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Hi all,

I've recently lost 2 bettas to dropsy :( and am having a hard time pinpointing what could've gone wrong. I never noticed any signs of stress and they didn't have any external infections. They always ate normally until the dropsy symptoms started showing. Here are my tank parameters:
pH:7.2-7.4
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 5-10
temp 78-80

My parameters have always been consistent and I haven't noticed any big changes that could've stressed them out. Recently I tested my GH and it took 20 drops from the API test kit where as my tap water only has 9 drops. Could water changes of caused stress due to the big difference in GH? The cause of the big difference was caused due to using wonder shells for my mystery snails. I've removed them and hopefully it will start evening out after some water changes. Another thing I thought it could be is my kH, my kH recently has been reading 3 drops in my tank and 5 drops from my tap. Is this too low? Will I get big pH swings at night? I have 2 sponge filters that hopefully provide enough oxygen for my betta at night. I don't dose any ferts or use C02. I also recently added in some indian almond leaves to see if it would help but that would also lower my kH.. I put my tank picture in the attachments. Any help would really be appreciated.
 

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Dropsy usually indicates either kidney failure, or a bacterial infection if I remember freshwater fish bio correctly. Kidney failure isn't really treatable, but bacterial infections are.

For the bettas you lost, do you know how old they were? How often did you do water changes (and how large were they)? Did you feed lots of food, or was there enough food that it could reasonably decompose in the tank?
 

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I'm sorry for your loss. My betta died several weeks ago. Looking back in time, he could have had something from the moment I got him, but never able to locate the correct issue. It becomes hard when the parameters are correct (mine too) and there aren't any strong visible signs. Out of curiosity, did you buy them from the same place?
I'm always concerned about my chemistry but when it's in normal range, kind of hard to pinpoint causes. I'm only speaking from my experience and will let the experts answer this for you.
 
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