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Old 10-02-2011, 12:56 AM   #1
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Exclamation Am I doing this right? (Betta died, prepping tank for new one)

Hi,

Why the fish died:
Okay, so I myself have a 20g and a 5g with my own Betta, Enrique. Don't worry, he isn't the one who has died. Unfortunately, however, it was my brother's Betta. I'm the one who's actually into fish, my brother was just kind of interested at first but got 'bored'. But, I'm not going to get into how annoyed I am at him, and how a pet is a commitment, and how he should have kept up on the PWCs, etc. This is about the fish.

He had a simlar setup of mine, a 5g heated/filtered, but he pretty much just ended up neglecting the tank by not doing a water change for like 3+ weeks. I didn't know that he forgot to clean the tank, I just assumed he had been keeping up on maintenance. Well, the Betta got Dropsy. When I discovered this I immediately did a 50% water change and dosed the tank with Maracyn 2 that I had extra of. That kept him alive overnight. The next night he was still breathing but didn't look like he would make it, but still I dosed the tank again with the medication. By the following day, he was dead. I was really upset.

Now I have an empty tank and would like to add a new Betta to it without having to re-cycle the tank. Obviously this would not be in the care of my incapable brother, but for me.

What I then did to the tank:
I took about half the water out and put it into a separate bucket. I then took all the decor out and put it into that bucket of tank water. This was so that the decor had somewhere where it could stay wet so the bacteria wouldn't die off while I took out the rest of the tank water. I then vacuumed the gravel and continued to drain the tank of water until it was juuuust above the gravel. I filled the tank back with fresh, de-chlorinated water and put the decor back in, too.
Tomorrow morning I plan to test the water to be sure all the levels are good.

My questions:
So, am I doing this right? I did a 100% water change to get rid of the water in which a fish had been dying. But is it safe to add a new Betta? All I changed was the water so I shouldn't have to re-cycle. But I'm sure there are traces of the Maracyn 2 left in the filter media, would that be harmful? Also, it isn't like Dropsy-bacteria can linger in the tank, right?

Help is appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:29 AM   #2
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I would change all the water and wash EVERYTHING. (Filter media, decorations, gravel, plants, Heater, etc) even wash the filter housing to make sure there are no more "germs" left from dropsy, or any other sicknesses that the poor betta had.
Oh, by the way: I'm sorry that happened to you...
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for your concern.
So Dropsy in the tank is still an issue? I know it is not contagious, but I wasn't aware that the germs could linger behind. I thought the fish just developed Dropsy from bad water quality, and that the fish wouldn't get it in good water quality.

If I have to wash everything, then I will have to cycle again too.
I am about to go test my water, hopefully things are looking good. Since the tank was already established I don't expect there to be any issues, though. The Betta was in bad water quality, but a 50% PWC on Wednesday and a 100% change yesterday should have taken care of high levels of Ammonia/Nitrate.

Thanks again for the reply, always appreciated.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Just finished testing the water (API liquid).

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: Only 5
pH: ≈7.4
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandy2936
Thanks for your concern.
So Dropsy in the tank is still an issue? I know it is not contagious, but I wasn't aware that the germs could linger behind. I thought the fish just developed Dropsy from bad water quality, and that the fish wouldn't get it in good water quality.

If I have to wash everything, then I will have to cycle again too.
I am about to go test my water, hopefully things are looking good. Since the tank was already established I don't expect there to be any issues, though. The Betta was in bad water quality, but a 50% PWC on Wednesday and a 100% change yesterday should have taken care of high levels of Ammonia/Nitrate.

Thanks again for the reply, always appreciated.

If you didn't want to re cycle it, you could keep the bio media... I think you'd be fine.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:06 PM   #6
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Dropsy itself isn't necessarily contagious because it's usually a symptom rather than the actual illness. It can be caused by a bacterial infection, virus...or as you said poor water conditions and / or diet.

Since you used Maracyn...chances are the bio-filter is destroyed anyway. I've tested Maracyn on an empty tank, and it absolutely annihilated the beneficial bacteria. So in a sense...you're most likely starting from scratch anyway...so breaking down the tank and giving it a thorough cleaning is always a good idea.

Also, changing the water but keeping the same filter media does nothing. Most likely anything in the water column will be in media as well.

Cycling a 5 gallon, filtered tank for a single Betta really isn't a big deal. The best way would be to take a piece of established filter media, add it into the 5 gallons filter...and you've got an instantly cycled tank since you're bringing over enough beneficial bacteria to handle a single fish.

Even if you don't have seeded media...a Betta won't put out much waste...so normal water changes and testing until the tank cycles isn't a big deal. Just test frequently and perform water changes any time you see ammonia or nitrIte. Since it's such a small bio-load...it will be a very easy battle to win.
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