1. Size of tank? 20 Gallon Tall
2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? Unknown
b. Nitrite? 0 according to my LFS
c. Nitrate? Unknown
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.5 for pH
e. Test kit?
4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? Freshwater
5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 3-4 weeks
6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
1 Male Betta-less than 2 inches
1 BN Pleco-Approx 2 inches
7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? No
8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Live Plants, 1 Argentinian Sword, 4 Anubais, 1 Banana Plant, Several Anacharis stems, Several Cabomba Stems, Lots of Java Fern and Java Moss
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? 2-3 inches of Small Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? Several Stones and a large piece of Grapewood
9. a. Filtration? Penguin 200 Biowheel, now with added airstone
b. Heater? Yes
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Zoomed 15 Watt Sun bulb, 10 hours per day
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? indirect
11. a. Water change schedule? 2 X a week
b. Volume of water changed? Around 20% per change
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap Water
d. Water conditioner used? Aqueon Water Conditioner
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Every time along the front, lightly along the back/sides
12. Foods? Bettamin Flakes, Aqueon Betta Pellets, Omega One Veggie Rounds, Cucumber
How often are they fed? Betta twice a day, Pleco every other day
13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Betta stuck at top of tank,not defecating. Pleco not eating/defecating, hanging out by the filter and in the stream of bubbles from the airstone, very skittish
b. Appearance of poop? Couldn't find any
c. Appearance of gills? Seem fine
14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Betta is in Hospital Tank with 2 teaspoons Epsom Salt per gallon
b. What meds were used? Epsom Salt for Betta
15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.
Read more: Diagnosis Form - Read this before you post.
My tank has quite a few plants and only a couple of fish, one Betta and one BN Pleco.
I have been doing twice weekly water changes on the advice of my LFS owner as my Nitrites have been slightly elevated.
I did my water change last Saturday and by Monday evening I had a bacterial bloom going on. I didn't worry about it overly much as I had one when I first set up the tank and it passed quickly with no adverse effects. I dropped in an Algea Wafer after feeding the Betta, the Pleco ate some of it, and the Betta was picking at it. It is also possible that the Betta was overfed this evening, not sure though.
On Tuesday I thought both the fish were a little off, the Betta swimming a little strangely and the Pleco much more skittish than usual. But I could not confirm as every time I tried to study behavior the Betta would swim as usual. The bacterial bloom seemed much reduced at this time. I also did my mid-week water change this evening.
Also went through the tank very thoroughly removing every bit of dead plant material I could find, did a heavy vacuuming of the substrate as it was suggested that the elevated Nitrites might be from excess plant material decaying in the tank, The Cabombas did have a few dead leaves on them.
When I got home on Wednesday the Betta was stuck at the top of the tank and could only swim down with great effort. The Pleco also seemed quieter than usual. After doing research I determined the Betta to have a Swim Bladder issue, so put him into a hospital tank with Aquarium salt. (I know it should have been Epsom salt, I read it wrong.) The Betta began fasting
Thursday I determined that I had the wrong salts in the hospital tank and got the Epsom salts. I also began to worry slightly about the Pleco. I dropped in a Veggie Round to try and draw the Pleco out, but had no luck.
Betta still Fasting
Friday the Betta still hadn't defecated, so I fed him a tiny amount of Brine Shrimp.
I also noticed that the Pleco hadn't touched the Veggie round and was glued to the tank right behind the filter output. Coupled with his lethargic behavior I thought it might indicate Nitrite poisoning due to previous Nitrite issues. Research suggested that I might not have enough gas exchange in my tank as I had my filter heavily baffled for the Betta. Baffles
removed, airstone added.
Took some water to the LFS and was told my Nitrites were 0.
Today. Water is quite clear, only a tiny bit of haze remains.
Betta is still in quarantine, hasn't defecated. Is swimming better, but seems to hang at the top of the tank or sit on the bottom quite a bit. Added a silk plant to hide in, still seems quite unhappy. Sometimes seems to give a sideways "hop" when swimming like something touched him. Has flared at his reflection a couple of times.
Did my water change, and the pleco sat in plain site for a bit during it (he usually hides) he wasn't eating though. I found NO feces during the vacuuming. I last vacuumed on Tuesday so I would normally have quite a bit as cleaning up after the pleco is like cleaning up after a herd of pigs. I added a slice of cucumber to the tank, and it's seen no action where it would normally have a BN pleco stuck to it as soon as it hit the water.
My main decoration in the tank is a large piece of grapewood. I soaked it for a couple of days per the other fish store and put it in my tank when I first set it up. It grew a very thick (we're talking more than an inch) of white film on it that turned the entire tank cloudy.
I removed it an boiled it for literally two days. It was too big to fit all the way in my turkey fryer so I boiled one end for about 6 hours one day, and the other for about 8 hours the next day.
I put it back in the tank, and got a small bacterial bloom and a very thin coating of the white film which slowly reduced over time.
After this most recent bloom the film came back even thicker, and grew back onto places where it had gone away.
The increase in current from the removal of the baffles seems to have reduced the film somewhat.
I am at a loss as to what happened to my tank.
My happy cheery Betta seems quite listless and depressed, although he is alone in a tiny 2 gallon tank with nothing to do and a reduced food allowance.
My relentless eating machine of a pleco is hiding all the time and ignoring his favorite junk foods.
All the plants are a nice dark green and the water appears quite clear.
Any help or insight at all would be greatly appreciated.