What is betta fish ammonia poisoning?

In this blog post, we will discuss the dangers of ammonia poisoning in a betta fish tank. We will  also explain the reasons and solutions for ammonia poisoning.

Overview

In this blog

  • What is betta fish ammonia poisoning?
  • What are the causes of ammonia poisoning in a betta fish aquarium?
  • What are the symptoms of ammonia poisoning to your betta fish?
  • How do you treat ammonia poisoning in a betta fish tank?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

What is betta fish ammonia poisoning?

When the ammonia level in betta water is abnormally high, it can lead to ammonia poisoning in the tank.The most common cause of fish loss in an aquarium is an increase in ammonia levels. This is often seen in new aquariums, and can be caused by a variety of factors.

Ammonia is very toxic and it can quickly destroy an entire tank of fish.Even a small amount of ammonia in your fish tank can be stressful for your fish.

Ammonia is an invisible substance, and can accumulate in the aquarium if not tested regularly.the ideal levels of ammonia in water should be zero ppm i.e it should be undetectable. Ammonia poisoning can kill betta fish if left untreated. 

What are the causes of ammonia poisoning in a betta fish aquarium?

In this section we will learn the causes of ammonia poisoning in a betta fish aquarium:

  • Betta fish leftovers
  • Betta fish poop
  • Rotten plants 

Betta fish leftovers can increase ammonia levels

Some of the food you feed your betta fish is eaten and some are not. Uneaten food that is not removed from the tank daily will accumulate in the substrate.

The food left over after feeding your betta will increase the levels of ammonia in the tank, which can ruin the water chemistry and make the tank unsuitable for betta fish.

Betta fish poop can increase ammonia levels

Betta fish love to eat, so as an owner, you tend to feed them more out of love. What are the possible consequences of overfeeding fish?

​​Betta fish can eat a lot, but if they overeat, they may poop as a result. Poop contains nitrogen and can increase the levels of ammonia in the tank.High ammonia levels can be harmful to betta fish, and if ignored, can lead to difficulties in the aquarium.

Rotten plants can increase ammonia levels in betta fish tank

Betta fish like to live among lots of plants in their tank, just like they do in their natural habitat.

Live plants provide a sense of security and safety for fish, by providing a place to rest & escape from predators/uncomfortable surroundings in their natural and artificial environment.

Unless you’re ready to take care of them and keep them healthy, it doesn’t make much sense to add plants to the aquarium just because your fish like them. They need to be trimmed, need light for their growth, and should be removed if they are dead or rotten.

If you have dead or rotten plants in your tank, they will release ammonia which can increase the levels of ammonia in the water and change the water chemistry, making it unsuitable for your fish.

What are the symptoms of ammonia poisoning to your betta fish?

The symptoms of ammonia poisoning to a betta fish can vary depending on the level of poisoning. The most common symptoms of ammonia poisoning include:

  • Lethargy
  • Poor appetite or loss of appetite
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Abnormal swimming pattern
  • Color changes 
  • Death

Lethargy in betta fish due to ammonia poisoning

  • Betta fish become lazy due to ammonia poisoning and try to stay in one spot in the tank without much swimming.
  • Lazy betta fish that are suffering from ammonia poisoning can get infected with many diseases because they avoid eating, which makes their immune system weak.

Poor appetite or loss of appetite in betta fish due to ammonia poisoning

If your betta fish is affected by ammonia poisoning, it will not eat and may avoid eating its favorite food too. They tend to skip meals, as a result of which they become weak and susceptible to various infections.

Difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing in betta fish due to ammonia poisoning 

It is known that betta fish  have a special labyrinth organ that helps them breathe in an environment with a lack of oxygen. Your betta fish may experience difficulty breathing due to ammonia poisoning. They will often be seen gasping for air at the surface of the tank.

Abnormal swimming pattern or swimming in circles due to ammonia poisoning

Healthy betta fish  swim happily in the aquarium in a normal swimming pattern with beautiful pectoral fins, but after being exposed to ammonia, they begin to show abnormal swimming behavior or swim in circles.

If your fish are swimming in an abnormal pattern, it’s likely that there are problems in their tank.

Pale or greenish coloured betta body due to ammonia poisoning 

The color of the betta fish changes when they are poisoned with ammonia. This is a sign that they are in danger and need help. 

If your betta fish is showing signs of ammonia poisoning, such as pale or greenish coloring, they may need to be treated as soon as possible. If you delay any longer, your fish may die.

Death of a betta fish in severe condition due to ammonia poisoning

If ammonia levels in a betta fish tank are abnormally high, your  betta fish becomes weak and unresponsive, this is a sign that it will die soon or may actually have  died due to these high levels.

Regular water testing is important to avoid ammonia poisoning problems in a betta fish tank. If you don’t check, you’ll lose your fish.

How do you treat ammonia poisoning in a betta fish tank?

In this section, we will learn how to treat ammonia poisoning in a betta aquarium:

Treating ammonia poisoning at an early stage is possible, but if the level goes beyond the normal range it will be more difficult to reverse the effects.

  • Water changes
  • Efficient filters
  • Removing leftovers
  • Avoid overfeeding

Performing water changes in betta fish tank

  • Water changes are essential for keeping the tank environment clean and free of toxins.Water changes are important for betta fish health.
  • Move the betta fish to another tank and perform water changes and acclimatize them well before adding them to the new water. This will help to avoid any water shocks due to the change in water chemistry.
  • Change the water in your aquarium according to the tank size. Small tanks need to be changed more often than larger tanks because they get polluted more quickly. 
  • Make sure you plan properly before making the water changes as sudden and large changes in the water can stress your betta fish, possibly killing them after the procedure.

By installing the right filters in betta fish tank

  • Since bettas produce a lot of waste in their tanks, it’s important to have efficient filters in their tanks to avoid buildup and nitrogen spikes.
  • Filters remove harmful toxins from the aquarium water, making it safe for the betta fish to breathe.
  • You can also add ammonia removal media to the filter to reduce the likelihood of ammonia poisoning.
  • Be sure to install filters that don’t create fast currents or make noise as this can stress the fish. Betta fish don’t do well when subjected to a lot of stress, which can gradually  kill them.

Removing uneaten food from betta fish tank regularly

  • It is very important to remove food that has been left uneaten from the betta fish tank regularly in order to avoid ammonia spikes.
  • Remove any leftovers or uneaten food from the aquarium regularly using a gravel siphon.
  • When using the gravel siphon, be sure to be careful not to disturb the beneficial bacteria living in the aquarium. These bacterias are  essential  for fish and tank health. Do not remove the bacteria from the gravel substrate.
  • Make it a habit to remove leftovers from betta fish tanks daily.

Avoid overfeeding your betta fish

  • If you feed your betta fish properly, they will not produce a lot of waste, and there will be no spikes in ammonia levels in the tank.
  • It is advised to feed them twice a day, between a 10 or 12-hour gap.
  • If you can’t always be around to feed them, get an automatic fish feeder which will feed them on time and in the correct amount.
  • There are a variety of automatic fish feeders available, so you can choose one that is convenient for you and your fish.

Summary

  • Ammonia is very harmful to betta fish, and can even kill them if not treated quickly. It is very important to be very careful about the ammonia levels in the betta fish tank and keep it at zero ppm.
  • It’s better to keep betta fish in larger tanks, larger tanks don’t get dirty as quickly and don’t require frequent cleaning and water changes.
  • Installing filters that are efficient and can perform chemical and biological filtrations can help to keep the levels of ammonia in check in a betta fish tank.
  • Regularly removing leftovers and rotten plants from the tanks can keep ammonia levels in check.
  • Adding live plants and beneficial bacteria to the tank can help keep the environment fresh and clean, and can help control the levels of ammonia.
  • When feeding your betta, be careful not to overfeed him or her. Overfeeding can lead to the accumulation of nitrogenous waste in the tank, which can be harmful to your fish.
  • Check the water parameters every day using a water testing kit to avoid ammonia spikes in the tank.

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible for a betta fish to die from ammonia poisoning?

If your betta fish is not getting the proper treatment for ammonia poisoning, it may die.

How quickly ammonia poisoning or ammonia burns can occur?

Ammonia poisoning or ammonia burns can occur gradually over time, or it can happen rapidly.

What are ideal ammonia levels for betta fish?

The ideal levels of ammonia for betta fish should be zero ppm. It should not exceed these levels.

Can ammonia poisoning affect betta fish swimming patterns?

Yes, ammonia poisoning affects betta fish swimming patterns.

Can ammonia poisoning affect betta fish appetite?

Yes, ammonia poisoning affects betta fish appetite.

Are leftovers or uneaten food likely to increase the levels of ammonia in the tank?

Yes, leftovers or uneaten food increase the levels of ammonia in the betta fish tank.

Reference

https://bettasource.com/ammonia-poisoning-betta/

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?