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Old 03-21-2013, 11:41 PM   #1 
mergan25
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New Betta- Ammonia Poisoning?

Hi,

I just bought a new little betta from Petco- it's a VT female. She's quite small, she caught my attention because besides thinking that she was really pretty- she could hardly swim; it's like she has fish scoliosis. Kind of an S curve in her spine. I asked an employee if she was ok; they fed her and her appetite seemed healthy, she just has a really hard time swimming and reaching the food. They also said she's been sitting there in the store for a long time. I took her in hopes that maybe if I took care of her she would make it! I have her in a little Petco keeper, heater, rocks, fake plants. I use API tap water conditioner and a little epsom salts. After I got her situated I thought the move must have really stressed her out because she just layed at the bottom and didn't move very much, so I just let her be. Though I did keep taking more and more water out of her container until there was just an inch or two left, because she was having such a hard time swimming she couldn't reach the surface. Because of having such a small amount of water I did a water change within the same day.

So today (I got her yesterday) she actually is swimming much better. She even looks like she's straightened out a little. The problem: yesterday I thought I started to notice that her front gill area was turning red, today both sides of her are very red and I can clearly see that she has ammonia poisoning :( I did another partial water change (twice within 24 hours) And I have been gradually adding more water since she is swimming better. I have some plastic wrap over her house to keep things well heated and humid (about 82 degrees). And I plan on getting some IAL leaves to put in there.

I just don't know where I went wrong here! I took her from the store because I was hoping I could help her feel better, but now I have her and within 24 hours she's now suffering in a new way. I didn't have very much water in her tank, but it was still more space and clean warm water than she had in the store- so I'm not sure what I'm missing! I feel really bad that she's sick. It looks like she's in pain. What can I do? And what should I know to prevent something like that happening again? Also, though she had a good appetite in the store I haven't seen her eat anything since. I've offered her pellets several times. ( And remove them after she doesn't eat them).
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:44 PM   #2 
ao
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How is the temperature? being moved from an environment of high ammonia levels to clean water suddenly may be a shock. how warm is your water (what do you mean *about* 82F)? and how are you performing your water changes?
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:01 AM   #3 
mergan25
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I guess the temp changes depending on whether I am home and in my room or not (how high the thermostat is up, whether the space heater in my room is on). The water is consistently between 80 and 82 degrees.

I do the water changes by preparing the treated water in a jug, using a baster to suck out half the water in the tank, then replacing it by pouring the clean water in.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:21 AM   #4 
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is the water changed, the same tempertature?
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:26 AM   #5 
mergan25
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Yep, same temp water going in.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:36 AM   #6 
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then it may just have been the transitional shock. however shock means a decreased immune system. keeps an eye out for any signs of disease...
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:38 AM   #7 
mergan25
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Ok, will do. So the ammonia burns/poisoning is from the transition from store water to new water? How can this be prevented? Is there anything to really reverse the burns or damage caused? Or any way to treat this?
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:23 AM   #8 
mergan25
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Also with her being crooked and not being able to swim well, although she seems a little better today with that situation is it a sign of an illness? Or is it just from being stuck in a cup for a long time?
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:55 AM   #9 
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it's probably a birth deformity.... or it could also be from being emaciated... if its a spine deformity she really should have been culled as a fry...

To properly transfer a weak or sick fish from their store environment to your home environment, you should drip acclimate.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:38 AM   #10 
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Just a guess here. The water conditioner you used does not kill chlorimine. API Stress coat and Prime do but more expensive. Many water supplies now have Choromine added to stabalize the Chrorine. Its very common these days. Chlorimine is a chemical compound made by reacting ammonia with the active ingredient in chlorine bleach. The ammonia can really be lethal to fish and many people do not know its the problem and in the tap water. Upgrade to a better water conditioner is what I would try first. It couldnt hurt anyways.
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