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im about to give up on bettas


divy
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i dont know what im doing wrong i lost my blue dragon male today

i had 13 bettas and in a few months i lost 10 i only have 3 left

i really need some help to figure out what im doing wrong otherwise i am gong to give up cause theres no point in me buying more if in a month they die too

i thought i was doing every thing right i thought bettas where harty fish that where easy to keep, these ones got heated water,light,decent amount of swimming space and treated water and they still only lasted a few months

but before i knew anything about bettas i had 2 vt's from a petstore and they where in a small tank they didnt have heated water,treated water and i didnt do alot of water changes and they lived for 2 years

ok enough of my complaining, now what can i do to find out whats going on??? im willing to do anything cause as much as im ready to give up on them i still really want to keep bettas

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Can you give us a summary of what they've been dying of? Saves me having to trawl through The Clinic forum. Are you double dosing with dechlorinator? Generally bettas succumb to disease when their water quality deteriorates. However there are plenty of examples on this forum of fish dying despite everything being done right. Don't give up just yet. I think sometimes the universe conspires against whatever you're keen on doing and throws obstacles to put you off. It may just take a little persistence and determination to get through the hard times. I think that 8-10 ltrs, heated, filtered tanks with weekly water changes are ideal for male halfmoons. Having said that, I have to admit that I don't keep any of my fish that way. Mine are mostly in unfiltered beanie boxes (1.5ltrs) and I only change the water every 4 days. And I don't age my water, just dechlorinate. But because it's not ideal I have occasional problems (mostly finrot). Haven't had as many deaths as you've had though.

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well thats why i was thinking of changing my tanks to 8litres heating them like usual and puting in a sponge filter or disposable filter but i think its water quality but then again i do 2 100% water changes a week

i dont know much anbout diseases but im pretty sure 2 died of velvet 1 dropsey and the rest i dont know they just really started to stop being active then with in a few weeks they died oh and 2 became unactive then loss alot of colour and then died 5-6 days later

at the start i wasnt doubling the water conditioner but now i am and there has been no differance

for a normal dose i would put 15 drops of conditioner per tank (2.8litres) does that seem right???

i thought is might of been because of the temp because i dont use normal heaters i use a heating cord under my tanks which means if my room gets hot the temp gets to 30degrees but in winter they still died and the temp stayed at 27degrees

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Hi Divy :) Just a few things-

Are you buying them from the same place? And are you keeping them from veiw of each other?

I have 2 large buckets- 17ltr- that i have aside with lids. I boil half the water (last) let them stand for a week before water changes so i constantly have aged water, but i double dose with Prime and i salt the water also to halt bacteria. Heating the water blitzes parasites and some bacteria and by letting it stand it kills some of the nasties that need a fish to cling to and halts PH swings.

I do 50% water change weekly in my 15ltr tanks and 90% monthly. Never 100% unless they are sick. The smaller tanks, 6 ltr, get weekly 75% changes. Our town waters are shocking as the dams are low causing parasites and bacteria to come through even more.

The only probs i have had is when i have got the fish sick in the first place.

Dont give up, hang in there. They are beautiful little things. :)

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I agree, I've lost more fish than I've kept alive!

My 1st fish lasted just about 4 years, I think the longest I've had a fish since then is about a year and a half at the very most!

I've done everything right and I've done everything wrong.

I do believe that sometimes you buy them sick even though they're not showing symptoms. A lot of the times I've discovered them being sick too late for them to save because I've just thought, "hmm nah you're just having a quiet day" or something such, I think you have to be really diligent with watching their normal behaviour for any tiny changes and treat at that very 1st slight abnormality.

I think water quality is probable the culprit in most cases, that's why I use bottled water exclusively now, I've had a lot less deaths since I made the change. Also if you find something that works don't mess with it!

Don't give up, the road of Bettas can be tough and heartbreaking but the triumphs of watching them flourish and recover etc outweigh all the negatives and deaths... Although I doubt I'll ever buy another HM (simply because of the cost of getting them in the 1st place and then all getting finrot on me) I'll definitely keep with my CTs and the good old VTs.

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Divy have you checked what the temperature gets to on really hot days? Once the weather got into the mid-20s I attached a timer to my heating cords so that they come on and off periodically and when the temp gets into the high 20s I turn it off completely. I don't they like temperatures much higher than 30 degrees.

I think the regular 100% changes is necessary in the really small containers. However I think it increases the chances of them getting whitespot, finrot and velvet. These should be easily treatable though and I'm not sure why your fish with velvet didn't respond to treatment. I think the deaths you've been experiencing have been caused by many different factors which are not related to anything you're doing. If they happened in isolation you would just shrug it off. It's just really, really crappy that they've occured in a cluster like this.

Don't give up! I'm determined to get some shows happening in Melbourne this year. I want you to come and show off your breeding efforts and go home with a tacky plastic trophy which sits on your shelf gathering dust for the rest of your life. :(

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Yeah I agree ..maybe take a time out from buying any more fighters and just concentrate on sterilizing everything and starting again.

Im sure your just having a bad run of luck and this will change.

Whatever is the problem will be sorted out in time and then you can get back into the swing of things with confidence.

I definetaly would not buy any more fish as you may just be setting yourself up for more heartbreak.

Things will change Divy just give it time.....and dont feel bad youare doing your best.

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Oh crap forgot what I was actually going to say.

I was going to suggest( if you can this is) can you take out dividers and make the tanks so that they hold more water , the thing Im thinking is that with more water volume you can stop doing 100% water changes less often and maybe do partial water changes as Im inclined to think that with water quality as it is ( drought then rain etc) it may not be such a shock to the fish if it is getting smaller water chnages with very well aged ( 1 week) water.

I do ( in 22 litre tanks ) 1 water change of 30% once a week.... I age my water for 1 week ....My water starts out as hot tap water to which I add 1 IAL and 1 teaspoon of ager in 10 litre buckets at water change I add about quarter a teaspoon of Doc Wellness aquarium salts .

This may not suit every one but it is working for me.

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import bettas are a bit finicky as well, i loose a lot of minie but i uaually get to spawn them first, their bubs get along just fine. sorry to hear about ur boy, he was a beauty, my green dragon is going through a rough patch at the moment as well, and my melano bf has finrot and wont eat :(

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Melbourne water is generally good for keeping bettas but my male bettas seem to succumb to swim bladder infections even in a 2ft fully cycled tank (I eliminated finrot a couple of years ago and kept the fish room closed), whereas 5 girls (one of whom is one of those skipper fish who doesn't even have a functioning swim bladder), have been swimming about (or skipping) perfectly happily for 18 months with hardly a water change.

If I were to start keeping boys again, I'd seriously consider investing in a UV filter to kill off the nasty little bugs that seem to develop and stop them spreading from fish to fish... actually, I'm thinking of getting one anyway for my new tank.

Perhaps if you are changing out water to smaller tanks frequently you could set up an ageing tub with a uv filter a heater and an air bubbler too?

I find that the tropical minerals make the fish healthier but they hate the sea salt. Melbourne water is very empty.

Were they all imported fish? Sometimes they're heavily dosed in Asia to keep bugs at bay and it doesn't lead to strong fish. Actually, it's probably the same here in the fish warehouses. Buy from local breeders instead maybe?

Good luck.

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skeletalgirl: all the bettas i have bought have been from different breeders from aquabid and two females from someone

yeah there tanks are carded and very now and then i would uncarded them for half and hour or so

bettarazzi: now that summers here when i wake up the tank temp is 30degrees so i disconnect the heating cord and then durring the day is says around 27-28 degrees

i think the timer is a really good idea i might try that, when the weather gets in the high 20s you said you turn it off completely but do you turn it on at night?? and when its in the mid 20s what time do you set it to come on and off??

is it the 100% water changes or the small containers that you think increases the chances of them getting whitespot, finrot and velvet or both?

i have changed my two tanks so one is now and 8litre and the other is divided into 2 instead of three

i cleaned them with bi-carb soda then bleach and then aquarium salt water and then just hot water

from what i read from bren and sara i will keep some of my males from my fry which are going really well atm (4weeks old) and hope they are strong fish and stay healthy

also i think i will buy a bottle of prime water conditioner and use that instead of what im using cause every one seems to be using

ok well ive just realised i have wrote alot! so i will stop here and also every one please check out my new thread about filters in my tanks because i would really like to add a filter because from what ive read that should help too

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i'm thinking of switching to prime myself, just can't seem to find it, darn hicksville

also another thing i forgot to mention before; where i seem to have a lot of trouble with my hm imports i have none what-so-ever with my import hmpk, pk just seems hardier (in my experience anyway) if you can't resist aquabid (i know i can't) it could be an option, i'm thinking of moving to pk myself but i just love long-finned bettas so much more

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I just inherited 2 VT's and my friend bought me 2 VT's for christmas. Today I woke up and all 4 VT's have built nests. The HM's haven't. The CT hasn't. The VT that had finrot when I got it already seems to be healing. To be honest I'm really loving these VT's. They're also HUGE! I mean I'm probably speaking for myself here, but I haven't seen a HM get as big as these VTs.

It'll be interesting to see how long I can keep these guys alive for.

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One of the things that I believe in doing is checking all of the water parameters of the tanks before I do a water change. I have noticed that if any of the parameters change too drastically you will get sick fish, and this includes nitrite, nitrate and ammonia.

I don't know about Melbourne water but our water does not appear to be buffered very well so the pH drops dramatically in one day. It also contains phosphates and other pollutants that, while they don't have much of an effect on us, can have a dramatic effect on our fish. I never use new water in the tanks. The water goes into a treatment tank which is basically just a planted tank that is filtered but contains no fish. I use this water to do the regular water changes then top up the treatment tank again. As the treatment tank holds a lot more water that I need for my water changes I always have treated water on hand so I can do small frequent water changes, that way the parameters don't change too fast. I keep my fish in 5 ltr containers and change 25% of the water twice per week.

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Well it's summer and the dams are low so the water here isn't as good as it normally is but it's usually very soft and any attempts to move the pH in any direction are pretty much futile. Luckily it sits naturally around 7 and those are good parameters for bettas. We don't have all those algae and giardia scares that the Sydney dams have... maybe they're just better at keeping secrets here?

The water conditioner has to treat both chlorine and chloramine. Chloramine has strong bonds so it takes a day or so to break it and get it to evaporate. I use super industrial stuff - 3 drops per bucket - got it from that huge aquarium in Frankston.

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Prime is excellent if you can get it. Divy, i do think changing the water too regulary can increase the chances of parasites, etc- reason being is that the town waters are changing daily with the weather and swings, etc. That is why i boil mine the nite before water changes for the small tanks and prime them when cool. This blitzes any bacteria and parasites so regular changes wont be a prob. Amonia levels get high, fast in small tanks.

The bigger tanks- leave your water sit for a week. Thats all i do and i havent had any probs. The probs i have had are from getting the fish sick in the first place due to transportation or the supplier using straight town water- not aged- while the fish is stressed, etc...

Good Luck :)

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