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Betta beginning to pinecone...but there are also fry


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I have had multiple weird things happening honestly the past month. I have two 20 gallons and the one I'm focusing on now is a divided long with three bettas and some (20-30) rice sized cichlid fry because that's the only safe tank for them. One tank is partially planted but has enough to keep the nitrates a bit lower than the other tank.


  • pH: Both tanks are right around 7.5-8.0, however the planted tank is a bit lower due to driftwood. I would say 7.5 and 7.8


  • Nitrates: Planted tank is around 0ppm-20pmm, the divided tank is due to have a water change around 20-40 ppm.


  • Hardness: General hardness in the planted tank is right around 60, the divided tank is a bit higher so on the chart between 60 and 120, probably 80 or so.


  • Nitrite: 0ppm for both tanks


  • Ammonia: 0ppm in both tanks


  • KH/Buffer: Both are pretty similar and in-between 80-120.


  • Water Temperature 78 Fahrenheit for both.

The planted tank started with 8 neon tetras, 2 german blue rams, a gold nugget pleco maybe 2in, a 1/2 bristlenose, 4 corydoras, 2 pygmy sparkling gouramis, a honeycomb catfish, and one of my bettas. One of my parents likes to get "unique" fish so it has been overstocked and I am working on that. I'm looking at the perimeters weekly and try not to let the nitrates rise past 30-40 ppm, and it has been set up since last October.

It started off when my german blue ram in my planted tank seemed to show symptoms of wasting disease, and I wasn't prepared and so he passed before I was able to get API general cure. A week later I noticed one of my tetras had a spot seeming to be the same thing, and then they started to die off, however the others showed no symptoms and would pass one by one. 4 tetras and one of my corydoras passed within 24 hours. This tank has since been treated and the rest of them eat and behave normally. In a panic I had moved my betta to the divided tank and have been debating treating that tank too, but this one is the one that has fry in it.

This week, which is roughly 10 days after the other events- I noticed one of my other bettas was showing some what seemed to be very minor symptoms of swim bladder, so to be safe I have him in a small container with the original tank water and have been fasting him for three days and just fed him some baby shrimp- hoping it was only constipation- however, I realized when feeding him that his scales just by his stomach look to have the characteristic pineconing. I'm really scared to lose more fish and want to treat this divided tank now but worry about all three bettas and the tiny fry being okay. I believe this particular betta has also been overeating because sometimes my parent is the one feeding him and he eats more than he should, hence the fasting. At this point I'm not sure if it is parasites, overfeeding, or what, but this is just part of what has happened with my fish recently.

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