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View Full Version : Dead betta; what's wrong here?



Lindsey
01-21-2010, 07:55 PM
I've been getting so much help here for my 29g community tank, I thought I'd post here and see if anyone can help my little brother with his tank!

I bought a 1.5g tank for my 11 year old brother as a Christmas gift since he really wanted to get started owning fish. It has an under-tank filter with an airstone, and I help him change all the water once every week or so. No heater, but it stays in a warm part of the house that stays a stable 74-76.

The thing is, he can't seem to keep anything alive in it.. He's gone through a betta and roughly 12 ghost shrimp (2 at a time) over a period of 3 weeks. Finally the tank's empty, since he decided to give it a rest and try again in a few weeks.

pH is 6.2, complete water changes weekly so ammonia and nitrite should be close to 0. The betta and shrimp never act sick before they die, they're just there one day and floating the next. Are there any common issues we might not be aware of?

I know bettas like decreased water flow, should I get rid of the under-tank filter and buy a submersible filter that doesn't stir the water around so much?

Thanks!

Northernguy
01-21-2010, 08:06 PM
If the tank was never cycled and not monitored with only weekly water changes there is no way a fish had a chance.The ammonia readings would have been through the roof.
A tank has got to be cycled first no matter what size.If daily water changes were done during the cycle it would have worked out much better.Perameters must be monitored and water changes done no matter what size tank.

Lindsey
01-21-2010, 08:17 PM
Sorry, I forgot to mention I used filter media and gravel from my established tank, so it should've been cycled.

souly
01-21-2010, 08:24 PM
A tank isn't just cycled by adding media from the other tank..that media helps to start the cycle for that tank. You still need to go through the whole cycling process for at least week to check everything.

Sharkman
01-21-2010, 10:35 PM
Not true souly

Dave66
01-21-2010, 10:48 PM
You shouldn't change ALL the water per change, just SOME, maybe 20 percent, once a week, since there's more in tank water than just the water. Did you treat the tap water prior to use to eliminate chloramines? Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Was the tank cleaned after purchase?

Stability is the name of the game no matter the tank size, and emptying and refilling the tank regularly doesn't contribute to that stability.

Ghost shrimp need to be checked prior to purchase. Their shells have to be clear. Any clouding means a sick shrimp.

Dave

Lindsey
01-22-2010, 08:29 PM
A tank isn't just cycled by adding media from the other tank..that media helps to start the cycle for that tank. You still need to go through the whole cycling process for at least week to check everything.

Cycling is allowing a colony of bacteria to grow and filter ammonia > nitrite > nitrate, right? If I've already added the bacteria by using established gravel and filter media, then the process of cycling is done, isn't it?


You shouldn't change ALL the water per change, just SOME, maybe 20 percent, once a week, since there's more in tank water than just the water. Did you treat the tap water prior to use to eliminate chloramines? Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Was the tank cleaned after purchase?


Thanks, I didn't know that.. I thought bigger changes would be better, since the tank's small enough that ammonia buildup would occur more quickly.

I treated the tap water with API Stresscoat and Stresszyme. We cleaned the tank before setting it up. I do have test kits and after reading your reply yesterday I tested the water (we let the tank stay up after the last shrimps died, and haven't replaced the water yet).

ammonia: 0.2~
nitrite: 0.1
nitrate: 30
pH: 6.2

The ammonia and nitrite are higher than they should be maybe, but I'm inclined to think it's because the last few dead shrimp went a few hours before being discovered.

Thanks :)

Lindsey
01-22-2010, 08:36 PM
A tank isn't just cycled by adding media from the other tank..that media helps to start the cycle for that tank. You still need to go through the whole cycling process for at least week to check everything.

Cycling is allowing a colony of bacteria to grow and filter ammonia > nitrite > nitrate, right? If I've already added the bacteria by using established gravel and filter media, then the process of cycling is done, isn't it?


You shouldn't change ALL the water per change, just SOME, maybe 20 percent, once a week, since there's more in tank water than just the water. Did you treat the tap water prior to use to eliminate chloramines? Do you have test kits for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Was the tank cleaned after purchase?


Thanks, I didn't know that.. I thought bigger changes would be better, since the tank's small enough that ammonia buildup would occur more quickly.

I treated the tap water with API Stresscoat and Stresszyme. We cleaned the tank before setting it up. I do have test kits and after reading your reply yesterday I tested the water (we let the tank stay up after the last shrimps died, and haven't replaced the water yet). There's now a pair of feeder guppies in the tank to keep it cycled, and they seem to be doing better than the betta or shrimp did.

ammonia: 0.2~
nitrite: 0.1
nitrate: 10
pH: 6.2

The ammonia and nitrite are higher than they should be maybe, but I'm inclined to think it's because the last few dead shrimp went a few hours before being discovered.

Thanks :)

Scrup
01-22-2010, 08:43 PM
adding cycled media can be iffy IMO. It will speed things up quite a bit, but its a good idea to monitor it in case of any mini spikes.

sorry for the edit, had a pug lay on my keyboard.