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Bad fishkeeping 101


shadoh
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In the leadup to the recent betta show, to try and help get some extra growth out of my young HMs in order to make minimum size requirements I was feeding 3 times a day and giving all my fish in my 2 Aqua One Barracks a 100% waterchange either every day or every second day for just over 4 weeks.

In the 5 day period of getting everything ready for the show, then having the show, I didn't touch any of the fish or water except to give daily feeds - I figured that I could slip back into weekly waterchanges and they'd be fine. On day 3 (Friday) I removed the bettas I was entering, gave them a waterchange put them into their beanies. After that, the rest didn't get a look in. They were fed Friday night, then I spent the weekend up at the show and didn't come home until Sunday afternoon.

When I got home and looked into the barracks, I was devestated to find 2 fish dead in the barracks, 1 crispy female who had jumped out and several not looking so good - my steel boy who previously had problems with rot had holes in all his fins and my new black orchid HMPK pair were looking half dead laying on the floor of the barracks.

I instantly gave all fish a waterchange and most slowly picked up over the next 24 hours. My new HMPK pair have not improved and I keep expecting the worst every time I look up at them.

I should have tested the water, but a combination of lack of sleep and sheer panic had me forget that basic step - I had to get those fish into clean water STAT.

What I am thinking (and this is only a theory) is that the constant water changes over the previous month upset the balance or even killed off the good bacteria in the sump filter material and that when I left the barracks to it's own devices for 5 days, it went into a cycle and the fish died from an ammonia spike. I am so annoyed with myself. I guess it could have been worse - at least I have my show stock.

What are your thoughts? Could I be right about the barracks cycling?

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If you have removed a number of fish and had them out of that system for a certain number of days, it is possible you had some die-off of beneficial bacteria because there was not enough ammonia to feed them.

Large water changes probably also lessened the amount of beneficial bacteria you needed, as you would have been removing most of the ammonia from that system. Therefore, when you went back to your normal schedule of water changes you might have had a sudden spike in ammonia or nitrite levels because your beneficial bacteria was overloaded.

Removed my first question as I re-read your post :lol:

Edited by Wild Nut
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You know my thoughts mate. I struggle to believe that 3-4 days would be long enough to cause the spike, especially as the fish weren't fed while you were away.

Even a brand new barracks with new filter media should cope for three or four days without a deadly spike.

Either way, I am so sorry for your loss. :-(

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First thing Jarrod. You aren't a bad fish keeper. Between work, the show and your fish there are only so many hours in a day.

Sorry to read about the loss of some of your fish. I am finding that Bettas are temperamental fish to deal with. Some can survive just about anything, while others get in a sulk and roll over at the slightest thing.

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What a horrid result for so much energy in the right fishy direction (completely undeserved)

We all know there is no Karma when it comes to fish: please don't beat yourself up, it's not fishy-la: 101, it's a mistake i'd make easily.

I hope they all bounce back for you - you guys basically completed mission impossible!

fins crossed

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Hi Jarrod

Sorry to hear about the fish. Your not a bad fish keeper, it was just an unfortunate sequence of events. If I know I am going to have to leave water changes for more than three days I dont scub the jares for the last two water changes, this gives the surface of the jars a bit of build up and I dont get as many Unfortunate events. Dont get me wrong I still get them but not as many. I think that some fish get used to the water changes / water qualiry and have a bit of a hard time changing back.

The best of luck with the rest of them

Cheers

Les

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Jarrod, that really is upsetting - sorry for your loss. Hope the rest of your fish perk up.

I'm with you & Ash... probably a loss of BB between the frequent water changes/and then removal of fish... then again, 3-4 days doesn't seem enough time for a deadly spike, even if you set them up in a brand new tank. Not sure, just doesn't seem quite right.

Regardless, it's a mistake any of us could have made. I know I could have very easily have made it... and I almost did the other day when I was going to the other week. This doesn't make you a bad fishkeeper at all, infact you're one of the best keepers I know of!

Agreed with what Briztoon said, only so many hours in the day: in your busy position lately, I probably wouldn't have handled it nearly as well as you did... even if it looks like neglect now.

Don't want to repeat what's been said, so that'll be all for now. x

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