Okay, so maybe I'm asking an opinion kind of question, or maybe it's just a straight fact, I dunno.
Is it okay, or do you think it's okay to expose bettas to small amounts of ammonia? Kind of like kids, if you don't let them outside and expose them to germs, they will have a lower immune system versus if you let them be a normal kid.
And I'm not saying this as an immune system per say, I was just giving an example.
If I've totally gone off my rocker, just let me know xD.
Well.... Your bettas will almost always encounter it on their own without your help. Whether during a move, sitting in a cup or bag in your vehicle... Or since you get them from a pet store they arrive with ammonia, live in ammonia, go home in ammonia....
I do know my smaller unfiltered tanks do get ammonia traces in it - since it is not cycled - but I have never worried about it because I don't have weak immune system fish. I just make sure to keep ammonia minimal
Comparing to the only thing you can really compare to for their wild cousins... In the wild, if one gets stranded in a puddle during the dry season he or she will jump out to make it to another puddle or water source when the ammonia gets too high.
To me, it's a bit like asking whether kids should be exposed to small amounts of carbon monoxide. Sure, they are exposed now and then, it can't really be helped in a car-oriented society.
But I wouldn't do it deliberately 'for their own good'...
I'm sorry, I don't mean to derail this thread, and it really is a legitimate question, and I was curious as to the answer as well once Lizzy brought it up...but this reply...
Had me rolling in laughter. ;)
"Here honey, I need for you to stand in the garage for the next three minutes with your sister while I run the car...I know it smells funny, but it's only just until you start to feel woozy, then we'll go outside."
Thanks to Lizzy for bringing up a good question that I'm sure many people have wondered about a time or two...but I just couldn't let that comment from Aus go by... LOL!! :D
As low as .25ppm of ammonia begins to damage the fish within an hour. It's permanent damage, maybe like smoking one cigarette?
Ammonia gets into the blood stream and makes oxygen transport difficult. It also causes hyperplaisia of the gills, which is basically cells building up over the gills to protect them from irritation, though this too makes it harder to get oxygen in.
That said, every single- and I mean it- fish you see in a pet shop has this sort of damage, some more than others, betta or whatever. I would not purposefully expose any of my fish to ammonia. Bodies do build immunity to it, you see fish surviving cycling tanks and such, but even if you don't see it, you're just taking that already stressed and damaged fish and punching it in the gills with a fish in cycle. (to the people who do that- there are people who are careful, I mean newbies who buy a tank and throw a ton of fish in day 1 without knowing better). Posted via Mobile Device
Here, let's take "Sasuke" for example. He was bought by a gent with a 29 gallon tank, who also had guppies, some other fish and a pleco. This betta, lived for SIX months in this tank - in the meantime it was never cleaned, the food he fed were tropical flakes (which he dumped probably a good quarter cup in at a time), eventually some fish died, water conditioner was never used when he added water to make up for the evaporation....
And the bloody thing lived. He should be... 3 or so now, maybe a bit older. His gills were blackened, edges corroded, he has SBD, severe fin rot (leaning ever so close to body rot) and he still lived. I'll never recommend people to be lazy when owning fish. I never recommend lazy people to own fish.
Understandabley the fish will be exposed minimum 1-3 times in it's life, and even bettas I have had - like Dusk who was soooo sensitive, who were exposed in the store - and not as bad as Sasuke here, their immune system crashes, it's harder to breath, and their body kicks into extinctual "survival" mode.
Some bettas jump from water for this reason - too much ammonia. Sasuke was a prime example of how a fish can adjust to living in terrible conditions. He forever breaths harder, and his gills always look off.
Same with Georgie - kept with Goldies all his life - he is probably 4 or so. Gills have that permanent corrosion look, his fins look weird, but he's still kicking
When I first got Pog, I kept him in a 3 gallon for months, only doing water changes for evaporated water, and maybe once every few months I cleaned out the poop from the bottom because the plants were dyign and not eating it. THEN I put him in a 30 gallon and he is now living happily and healthily in a 20 gallon! I swear I didn't know any better, poor Pog. I think the plants and few water changes I did saved him.