Our water here is pretty bad. It has about .25 ppm of ammonia in it. I've tried using extra prime to get rid of it, but it doesn't seem to work. Could something else in the water be giving me that reading? I've kept goldfish in it for years. I've had my betta for 1 1/2 weeks, and he's loosing scales! Should I switch to spring water, or is their something else I could try?
Most likely what you are seeing is ammonium and not ammonia since most of the test products can't tell the difference... especially with the use of Prime....the fish behavior will usually tell you which you have...
Need some more info...
What size tank, how much and how often are the water changes, water temp, filter, live plants, additives used, any tank mates and other symptoms-like flashing, clamp fins, poor appetite, lethargic...etc...along with the missing scales and what is the location of the missing scales...
I'm using a liquid drop test kit.
5 gal. tank
50% wc 2x in 1 1/2 wks
he has a moss ball and one other small live plant
I use prime conditioner and a few drops of black water extract to treat water
he had a ghost shrimp with him, but it became lunch
He eats 4 pellets twice a day
He's very active. his fins look normal, no clamping.
The missing scales started last weekend after I did a water change. It was just on his head, but I noticed another spot this morning on his side near his tail. I also noticed the edge of his "beard" on one side turned dark when I noticed the missing scales on his head.
What are the other readings-ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH on both the tank and source water....
Once the biological filter is established you should start to test 0ppm on the ammonia with the use of Prime-usually within 18-24h....
In 5gal filtered with live plants once the nitrogen cycle is established-water changes of 50% weekly with vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots should maintain water quality
Filter media need a swish/rinse in the bucket of old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow.
For the missing scales-since he is not flashing or otherwise symptomatic I would just watch the area for changes and changes in behavior-maintain water quality with the water changes, time and good nutrition....
Good idea, Hawkian! I'll give more plants a try, and keep an eye on the water quality. Maybe switch a couple meals per week to a higher protein treat like frozen blood worms? I'll definitely be back, if he gets worse. Thanks guys :)
I noticed for my tap water (without tap water conditioner) is around .50 - once the conditioner is added, it drops down... Live plants totally help =D I have some and they not only look nice, they help
Update on my scale-losing guy, Lincoln. Good news, he's just a naughty boy :)
I was very worried that it was the water quality, but he's the only one of 4 betta that was having any issues. I began turning off his light and filter because he seemed to be constantly freaking out. I thought he probably didn't like all the light and movement. Well, one evening I went to feed everyone their dinner. He was happy and relaxed with his tank "off". That little brat swam right into the baffle I'd put on his filter. He was looking at me like he was sooo pleased with himself. Mystery solved. He was scraping his scales off on the plastic! I promptly put him in a very smooth, very quiet tank. He's happy as a clam and hopefully growing his scales back. I love happy endings :) Thanks for all the everyone!