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Old 06-20-2011, 11:53 PM   #1 
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Unhappy ammonia poisoning!

Last tuesday I gave the fish tank a really thorough cleaning because when I came home, I noticed the bottom was littered with old fish flakes that one of my parents had left to sit on the top of his water for about a full day. Just yesterday I noticed my new little fishie Uno is turning a light shade of red around his face and gill area and he also has what appears to be a very light streak of red going down the lenghth of his body! The clear tips of his fins are also a light shade of red, but only the vein looking parts are. He lives in an unfiltered tank which is about 2.75 gallons without a heater and the water in his tank is room temp. Ever since I had gotten him on the eleventh he hasnt eaten or pooped, we've tried flakes, pellets, and freeze dried brine shrimp. Uno has been his energetic self until lately I've noticed him become less and less active. Unfortunately I am in a very tight spot and can't get supplies until friday, then on sunday I have to go on a week long road trip and can't take the fish... I'm almost positive that this he's ammonia poisoned but how do I check, what do I do until Friday and how do I cure it?

Last edited by littlebee; 06-21-2011 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:09 AM   #2 
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Sounds like there's a number of problems here - some of which you're aware of. As you probably already know, bettas need heating and either filtration (recommended) or vigilant water changes. The latter will never produce as healthy fish and in my experience, has proven to impact longevity.

Second, he hasn't eaten in 11 days? I find it strange he was acting like himself for a while after not eating for a week or more - that's quite peculiar. Perhaps he was eating when you weren't looking? Betta's can be shy too! Either way, it was probably that food he didn't eat that spiked up your ammonia and nitrites and the lack of a filter to clean it up.

You don't give us a lot of options to help you. You're going to be away for a week and are unable to get supplies for 3-4 days. I've had similar problems in my early days of fishkeeping brought on by poor water conditions. Turns out it was high nitrite. I suspect the same in your case. Add the weakened immune system from a cold betta and you have your answer.

I really wish I could help you more, but there's not much you could do without going to the store and with being away for a week, I don't see much hope for him. If it's really looking like he's on his deathbed, I'd say put about a half tablespoon of common household salt in there as a last resort. It's not aquarium salt, but it does the trick from time to time. Go for iodized, not the sea salt crystals.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help! Hope the little guy pulls through! :(
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:52 AM   #3 
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I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest for when you're away, but until then give him lots of water changes. A tank of your size should have one 100% and one 50% change a week. Since you believe he has ammonia poisoning, giving him frequent water changes should help. The best cure for many betta issues is simply clean water and nice, stable temperatures about 78-80.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:53 AM   #4 
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Thank you two very much! I'll try giving him water changes, but if he pulls out until friday, what can I get to help him?
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