Lost My Daughter's Beautiful Beta This Morning Question

  1. Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    Please help! We got a veiltail beta about a month ago. He has always been active and playful and 4 days ago, I did a 25% wc and noticed over the last 2 days he was no longer active, hanging out near top of water, not eating, bubbles coming out of his gills and then he died this morning. I always test the water (API freshwater master test kit) and numbers appeared good so I'm baffled. Taking a close look at him with a magnifying glass before he died, appears to be ammonia burn? I have included a few photos of Iris (yes a girl's name - my daughter's fish ;-) early on when we got him and recently of when he started getting sick. Any thoughts or confirmations that this is indeed ammonia burn?
    Tank info: 5 gallon, filter, heater (set at 76 degrees), 25% wc every week and 100% 1x month, feed frozen live food.
     

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  2. Sergeant Pepper

    Sergeant Pepper Well Known Member Member

    Sorry for your loss.

    What's were the tank parameters? Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonia?
    76 is a little cooler then preferred. I keep my better at 80, though I don't think that will cause death.
    How did you clean the filter?
     




  3. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    PH: 6.8, Ammonia: 0, Nitrate: 5.0, Nitrite: 0, temp: 79. (need to get the nitrates down but confused about all the info available out there in how to do so. Some say don't add any chemicals, some do?? I use the aqueon quietflow filtration unit that came with the tank. I wash it off with hot water then replace the carbon filter every 4 weeks.
     




  4. snowballPLECO

    snowballPLECO Member Member

    Always use Prime to dechlorinate your water and to detoxify any nitrites/ammonia.
     




  5. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    Thank you - will purchase some Prime. Also just tested our filtered water and the readings are as follows: PH: 7.6, Ammonia: 0.25, nitrite: 0, nitrates: 0. Apparently my difficult to complete water changes when the ph and ammonia levels are more than optimal.
     
  6. Sergeant Pepper

    Sergeant Pepper Well Known Member Member

    You say you rinse the filter cartridge with hot water? I'm guessing tap water. I'm really surprised you have a cycle still. When was the last time you checked those parameters?
    You lower Nitrates with water changes. What conditioner do you use?

    When you rinse your cartridge off in tap water, it kills the good bacteria in it. You should always only rinse it in tank water. Usually we do with with water from a water change.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    Yes that's correct - tap water. Just tested this morning. We also have another beta (my son's) and his tested the same. no surprise there. I just completed a 25% wc this past Friday. Should I do another one? I currently use Aqueon ammonia neutralizer. I also have API Ammo lock. I did just purchase Prime as other suggested.

    So I am clear on the filter - during water changes, rinse the carbon filter with tank water?
     
  8. snowballPLECO

    snowballPLECO Member Member

    You always want to rinse your media in your TANK water. Get a bucket or tupperware bowl and put tank water in and rinse it in that. Never rinse media in tap water, will kill your cycled tank
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    Got it! Thank you!!!

    Ok since I do have another Beta I need some help so I don't lose this guy too and want to make sure I understand before bringing in another one for my daughter.

    1. Ph in tap water is really high - any suggestions before completing a water change? I do have Proper Ph but read the Ph shouldn't be messed with ?
    2. During partial water changes, is it important to siphon up debris from gravel on bottom of tank?
    3. Should I remove everything out of my beta's tank that died this morning and clean everything including gravel, media, etc and start a fresh cycle?
     
  10. Sergeant Pepper

    Sergeant Pepper Well Known Member Member

    I don't know the most on disease as I've been fortunate. But you shouldn't have to clean stuff in the tank.
    When I do a water change, I always get debris from the gravel/sand. This stuff is waste, which can cause ammonia spikes. If you have gravel, every time you do a water change you should be siphoning out as much of the debris. Most of us don't do 100% water changes.
    I wouldn't mess with your pH. 7.6 is not high. It's pretty even honestly. Fish adapt to pH. My pH is 8.2 and my fish are perfectly fine. Messing with pH is, from what I understand, only adjusted for maybe shrimp breeders or if your pH is very very low, like in the 6.0 range.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    Thank you very much!!!
     
  12. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    Raise the temp up to close to 80
    Leave your PH alone. It is fine where it is.
    Do a 30-50% water change every week. If your test show a spike in ammonia and/or nitrites you may need to do it more often.
    Be sure to use a dechlorinator with each water change. I recommend Seachem Prime but there are others that work well too.
    Do a gravel vac with each water change.
    Don't over feed and if any food is left over get it out.
    Never rinse your filter media in anything other than water removed from tank after a water change.
    Don't replace your filter media until it is literally falling apart or water will no longer flow through it freely. When that happens cut the fiber off of the old cartridge and put this fiber in the filter housing with the new cartridge. (The bacteria needed for a healthy tank lives mostly on the filter)

    I think that pretty much covers it :) Oh except for one thing. Take time to enjoy the beauty of these wonderful creatures.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    Love this forum!!!! I love these little guys and so do my children. My children wanted beta since they lived horrible lives in the small containers where they were sold so hope I can educate myself through people like you so we can enjoy them much longer!!! Thank you to all of you!
     
  14. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    Just remember we are willing and most of the time able to answer whatever questions or concerns that may come up so feel free to stick around and learn right along with the rest of us. One is never too old or too young to learn something new.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Iris18

    Iris18 Initiate Member

    ok so I'm back - as I mentioned I have a 5 gallon tank. I have a siphon vacuum gravel cleaner, however by the time I go through the sections of gravel, it sucks way too much water out. Do you have a recommendation on the type/size for a 5 gallon tank or perhaps I simply need to get better at controlling the water flow by pinching it?

    and lastly - are there live plants you would recommend? I currently have marimo balls in the tank.
     
  16. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    In a tank that small it might be best to just gravel vac a small section with each water change. Maybe just a 4th of it each time or with experience you might get much faster at doing it and the problem will work itself out.

    I haven't had much experience with live plants so hopefully someone else will show up to help you out.
     
  17. BReefer97

    BReefer97 Well Known Member Member

  18. c

    camste Member Member

    I've had both Java moss and Anubias Nana planted in the gravel in my tank, and they thrived. The Java moss spread like a weed and covered the whole tank bottom in the end so I had to get rid of some of it. It was buried into the gravel. The Anubias also were growing and expanding so I could split it and spread it out on several places in the tank. I love the Anubias. Pretty and easy to care for :)