I have a sick male betta. He was just fine two days ago. He

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Customer: I have a sick male betta. He was just fine two days ago. He is in a 5 gallon tank with a heater and small filter. I did a 20% water change. While doing this I gave him an new adjustable heater a d a new filter. I don't know what happened. Maybe he got stressed because it took a while to make these changes to his tank. 24 hours later, when I feed him, he spits out his food instead of eating it. He also hides in the corner on the bottom of the tank behind the heater with his face down. I also noticed three gray spots on one side of his body. On the other side, it looks like a gray bump on his gill. There is no fuzzy stuff so I don't think it is ick. I also took a behive out of his tank during the water change because he always swam around it and not in it. I then moved two silk plants to the other side of the tank to make room for his new heater. He has .25 ppm ammonia and 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates. What can I do to save my fish. I don't want him to die.
Answered by Anna in 53 mins 9 years ago
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Anna
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17,046 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

Hello,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with many years experience keeping fish. I'm sorry to hear of your betta's problems.

Despite what your test kit may say, ammonia at .25 ppm is enough to make a fish sick. The first thing you need to do is another water change. Change about 2 gallons of the water. Replace it with de-chlorinated water the same temperature as what is in the tank. Test for ammonia again tomorrow. If there is any at all, change another 10% of the water. Repeat every day until there is zero ammonia and zero nitrite in the water. Zero is the only safe amount.

Also check the amount of current your new filter creates. Bettas in nature live in still water and having to deal with current stresses them and can cause injuries. Hiding behind objects is a common sign of too much current. Adjust your filter to the slowest current possible.

To help with the gray spots, which may be fungus, bacteria, or the result of losing some scales, add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water. It's most certainly not ick. Ick is not gray, but it also isn't fuzzy. Ick looks like someone sprinkled salt over a fish - tiny white dots. Gray spots are very often the result of bacterial infection. There’s a natural medicine called Betta Fix which I recommend adding to the water . You should be able to buy it in most pet stores. It is antibacterial, but also serves as a general tonic. It’s safe to use with aquarium salt.

From the symptoms you ahve described, it sounds as if your betta is very sick. In summary, it's essential to get the ammonia down to zero, reduce the current, add aquarium salt and BettaFix. I hope these measures will be enough to save your fish. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY.

Anna

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Customer
Anna

I was hoping to cycle my 5 gallon tank by keeping my ammonia levels low. Are you saying I'm not going to be able to cycle my tank by keeping my ammonia levels low? I have had this betta in this tank for about a month now.
An ammonia level of .25 is not enough to be immediately fatal, but it is enough to cause illness and even death, if it goes on for several days. We usually cycle without using fish or by starting with tiny, hardy fish, such as danios or guppies. And, regardless of how hardy they may be, cycling is very hard on fish. There are other ways to cycle a tank. The following website gives detailed instructions and also explains cycling in depth. It will help you understand what is happening.

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/information/CycleAquarium.php

You already have the fish, and I know you don't want to lose him. If the ammonia goes to .50 or more, you will almost certainly lose him. Below that, it still causes a great deal of stress, and some fish will die. It's also possible that the ammonia level is actually higher than what the test kit shows. Reliability varies. Your tank will continue to cycle even with the daily water changes. Start with the water change of 1/3. Be sure to replace with conditioned water at the same temperature. Every day after today, until the tank has finished cycling, do a 10% change. You will see a spike in nitrites as the second phase of cycling. Be sure to test the water every day. When both ammonia and nitrites stay at zero, cycling is complete. You w ill always have some nitrates, which is the last step in the cycling process. I would also add an extra pump with an air stone or bubbler to increase the oxygen content during cycling.

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Anna
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