HELP toxic ammonia levels--how to acclimate?

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by bettaloulou, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    I am so furious! I just got a betta from Petco. My local Petco store seemed decent as far as their betta care, and I happened to fall in love with a little guy, so when i was outbid on my aquabid I went back and got him.

    So, Im acclimating him now, to a temporary bowl while the tank finishes cycling, and i just tested his cup water. Ammonia was 8 PPM! EIGHT! Now I feel like the most important thing is getting clean water in his bag that he is floating in, rather than doing it as slowly as I should, what do i do?

    His cup ph was 7.6 and my water ph is 6.6. Right now im adding about 1/3 cup of water every 4-5 mins which i know is fast, but considering the ammonia is it too fast??

    Help please!
  2. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    personally, I'd slow down.
    He's a;ready been in that cup. At this point, pH shock will hurt him more than an extra few minutes of ammonia exposure
  3. FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    I have to agree with Meenu, take it slowly. He has been in the cup this long a few more minutes wont hurt. You can always add some Prime to the two drops to help control the ammonia while he acclimates.
  4. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    Thanks, you make a good point. I have slowed it down some. I must say, this guys seems pretty happy though. Flaring at his reflection. He is definatly a fighter, I cant wait till I can get him out of that icky water! But i know i have to patient.
  5. FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Being Patient will make for a wise fish keeper, its the hardest part of being one. Best of Luck.
  6. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    Well I kept slowly adding water until the ph level was down to the bowl water ph, then got him out of that bag. He is currently exploring his new temporary abode and seems approving lol. He kept diving at every little bubble or thing he saw in the water, so I gave him a pellet, not really expecting him to take it considering everything he has gone through tonight, but he gobbled it down! So, I just gave him two for tonight and ill give him more for breakfast tomorrow. Ill try to get some pics tomorrow, he is really beautiful, red body HM, and bright blue eyes, which is what attracted me to him in the first place, other than his funny antics trying to get my attention in the store. ;D Im a proud new betta mom, can you tell?

    I havent forgotten about Petco though and that horrible amount of ammonia in that cup, Ill be working on a complaint letter for their treatment soon...
  7. FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Congrats! I cant wait to see pictures.
  8. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Congrats on the new Betta!
    I'll be looking forward to more updates and hopefully some photos too.

    Sometimes when fish have been exposed to poor water conditions for so long, the shock of fresh clean water can be fatal. I'm glad to see that you acclimated him slowly as suggested by other members. pH differences and temperature differences are also things to watch for.

    I hope you have many years of enjoyment with your new fish!
    Keep us posted please.
  9. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    Thanks! He is still doing well this morning, but I was distressed to find out that his temporary tank isnt keeping its temp like i thought it would placed up against the larger heated tank. It ended up dropping down to low 70s overnight, so this morning I placed a portable heater in the corner of the room where his tank is sitting, but I was afraid to do much more than that since I had to go to work and didnt want to chance overheating the water. I fed him 3 hikari pellets and he ate them very quickly, and still seemed in good spirits. Im going to buy some freeze dried bloodworms and garlic juice today. Should I wait before adding something new like that to his diet?

    I have to find a way to keep the temp warm and regulated in his bowl until i can transfer him though. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I wish my tank would hurry up and finish its nitrite spike...
  10. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    If his new home is going to have a heater, can you use that heater in his temporary home? Or purchase a small one?
  11. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    I wouldnt want to use the 5 gallon heater because its too big and if I take it out, the bacteria Ive been growing to cycle the tank might die off. I wouldnt mind buying a small heater, but I dont think they make heaters small enough for his current bowl (Im not sure of the exact size but I think I have about a gallon of water in it). Ive read that some people use lamps to heat small bowls in temporary situations. I feel bad that he would have to have the light on all night, but that would be better than being too cold I guess. Im hoping that my 5 gal tank will be finished cycling within a week. Fingers crossed! :p
  12. critter_fritter79Well Known MemberMember

    would it be possible for you to just float his current bowl in his permanent tank until it is cycled? That would keep his bowl nicely heated!
  13. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    Oh! That is a very good idea! I dont think his current bowl will float as its tall and glass, but i can try to find something smaller and plastic that will fit and float in the tank...hmmm I think my lunch break will be a busy one today. Thanks!
  14. uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Critter, that is a good idea.

    bettaloulou: When I rescued Vanguard from Petco in Pittsburgh he had to live in a one-gallon, unheated bowl for about five days, and then endure a six hour drive back to Indianapolis! He never had a heater in his bowl. But he did have clean water, GarlicGuard, VitaChem and tlc. He was alright until I got him into his tank.

    Living in a petstore, your betta has already survived a ton of varying conditions. My guy was found kept near the front door and it was winter. Everytime the door opened he got hit with cold air. So, while a bowl isn't ideal for your new boy, I think he'll be just fine waiting for the heated tank. Just keep his water clean, and add Garlic Guard and VitaChem.
  15. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    congrats on your pretty betta! i had to keep one of mine in a small bowl for about a week while my tank finished. i changed about 90% of the water each day, used prime, stress coat and vita-chem. the 90% makes it so he doesn't have to be taken out everytime...suck the bottom with a turkey baster. :)

    i also had a small lamp right near the bowl all day and then i turned it off at night cos i didn't want the constant light to stress him out. seemed to work well! though the bowl was never as warm as bettas like.......

    on the freeze dried careful not to feed too often or it could lead to constipation. just as a treat. and try to rehydrate it before feeding water or garlic.
  16. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    Cool. I found one of those little hang over the side hospital tanks during my lunchbreak. Its pretty small, but should do the trick.

    You use prime and stress coat? Dont you just need one or the other? I was using the tetrafin stuff, and since that does nothing for ammonia in my little container, i picked up some stress coat. What does the VitaChem do though? I couldnt find any in Petsmart, where can i get it?
  17. Heather MWell Known MemberMember

    You can find VitaChem at Doctors Foster and Smith. Also, if there is a smaller petstore near you, you might see if they can order it. I've had issues finding it myself. I don't want to pay shipping from buying it online, so I've been looking elsewhere. One pet store guy I called acted like I was crazy when I asked if they had VitaChem and Tetra Safestart. I hope you have better luck than me. :)
  18. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    i actually went on the company's website (vita-chem), and it said you can use the marine for freshwater and vice versa. my lfs had the marine, so i bought it. it give good vitamins to the fish that helps with fin growth, color, health ect.

    stress coat and prime are different. stress coat has aloe in it to help with slime coat and help in times of transition and stress, and also neutralizes chlorine and chlormines. prime will detoxify the two c's, but it will also detoxify ammonia for 24 hrs. so if you're doing a water change everyday, prime will keep the fish safe from harmful levels of ammonia at all times. :)
  19. bettaloulouValued MemberMember

    The bottle of stress coat that I just got says that it removes ammonia, does it not last 24 hours like the prime though?

    EDIT: Sorry Im asking a gazillion questions LOL
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  20. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    no problem, i ask many questions too! well my bottle of stress coat by api, doesn't say it removes ammonia, so i'm not sure. all it mentions are chlorine and chloramines. i know prime does detoxify amm for 24 hrs. stress coat also replaces slime coat, reduces electrolyte loss and promotes tissue regeneration.