Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Care
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-06-2012, 11:26 PM   #1 
Karmi
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
1 Betta, 5-gal, 2-4 PPM Ammonia Levels

Hello, this is my first post. GREAT community here, I'm glad to have a resource like this online. Thank you, all!

My husband and I brought home our first Betta, who we call Tesla, about 3 weeks ago. We love him so much and want to do everything right to keep him happy and healthy. At first, he lived in a 2 gallon bowl with a Windelov fern and a desk lamp. Soon enough, we upgraded him to a Fluval Spec 5 gallon tank and a Fluval 150w heater. We added a Marimo Moss Ball and a Anubias plant, rocks, toys and Betta logs to swim and play in, with a leaf hammock for relaxing (which he has yet to use). We have Aqua Salt, TopFin Betta Water Conditioner, and lots of tasty treats but we never over feed him. He eats what we give him, except occasionally he regurgitates the Betta flakes, which I don't like to give him because of that. He mostly eats Dried Bloodworms and tiny Betta Pebbles. He devours his food at the time it is given to him. The tank water is very clear and clean in appearance.

As for the water tests, what do you think about these levels?

1.2 Week:
pH 7.8 PPM
Ammonia: between 2-4 PPM
Nitrite: 0-0.25 PPM
Nitrate: 0 PPM

Our concern is that the Ammonia levels are pretty high, between 2-4PPM, which we identified using the API Freshwater testing kit. The levels of pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, etc. are pretty well spot-on, and if anything we will need to lower those over time. But the Ammonia levels have us worried! We are very new to having fish, but of course we are well-prepared to do whatever is necessary for our little buddy. Obviously, we need to drop those ammonia levels. We did not at first purchase anything to raise or lower certain levels because we were not sure what would be required until after we have had the tank established.

His new 5-gallon tank was set up and he adjusted to the new home exceedingly well. We finally get to see just how awesome this little dude is. He appears to be very happy, taking to the tank change as if he expected it. He loves to swim around, catching currents from the filtration system and blowing lots and lots of bubbles. He has beautifully clear eyes, perfect looking fins and scales, and has consistently vibrant colors. He eats healthy meals, and is very active. He's a happy fish!

We plan to keep a cycle with 50% water changes. We haven't added the Aqua Salt just yet; will add it when we cycle 50% of the tank. Also, we are a bit leery the TopFin brand Conditioner. Could it be causing a false Ammonia readings?

Thanks for your concern and for reading my post! :)

If interested, some photos have been added to my album:

Tesla, in his first home, the 2 gallon fish bowl.


Tesla, in his water mansion; a Fluval Spec 5. He is zippin' around, enjoying his new space!


Tesla, hanging out in his water mansion.

Last edited by Karmi; 09-06-2012 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Added Photos
Karmi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 11:37 PM   #2 
vilmarisv
Member
 
vilmarisv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Did you test your tap water for ammonia? Prime conditioner is good for ammonia and lasts forever.
The quickest treatment is a large water change.
vilmarisv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 11:41 PM   #3 
MSG
Member
 
MSG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
  • Those ammonia levels are high. I would change out some of the water to lower it.
  • You don't need to add AQ salt with every water change.
  • Also why did you buy a 150 watt heater? It's a good brand, but at that power rating, that's enough to heat a 50G-75G tank.
  • 50W heater should be sufficient for a Fluval 5G unless you reside in Alaska.
  • Noticed some of your plants on the edges are jammed into the gravel. Those plants don't like their roots covered and will start to decay.
  • The ammonia is probably caused by the flakes he spits out onto the floor of the tank.
  • Feed him pellets instead. Just figure out which brand to buy first.
  • Unless you siphon the gravel, those leftover flakes of ground up fish are going to contaminate your water with high amounts of ammonia.

Your tank looks nice and clean, like Martha Stewart's house.

I'm sure other people will chime in now. Have a good night.
MSG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 11:49 PM   #4 
Karmi
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
We're going to test our tap water after I grub down this sloppy joe, haha.

Here's this I have filled out in the meantime -

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 82
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, as of now. Thinking of ghost shrimps :P

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Bloodworms, Betta Pebbles, Betta Flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 small servings in 24 hours

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1 week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20%-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner, Aqua Salt

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

Ammonia: between 2-4 PPM
Nitrite: 0-0.25 PPM
Nitrate: 0 PPM
pH: 7.8 PPM
Hardness: NA
Alkalinity: balanced toward Alkalinity

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He's beautiful
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He's happy every day
When did you start noticing the symptoms? No symptoms, just curious about the levels of the water
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? NA
Does your fish have any history of being ill? NA, unknown
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unsure, but not yet full-grown

Last edited by Karmi; 09-06-2012 at 11:52 PM.
Karmi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 12:03 AM   #5 
Karmi
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
  • Those ammonia levels are high. I would change out some of the water to lower it.
  • You don't need to add AQ salt with every water change.
  • Also why did you buy a 150 watt heater? It's a good brand, but at that power rating, that's enough to heat a 50G-75G tank.
  • 50W heater should be sufficient for a Fluval 5G unless you reside in Alaska.
  • Noticed some of your plants on the edges are jammed into the gravel. Those plants don't like their roots covered and will start to decay.
  • The ammonia is probably caused by the flakes he spits out onto the floor of the tank.
  • Feed him pellets instead. Just figure out which brand to buy first.
  • Unless you siphon the gravel, those leftover flakes of ground up fish are going to contaminate your water with high amounts of ammonia.

Your tank looks nice and clean, like Martha Stewart's house.

I'm sure other people will chime in now. Have a good night.
Okay, so we'll do a large water change. I'm sure he'll adapt as well as he did the last two times.

We bought a 150W because it was $10 cheaper, on-sale, of the same brand for a 100W. Go figure. It does the tank justice, and the temperature stays consistent. Also, good to have if we upgrade to a larger tank! :)

Which plants? Some of them, or all of them do not like being jammed? Most plant roots do not like a lot of light, so we buried 'em. Thanks for the heads up.

I can't imagine the Betta Flakes causing the ammonia levels to raise that high, considering we have not fed him but the smallest pinches 2 or 3 times total with little poofs of extra bits he spits out. Could it instead be the TopFin Conditioner? or the Anubias plant dying and flaking around in there?

We've ordered a gravel cleaner.

Like you said, the tank is Martha Stewart clean. That's why I'm sorta flabbergasted.
Karmi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 12:14 AM   #6 
Karmi
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by vilmarisv View Post
Did you test your tap water for ammonia? Prime conditioner is good for ammonia and lasts forever.
The quickest treatment is a large water change.

Sorry for the triple-post.

We did an Ammonia test on our tap water. The results are between 0-0.25 PPM.
Karmi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 12:46 AM   #7 
spazoid
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
I had the topfin conditioner and my readings seemed a little high so I got prime and have had better results. Also if your tank isn't fully cycled its best to do 1 100% and 1 50% water change a werk. As msg said it is very important to siphon the gravel. All the left over food and fish waste creates ammonia as it rots.
spazoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 12:48 AM   #8 
spazoid
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Excuse my typos, posting from my phone lol.
spazoid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 12:52 AM   #9 
ao
TFK Moderator
 
ao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NYC
I agree with thw above poster. you are running a filter right? your tank is just beginning to cycle, until you see nitrates grow and no ammonia or nitrites, you should definitely change out 50% of the water every half a week... right now I would change out all the water because even if you changed out half the water right now. assuming you have 4ppm of ammonia, you willstill end up with 2ppm...with only a 50% WC
ao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 03:50 AM   #10 
Hallyx
Reference Team
 
Hallyx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Fungus corners
I agree with Aokashi. It sounds like your tank is starting to cycle. You want this to happen. A cycled tank has 0.0ppm ammonia and 0.0ppm nitrites, the healthiest condition for your fish.
Read:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...ecific-107771/

And for further background, read:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...-guide-111960/

Some keepers would suggest doing 50% changes daily until you get your ammonia <0.25ppm. Whatever...get it down soonest and keep it <0.25ppm with water changes.

Don't use salt. It's only used for treating skin conditions and finrot.

I like to let my Anubias float. It makes a better Betta hammock than the ones you can buy. Tie the Java ferns to a rock...Anubias, too, if you want.

Knock off the flakes and get Omega One or NLS pellets. Frozen bloodworms are considered better than freeze-dried.

A big heater is better than one that's too small. Working properly, it will only heat your tank to the temperature specified.

You're doing a fine job, Karmi. You ask intelligent questions and show proper care and concern. Welcome to the forum.

Last edited by Hallyx; 09-07-2012 at 04:02 AM.
Hallyx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ammonia levels!!! soccerdog693 Betta Fish Care 12 01-09-2011 12:22 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.