:( Oh no. Do you have any naturally dried oak leaves laying in your yard? If you do, you can crumble one into his tank until the water turns tea-colored. This releases tannins that can help them feel better. You can also use decaffeinated pure green tea but care has to be taken not to shock them. Placing a teabag in the tank and letting it steep for a few moments usually works best. The tea must be decaf and it can't have any extra flavorings (no jasmine green tea or lemon green tea etc).
Unfortunately, the effects of ammonia poisoning can be irreversible. :(
I've also been told that Wal-Mart has its own decaf green tea that works well too. But both Celestial Seasonings and Twinings are readily available at most grocery stores. Other brands are Numi and Mighty Leaf but being organic, they may be more expensive. As a last resort, you can always use Republic of Tea but that's premium grade stuff and really expensive.
The key is not to use too much at once. It's best to soak the bag for a few moments in the tank rather than steep it separately and pour the tea in.
But for tannins, by far the best product is Indian Almond Leaf. The elusive, hard to find Indian Almond Leaf. -___-
Oh thanks! I was using peat granules but it made a mess in my tanks. I wanted to get Betta Spa, but it's sold out everywhere. Then I was thinking of getting IALs but the website I was told about had all these different grades of leaves and I wasn't sure what grade was ok, plus I have 5 tanks of bettas at the moment so the highest grade seemed a little pricey. I may try the green tea, I buy a lot of tea anyway, just not usually anything plain but I can definitely find some of those brands.
I've just setup a new 10 gallon tank and have considerably lowered the ph level (usual level is 7.6 out here, it's now around 6.9-7.0 ph) and I'm slowly adding in the new water into his hospital tank so he can get used to the difference. I'm hoping... this can help him breath easier and at least reduce some of his pain.
He's enjoying the new tank, exploring every inch of it. Haven't seen this much energy in him in weeks. He still surfaces every 15~ seconds for air and sinks down if he stops swimming but he seems happier at face value.
I have noticed he's getting to have more silver around his face, not sure if it's an indication that he's getting worse or not but I thought I read it's due to not receiving enough oxygen. Does anyone know?
A little AQ salt can help a fish with ammonia/nitrite poisoning to breathe easier.
Rooibos tea is a popular choice for tannins. Try to get some ketapang (Indian Almond) leaves though (don't worry about the pricey grade blah, get what you can afford) as they have great medicinal properties that tea does not.
For Indian Almond leaves, I suggest Amy's. I know she sells on ebay but she is in Asia so it may take 3 or so weeks to get the leaves. She does grade them but even her lower grade leaves are pretty nice. She has one set that has free shipping and I think they are C grade or C+, something like that. All the grade really means is that A leaves are big and whole, while the C leaves are not perfect - they may have holes or rips, stuff like that. It has nothing to do with how effective they are.
Here is a link to one of her C grade auctions. When I order, I usually get 2 sets since it has free shipping http://www.ebay.com/itm/Amys-50-gram...item3a6828dd1b
I have some Mopani wood in my tank that I think releases tannins too. I got it from petco in the reptile section
replacing the AQ salt that you remove with each water change. So if you take out say, 1 gallon of water, replace 1 tsp of salt. Don't replace all the salt if you haven't taken it all out because the salt doesn't evaporate out of the water and so it would just accumulate to a toxic level.
After X amount of days do I need to remove all of the salt from the tank? He's now in a 10 gallon tank and I've put 2 tablespoons of the salt in a corner so I can easily take it out.