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Old 05-22-2012, 06:07 PM   #1 
GBS
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Join Date: Oct 2011
High ph and Nitrates. Help!

My male crown tail betta has had an on again-off again battle with fin rot for the past month or so. He was medicated with Betta Revive for a week, a new adjustable heater was installed and we thought we had a handle on the situation.

However, just when we thought we had it under control it happened again. His nitrates are high at 1.0 and his ph is high at 7.6. I lowered his temp. to 76, added salt, changed 90% of his water on Friday and on Sunday he was fuzz-free. As of yesterday he had new fuzz growth. His nitrates are still 1.0.

Any advice on permanently lower and maintaining a low ph and nitrate level?

I've attached a picture of him from Friday. Much of that fuzz is gone but he's got a new patch on the bottom.

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #2 
Hodor
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Do you mean nitrItes? Because nitrates at 1.0 ppm is OK. As for pH, it's more important for it to be stable than to try and change it and have it fluctuate all over the place.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:45 PM   #3 
flowerslegacy
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Hi GBS, Can you fill out the information below? Just as Hodor stated, 1.0 ppm NitrAtes is okay. Anything under 40ppm is fine, but 1.0ppm NitrItes is not. Your pH is just fine so no need to worry. A stable pH is a good pH.

In regards to his tank water, a betta does best at 80 degrees if he's battling any type of disease. Fin rot is usually eradicated by clean water but a 10 day AQ Salt bath would be the next step. If he's in a tank under 5 gals then you'll need to be doing 2x/week water changes, but if you complete the form below, we can better direct you.

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:47 PM   #4 
Pataflafla
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Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
It's best to just adjust them to the pH that your water is out of the tap. Using buffers leaves a lot of room for mistakes and fluctuation which could be deadly.

If you experience unbalanced levels in your tank, try dong a few small changes to bring it down slowly. A big change can also be harmful. It's a balance between too little and too much.

If you're treating for fin rot, it might be easiest for you to focus on him and balancing the tank separately. Maybe quarantine him and do a week of aquarium salt treatment while you get the tank situated.

the most successful method of treating fin rot (For me at least) is aquarium salt and 100% daily changes. This unfortunately doesn't help to establish a cycle.

If it's problematic straight out of the tap, i'm unsure of how you can fix it, but perhaps aging your water for 24 hours as an experiment to see if that helps on top of using your normal conditioner.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #5 
GBS
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Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH Pellets, Betta Min Tropical Medley flakes, Top Fin Freeze-Dried Blood Worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? we don't really have a set routine yet due to all his problems. in the past with other fish once every 2 weeks give or take
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? see above
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime or Aqueon Water Conditioner

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

Ammonia: .25ish
Nitrite: .25ish
Nitrate:. 25ish
pH: 7.6
Hardness: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fuzz on his fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? n/a
When did you start noticing the symptoms? the first time over a month ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Betta Revive for a week, recently salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? we've only had him since March and it's been an ongoing battle since early April.
How old is your fish (approximately)? don't know. about 1 year maybe.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:53 PM   #6 
flowerslegacy
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In a tank under 5 gal's, you'll need to be doing 2x weekly water changes to keep the ammonia down to 0. Clean water will help with any fin rot issues you've been trying to tackle. His primary problem appears to be water quality. Ammonia and nitritites at .25ppm and over can cause permenant internal organ problems. Ammonia and nitrites need to be 0, while nitrates need to stay under 40ppm. However, since your tank is too small to "cycle", these parameters won't be an issue if you keep up good maintenance. The water conditioners you're using are great, so no need to change those. You can rinse your filter in old tank water once a month to keep it free of debris. No need to worry about your pH. Mine is 8.5 which is very high, but bettas can thrive at a high pH. As pataflafla stated, the most important element is that you keep it stable. If you attempt to use chemicals to lower your pH you will cause radical, unhealthy pH swings which will quickly throw your fish into osmotic shock and they will die. If you want to do a salt treatment, you can try 1 tsp AQ salt per gal with 100% water changes daily for no more than 10 days. All of this will give him a good healthy environment and he'll live a long, happy life.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #7 
GBS
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Thanks for the advice everyone. Hopefully we can nip this situation in the bud.
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