Help! 3 Dead Bettas In 1 Month!

sarah zehowski
  • #1
Hey Ya’ll. I’m In desperate need of guidance. I started on my betta journey about a month ago and have since lost 3 Bettas over the course of that time. Through this journey I trouble shooted a lot, learned more about the nitrogen cycle, and made a lot of adjustments. I even went through 3 tanks! 1 gallon, 2.5 gallon, and now to my current 5.5 gallon. I’ve had good working heaters and one faulty filter. All my Bettas were sick in about 2 weeks and went belly up. If anyone can give some advice would be greatly appreciated! I’ve invested a lot of time and money in my new hobby and I don’t want to throw on the towel yet What am I doing wrong?
 
Demeter
  • #2
In what way did the bettas die? Dropsy, infection, finrot, etc etc? Did you keep up with water changes in order to cycle the tank, test the water every now and then and do water changes accordingly? Were the bettas on their own or did they have tank mates?

Were water conditioners used?
 
PeteStevers
  • #3
Sorry you are having problems. Can you post the water parameters of your tank? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and temperature would be extremely helpful. Also, where are you purchasing your fish from?
 
sarah zehowski
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
The 1st one I’m pretty sure had internal parasites when I bought it. The 2nd one developed blindness and bloating. The 3rd one is the the only one that had 2 algae eaters for tank mates. He developed severe fin rot. I did 25% water changes every other day for all Bettas. And I purchased them at Petco.

I never purchased a water testing kit because I thought it would be too hard to understand. So I never tested the water. And yes at this point I realize I probably should have
 
junebug
  • #5
For starters in a 5 gallon tank, there is no room for tank mates unless it's just a nerite snail or two.

Your best bet will be to return the algae eaters (there are no fish species of algae eater that can live in a 5 gallon tank) and remove everything from the tank. Sterilize it all to kill off whatever your bettas had. Start over with new filter media and a new betta, and this time, please choose the fish you bring home carefully. Buying a healthy fish at the store is the best way to ensure success in fishkeeping. If you only have the betta in the tank, you won't have to worry too much about cycling, but having a test kit is still a good idea. Bettas produce very little waste though, so it's not going to be a huge deal if you can't get one right away.
 
Sel
  • #6
Yeah if those are plecos in your tank you got two massive ammonia creating machines in there.
Do you know for sure that your tap water is ammonia/nitrite/nitrate free? Some places have a reading straight from the tap.
 
sarah zehowski
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks this info was so helpful! How do I sterilize my tank and stuff without adding too many harmful chemicals?

I’ll definitely be sticking to 1 betta on the next go.

I don’t know much about my tap water, but I do use water conditioners and some times tetra safe start
 
Accents
  • #8
For sterilization, you can mix 1 part bleach and 10 parts water, and rinse things out thoroughly. When you rinse out the bleach, be very careful and rinse until you no longer smell any. You could also boil everything, which may work better for the media in case you can't get all the bleach out of the sponges. For the actual tank, I would use bleach. TSS is not necessary after a cycle, but it shouldn't be harmful either. The BB will not survive more than a few days though. After you get a test kit, can you give us your water parameters?
 
tropez
  • #9
Hey Ya’ll. I’m In desperate need of guidance. I started on my betta journey about a month ago and have since lost 3 Bettas over the course of that time. Through this journey I trouble shooted a lot, learned more about the nitrogen cycle, and made a lot of adjustments. I even went through 3 tanks! 1 gallon, 2.5 gallon, and now to my current 5.5 gallon. I’ve had good working heaters and one faulty filter. All my Bettas were sick in about 2 weeks and went belly up. If anyone can give some advice would be greatly appreciated! I’ve invested a lot of time and money in my new hobby and I don’t want to throw on the towel yet What am I doing wrong?

If you know about the nitrogen cycle, you should know that going through 3 different tanks within a month means that none of those tanks have been fully cycled. So you are doing a fish-in cycle which is tricky.

Make sure the heater works, make sure your filter is moving good water (sponge filters are simple and work well with Bettas), get some Seachem Prime to help manage the ammonia/nitrate as your cycle progresses.

Read this: The Fish-In Cycle | Adventures in Aquaria
 
sarah zehowski
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I didn’t have access to any bleach today. However I did wash everything including the ramp with soap and hot water, and rinsed thoroughly. I might just get new deco all together. Should I still go over the tank with bleach tomorrow, before getting a new fish?
 
sarah zehowski
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
If you know about the nitrogen cycle, you should know that going through 3 different tanks within a month means that none of those tanks have been fully cycled. So you are doing a fish-in cycle which is tricky.

Make sure the heater works, make sure your filter is moving good water (sponge filters are simple and work well with Bettas), get some Seachem Prime to help manage the ammonia/nitrate as your cycle progresses.

Read this: The Fish-In Cycle | Adventures in Aquaria


Do you have any links for a good sponge filters? I’ve never used one but I’ll try anything now lol
 
B1GD4DDY
  • #12
I didn’t have access to any bleach today. However I did wash everything including the ramp with soap and hot water, and rinsed thoroughly. I might just get new deco all together. Should I still go over the tank with bleach tomorrow, before getting a new fish?
You should definitely still use the bleach, especially since you used soap. Never use soap to clean anything that will be in a tank. It will be very difficult for you to remove all of the soap remnants, and I'm not entirely sure the bleach will work either.
Thanks this info was so helpful! How do I sterilize my tank and stuff without adding too many harmful chemicals?

I’ll definitely be sticking to 1 betta on the next go.

I don’t know much about my tap water, but I do use water conditioners and some times tetra safe start
Were you housing multiple Bettas together???
 
Sion
  • #13
I didn’t have access to any bleach today. However I did wash everything including the ramp with soap and hot water, and rinsed thoroughly. I might just get new deco all together. Should I still go over the tank with bleach tomorrow, before getting a new fish?
I would bleach the tank and then try to cycle your tank before adding a new fish. Adding fish to uncycled tanks could be the root cause of all your problems. You can buy various bacterial additives that allow you to cycle a tank quite quickly before you add any fish.
 
Lizzinator
  • #14
First off, I'm sorry you lost so many fishies. That's no fun at all. And I've only cycled a tank once, but it was recent enough to remember the mistakes I made so...

If you take a sample of your water to Petco, they can test your water for you for free. Take 2 samples--1 from your tank and 1 of straight tap water at your house for comparison. This will at least give you some clues. However, it's better to get your own test kit and record test results in a notebook. That way you can see changes over time. It's really fun. The fish person at Petco should also be able to help show you how. It's their job to help you with all your questions like this, so definitely take advantage of the free readings. I felt stupid asking for their help the first time, but at both pet stores I visited, they were friendly and patient and did not mind. (As are the folks on this forum. But they can't test your water for you at the same time.)

Also, be aware that if you are using start up bacteria in a bottle, that it will give you a false ammonia reading higher than what may actually be present naturally. So, waiting 24 hours to test after putting in the bacteria, will give a less scary reading. (Bottled bacteria didn't speed the cycle for me anyway. It still took my 5 gallon almost 4 months to fully stabilize because of other mistakes I made...)

Also, like some of the other posters have said, while your tank cycles, you can use Seachem Prime to neutralize the ammonia products and protect your precious fishies. The ammonia will still be present, but locked into a different chemical form the good bacteria can eat, that does not hurt your fish. Removing all ammonia with extra water changes can make cycling take longer. You still should do water changes to keep the ammonia very low, but a little bit in the beginning is needed to start the cycle. After the cycle is over, when all the ammonia and nitrite has worked its way out, if you want to switch back to a different/cheaper dechlorinator, you can.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 
tropez
  • #15
Do you have any links for a good sponge filters? I’ve never used one but I’ll try anything now lol

I have two of these in my small 10 gallon. Using one 20 gal pump with a splitter to push both of them. Picked them up locally though, they were cheaper at my LFS.
 
sarah zehowski
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I have two of these in my small 10 gallon. Using one 20 gal pump with a splitter to push both of them. Picked them up locally though, they were cheaper at my LFS.


Got the sponge filter today and it’s absolutely the best investment ever! I didn’t know it was so easy. I can’t believe I didn’t look into these sooner. No replacing cartridges and broken down motors on the filters. Thanks so much!
 
Taylor634
  • #17
Got the sponge filter today and it’s absolutely the best investment ever! I didn’t know it was so easy. I can’t believe I didn’t look into these sooner. No replacing cartridges and broken down motors on the filters. Thanks so much!
When my fish got sick, someone recommended to me to fill my tank with boiling water and drop all decor and such in along with anything I use to clean the tank like my siphon. Then get a new filter cartridge and set it all up again, and it worked perfectly for me my new fish is really healthy. I didn't wanna use chemicals either
 

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