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Old 09-19-2010, 05:41 AM   #1
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What am I doing wrong?

I hope I am posting in the right place.
My daughter brought home 2 Betta fish, (I know you all have heard it a thousand times, fish is in little plastic cup, dirty cold water.) Of course the sales person at the store told her it would be fine in a large glass of water...

Okay, so I put each fish in its own 10 gallon tank.
Put in a filtration system (rigged it so the water flow is very gentle)
Set the heaters to 77-78 degrees.
Of course dechlored the water. Bought a 10 gal garbage pail, dechlored and let the water set for my water changes.
I could only get one bag of gravel, rinsed it throughly.
I feed them 2 little betta pellets twice each day.
I remove about 2 gallons of water every other day, and replace it with water from my pail.

Two weeks later and the poor fish act like I am torturing them, they rub up against the tanks back and forth all day long.
One of them has rubbed his scales off of his chin from rubbing.

I don't know much about keeping fish but if I had to guess it appears as if they are being burned.

I live 70 miles from the nearest pet store so it is important that I do all my "pet shopping" at once.

I want to change the filter but I dont want to lose what ever bacteria may be colonizing so far.

I can't just ignore these little creatures that seem to be in such distress.

Oh, they can not see each other from where they are so the constant glass rubbing is not them flaring at each other.

Thank you for reading my long post.

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Old 09-19-2010, 08:41 AM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

Probably the most important thing you can get is a water test kit. Most likely you're building up ammonia in your tank as it's beginning to go through it's cycle, which is what's causing the burning sensation on the fish.

In my signature below is a link to the Nitrogen Cycle. Have a read through that and it'll explain what's going on.

In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:17 AM   #3
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I'm going to agree with Neilan and guess its probably ammonia... If they're scratching, it could also be ich. Do the fish have any white specs (looks like grains of salt) on them? If you're unable to test, I'd suggest doing at least a 50% water change daily until you can test the ammonia and nitrite.

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Old 09-19-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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Great advice above regarding your tanks needing to be cycled. Follow the link in mfdrookie's signature about cycling with fish.

Another thing, for after you get the cycling issue in hand. You said you're feeding them pellets. Soak the pellets first until they soften up, then give them to the bettas. Pellets tend to puff up after being eaten and can lead to problems in the fish.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:43 PM   #5
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When you say they rub up against the tanks back and forth, does it look like the fish is trying to scratch something off like in this video
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