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ashleyALE 06-08-2009 08:27 AM

Dropsy - Tank Aftercare

I was directed over from the BettaFish Forum so I hope you guys can help me out! You seem to have a lot more going on over here! I like it!

Here is some background info on my tank first.

I have a 10 Gallon that used to have platies and mollies. Obviously I went though lots and lots of babies but typically left them in the tank (this was after my first time thinking "Oh no! I have to same them!!" :roll: and spending too much time with my arm in the tank!) I did regular water changes and the tank was previously cycled. Later (no more platies or mollies), having kept the tank cycled and clean, I got a Betta. He's beautiful, but his dropsy is why I am here today. He flourished in the tank for months and months. I moved the tank from one apartment to another (which I know can be quite stressful) but he still did VERY well.

One day (a little over a month ago) I got a tank divider and brought home a beautiful female Betta.I didn't have her for very long before her temperment changed and she became very lethargic. I moved her to a hospital tank and before I knew it she was a big giant pinecone. She didn't die in my 10 gallon but she definitely became sick while she was in there.

I didn't do anything other than regular water changes and my guy was still the same fish as he always was. About a week ago he became very lethargic, stopped eating and started chillin at the bottom and only coming up for air. At first I suspected fin rot and there were signs that his fins weren't as beautiful as they had always been, but not enough to be fin rot. I did a huge water change and started treatment with Maracyn-2 and salts. Nothing :-(. His color wasn't as bright and eventually I could tell he didn't even want to come up for air. I figured it was dropsy and I just couldn't see it yet.

Right now he is in my 10 gallon in a floating breeding trap so that he doesn't have to go very far for air. He is quite pineconey but not as much as my female was when she died. I'm just keeping him comfortable for now since there isn't much I can do.

NOW: My question is, when he passes, and I clean out my tank, what is the best way to clean it and my (plastic) plants and gravel? Moreso, should I just start with a new filter media and re-cycle the tank? Even though it's lots of work, I feel like I would rather do this than be nursing another fish until it dies.

If I do start with new filter media and re-cycle my tank what fish should I cycle it with? (Keeping in mind I am still quite interested in getting another male Betta)

Who knows, I could go in a different direction but I really enjoyed my Betta.

Sorry for all the info but I wanted to lay it all out there! Anything will help and thanks in advance!
(Let me know if I need to post this question in a different area)

Byron 06-08-2009 09:04 AM

Wash the tank, plastic plants and gravel in hot water (no soap). Bleach can be used on the tank and plants, but I wouldn't with the gravel because it is so porous. Rinse thoroughly, and let it all dry completely (including the gravel--laying it out on clean paper is quicker). Nothing that can spread from fish to fish will survive this. As for the filter media, best replace it if there is suspicion of something spreadable. The new tank will obviously have to be cycled as usual. I would do a fishless cycle rather than getting some fish to cycle it and then not wanting the fish, not good buying fish you don't want as it risks introducing pathogens and disease for no reason.

ashleyALE 06-08-2009 09:10 AM

excellent! thank you!

i have only used fish to cycle (and only cycled once) a tank so i'll research the fishless cycling

Byron 06-08-2009 10:31 AM

I only cycle with fish, but I have large tanks and acidic water which makes a very big difference.

Fishless cycling can be done with fish food, or pure ammonia. Several members have used these methods, and will jump in with advice I'm sure.

1077 06-08-2009 11:48 AM

I too have always allowed a tank to mature or (cycle) using fish. If done correctly there is no harm to fishes. I have also used one or two small uncooked shrimp placed in a section of nylon with a rock to hold it down. No daily testing or adding of liquid ammonia and end result is same.

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