ammonia in the tank, why then are the Nitrites still steady?? I added 1 1/2tsp sodium bicarbonate as I read in another post on here that said 9 times out of 10 that will cause the Nitrite spike to go down if it is stalled for some reason. I added that at 8:30pm last night and retested this morning 2/27 @ 8:30am and Nitrites between 2-5ppm!!! I just don't get it! Any further suggestions of what people have done when this has happened to them would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Paisley
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2012.02.27(Mon)14:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to do as close to a 100% change as possible... I have done a ton of fishless cycles using pure ammonia and you'd have to do a zillion small water changes to make up for not doing a big change.

Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
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paisley
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012

PostPosted: 2012.02.27(Mon)14:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I have tested the tap/well water and it is as follows:
pH: 6.8
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm

I took out 9 1/2 gallons of water total yesterday and repleaced it with tap water. You think I should do another w/c of this size?? Why would the Nitrites remain the same w/o an ammonia source??
Thank you!!
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nikelodeon79
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PostPosted: 2012.02.27(Mon)15:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

You either need to do one large water changes or however many small water changes it takes to get the nitrites down. I would recommend one large water change... if your plants can't take a large water change than something needs to be done to prop them up, as you may need to do large water changes in the future.

My tanks are all fairly heavily planted and plants can take a surprising amount of abuse, LOL. A lot of stem plants actually can grow roots anywhere so if your plant is a stem plant and it does happen to break, just plant the broken off piece in the substrate and it'll grow roots.

As far as what's wrong with your betta, could be a swim bladder issue (along with other issues) related to water quality but I agree with diademhill: his best option is to get him into a filtered, heated, appropriate sized tank. It's amazing what getting a betta into heated water can do!

Since you are seeing ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, your tank is close to cycled and might even be able to handle the bioload of a single betta without issue. Just do the large water change (or lots and lots of smaller ones) and put the betta in, making sure to acclimate him to the warmer temperature.
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