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Old 10-19-2009, 05:11 PM   #1 
antianticlimax
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Ammonia Poisoning

I will admit that I didn't do as much research as I should have when I first got my betta (Charles), but I didn't have any problems with him until the weather changed and the room temperature dropped.

I noticed that he was lethargic and, until I got him a bigger tank with a light, I kept my desk lamp on his tank to make the water warmer. I got him a new tank last weekend and since it's only a 2.5 gallon tank, the light that it came with was sufficient to heat it up to about 74 degrees F. I know that the water should ideally be warmer, but the PetSmart I went to didn't have heaters for tanks under 5 gallons so I wasn't able to get one then. I've got a little thermometer to make sure the water stays at least above 72 degrees.

Anyway, I noticed that in his new tank, he still wasn't actively swimming and I haven't seen any evidence that he's eaten in the last week. He kept staying up at the top of the tank, in a corner, and barely moving. By this Saturday, he was bleeding from his mouth. I did the research that I should have done much earlier, and found ammonia poisoning.

I did a 100% water change and bought ammonia testing strips, though after doing my research and talking to the employees at PetSmart, I had concluded that no matter what I did, my fish was probably too far gone to be saved. Knowing this, I continued to keep his light and filter on, test the water and feed him. He didn't even seem interested in the food, so I would take it out of the water so that it wouldn't decay and bring the ammonia levels back up.

I've been fully expecting him to die since Saturday, and quite a few times it looks like he has. Sometimes he floats on his side at the top of the tank for a few minutes, and then swims back to his corner. I don't know what's going on with him, as he's not eating either so no matter what, if this continues he will end up dying.

Does anyone know what's going on with Charles? I don't want him to suffer, and I feel bad that I didn't do the research and know about everything ahead of time.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:12 PM   #2 
kelly528
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I have seen bettas make some serious comebacks from ammonia poisoning (just ask anyone who has 'rescued' a betta) but by the time he is bleeding from the mouth it means his organs are atrophied. I'm sorry but it doesn't look one bit good.

You can euthanize him either by using clove oil, pithing (poking a needle into his head and quickly 'stirring' his brains), or by a good quick smak in the head with a heavy blunt object. I know the last two sound callous and gross, but they are approved by the AMVA as humane methods of fish euthanasia.

Please don't freeze him unless you anesthetise him with clove oil first... your fish may look like it is peacefully slowing down and going to sleep when in fact it is in pain!

So sorry about your little guy :(
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:33 PM   #3 
antianticlimax
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I turned off the filter so that there isn't as much current in his tank, and he doesn't seem to be floating on his side anymore. He seems to be swimming a bit more, but only on the top of his tank and he isn't eating.

I'm just confused as to why there's this change in his behaviour.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #4 
ChristinaRoss
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its very confusing, but, he could make a recovery, ive seen and heard alot worse. just hang in there.

do u keep his light on 24 hours a day to keep his water warmer? i know u want it warm but the lights not good to be on that long. imagine yourself in the sun 24 hours. not a good thing. they make heaters for that small of a tank. keep looking or even check at walmart.

good luck
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:34 PM   #5 
antianticlimax
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I keep the light on more than I used to, but it does get turned off.

He's looking much thinner and while he used to be blue, he has red along the bottom and lower sides of his body now. He always stays at the same area in his bowl unless the water moves, in which case he'll move at most an inch and go back to just sitting there. He hasn't eaten anything either.

I'm hoping to be able to get some clove oil tomorrow, but I was hoping it wouldn't come to this... I hate that he's in pain.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:10 PM   #6 
dramaqueen
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I'm so sorry about your fish!
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:00 AM   #7 
ChristinaRoss
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im sorry hun
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:44 PM   #8 
antianticlimax
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Thanks for the help and suggestions.

I got the clove oil on my way back from class, but when I got home, Charles had already died.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:59 PM   #9 
dramaqueen
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Aw, I'm so sorry!! At least you didn't have to euthanise him and he died on his own.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:55 PM   #10 
kelly528
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Sorry for your loss-- you get attached to them, don't you?
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