Super High Ammonia and a Sluggish Betta?

Stowers74

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My betta is in a 10 gallon, heated (78-80°), and sponge filtered aquarium. Last night I did my weekly 15% water change (treated with prime) and he was fine. My ammonia and nitrites were at 0, and nitrates were at about 5ppm. This morning I woke up and noticed my betta laying down on the gravel and not moving as much as he usually does, so I checked the water... ammonia was at about 4, nitrites were at 4, and nitrates were still at about 5... what can I do???

He also randomly starts swimming along the front glass and then goes back down to the bottom at the same spot

 
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Stowers74

Stowers74

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I also just did an emergency 10% WC because I walked in and he was laying on his side on the bottom, within 5 minutes he was moving more normally, but I've noticed white splotches on his head? Maybe some kind of infection? You can't really see the splotches in the picture, but his fins are still really colorful?

 

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Beeker

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Do a large 70% waterchange.
Are there any other creatures in the tank? Snails, etc.?
Is it possible something died in there or dropped into the tank? Excess food, etc.?
 

Chris99

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You need to do multiple 50% or larger water changes to get the ammonia down. Then you need to figure out where the ammonia spike is coming from. Are there any other fish in the tank? I can only assume there is something dead in there.
 

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I'll bet that the other is dead too.
Bettas and shrimp are usually not compatible.

Keep up with the water changes and trying to find that other shrimp.
You may want to move your leftover shrimp to a safe home, be it another tank with you, a fishkeeping friend or family member, or back to the store.
 
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Stowers74

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I've kept the shrimp with him since I got him (like 6+ months) and I've never had any problem with him. He is actually very docile compared to most bettas. I found both shrimp dead under a piece of fake driftwood (they like to hide under it), so I'm not sure what happened. My other two are always out and active, so maybe the two shrimp were ill?

Just in case I'm going to keep an eye on them, I'd my betta has for some reason gotten aggressive, I'll move them to my 40g. I did two 50% changes and he already seems more active. I'm re testing the water in a bit.

 

Beeker

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He's probably just recovering from the ordeal he's just been through. High ammonia can be fatal. Just give him some time to recuperate.

If you have picked out both dead shrimp and changed the water, bringing the numbers back down, I would say, wait 24 hrs, test the levels again, and see what happens. Keep us posted.
 
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Stowers74

Stowers74

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Update:

Ammonia and nitrites are still slightly higher than usual, but my betta is much, much more active than yesterday. Since they are still slightly up, should I do another WC tomorrow?

 

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Yes.
I'm glad the betta is doing better.
 

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Glad to hear he's doing better.
Good job!
 

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