I've had my betta for less then a year, and I feel TERRIBLE because I know something's wrong. It's been 4-5 days i've had him in around 75 degree quarantine (I know, it's low, but it's for changing the water each day) because he shows signs of either swim bladder disease or dropsy. With the engorged lower front region of the betta, I am assuming it's swim bladder. He faces vertical all the time and lies still, only darting to the surface for the routine air gulp.
I have been using a dechlorinator, aquarium salt, and bettafix remedy (which I hate using.) He seems stable, but I feel horrendous seeing him like this.
The manager at Petco recommended Melafix, but i've done some research and it does not seem the best for bettas.
I may be moving soon, and I know I can't speed along a recovery process if it is possible, but I really need help. I don't want to add melafix and KILL my betta.
Usually he is in a 2 gal, heated to around 80, filtration w/ bio bag, cycling---everything. I'm not a beginner, and I know i'm not overfeeding. I've been giving him 2 pellets a day for a lot of sites say swim bladder could also look like constipation.
It's a whole heck of a mess, and i'm not sure what to make of it... he doesn't seem to be suffering, but he is bloated below.
Am I doing anything right?
Is he suffering?
I know back when I was really active there was a guru on what mixtures to use for certain conditions rather then dumb hazardous things such as melafix or generic betta remedies.
I'll get a picture if I can tomorrow, ANY HELP IS MUCH APPRECIATED.
I'm sorry if you see this all the time, but as a normal pet owner---I flip rather then go through general guidelines...
Sorry your Betta isn't well....a pic would really help.....also need some more info...
He is in a 2gal filtered tank-temp 80F-any live plants, how much and how often are the water changes during the year you have had him, any tank mates, appetite.....
To understand-his abdomen is enlarged, is he still eating, pooping, any buoyancy problems, lethargic, clamp fins, hiding....how much and how long have you been using the aquarium salt.
Thank you for your concern and your response. I have him in quarantine in (sadly) a smaller bowl to monitor his coordination and energy levels.
No live plants, silk only--still loves to eat pellets *but doesn't jump to it as fast*, i've abstained from bloodworms since it's to my understanding that's more of a snack food then nutrition. Complete water changes are once a week, and a 25% change is done every two days. To my understanding, it should be every day and I should really step up to the plate and do it every day.
No tank mates ever--- awesome appetite, I feed him three pellets a day--although when my fiancee feeds him, he gives him four. It definitely isn't bloating, since i've been cutting his food down a tad to see if it's constipation. I came here because I really don't want to starve him.
His abdomen is enlarged, yes--he is still eating, pooping, and has a good amount of energy for a seemingly sick betta. I doubt it's dropsy, for he doesn't have the "pinecone look." I have two pictures here--- i'll try to get clearer ones later.
Aquarium salt has been used all of his life. Hopefully that isn't a bad thing!
There was a slight change in temperature a few months ago, but still stayed between the 80-75 range.
Buoyancy problems, yes---he faces vertically most times---a big swim bladder indicator... right? He has a little trouble getting to the surface, sometimes leans on the side of the quarantine bowl-- but he barely ever clamps his fins... He seems semi-normal besides what I just stated, which is really confusing me to high heaven.
Top view. You can clearly see he is enlarged in the body
Side View: He's taking a little break, not vertical-- i'll try to catch that later.
What a lovely CT...with CT and doubletails due to their body shape its not uncommon for the abdomen to look more enlarged than the other fin types, however, buoyancy issues is not normal-but you know that already...lol....anyway...
Long term use of aquarium salt (sodium chloride) is not recommended or needed with this species-Long term use can cause kidney damage and you will often see signs/symptoms you are now seeing...as well as creation of resistant issues-especially with long term non-therapeutic dosages.
Aquarium salt is a great product to use for short term treatments-when used for the right reason, dosage and duration.
Sadly the damage may already be done and not a lot can be done, however, it won't hurt to try....
What I would recommend is Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and tannins while in a small QT covered with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ-floating (attached) in a heated tank to maintain water temp of 77-78F.
Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one-either IAL(1 crushed large) or dried Oak leaf (12-18 crushed)-Let this steep for 30min to allow the salt to dissolve and tannins to start releasing. Shake well before use
*IAL (Indian almond leaf) usually have to get this online *Oak leaf-collect naturally dried and fallen from the tree
Using this premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today-this will get him acclimated to the new chemistry.
Tomorrow start 50% daily water changes with the premixed treatment water (every 3 days do 2-50% back to back)-keeping him in the small QT container in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 14-21 days.
If you added a tannin source the premixed jug of treatment water should look darker each day-going from a light tea color to a dark amber color-this is what you want....the longer the tannins steep the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it....
Both the Epsom salt and tannins have antibacterial/fungal properties, the Epsom salt can help de-tox, reduce edema, work as a laxative, the tannin can help with stress, toughen scale/fins-combined along with good nutrition can help improve immune response.
Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals and if you have access to mosquito larva-offer several rinse a couple of times a day instead of processed fish food.
Exercise him daily by using a mirror, place food on the tip of a tooth pick and make him chase it, chasing live food is great exercise too.....
Depending on his age, genetic, health history, husbandry history, nutrition, resistance, immune response and if he has internal damage due to long term sodium chloride use....he may or may not improve......