Betta Tank Water Is Acidic

Messages
39
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Experience
Just started
Hi there, I am new. Just got a new male Betta 2 weeks ago. I have been scouring the internet to find answers, before I came here.

Water tank size is 5 gallon. We used a water conditioner and added the Betta 24 hours later which we were ensured was ok. We waited 10 days before adding 4 Neons, and our Betta, Hugo, didn't seem to mind them at all. Water was perfect, and temperature was perfect. 2 of the Neons died by the morning. By 3pm, the other 2 had died. We removed them as they died, but one was stuck and it was a day later when I did our first 1/4 water change, that I got him out. I removed Hugo with our net, but won't do that again, as I think it wasnt a pleasant experience for him.
After the water change (3 days ago)
1484538857109-1717113628.jpg 1484538857109-1717113628.jpg 14845389717871365006577.jpg , the water has been on the acidic side (6.2 pH, 0-40 alkalinity). Everything else is good. But our poor Hugo has been not well since the Neons died. He hangs out on the heater bracket, and has closed his fins, and he is becoming very pale and seems lethargic. I shone a flashlight on him and he doesn't seem to have velvet, nor swimmers bladder, or Popeye. Thought he might be stressed/bored so I changed some things in his tank, by adding smaller silk plants for him to swim though and around, and a sleeping leaf, and another ceramic log, but he hasn't been curious about them at all. His food is called Bug Bites; pellets. He is also in my daughter's room, out of sunlight, and away from chaos. We are so worried about our little guy. I own Himalayan Pink Salt and green Match's Tea powder from the health store, as I was reading these might help, but don't want to do it till I get more "counsel" on the matter. I have uploaded three pictures, but am not sure how to add them. One is of Hugo on the bracket, one is of the tank, and the other is close-up of Hugo, our Betta.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Messages
39
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Experience
Just started
Ok, that didn't work like I wanted, lol. Ummm, having a hard navigating, sorry. Not sure if I can edit my post to remove the double image (not sure why the double image as it wasnt a double or image when I posted it, XP)
 

Silister Trench

Well Known Member
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
1,463
Points
208
Experience
2 years
It's the way the new forum works in the app. Once it uploads and you post the image it can only be removed when accessing the website from a computer for some reason.
 

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
3,611
Points
458
Hi there, and welcome to FishLore!

Bettas, in the wild, live in marshy, acidic waters full of tannins, so a pH of 6.2 shouldn't be harmful to a betta. Sounds like your aquarium isn't cycled, your tetras and betta are most likely succumbing to ammonia poisoning. I suggest you read up on the nitrogen cycle and learn how that works. Once you understand how it works, it makes keeping an aquarium much easier. Pick up some Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability, and do frequent water changes. Also get an ammonia test kit, or better yet the API Master Kit.

Also, I wouldn't recommend any other tankmates for a betta except snails and shrimp (which can be hit or miss, depending on the betta's personality). 5 gallons is too small for tetras as well.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Messages
39
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Experience
Just started
Silister Trench said:
Did you cycle the tank before adding him? His problem is ammonia poisoning. Your neon tetras most likely died for the same reason and/or improper acclimation techniques.
Oh No!!!

I followed the instructions of the pet store employee (s) who have several tanks of their own, :-(. And I been using the strips to test. How does one tell it is ammonia Poisoning? I was told that if I add water conditioner it would be fine to add him, and they wouldn't let us have the Neons until 10 days after, to "ensure" of a cycle. We went through the foggy then settle stage. *Feeling like a nitwit :'(

Fahn said:
Hi there, and welcome to FishLore!

Sounds like your aquarium isn't cycled, your tetras and betta are most likely succumbing to ammonia poisoning. I suggest you read up on the nitrogen cycle and learn how that works. Once you understand how it works, it makes keeping an aquarium much easier. Pick up some Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability, and do frequent water changes. Also get an ammonia test kit, or better yet the API Master Kit.

Also, I wouldn't recommend any other tankmates for a betta except snails and shrimp (which can be hit or miss, depending on the betta's personality). 5 gallons is too small for tetras as well.
Thank-you!!! Will do that first thing tomorrow morning! Will he survive?
 

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
3,611
Points
458
VancouverIsland_Honey said:
Oh No!!!

I followed the instructions of the pet store employee (s) who have several tanks of their own, :-(. And I been using the strips to test. How does one tell it is ammonia Poisoning? I was told that if I add water conditioner it would be fine to add him, and they wouldn't let us have the Neons until 10 days after, to "ensure" of a cycle. We went through the foggy then settle stage. *Feeling like a nitwit :'(
It's all a learning process. Just keep doing water changes of about 50% every few days and use conditioner and a culture starter like Stability after each water change. This will dilute the ammonia in the water, the conditioner will neutralize it temporarily, and a starter culture will convert the ammonia and resulting nitrites into harmless (in relatively small amounts) nitrates. The starter culture will also speed up the process of establishing beneficial bacteria in your filter, which will keep your water cleaner. Another good way to help keep ammonia and nitrites/nitrates down is by adding live plants, particularly hardy, fast growing beginner plants like anacharis. I would suggest switching over to liquid test kits as they are a fair bit more accurate.

At the end of the day, clean water is the best medicine, and your betta's condition should improve.
 

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
3,611
Points
458
VancouverIsland_Honey said:
THANK-YOU!!!! :emoji_wave: Wish us luck!!!
I initially kept my betta, a blue butterfly, in a 1 gallon vase. I came upon this site, learned the nitrogen cycle, and have changed my practices significantly. He's now comfortable by himself in a 2.5 gallon (I'd prefer 5 but I'm cramped for space), with live plants. Bettas love plants, they provide them something visually interesting to look at and provide shelter and bedding. My betta loves sleeping on a pile of java moss.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Messages
39
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Experience
Just started
Fahn said:
I initially kept my betta, a blue butterfly, in a 1 gallon vase. I came upon this site, learned the nitrogen cycle, and have changed my practices significantly. He's now comfortable by himself in a 2.5 gallon (I'd prefer 5 but I'm cramped for space), with live plants. Bettas love plants, they provide them something visually interesting to look at and provide shelter and bedding. My betta loves sleeping on a pile of java moss.
Do you have a picture of your tank by chance? I am worried about making ours too cluttered, but I have nothing to go by, lol. It would help to see other small Betta tanks. And Thank-you for your kindness, :).
 

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
3,611
Points
458
Here is my betta's tank, with easy, undemanding plants. The messy stuff is Java Moss, I just let it grow wherever it wants. The poofy green balls are Marimo Moss Balls, and the small green plants on the lower right are small anacharis. Anacharis grows quickly (in my big tank it grows several inches PER WEEK) and can be either planted or floated on the surface. All three plants require minimal care, are not very demanding when it comes to light, will absorb waste byproducts, produce oxygen, filter your water, and just look nice.
IMG_20170115_225406.jpg
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Messages
39
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Experience
Just started
Your tank is so clean! Thanks for sharing, :). With the anacharis, what do you do with the pruned bits? And I was thinking of moss balls too but the ones I was looking at were made by fluvol and floated in the top for the Betta to play with. I am going to the pet store tomorrow to get all that is mentioned. Hope they have everything. Is there a better store over another or "best place" to purchase from? I am in Western Canada.
 

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
3,611
Points
458
VancouverIsland_Honey said:
Your tank is so clean! Thanks for sharing, . With the anacharis, what do you do with the pruned bits? And I was thinking of moss balls too but the ones I was looking at were made by fluvol and floated in the top for the Betta to play with. I am going to the pet store tomorrow to get all that is mentioned. Hope they have everything. Is there a better store over another or "best place" to purchase from? I am in Western Canada.
Anacharis grows as a straight stalk, with smaller stalks budding off the main periodically. When it is long, you can trim off several inches, put it in the substrate, and it will grow into a new plant. You can also just drop it in, let it float, and it will cover the surface. Just trim as needed so it doesn't become overgrown.

I ordered my anacharis online; was about $7 for a bundle of 8 stalks on eBay.

And most big pet store chains carry Seachem products as well.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Messages
39
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Experience
Just started
Ok, went to the pet store this morning and purchased the Prime, but they didn't have the stabiliser. Also got the API master test kit. Ammonia was 4 ppm. Got home and saw the water conditioner I owned was already the Prime. They also had a green bag with live bacteria that said it neutralises ammonia, but the sales lady said if I had the Prime, I wouldn't need it?
I Did a 50% water change, and Ammonia went down to 1 ppm. He is swimming around and looking happier already. I also added a bit of aquarium salt to try and balance the PH. So to clarify, I do a 50% water change every 2nd day until the levels are all good?
I also have been searching high and low for Anacharis and Java Moss and cannot find it. One would think that a store selling Fish would provide easy to care for plants as this would be good for beginners, XP. I checked on E-bay and couldn't find any either. Well, it always another name attached to it, and being a novice I thought I should learn more before buying.
 

Fahn

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,436
Reaction score
3,611
Points
458
VancouverIsland_Honey said:
Ok, went to the pet store this morning and purchased the Prime, but they didn't have the stabiliser. Also got the API master test kit. Ammonia was 4 ppm. Got home and saw the water conditioner I owned was already the Prime. They also had a green bag with live bacteria that said it neutralises ammonia, but the sales lady said if I had the Prime, I wouldn't need it?
I Did a 50% water change, and Ammonia went down to 1 ppm. He is swimming around and looking happier already. I also added a bit of aquarium salt to try and balance the PH. So to clarify, I do a 50% water change every 2nd day until the levels are all good?
I also have been searching high and low for Anacharis and Java Moss and cannot find it. One would think that a store selling Fish would provide easy to care for plants as this would be good for beginners, XP. I checked on E-bay and couldn't find any either. Well, it always another name attached to it, and being a novice I thought I should learn more before buying.
Ok, you will need to get some Stability, even if you order online or check another store. It is formulated to work in tandem with Prime. Prime will keep ammonia of up to 1 PPM neutralized for 24 hours, giving time for your beneficial bacteria to get established. The Stability will convert the ammonia into harmless byproducts. The Stability will also help cycle your aquarium faster.

4ppm? That's pretty high and can be quite stressful on a fish, lethal even. If it's still at 1ppm and you have Prime, it should be fine until tomorrow. Tomorrow I would go ahead and do another 50% water change, then I'd follow with a 50% every other day to every 2 days.

Aquarium salt can alter the pH, but so can adding rocks, shells, and crushed coral. The betta is fine in water with a pH that low (look at blackwater tanks for bettas, they have very acidic water), but tanks are difficult to cycle at a pH under 6.5 and almost impossible under 6.

Anacharis is often labeled as "Anacharis Elodea", its usually sold in a bunch wrapped in either a rubber band or small lead strip.
 

Silister Trench

Well Known Member
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
1,463
Points
208
Experience
2 years
VancouverIsland_Honey said:
How does one tell it is ammonia Poisoning? I was told that if I add water conditioner it would be fine to add him
Once upon a time I had a betta that looked similar to yours, then he got sick and looked exactly like yours, and finally he died. I could just see it in your picture of him.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom