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Old 04-24-2012, 03:30 AM   #1 
deso
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Ammonia burns?

Hello, first post here. My black devil HM betta Modi has just recovered from a small case of ick (not a single spot left on the boy), but just to be sure, he is still in the 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt treatment. He also somehow managed to tear two of his fins yesterday, but this could be on account of a plastic plant that I promptly removed upon seeing the state of his fins. Just this morning, I noticed that he has strange pale markings on both gill covers...are these ammonia burns or just his natural colouration? He is behaving normally - blowing bubble nests, begging for food, eating like a horse, and swimming around quite actively.

I got him three weeks ago from a local aquarium store that is well-known here in Paris for being very expensive but taking great care of their fish. He was in a community tank at the store, then spent one week without a heater (had to order one online), which could be where the ick came from.

Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78 degrees Fahrenheit / 25.5 celsius
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Bio-Gold, Hikari FD Bloodworms, Atison's Betta Pro
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets in the morning, one pellet or bloodworm in the evening. One day fast per week

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every 3 - 4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin Betta Plus + Evian bottled water (I never use tap water)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: ?
Nitrite: ?
Nitrate: 3.7
pH: 7.2
Hardness: ?
Alkalinity: ?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? See above description
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)? 4 months old

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Old 04-24-2012, 05:55 AM   #2 
Olympia
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That just happened? Crazy.
However ammonia burns would be reddish, so I don't think that's the problem.
Sometimes betta just change their colors randomly. It looks normal to me. Especially since you change the water so much, I doubt there was too much ammonia.

Do you know the mineral content of the water you use?

How's Paris? You're so lucky! :D
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:31 AM   #3 
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Thanks Olympia for the quick reply, you set my mind at rest a bit :)

According to the label on the Evian bottle, mineral content is: Calcium - 80mg, Magnesium - 26mg, Sodium - 6.5mg, Potassium - 1mg, Biocarbonates - 360mg, Sulfates - 12.6mg, Chlorides - 6.8mg, Silica - 15mg

The edges of Modi's fins also look slightly jagged as of yesterday, but it's so hard to tell if it's fin rot because he's already black and red. Should I switch to another brand of water and discontinue use of Nutrafin and stop the salt treatment?

As for Paris, usually it's wonderful here, but right now, we've had two weeks of torrential rain and heavy wind. Not so lucky for now, but once the weather clears up :)
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #4 
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I'm sure France is nicer than Canada right now!
Forgot to ask, do his gills look like they're working harder than normal?
Also, that water sounds very hard. Is there a reason you don't use tap water?
In hard water the fins grow a lot slower. Most pet stores will test your hardness (dH or in ppm) free of charge.
Betta don't need soft water, a middle range is fine, just in that really mineralized water the fins slow down, and that level might not be good. Does the bottle say how many ppm of minerals?
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:55 AM   #5 
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No, his gill movement looks normal, not rapid.

The reason I use bottled water is because the tap water here in Paris is of notoriously poor quality with a PH of 8.1 and too much calcium, it says something that people are always buying mineral water and never drink out of the tap. My sink basins get massive calcium stains if I leave them without cleaning for too long.

The bottle says 309 ppm, but a source on the internet says 250. Quite confusing. Remember that all measurements are in litres (metric system)

Edit:
Now that you mention it, I did a bit of googling and found that the statistics of Volvic brand water are seemingly better, with a PH of 7 and 80 PPM. Should I switch for his next water change, which is coming up in a day or so?

And what's the weather like in Ontario right now? It can't possibly be as windy. The wind chill here is making 8 degrees feel like 4...

Last edited by deso; 04-25-2012 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:11 AM   #6 
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That might be an old ammonia burn that is healing.

My water when I lived in Alaska was pretty hard too - it was about an 8.0
Bettas can adapt as long as it stays constant.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:54 AM   #7 
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It snowed here two days ago. It melted where I am, but some places got over 30cm I believe.

I'd do the other brand, it'll help fins repair if anything happens.
Adjust slowly. First two water changes, do 3/4 old brand, 1/4 new brand. Next two water changes, 1/2 and 1/2. By the fifth and sixth water change, 1/4 old brand, 3/4 new brand. Seventh water change, all in new water.
That should do it for switching brands. If at any time he seems to get worse, do another water change with more old water than new water... I've never switched a fish over, but I think that's a good outline for a betta.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:12 AM   #8 
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Will do that. I just went out to the corner store to buy some Volvic. Thanks again for your help!
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #9 
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I've been to France but it was years ago. We never made it to Paris, though.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:55 AM   #10 
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Please to report that Modi has adjusted perfectly to the new water! He and his fins are growing like weeds.

dramaqueen, where in France did you go? Paris, if you ever make it there, is a lovely city but it's not like the rest of France at all.
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