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Rupert Looks Like He's Dying..!


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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 10

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.0

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.0

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Nutrafin mini master drops

[*]Water temperature? 27c/80f

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 25 litres, since tuesday

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Interpet mini filter, 200lph, but I've baffled the output to reduce current

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? As it's a new tank, whenever the test kits indicate. Bit of problem with the nitrites in my tap water though

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 betta, around an inch

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Interpet tapsafe, but I'm going to pick up some Amquel Plus today

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari betta bio gold twice a day, a couple of pellets each time. Am going to experiment with other foods in the future

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? Only Rupert my betta, got him on wednesday, he's the only fish in there

[*]Any medications added to the tank? No meds but I was reccommended salt by someone at a betta forum, so I've got 0.1% salt in there.

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Not that I've noticed - there's nothing obvious but I'm new to keeping bettas

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Very lethargic, gills moving quite quickly, floating either on his side or head up, tail down.

I'm totally new to bettas and I'm still learning what's normal and what's not. The first 2 days I had him he was quite active - swimming backwards and forwards, eating well, and sleeping at night. The past 2 days he's been quite inactive as I described above.

I've been having problems with my tap water - at the moment it reads 0.1 for nitrites and 10 for nitrates. Bit of a pain with a new tank! My goldfish tank has a strong cycle and lots of live plants so can deal with it, but it's a bit trickier in the betta tank. The nitrites got to 0.2 one day, and the nitrates have been at 20. Changing water has obviously been a tricky business what with the tap water's readings. Since friday the nitrites in the tank have been 0. I guess the nitrates built up to 20 so quickly because of the nitrates already in the tap, along with the nitrites which then become nitrates.. I'll keep changing water to lower the nitrates each day, but don't want to overdo it and end up putting too much nitrite in the tank for the new cycle to deal with yet. I've also got 2 live plants (anubias) which should help in time..

Rupert (my betta) looks physically ok - no unusual findings on him, it's just his inactive behaviour that's bothering me. Also - I've noticed his poop (at least I think it's poop - not wishing to be rude but does it come out further forward than you'd find on a goldfish?) looks a little pale and stringy. I don't know if this could be a parasite thing, or a stress thing because of finding himself in a new environment, along with the water issues I've been having.

Now, he's been hanging restlessly, and his gills are going fast, like his breathing is laboured. I woke up today to find up upside down resting at the top of the filter. At the moment he's going between laying on the gravel, to kind of floating head up, tail down, sometimes at the top of the tank, sometimes at the bottom. I've got salt to 0.1% (I was reccommended 2 tsp/gallon, but didn't want to shock him so started at 0.1%).

I've got a couple of pics:

illrupert1.jpg

illrupert2.jpg

What is wrong with him? :( He's such a lovely little guy and I haven't even had him a week. Did I do something wrong? Is there anything that will help him? :(

Also, sorry about the state of this post.. was having major difficulties with copying and pasting the questions and getting it all to behave...!

Edited by stakos
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Your pics aren't working right :(

I don't have much to help here. The only thing I can think of is the toxins in the tap water. Prime would detoxify those. Another option would be to add media from the goldfish tank to his filter, to support the cycle, or add some life plants. Live plants don't just absorb nitrates, but from what I read also ammonia and nitrite. Not like a whole lot, but maybe enough to help getting rid of the toxins in your betta tank. Plants might also make the betta feel a bit more comfortable.

I hope someone with more betta experience will check on this soon, fingers crossed for Rupert and you!

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His gills have stopped moving.. I think he's gone... :(

I used media from my goldies tank, and I've got 2 live plants in there... What did I do wrong..? :(

Here are the pics again anyway..

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v673/help_im_a_snail/illrupert1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v673/help_im_a_snail/illrupert2.jpg

Edited by viking_snail
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I can't view the videos as my internet connection is pretty slow today but if he's still alive I would recommend doing a water change to get the salt out of there. I never used salt during the time I had my Betta kids. Bettas sometimes tend to be more sensitive to salt than most other freshwater fish. Try and get that Prime asap to treat the Nitrite/Nitrate problem and perhaps any Ammonia that your test kit could be missing, if any. I'm not sure what else to recommend though, as you stated he was fine for the first couple of days. If this was the first day I would think pH shock but that seems unlikely to me now. I would say the only thing extra you could do is try to keep his tank as dim/dark as possible to reduce additional stress and hope for the best. Don't give up on Bettas though if this doesn't work out for you. There are many people here who know about them to help you prepare for and keep another Better in the furture. And Federica above gave good advice as well - making the water a bit warmer could be beneficial.

Good luck and let us know how this turns out! ;)

Edited by Kateana
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Well he died earlier today.. :cry1 Thankyou for everyone's advice and support anyway.. I thought the 2tsp/gallon seemed quite strong too, so I reduced that to 0.1%, which I guess worked out at less than 1tsp per gallon, but maybe that was too much .. :(

I thought about the possibility of just general stress from the whole situation - especially introducing him to the tank. But I made sure the bag he came in was slowly acclimatised to the right temp, and only slowly introduced the new water to him. Even so, I tested the ph of the water he came in and it was the same as in the tank..

After he died, I rang the store I got him from. I explained the situation and he asked me to bring some water down to test, and said it was probably due to the nitrite issues. When I got down there, I saw a different guy - he tested my water and had a look at Rupert. Strangely, even though my test said the water was 0.1 nitrite (nutrafin drops), he made it 0 (api drops). Ammonia was also 0. He seemed to think chances are he was ill already - especially with the stringy poop he did on saturday - and while any trace nitrites wouldn't have helped matters, they probably weren't the cause. His gills as far as we could tell didn't show any signs of nitrite poisoning, but maybe we'll never know the true cause of his death.

I'm totally gutted about losing him. I didn't have him long but I'd already grown attatched. I really tried my best to find out as much as I could about bettas and provide him with a good home, but it obviously wasn't enough :(

I do still want to own a betta in the future, but I've got to give the tank and everything in it a good sterilising and rinsing before I can even think about that. I'll try to get a stronger cycle going first too and definetely get some Amquel/Prime, whatever is actually available in the UK.

Rest in peace Rupert.. :(:heart

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So sorry for your loss :( Rest in peace Rupert. You did all you could and gave him a great chance at life.

I know it's especially tough when you do everything right with the best intentions and still lose them. I got a betta girl a few years ago that had been at the store for at least 3 weeks. She was very distinctive because of her color and she was missing an eye. Anyway, I got her home and slowly acclimated her to a nice cycled tank thinking she would be so happy to be out of that cup, and she died within a couple of days. I don't know what happened to her that she could live in a cup that long then go to clean water and die suddenly. I thought maybe it was a shock to the deeper water pressure or something like that, but I could never know.

I think that these little fish just go through so much between shipping and pet stores that a lot of them are just hanging on by a thread by the time we have the chance to take them home and whether or not that thread breaks is sometimes just up to luck. No matter what you do, sometimes it just isn't possible to save them.

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