Clean the Oak Leaves. You don't want dirt and stuff in the tank. You can just use some water to rinse them off. Also, they should be pesticide-free. Don't use ones from a tree that was sprayed with pesticide.
Here is an excerpt from Oldfishlady's oak leaf recipe. (She had other info in it, since the person was dealing with SBD also. I removed that part.) I also really like her advice about using plastic wrap to increase humidity levels.
I would get him in a small bare QT container and float it in a heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-78F range-Cover the QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.....
Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add... a tannin source-Either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for 30min-Shake well before use...
Using this premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.....
Tomorrow-using the treatment water make 50% water changes every other day....
Yes, Prime can give a false 'high' reading for ammonia because it converts ammonia temporarily to ammonium.
For now, he's going into the small tank, and you'll need to do frequent water changes (since it's a small container with no filter). So it won't be an issue.
Here's a possible suggestion on getting a handle on the effect of Prime on your tank water:
a) Test your new water BEFORE adding Prime. Record the ammonia reading. (It should be 0 ppm, unless your water source has ammonia in it.)
b) Test your new water AFTER adding Prime. (The ammonia level should still be 0 ppm, since the fish isn't even in there yet.)
c) Test the tank water to see the effect of having the fish in there. You won't know if it's ammonia or ammonium, but you can assume that Prime has converted it to ammonium for the first 48 hours. (It only converts for 48 hours, which is supposed to be long enough for you to get a water change in.)
But again, if you're putting him into a small 1 gal bowl right now, then you'll be doing frequent water changes, which will prevent ammonia (and ammonium) from building up, anyway.
Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 04-13-2013 at 05:15 PM.
Actually, you could probably use Oldfishlady's tannin advice to set him up in the 1 gal bowl....
You could fill the bowl with existing tank water, and put him into it. (No acclimation needed, since that's what he's in right now.) Then, mix up the tannin source according to OFL's advice, and use her water change routine as your acclimation process. Personally, I'd probably slow it down, since it'll still be a big adjustment for him. But you could use the basic principles that she outlines, and just do it more slowly. For example, she recommends doing 25% changes at 15 min intervals for an hour. So maybe you could do 10% changes for a couple of hours (if you have time).
My problem is my tap water is reading at 0.5ppm already :( That is why I did the 50% change yesterday with the bottled spring water (treated with prime) to try to lower it...now I believe the 1ppm reading is false which is why I also got the meter which is reading as safe. Still not sure though. I ordered this test below today but it won't be here until Tues....
Well, I guess the Seachem Ammonia Alert meter really does work. I just pulled it out of the tank and tested it with a little window cleaner. It turned dark blue. LOL
So if we assume that the Alert is working correctly, that would indicate the the Prime conditioner is doing its job, and turning your ammonia into ammonium.
The test kit that you ordered will be helpful.
OK thanks! That is why I am thinking something else is going on with the fish...my other Betta is fine, and his levels are all the same, his ammonia is a tiny bit lower (bigger tank) but still reading high with the drops, and safe with the meter. UGH IDK what to do.
Now I know this is negative thinking, but if I do loose this guy mid cycle what do I do with the tank? Get another fish to continue the cycle? I have no idea where to get pure ammonia around here. I think he was just too hot during shipping. I am also scarred he is sooo stressed he seems worse just in the move to the hospital tank.
Just looked at the listing pics of him and he is VERY pale. He used to be blue with bright yellow fins...since he got here he has been mint green with pale yellow fins. Poor guy. I think I will only ever buy locally from now on...not that those are any less stressed :(
Edited to add pic of him before and after shipping...
Last edited by Rilly10; 04-13-2013 at 05:38 PM.
Reason: Added before and after pic
No no. He's OK. He still has some color. They're tough little guys. (Siamese FIGHTING fish, right?) They can put up with a lot. Let's assume he's just all stressed right now, and he'll recover soon.
He was stunning before. But he's still pretty now. Give him some time in his clean water, and he should perk up.
I don't know a lot about cycling tanks. You could start a thread in the Habitats forum. There are a lot of really knowledgeable people who can tell you how to finish the cycle (and/or where to get ammonia), etc.