I'm At A Loss Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Georgie Girl, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Georgie Girl

    Georgie GirlValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    208
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, California
    Ratings:
    +91
    Experience:
    1 year
    I have a five-gallon tank with one betta. I lost my previous betta, Edith, because she stopped eating.

    I got my new betta, László, about two weeks ago. He was thriving until a couple of days ago. He stopped eating. Just like Edith.

    What is wrong with my tank? I'm a fish killer! :'(

    Tank

    What is the water volume of the tank?
    5 gallons
    How long has the tank been running?
    about 9 months
    Does it have a filter?
    yes - sponge
    Does it have a heater?
    yes
    What is the water temperature?
    79-80
    What is the entire stocking of this tank?
    one giant betta

    Maintenance
    How often do you change the water?
    2-3 weeks
    How much of the water do you change?
    as much as I need to finish vacuuming, but no more than 50%
    What do you use to treat your water?
    Prime
    Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
    substrate, too

    *Parameters - Very Important
    Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
    yes
    What do you use to test the water?
    API kit
    What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 20
    pH: haven't tested

    Feeding
    How often do you feed your fish?
    2x daily
    How much do you feed your fish?
    2-3 pellets, sometimes frozen bloodworms instead
    What brand of food do you feed your fish?
    sorry, don't remember (I'm at work)
    Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
    frozen, never freeze-dried

    Illness & Symptoms
    How long have you had this fish?
    2 weeks
    How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
    2 days ago
    In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
    he spits out his food, and doesn't have the energy he's always had
    Have you started any treatment for the illness?
    no
    Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
    no
    How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
    he's become lethargic, and he's starting to clamp his fins

    Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

    It's pretty much explained above. I'll just say that both of these fish were happy and playful. It's heartbreaking.
     
  2. lilirose

    liliroseValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +204
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    I really think that "no more than 50% every 2-3 weeks" is not enough water changes for a king betta in a 5-gallon tank. There are biologics that build up in water that don't show up on standard water tests. As the experts say, "dilution is the solution to pollution".

    My betta is not giant, he's also in a 5 gallon tank with a sponge filter, and I change 50% of the water every week without fail, regardless of what the water parameters say. I test the water with a Master Test Kit (pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, using vials and not strips) twice a week, as I had a betta randomly die at the start of July and I never ever want to go through that again, even though he was not my first Betta by a long way- just the first that I made an extreme effort to keep properly.

    I also think you should be testing the pH so you know whether it's staying stable. If you have an API Master kit (not strips) it's extremely easy to do this and I'm not sure why you wouldn't (the strips actually include it as well so I'm doubly confused as to why you aren't testing for this). The API strips are notoriously inaccurate- the Master Test Kit, if you aren't using it already, works out cheaper in the long run.
     
  3. WTFish?

    WTFish?Well Known MemberMember

    Messages:
    3,621
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3,037
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    I agree that more water changes would be beneficial for sure. I’m also wondering if he could be overfed? I know nothing about giant Bettas so maybe 6 pellets is fine per day? Maybe a photo would help diagnose anything as well.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Georgie Girl

    Georgie GirlValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    208
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, California
    Ratings:
    +91
    Experience:
    1 year
    I'm largely ignorant of anything besides the cycle, testing, and water changes. I didn't know there is yet more harmful stuff.

    How can I know what the pH should be? Does it depend on the fish?

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  5. lilirose

    liliroseValued MemberMember

    Messages:
    238
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +204
    Experience:
    More than 10 years
    You should test the pH of your source water so you know what you are starting out with, and then use that as the basis when testing the tank water between water changes. There is a problem if your pH is unstable (meaning that it changes a lot- and with the way pH works, a 0.3 change in the number counts as "a lot"). Unstable pH will make your betta sick.

    This is far more likely to be a problem when keeping a small tank like a 5 gallon. This is the reason that I test the water in my betta's 5-gallon tank twice a week.

    For example, my tap water gets a 7.0 right after I add dechlorinator. If water testing shows that it's gone under 6.7 or above 7.3, I can do a water change to get it back to baseline, which is 7.0. I don't let it change more than this.

    Bettas can handle a wide range of pH values. They cannot handle an unstable pH, however.
     
Loading...