H0pefulDad

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Okay, I posted about a betta fish I took from a pet store yesterday, since he had some pale coloring on/by his fins and lips that worried me, but I only got one reply that said I shouldn't worry. Now though, I definitely have something to worry about, mainly because my tank had an ammonia spike today.

I noticed the little guy swimming erratically earlier, and got worried, so just in case I tested for ammonia and nitrites with the API Master test kit. I put some seachem prime in the tank first, since it also detoxifies compounds of the nitrogen cycle like ammonia.

And I'm glad I did it when I saw the results of the test. No nitrites, but the color of the water in the test tube for ammonia was a clear green color. I didn't look at the exact measurement, but I'd say it was at least 1 ppm. I quickly did a water change of about 50%, added some stress coat to the water and tested it again. The ammonia was down to either 0 or 0.25, so just in case I plan to do one more water change later. I tested the pH too, since the catappa leaf I had in there had made it much lower than the pH of my tap water when I last tested it, but it seems to have gone back up again.

I think I caught it quick enough, but I'm worried because ammonia poisoning might have contributed to killing my last baby. This guy seems to be doing better than he was, he was swimming around still after the water change, but his gills seemed to be moving a bit heavier than usual.

I want to see him recover and get healthy enough to go to a forever home, but I'm not sure if just being in the clean water now will be enough, since he's already underweight from the pet store. I just wanted to know if there was any way I could speed along his recovery from any possible ammonia burns or poisoning? I saw a number of different suggestions from different websites, such as using an antibiotic or antibacterial treatment, adding aquarium salt, or lowering the pH.

Also, I would appreciate any insight on why he may be having trouble eating. As I mentioned he looks underweight, so it made me happy when he ate all the pellets I gave him yesterday (not too many of course, and spaced out, he's small and I want to build him up to it slowly). But today he kept spitting out the second pellet I gave him. I know that's not immediately concerning for a betta, but it looked like he really wanted to eat it, he kept going back to it after he spit it out. I tried some hours later, thinking maybe there was just no room in his stomach, but the same happened with that pellet. And this time he definitely seemed hungry, because he was trying to chew on bits of plants floating at the top of the water. I just tried with some flakes, thinking those would be easier for him to chew and swallow, but I saw him spitting out and trying to eat a big flake which is definitely worrying me. At least he might have gotten some smaller ones down (I know it could be constipation but his belly doesn't look swollen at all).
 

Colin_T

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The easiest way to deal with ammonia problems in a fish tank is to reduce feeding and do a big water change and gravel clean the substrate every day until the levels are 0ppm.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for at least a week or until the levels come down to 0.

If the pH is below 7.0, the ammonia becomes a not so toxic form and it's less of an issue.
 
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H0pefulDad

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So do you think I should put another catappa leaf in there to lower the pH?
 

YewBush

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You're right that spitting out food normally isn't much of a problem for bettas, but just in case, what color is his poop? I've heard that parasites can cause bettas to lose weight, and if the poop is white and stringy it probably means he has parasites. I hope this helped.
 
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H0pefulDad

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You're right that spitting out food normally isn't much of a problem for bettas, but just in case, what color is his poop? I've heard that parasites can cause bettas to lose weight, and if the poop is white and stringy it probably means he has parasites. I hope this helped.
When I last saw it yesterday it was round and bright orange, and was the same when he was still in his cup. I think he might just look a little skinny because they either didn't feed him enough at the pet store or from the stress of living in a little cup, or I'm just being paranoid.
 

YewBush

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When I last saw it yesterday it was round and bright orange, and was the same when he was still in his cup. I think he might just look a little skinny because they either didn't feed him enough at the pet store or from the stress of living in a little cup, or I'm just being paranoid.
That seems like normal poop. I've heard it's usually a similar color to the food they eat.
 

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