I am obviously new to the board, and new to aquariums in general. We have a "baby biorb" tank in my sons room. He has a simple betta, and we recently decided to add a pleco to help with housekeeping.
In the interest of being more natural, and pretty, we've added some bulbs which have finally decided to grow... very slowly, then turn brown and die.
After a little internet research, I decided what the 4 gallon tank needed was a shot of CO2.
I used a 3L bottle, with a 500ml bottle for a bubble counter, and a common recipe for DIY CO2. Worked like a champ. The CO2 was fed into the tank via the existing airstone. Yield was approx 1 bubble per second.
Here's my problem. We left for a while, and upon our return, found the pleco had managed to get lodged into the tube, where the CO2 was being introduced. (For those of you not familiar with the "baby biorb", it has a cylindrical tube in the center of the "orb" shaped tank, which contains the airstone at the bottom. The bubbling causes a water current, which draws water through a bio filter substrate.) I dont know how long he was trapped there, breathing a LOT of SMALL CO2 bubbles, but when I got him out and back into the tank, he was obviously distressed. Occasionally he would go to the surface and gulp air.
The next morning, the pleco was dead. I am crushed, and so is my son. I am responsible for his demise- if I'd never performed this DIY CO2, the fish would be fine.
I am looking for advice as to-
- Do you think the tank was overloaded with CO2? Thus, stressing the pleco to death?
- Do you think the concentration of the CO2 he breathed, when trapped in the tube caused his death?
- Or, perhaps a combination of the stress of the tube, and the CO2.
I thought I was doing something smart by using a larger sized container, and a higher volume of water. (longer lasting co2)
I am terrified to attempt it again at this point... and the betta is lonely. I would hate to kill another fish due to my lack of experience and knowledge...
Thank you very much in advance for your advice,