Betta Disease

LowieTheLoach

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So my second betta from Petco just died from velvet. The first one died from dropsy. In between the two I did a thorough tank cleaning and large water change.

The tank is a 10g that's moderately planted. The temp stays right about 80°and it's fully cycled. My parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and between 5 and 10 nitrates. It's been running for months, the previous inhabitants were moved to a larger tank.

I tried treating the velvet with imagitarium parasite remedy and kept the tank dark. The poor guy kept getting worse. I ordered kanaplex but it hasn't arrived. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and treat the tank once it arrives? I'm planning on tearing down the tank and doing a bleach dip on the plants. The substrate I'm just going to throw out. Anything else I should do before setting it back up?

I'm pretty frustrated right now. I feel like these guys can only thrive in deplorable conditions. My friend's kid has a betta in a tiny, dirty tank and they haven't had a single issue.
 

Georgie Girl

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I'm sorry you've lost your fishes, Lowie. I don't have an answer for you re what to do with your tank, but it's obvious you care very much. I'm sure you'll make the right decisions.
 

Mcasella

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They can thrive in a bigger tank, but you have to remember the bettas sold now are mutts, they breed them for color and tail type aspects (laughable though the names they give them) without thought to health. The best thing to do is not pick up a sick betta (I know they tug at the heartstrings but if you don't know what is wrong with them illness wise avoid them), go for recently brought in and healthiest looking ones.
My strongest, thriveist, betta is a male I got from Wal-Mart out of pity (he was in about an inch of dirty water that was likely over 1ppm ammonia, his fins were curled and pinned which he has recovered from), he is a bright orange red color and is the most aggressive betta I have.
 

Laxin10

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I understand your pain. When I was first getting into the hobby with a betta, I had the same problem. I remembered my betta in a bowl that lived for 6 years when I was a kid, and couldn't understand why my bettas in a filtered and heated 10 gallon couldn't sustain them.

I agree with @Mcasella, the bettas being sold at walmart and petco nowadays simply aren't worth it. I recommend going to a proper fish store and choosing from a better breeder.
 
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LowieTheLoach

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Mcasella said:
They can thrive in a bigger tank, but you have to remember the bettas sold now are mutts, they breed them for color and tail type aspects (laughable though the names they give them) without thought to health. The best thing to do is not pick up a sick betta (I know they tug at the heartstrings but if you don't know what is wrong with them illness wise avoid them), go for recently brought in and healthiest looking ones.
My strongest, thriveist, betta is a male I got from Wal-Mart out of pity (he was in about an inch of dirty water that was likely over 1ppm ammonia, his fins were curled and pinned which he has recovered from), he is a bright orange red color and is the most aggressive betta I have.
I tried to pick out the healthiest, most active betta they had. The velvet showed up a couple days after I got him.
 

DutchAquarium

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You can still get betta splendens with good genetics, your just not going to find them at petco. Aquabid has a lot of good breeders. As for cleaning the aquarium, make sure to clean the filter box also, alot of people seem to forget about replacing the media
 

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It's interesting, between the two Petco's in our area, one has a great looking betta "display" and the other has an endcap. The display one always has so much nicer fish. Wonder if that is an outside company keeping up with it?
 

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I tried with 2 bettas from petsmart. Both showed signs of illness within days of bringing them home. I took them back (and felt terrible about it).
Then I stocked my 10 gal with something else, but now I have acquired another 10g (oops) and am kind of itching to buy one of the gorgeous $35 bettas from the more reliable lfs an hour away.
 
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LowieTheLoach

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Laxin10 said:
I understand your pain. When I was first getting into the hobby with a betta, I had the same problem. I remembered my betta in a bowl that lived for 6 years when I was a kid, and couldn't understand why my bettas in a filtered and heated 10 gallon couldn't sustain them.

I agree with @Mcasella, the bettas being sold at walmart and petco nowadays simply aren't worth it. I recommend going to a proper fish store and choosing from a better breeder.
I think I'm going to stay away from betas for now. I'll have to check out the 10g stocking list before I decide what to do next. I like the idea of a pair of dwarf puffers but I'd rather not keep something at the bare minimum tank size. I loved how interactive the bettas were and I'd like something with lots of personality.
 

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LowieTheLoach said:
I tried to pick out the healthiest, most active betta they had. The velvet showed up a couple days after I got him.
Take a light with you and shine it on the fish to see if they have the start of velvet (I have had to pry a fish with velvet from someones hand before explaining what they would have to do to get the fish healed and helped them pick another while taking that betta over to the sink to try and treat).
Sometimes you can find a very nice/healthy fish that sits there and flexes its good health for several years, sometimes you get one that within a week have thirteen different diseases. It is pretty much a lottery with any store bought bettas (even mom and pop type stores, there are only so many suppliers and many mom/pop places order from the same as the chain stores, local breeders are about the only way to go, import bettas are weak to the different water conditions and can die in 6 months or less (the oldest import betta I had was 2 years old when she passed after a long battle with dropsy, she wasn't what I ordered but she was a great little fish).
 

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Okay, but why do we need to be going against PetCo?
They haven't done anything wrong, or started the cause of your bettas dying.

If you didn't buy them sickened, then you cannot just blame PetCo.
I am not blaming you either, just making a little statement.
 

Hunter1

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I have opposite story.

I bought mine from what I believe is the best lfs with 1.5 hours of my house. He was so weak he seemed to struggle to get to the top of a 20 long. Within a couple of days, he was cruising the tank constantly.

Only been 2 months but he is fine, healthy and seems to be happy.

IMO good quality water conditions are the key.

Maybe I got lucky, maybe tomorrow he’ll get sick but I believe he’s going to live a long happy life and may even breed :)
 

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I have 2 bettas that I got from Petco. Both are in 5 gallon tanks all by themselves. Both are healthy, active and thriving. It may just be your petco that has issues. I have bought some of my healthiest fish there. That said, I know the guys that work at mine (Pasadena, CA). They know what they are doing, keep their tanks pristine and their fish are always healthy.
 

xloe

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DutchAquarium said:
You can still get betta splendens with good genetics, your just not going to find them at petco. Aquabid has a lot of good breeders. As for cleaning the aquarium, make sure to clean the filter box also, alot of people seem to forget about replacing the media
Do you know of any good sellers in particular? I have checked aquabid on occasion and most bettas seemed to be from overseas.
 
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LowieTheLoach

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Fanatic said:
Okay, but why do we need to be going against PetCo?
They haven't done anything wrong, or started the cause of your bettas dying.

If you didn't buy them sickened, then you cannot just blame PetCo.
I am not blaming you either, just making a little statement.
I'm just frustrated with them at the moment. Two bettas dying in a tank that had happy, healthy fish makes me a little suspicious. I was probably just unlucky and picked two that were already carrying yucky stuff. It's probably not Petco's fault, they have a few good employees that genuinely care. However, this is also the store that suggested 2 Chinese algae eaters for a 10g tank. Managed to rehome 1, the other is still in my 55g. Their knowledge and quality of stock is hit or miss, honestly. Of course, I'm only talking about the Petco near me. I'm sure that each one is different. When I'm ready for new fish I'll suck it up and drive to a better LFS in Austin.
 

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LowieTheLoach said:
I'm just frustrated with them at the moment. Two bettas dying in a tank that had happy, healthy fish makes me a little suspicious. I was probably just unlucky and picked two that were already carrying yucky stuff. It's probably not Petco's fault, they have a few good employees that genuinely care. However, this is also the store that suggested 2 Chinese algae eaters for a 10g tank. Managed to rehome 1, the other is still in my 55g. Their knowledge and quality of stock is hit or miss, honestly. Of course, I'm only talking about the Petco near me. I'm sure that each one is different. When I'm ready for new fish I'll suck it up and drive to a better LFS in Austin.

Yes, because PetCo didn't physically make them sick, it's just that the betta could've been unhealthy at that time, or caught something unexpected.
It doesn't help that they do keep them in those little containers. Although, most of the times those containers are pretty clean.
 

trainandfishguy

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xloe said:
Do you know of any good sellers in particular? I have checked aquabid on occasion and most bettas seemed to be from overseas.
I have seen some on ebay but they seem to be more exotic and expensive. Also check liveaquaria. I just feel that their shipping rates might not make it worth it. Also check ebay for betta related threads. In the past, some of those folks have mentioned in their videos where they get their bettas from. Good luck.
 

Georgie Girl

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DutchAquarium said:
As for cleaning the aquarium, make sure to clean the filter box also, alot of people seem to forget about replacing the media
Wouldn't that kill the tank's bacteria? From all I've read, I think that's something that shouldn't be done.
 
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LowieTheLoach

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Georgie Girl said:
Wouldn't that kill the tank's bacteria? From all I've read, I think that's something that shouldn't be done.
I was looking for an excuse to replace it with a sponge filter anyway. I don't mind having to cycle the tank again. I think I even have a bottle of ammonia somewhere. Plus, I get to throw out the neon gravel! I've been wanting something more natural looking now that my plants are starting to fill in.
 
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