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Old 04-14-2011, 04:48 PM   #11 
roadrunner
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Well you were lucky there was nothing wrong for that long. Water evaporates, but chemicals in the water do not, they just keep building up.
It's like if you wouldn't change oil in your car. It will still run for a while until one day......
I would suggest to take a sample to your local LPS and have it tested for everything. water doesn't change the colour if there is high level of ammonia. That's why there are aquarium water tests. If you have perfect bio system set up with right amount of live plants you would be probably ok.
Oh I almost forgot .... you need to take out carbon from your filter if you are using any medication.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #12 
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I'll give you the quick and dirty rundown on aquarium chemistry...

Fish constantly excrete ammonia from their gills and their poo creates ammonia. This ammonia is broken down by bacteria in your filter. It takes the extremely toxic ammonia and creates also extremely toxic nitrite. The nitrite is broken down into less toxic nitrate. The only way nitrate leaves you fish's water is through water changes. You're good at less then 20ppm but really should aim for 5-10ppm.

You've never done a single water change, so I can't imagine what your nitrate would be. It does not evaporate out of the water, so what is leaving your tank through the air has no effect on the levels of toxins in his water. It's a little bit like using your toilet for a year and half and never flushing.

So start slow with the water changes and take OFL's advice. In terms of being fine for a year and a half, these fish can be very hardy, but in the end his liver and other systems are being incredibly taxed by the chemicals being left in his tank. Also, you can't see them, so the water would look clear but still be toxic. Follow Oldfishlady's advice and good luck!
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:33 PM   #13 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaygirl View Post
I'll give you the quick and dirty rundown on aquarium chemistry...

Fish constantly excrete ammonia from their gills and their poo creates ammonia. This ammonia is broken down by bacteria in your filter. It takes the extremely toxic ammonia and creates also extremely toxic nitrite. The nitrite is broken down into less toxic nitrate. The only way nitrate leaves you fish's water is through water changes. You're good at less then 20ppm but really should aim for 5-10ppm.

You've never done a single water change, so I can't imagine what your nitrate would be. It does not evaporate out of the water, so what is leaving your tank through the air has no effect on the levels of toxins in his water. It's a little bit like using your toilet for a year and half and never flushing.

So start slow with the water changes and take OFL's advice. In terms of being fine for a year and a half, these fish can be very hardy, but in the end his liver and other systems are being incredibly taxed by the chemicals being left in his tank. Also, you can't see them, so the water would look clear but still be toxic. Follow Oldfishlady's advice and good luck!
+1



Poor fish, I hope they make it! Definitely follow Oldfishlady's advice.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:43 PM   #14 
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I will definitely give that a try tomorrow. Do I leave my betta in the tank when I'm stirring things up? and I'm assuming the dechlorinator is the Prime you spoke of earlier?
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:44 PM   #15 
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I will definitely give that a try tomorrow. Do I leave my betta in the tank when I'm stirring things up? and I'm assuming the dechlorinator is the Prime you spoke of earlier?
I would definitely remove him. You don't want to expose any of the fish to the toxins and debris that will be swirling around.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #16 
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Thanks for all the help, and he has been in different water several times this year. He was in fresh water over Thanksgiving and Christmas when I was home from school, and then the tank I keep here at school was also cleaned before he moved back to school with me both times. I feel like a horrible person for hurting him so much
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:49 PM   #17 
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Thanks for all the help, and he has been in different water several times this year. He was in fresh water over Thanksgiving and Christmas when I was home from school, and then the tank I keep here at school was also cleaned before he moved back to school with me both times. I feel like a horrible person for hurting him so much
Don't worry! Luckily now you now and won't make the mistake again.

Just as long as you do the 50% weekly water changes.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:55 PM   #18 
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I would follow OFL advise on % of water changes and debris cleaning. Sudden change in water chemistry may shock him too much.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #19 
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I would follow OFL advise on % of water changes and debris cleaning. Sudden change in water chemistry may shock him too much.
Agreed^

I just meant the 50% once they are back on regular schedule. I should have clarified that.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:34 PM   #20 
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Don't feel bad! I did the same thing with my first fish when I was younger. We all have to learn about this stuff. :)
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