Help! I think my bettas have ammonia burn

FishGirl115

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Help! I think my two male bettas have ammonia burn. I've kept one for about a year and the other for about 6-8 months. I had been doing weekly 100% water changes, taking fish out of tank, no filter, has heater, has airstone. But what I'm learning now is that ammonia and nitrite would've built up during the week and since I did 100% wcs it never cycled. I am currently cycling a 10 gallon to split between them. I think both of my Betta have it. Hopefully this helps, this is equal for both bettas.
Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 2 gallon
How long has the tank been running? 1 year, 6-8 months
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 76-78
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
1 male betta.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Wkly 100%
How much of the water do you change? 100%
What do you use to treat your water? Fluval Aqua Plus
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I cleaned gravel during 100% wcs.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No
What do you use to test the water? Api master kit (but just got that a few days ago)
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: .25-.5 idk what it was when I didn't have test kit, most likely much higher
Nitrite: 0 now
Nitrate: 0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once a day
How much do you feed your fish? 5-10 Hikari biogold betta pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Hikari BioGold Betta micro pellets
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 1yr, 6-8months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? I don't really know, never "realized" it until now, but I'm sure I just didn't realize it before
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Hyperventilating, laying on bottom, lethargic, ragged tails, still eating fine though.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
 
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FishGirl115

FishGirl115

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Here's more details on specific fish:
Fin: ragged tail, always swims with mouth open, somewhat lethargic
Remmy: stiff/ragged tail, really lethargic, "gilling", laying on bottom
Both never seem to have enough oxygen even though they both have air stones. Please help!
 

e_watson09

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Air stones in my opinion do not oxygenate the tanks enough like a filter of some sort would. Can you maybe add a sponge filter in the place of an airstone? That will help with them gasping if it really is a oxygen issue. Can you post a photo that makes you think ammonia burn?
 
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FishGirl115

FishGirl115

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e_watson09 said:
Air stones in my opinion do not oxygenate the tanks enough like a filter of some sort would. Can you maybe add a sponge filter in the place of an airstone? That will help with them gasping if it really is a oxygen issue. Can you post a photo that makes you think ammonia burn?
K. I will try to get pics. I can put a sponge filter in, would that help?
 

e_watson09

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From the photos you posted I do not see ammonia burn but I can only see the tip of the face of the one.
 
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FishGirl115

FishGirl115

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e_watson09 said:
From the photos you posted I do not see ammonia burn but I can only see the tip of the face of the one.
Yeah. Remmy doesn't enjoy the camera. It's hard to see in the camera, but there are pale splotches all over his face/gill area
 

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e_watson09

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If there is ammonia burn it doesn't look very severe. Once you add a filter it will help, then do daily partial water changes (no more 100% water changes) each day to help keep the ammonia levels lower until the tank can cycle.
 
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FishGirl115

FishGirl115

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e_watson09 said:
If there is ammonia burn it doesn't look very severe. Once you add a filter it will help, then do daily partial water changes (no more 100% water changes) each day to help keep the ammonia levels lower until the tank can cycle.
Okay. Thank you. I will put the sponge filter in right now. Does 30% every day work?
 
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FishGirl115

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e_watson09 said:
That should be fine
I just put sponge filter in one's tank. Don't have 2 extras :( I wiped on one on my filter cartridge in a cycled tank. Hopeful that that seeded it a little
 

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I'm a little confused here. 100% water changes, while drastic and stressful for fish, don't interrupt the cycling process unless you're either letting the tank and substrate all dry out or bleaching everything. If you've had these bettas for more than a couple months, there shouldn't be any chance of severe ammonia damage, especially if you've been doing routine maintenance.

Also, there's no practical difference in tank oxygenation between an airstone and a sponge filter—the surface disruption is the same result of the same amount of airflow. Adding a sponge filter is a wise choice, but won't modify the amount of oxygenation.
 
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FishGirl115

FishGirl115

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Alright thanks. The tank itself did dry out, some gravel dried. I wiped it out with paper towel... :banghead: :mad:
YellowGuppy said:
I'm a little confused here. 100% water changes, while drastic and stressful for fish, don't interrupt the cycling process unless you're either letting the tank and substrate all dry out or bleaching everything. If you've had these bettas for more than a couple months, there shouldn't be any chance of severe ammonia damage, especially if you've been doing routine maintenance.

Also, there's no practical difference in tank oxygenation between an airstone and a sponge filter—the surface disruption is the same result of the same amount of airflow. Adding a sponge filter is a wise choice, but won't modify the amount of oxygenation.
 

Amythe

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FishGirl115 said:
Here's more details on specific fish:
Fin: ragged tail, always swims with mouth open, somewhat lethargic
Remmy: stiff/ragged tail, really lethargic, "gilling", laying on bottom
Both never seem to have enough oxygen even though they both have air stones. Please help!
Maybe begin doing only 50 pecent? water change
 

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