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Acclimating imported Betta's

Discussion in 'Fish' started by janey, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. janey

    janey Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi all

    I have 7 Betta's (yes 7!) :eek: arriving from Thailand tomorrow. They will have been in transit a good few days & I have never imported fish before - so I am really really nervous! (and excited - all in one!:D)

    I have been preparing QT housing for them all for weeks (it seems!) plus researching the best way forward to give them the best start I can. My water is very hard & they will be coming from soft water conditions.

    Very helpful guy at the LFS told me that apart from letting them adjust for temp, around 20-30mins floating in bag, they get them straight out the tiny bag, into the tank after that. Reason - the bag produces highly toxic matter within seconds of being opened.:eek:

    Other people say they put a drop of prime into the bag then drip acclimate them over several hours.
    My big dilemma here is that I have seen the size bags the poor fish are shipped in and they are not much larger than the fish themselves. :( So there is only a tiny amount of water to begin with - not even enough to open the bag & float it in the tank like one does with locally bought fish. How on earth would one drip into such a tiny bag? :confused:o_O

    I'm just totally confused about how best to do this?:confused::confused:

    Please help - any ideas welcome! What would you do?
     
  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Janey

    I am very surprised you can import directly.

    I would use a very clean glass to start off with and use a clean eye dropper until you get sufficient water in the jar/glass then transfer the fish into a bigger bag and keep building up that way.

    In Aust even the water that was in the bags has to be treated/destroyed as it can not be put into the drainage system.

    Let us know what method you used and how it went.

    If you can find a specialist UK Forum I would ask them for advice.

    Keith:):)
     
  3. janey

    janey Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi Keith

    Thanks for your help, nice to see you here again. :) I've not posted in a while...just been so busy.

    The eye dropper is a good idea - I completely overlooked that as I was thinking how I could possibly do it with my trusty old turkey baster!:rolleyes:
    We cannot import fish directly here in the UK. It's taboo! I am using a transhipper to bring the fish in through our customs.

    Interesting to hear you have to find a way to deal with the bagged water in Aust. Thinking what I would do if that applied here...boil it till it evaporates maybe? Your country is very strict indeed, and I thought the UK was bad enough. Guess it s understandable though - here some of our indigenous river creatures are being threatened by people just dumping imports into them.
     
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  4. janey

    janey Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Just a quick update - all the fish arrived alive! Keith your glass idea worked really well, I got them acclimated with no problems.
    A few little issues - one has an inflamed gill and I caught him biting his tail to shreds as well. Tail biting seems to be resolved now. Gill - looking better but not yet healed up. Giving all of them seachem paraguard - hoping it'll help him especially.

    One chap has old eye problems - not blind, but cloudy eyes and he is, I think, not the age I had expected, but an elderly chap. Only wish I could do something for his eyes. Do fish get cataracts?
    Still, I love him & he is going to live out his retirement in the lap of luxury.
    They're all settling in nicely. Eating well and colour improving on them by the day. So far so good! :)
     
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  5. Asthaparhim

    Asthaparhim Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Do you have any pictures of the betta's? Would love to see them :D
     
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  6. janey

    janey Aspiring Aquascaper

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    No pics yet. I tried a while back to take picture of my other betta's and the reflections were so bad I gave up. Plan to buy an anti reflection filter for the camera soon & will post up pics of my lads then.

    They are all beautiful (I would say so!:p) but there's one fish that is amazing - he has a wild look about him. I named him Wild thing after the song! He'd not be to everyone's taste I don't think - but I think he is quite unusual. He has lots of textural lines& dots on him and for a few days his tail has been colouring up. It's cellophane at the edges. His eyes are yellow. He surprised me today by developing a very iridescent blue/green body overnight. Most of them arrived pale & washed out - it's good to see colour returning to them at the moment.:)

    There are two lovely coppers, one is steel blue-grey the other has a lot of green & lilac flashes in the copper. A feathertail metallic golden betta, a beauty to my eyes, but very overbred. But with some smart thinking it's possible to create some good fry out of him - it just needs loads of careful thought and vision. Not sure I could safely do this without some disasters, so I might skip trying and just enjoy him!

    There's a bright violet and red boy. A purple/green and red boy with blue eyes, who had a lovely black edge to his tail - but alas he is the one who bit his tail - it looks a sorry sight right now. I'm still very worried about this little fellow, he is not right, hope he heals up.
    Finally I have a green & blue girl - she is Wild things sibling, also beautifully marked and I love her personality already. Thinking of breeding these two, but will need to see if other people like the wild look as much as I do. I am planning on very low numbers and would hope for good homes for the offspring. They are all halfmoon & over halfmoon tail betta's.:)
     
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  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    janey

    Cloudy eye is usually related to poor water quality and can usually be rectified with lots of daily water changes.
    It could also be a bacterial concern.

    You can be sure it was the conditions they were living in long before you bought them.

    It could also be a stress problem

    Pimafix is safe to use for Bacterial problems and Melafix for Stress concerns both can be used together.

    I would concentrate on a 20-25% water change every day and see if that helps do this for at least 7-10 days then if necessary try the Pimafix and Melafix as per recommendation only.

    Also do a water check on your water supply.

    Keith:):)
     
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  8. janey

    janey Aspiring Aquascaper

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    H Keith, thank you for the info re cloudy eye. Think you are right about the poor conditions this chap was kept in. I watched a video - unfortunately after I bought him, about the Betta farm where he was reared - omg. A fish was getting a water change and they just barrelled the water down on the poor thing with such force. :eek::eek::sick: It pains me to think my old chap very probably endured such harsh treatment.:mad:

    He is such an endearing fish too - a real gentleman! I think he was meant to be with me! :love: And he is so happy in his pathetic little QT tank - he just brings a lump to my throat. I can't wait to put him into a nice spacious tank with lots of plants and wood in it for him to explore. He is going to get a really top setup!:)

    The QT set ups are small - only 10l of water each so I change the water 50% in the am, 100% at night currently. Probably paranoic overkill?, but bettas are so sensitive to any ammonia/nitrites etc I am playing it safe. My back is killing me with all the bucket bearing.:rolleyes: It'll be a huge relief to settle them into tanks after this.

    I have been dosing all of them with Seachem paraguard as a precaution. No signs of his eyes improving yet. I think I'll give him a rest for a week after the paraguard - if his eyes still look poorly I will try your recommendations.

    On the whole the lads and the lassie are settling in very nicely, better than I expected. Some nice enrichment of colour happening on them now & I'm getting to know their very different personalities.

    The youngsters tail biting is very worrying, and continues. I have added some plants to his QT tank after soaking them in some NT general tonic & try to spend time playing with him - mainly 'lets chase the finger through the glass!'
    I'm giving him beef heart as part of his diet at the moment - as I wonder if not getting food for at least a week was not just too much for such a young growing fish & he may need the extra protein. They have all been ravenous & I have to be careful not to overfeed them, because they are all beggarts and charming ones at that! I am feeding little but often at the mo and trying for a varied diet.
    I also put mini aerators/filters in all the tanks and he especially enjoys surfing the bubbles. He reminds me of a kitten, he has the same playfulness. I am hoping the fin biting stops soon, though some people have betta's who are persistent with it no matter what they try.

    This is quite some journey with these fish and I truly appreciate your help and experience.:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    janey

    Looks like you have it all under control

    I would still use the "Melafix" as it is excellent for stress.
    What also will help is plenty of plant cover (buy any cheap aquarium plant) that will float.
    Plenty of aeration.
    No lights.
    Keep the feeding to a minimum too much food and his waste will make things even worse.
    You might think you are helping but in the long run you are not.
    If you can store the water over night and treat it before it goes into the tank.
    A good hardware store should have small 5lt water containers also use a small new clean watering can it will make the water changes a lot easier for you.
    All these little things will help.

    Keith:):)
     
  10. janey

    janey Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi Keith

    Thank you for the wise advice above, I am following your suggestions.

    An odd turn last night though when found my little fin nipper lying on his side. At first I thought he might just be sleeping Betta style (they can appear quite dead when they sleep!) - but when he would not wake up I realized he was hyperventilating and looked slightly pale.:eek: I tried to get him to swim but he kind of just floated on his side - so flipping scary!:eek:

    I tested the water params & the temp. All fine. I also increased the aeration to high & put methylene blue into his tank, covered it up to make it dark and miraculously 15 mins he was swimming upright and begging for food - as if nothing had ever happened!o_O

    I fully expected to uncover his tank and find him dead - can't describe my relief!

    Very strange. The aeration has been on at a medium level because otherwise the air bubbles buffet his fins about too much. The only thing I can think of was I allowed him a flaring session at his brother next door during the day. Although his gill looks very much better I am thinking maybe it over taxed him? Maybe on the inside it is still more inflamed than I realize? Or, can fish have a 'fit?':cautious:

    Otherwise - today he seems entirely normal, no gill inflammation.

    Also my lad with the cloudy eye - I'd wondered if it was a bacterial infection whether his condition in other ways would not be run down? Aside from the eyes, his overall condition is very good to excellent. Could an infection be localized - with no other symptoms do you think?

    Given this - in my shoes would you suggest giving him a course of meds anyway?
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Janey

    This is something I was told many years ago by an experienced Betta breeder.

    Apparently the flaring too much can over stress some males, to stop this the end of the tanks were either painted or covered with black sticky book cover its a vinyl product.

    Keith:):)
     

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