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Old 04-25-2013, 11:26 PM   #1 
Skyla2904
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Maryland, USA
Ammonia Burns?

Got home today and said hi to all the kids, noticed that Castle has some red spots around his gills, and even his ventral fins look a little more red to me; they were always magenta but look a little brighter now. It seems like it could be ammonia burns... But I have had him for four months now and never had an issue. Did a water change about 2 days ago, and now this. Haven't changed the water source or the water conditioner. What do you think?


Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 g Aqueon Bow
What temperature is your tank? Usually around 76-78
Does your tank have a filter?yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tetra fin betta bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4-5 pellets once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Twice,
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
100% and around 50-75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner/dechlorinator (unsure of the brand at the moment, misplaced the bottle)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Red spots around gills, pink areas seem brighter
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Seems a little agitated
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Tonight
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None whatsoever
How old is your fish (approximately)? Around a year I would guess.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #2 
lotusflwr
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If you are worried about ammonia levels, apart from doing a water change (which you should consider doing now if you are worried,) you could always get some Prime or AmmoLock... both will bind up ammonia to render it harmless to your fish.

Is your betta acting sick at all? Hanging out on the bottom of his tank or hiding, coming up for air more frequently than normal, keeping his fins tight up against his body? He looks pretty good in the picture, but I don't know what he looked like before to judge how much the redness has increased.

Also, has he been flaring a lot lately, whether into a mirror or at another fish, or possibly at his own reflection in the tank's glass? Flaring is supposed to make male bettas' colors intensify, so he could also just be getting more macho, manly coloring.

Fingers crossed that it is nothing serious!
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:50 PM   #3 
Skyla2904
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He was flaring alot yesterday, and I intend to do a water change tomorrow when I get up. I'm going to get some distilled, purified water to put him in. He hasn't been acting all that strange other than the fact that he just looks, well to put it plainly he looks a little mad, but I did change the sand that was in his tank out to gravel because it was clouding up the water too much. He seemed a little annoyed about that, but other than that he just seems a little restless. I'm gonna take a water sample up to my friend that works at petsmart after I change him out just to see if it's high, but it just confused me because I'm doing nothing different in the other two tanks and the baby and ghost seem perfectly fine. If it is an ammonia issue, will his burns heal up on their own or is there any medication I can give him to help soothe it a little bit?
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:04 AM   #4 
lotusflwr
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ACK, NO! Distilled water is a big no go for aquariums, especially bettas. The lack of minerals and change in water parameters (especially pH) can kill them. Tap water treated with a water conditioner/dechlorinator works great in almost all cases. Most fish can thrive outside their "ideal" water parameters; it's more often sudden changes that cause problems.

If you are still worried about the water quality out of your taps affecting your betta, then spring water or filtered water would be what I'd buy. But you'd still want to acclimate him to the new water over a period of time if you've been using tap water up until now.

If it is burns, then I would treat him with aquarium salt and probably Stress Coat to help him heal up faster and support his slime coat to keep any infections from setting in. Either way, definitely consider investing in a water test kit so you can quickly check your water quality to know if and when a problem is arising.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:12 AM   #5 
Skyla2904
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Alrighty, didn't know that about the distilled water; I had always been told that it was better to go with the distilled, but I can definitely see your point, and that's one reason I joined this site. Thanks for the tip. :) I will get a testing kit probably tomorrow when I go to the store, and keep it for them. I used to have all this stuff and then when I moved it all got misplaced. So if it turns out to be burns ill go ahead and start him on the salt and stress coat tomorrow as well. Thanks very much!
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