High ammonia!

Phloxface

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I'm having some weird things going on in Lava's tank. The other day I tested his levels and he had Ammonia - .50, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0.
I can't figure it out because his tank was cycled before. Maybe the meds killed his cycle but they aren't supposed to. I did a 50% water change and tested again 24 hours later and AGAIN I got Ammonia of .50  I've done another 50% water change and added some Prime to his water to help remove ammonia and fresh carbon/zeolite.  His tank has no rotting food or plants. I vaccumed it and it's clean. Not sure what's going on... Lava seems to have swim bladder problems again. He floats at the top and has a hard time swimming down and can't stay down unless he wedges himself under a leaf or something. He seems well enough otherwise, fairly active and eating well. I wonder if the ammonia could have harmed him? I don't know now whether I should medicate him again and with what? Maracyn-Two or something else? I don't want to over-medicate but I am worried about his swim bladder. It may be permanently damaged...
 

nmwierman1977

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I'm sorry to hear that about Lava. The ammonia increase probably has a lot to do with the meds killing the good bacteria in the tank which is usually what happens if the fish has been on them for awhile. You'll have to re-cycle it. I know I lost my cycle when I was medicating Royell. I have to start from scratch. I'm sorry to hear that his swim bladder came back. Unfortunately, it could be a permanent thing. You cantry medicating him again. Maybe it wasn't completely gone the first time and you just thought it was. Again, I am sorry. I wish I could be of more help. Have you fed him any pea treats lately. Maybe that will help. Natalie
 

LZ Floyd

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Hmmmm.  The first thing that came to mind was whether or not your kit had reached expiration.  If it's within expiry, then I would think that the tank had lost it's cycle.  I see Natalie posted about losing her cycle after needing to use a few meds.  If the tank did lose it's cycle, maybe Lava's behavior is the result of exposure to high ammonia levels (at least high by Lava's standards).  With GB, his awkward swimming pattern resulting from constipation and ammonia poisoning returned to normal after a full water change, but it took a day or two. 

Mike
 
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Phloxface

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The kit is fairly new. It still has over a year before it expires. He has an ammonia alert tag in his tank too and it also confirms that the ammonia was high. I added a handful of BioMax Filter media from my other cycled 10 gallon. Hopefully that will seed the tank a little faster. With all his other problems I don't want him dealing with a cycling tank...
 

Isabella

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Phloxface said:
I'm having some weird things going on in Lava's tank. The other day I tested his levels and he had Ammonia - .50, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0.
I can't figure it out because his tank was cycled before. Maybe the meds killed his cycle but they aren't supposed to. I did a 50% water change and tested again 24 hours later and AGAIN I got Ammonia of .50  I've done another 50% water change and added some Prime to his water to help remove ammonia and fresh carbon/zeolite.  His tank has no rotting food or plants. I vaccumed it and it's clean. Not sure what's going on... Lava seems to have swim bladder problems again. He floats at the top and has a hard time swimming down and can't stay down unless he wedges himself under a leaf or something. He seems well enough otherwise, fairly active and eating well. I wonder if the ammonia could have harmed him? I don't know now whether I should medicate him again and with what? Maracyn-Two or something else? I don't want to over-medicate but I am worried about his swim bladder. It may be permanently damaged...
I wouldn't personally trust any medications - however you look at them, they're all chemicals. And chemicals do kill life (the beneficial bacteria are a form of life as well). I think the medications have caused the ammonia spike in your tank, if your water was otherwise very good. Ammonia spike certainly can make any fish very sick, so this could be the cause of your Betta's disease.

As for medicating again ... I really wouldn't want to give you some misleading advice, especially because of the fact that I don't know much about Bettas. I also don't want you to overmedicate your fish. But then again, if it starts dying because of the disease? You know ... It's very hard to choose what to do in such situations. Anyhow, if you decide not to medicate, do your best to keep the water as clean as possible. If you have ammonia in your water, I suggest 50% daily water changes until ammonia = 0.

Also, you do not rinse your filter media in tap water, right?
 
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Phloxface

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I'm the same way. I don't like medicating too much either if it isn't needed. What worries me is the lumps he has on either side of his body, right down near his tail. Not anywhere near his belly so I know he's not constipated. Everything I've read says lumps there are nothing to worry about but no one explains what exactly they are... The lumps he has have gotten slightly bigger and I wonder if this could be causing his swim bladder problem. I don't even know if it's temporary or permanent or if I can medicate him for it or just leave him.  :-\  He doesn't seem to be in any obvious pain and he attacks his food like a shark, jumping right out of the water. I guess as long as he seems healthy I can wait and see if it clears up on it's own. I'll test his water daily and do water changes as needed. I just feel so sorry for him.  He can only swim around on the very top of his tank. It must be so boring for him. I see my females swimming madly all over the tank and he can't even go down to play around his beloved bridge.
 

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Sorry to hear about this. Hopefully you can get the ammonia down to 0 soon and I hope Lava is alright. I have never heard of those bumps except on this forum so I don't know what they are from.

If you have room in a filter in one of your tanks that is cycled, you could stick a new thing of filter media for Lava's filter in there. After a week or two the media should be seeded with bacteria and you can put it into Lava's filter and the tank should be instantly cycled. That may be faster than waiting for the tank to re-cycle on its own.
 

COBettaCouple

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I hate the ammonia spikes - our little Angel just had one in her tank of .5 and Sora's tank went to .25 on this week's test and they both have totally clean tanks. I've been using AmQuel+ from Kordon () and it has worked for us. We get it at Petco, where do you get the stuff you use for ammonia spikes? We're always looking for better solutions and I'd like to compare the products and see what works best in our tanks here.

Also our 2 male bettas have those same kind of lumps on them down near the tail, our lost male Betta also always had that. From what I found online, looking at a cross section of a male betta - I think that's how far the swim bladder extends and the lumps seems to be a common thing, but I guess not all bettas have the same size swim bladder.

Have you tried a pea treatment lately for his swim bladder? I have successfully treated Platy fry with swim bladder problems so they could only move around the bottom on their side with a pea treatment. Usually what we do for our bettas is take a frozen pea and thaw it in the microwave for about a minute, remove the peel and it'll split in half and we feed each betta a half pea. Since Lava's having trouble swimming down, I guess you could try holding it so he could nibble on each half pea until you figure he's had about 1 pea's worth (your discretion exactly how much) - his eating habits sound like it won't be a problem getting a bunch of pea into his hungry mouth.

Good luck & I hope Lava will be swimming around like usual soon.
 

Isabella

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Phloxface said:
I'm the same way. I don't like medicating too much either if it isn't needed. What worries me is the lumps he has on either side of his body, right down near his tail. Not anywhere near his belly so I know he's not constipated. Everything I've read says lumps there are nothing to worry about but no one explains what exactly they are... The lumps he has have gotten slightly bigger and I wonder if this could be causing his swim bladder problem. I don't even know if it's temporary or permanent or if I can medicate him for it or just leave him.  :-\  He doesn't seem to be in any obvious pain and he attacks his food like a shark, jumping right out of the water. I guess as long as he seems healthy I can wait and see if it clears up on it's own. I'll test his water daily and do water changes as needed. I just feel so sorry for him.  He can only swim around on the very top of his tank. It must be so boring for him. I see my females swimming madly all over the tank and he can't even go down to play around his beloved bridge.
How large are the lumps? What color are they? Are they like some growths on the skin or are they under the skin?
 

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