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Thread: What am I doing wrong? 😢

  1. Default What am I doing wrong? 😢

    Hi everyone. I've had an eight year break from my aquariums and am now back into it again BUT I'm not having much luck with my Betta. As far as I know I've cycled my tank right. I took 7 weeks to try and get it right and I added Seachem bacteria starter to the exact instructions. Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0 and nitrates only slight after the cycle "worked". The 20L tank is well planted, I use Stress Zime+ and do a 25% water change twice a week. He has a few Neon Tetras in with him and they're quite healthy. I've added a tri-sulpha but would rather get to the root of the cause. I had the same problem with my Betta before as well but I only did the water once a week then. The tap water where I am isn't great with the drought etc but I age it a few weeks and add the Stress Zime & Seachem per volume when I first top up the containers. I'm told by fishgeeks here that tap is best over spring or RO water. I'm worried sick about my little mate. I feel like a killer cuz it's something I'm doing wrong. 😭

  2. #2


    Hi there Hedgewitch, welcome back into the hobby!

    What is the flow like in the tank? What symptoms is the betta showing?

  3. Default

    Its a Nano tank sized filter with a spray bar to break the flow plus I've turned it to the nearest wall. I know they hate flow. My "Elwood Blues" has the end of his tail fin Greying. And thanks for the welcome. :-) Just a thought.....could this fungus/bacteria be a leftover from my old tank years ago??? Plus we've moved house and are shifting stuff around to redecorate including Elwood Blues (as carefully as possible of course). Too stressful for him????
    Last edited by Hedgewitch; 07-11-18 at 05:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Campbelltown NSW 2560


    Hey Hedgewitch.

    I firstly would recommend to get a bigger tank. 20L is very small as you do have neon tetras as well. Neons also like to school together in a min of 5 preferably more. For that you need a bigger tank. 20 gallon in USA is usually recommended which is 75 litres.

    Larger tanks are more forigiving for mistakes and issues than small one's.

    Hopefully other's can help work out what is happening with the fish

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    Where did you buy beta? Lfs can keep them in really bad condition and their lifespans are reduced due to weak fish.

    Other option is that ask the for advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    I’vei haven’t use Stress Zime+ myself so I don’t know whether it’s helpful in your situation.
    But I myself have a sorority/ community tank with ember tetra, purple harlequin rasbora, dwarf rasbora and some corys. On top of prime I only use Indian almond leaves, fingers cross there’s been no problem with their fins / scales, and even after some nipping they healing fast - one got nearly half of her tail nipped away when first introduced, but since grown majority back.
    From what I researched, people breed bettas also use Indian almond leaves for anti-fungal purposes. You may give it a try.
    It seems you in NSW, search Nano Tanks Aquarium & if you close to it go and talk to David, he specialised in betta & discus. You can also get Indian almond leave there too.
    Speed recovery for your betta!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Central Coast - Narara


    Posting a good, clear photo will help.

    Small tanks are very difficult to keep stable and I bet the temp is all over the place too.

    I suggest that you stop with all the additives (excluding Prime. Keep using that one). tap water is generally fine. What is the PH of the tap water and tank water? I personally would go with a mix of tap and rain water.

    A stable environment, clean water and good food are the most important things.

    I would lose the tetras as well.

  8. #8


    Hi and welcome to the forum

    As BigDaddyAdo mentioned, we need a picture and clear description of what is wrong with the fish.

    If you can check your water for general hardness (GH) & pH that would help. A pet shop should be able to test the tap water and spring/ bore water for you, or you can buy test kits. If you get it tested, write the results down in numbers and post them here. The test will be in ppm or dGh, find out which one because they have different results.

    Bore water regularly has lots of minerals and is considered hard and Bettas prefer soft water. But it depends on how hard the water is. If the water is less than 200ppm it should be fine. If the water is very hard, over 200ppm you can mix some distilled water with the bore water to get a better hardness.

    You can make a solar still by using a plastic storage container & lid, and a plastic bucket. You half fill a plastic storage container with water. Put some clean rocks or a bag of gravel in a 10 litre plastic bucket. Put the 10 litre bucket in the storage container that has the water in it. Have the container out in the sun. Put the lid on the container and put a small weight on top of the lid in the middle of the lid.

    As water heats up it turns into vapour and collects on the lid. The weight on the lid causes the water to run along the underside of the lid and drip in the middle. You have the 10 litre bucket under the middle of the lid and the water drips into the bucket. The rock or bag of gravel is put in the bucket to stop it moving around and to keep it underneath the dripping water. Over a period of time the bucket fills up with distilled water that will have no mineral content and can be used to mix with harder water for water changes.

    Make sure the rocks are not calcium based (limestone, sandstone, shells) or they will push the pH up.

    Make sure you use a clean fish only bucket and plastic storage container.

    Any sort of non toxic plant matter that sits in the water will release tannins (which can help some fish) and do reduce bacteria, viruses, fungus and some other harmful organisms in the water. However, the water needs to be stained dark brown for this to make any major difference. You can use Indian almond leaves, driftwood, oak leaves, or any sort of non toxic plant leaves.

    As the leaves break down in the water they will produce ammonia so you should monitor ammonia and nitrite levels and do water changes if you get a reading. The filter should remove any ammonia but it might not.

    With most fish health issues, clean water and a clean tank & filter will usually help prevent most problems. You could try doing a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week and see if that helps. However, water restrictions might be an issue and if the water is the problem it will make it worse.

    If using bore/ ground water you should aerate it for at least 30 minutes (preferably 24 hours) before using it to allow the gases in the water to get back to normal. You should test the bore water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & pH before using it too. And it's also a good idea to aerate tap water and dechlorinator for 30 minutes before using it to ensure the dechlorinator has time to come into contact with all the chlorine/ chloramine in the water.

    If using distilled water, aerate it for 30 minutes too but you won't need to use a dechlorinator.
    Last edited by Colin_T; 08-11-18 at 12:19 PM.

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