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Old 12-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #1 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA
SBD again- is it something in the water?

Last Summer while I was home from college, one of my fish had a serious case of SBD and nearly died. He made a complete recovery, except for the fact that he now seems prone to very mild cases, so I've had to be very careful with how much I feed him and his water temperature.

Yesterday I moved back home, and he almost immediately became very bloated again. I know we have different additives in the water here than at college, so I'm wondering if that could cause the problem? If it does, what should I do about that? Would finding a new brand of water conditioner make a difference? Or do I need to get him distilled water?

PS. Another thing- I noticed that after I set up the tanks last night, there were little bubbles sticking to the plastic plants and the heaters and all the toys. We're wondering if maybe because of the bubbles, he swallowed too much air and that's what's causing the bloating. Does that seem more likely?
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:30 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
What brand of food are you feeding him, what type is it, and how much/often?
Is his waste normal looking? Color of waste? Does he have difficulty swimming? Tilting to a side?

Those bubbles are natural, he can't bloat due to taking in too much air. Would be like us bloating for breathing in too much air :)
Normally bloating happens due to improper amount of food and/or poor quality of food... additives in water wouldn't cause it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:30 AM   #3 
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Join Date: May 2012
Nothing to do with the bubbles or water.

What kind of brand & type foods are you feeding your betta?

SBD, is usually either.....
  • Genetic
  • Overfeeding/overeating
  • Low quality improper foods (too much starch/filler/veggies/etc..)

Also last time your betta had SBD, how long did it have it before it recovered?

Current photos of Mr Betta would be helpful.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #4 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA
Sorry I never replied to this, my fish recovered quickly and I forgot I'd posted.

I feed my fish this food

Most of the time he's sick he's better within 12 hours. This last time it was more like 24, and last Summer he was once sick for an entire week, although in that particular case I do think it was because I overfed him.

When he has SBD he doesn't leave waste until I give him Epsom salt, but then it looks normal. Since he's okay now, I don't have a picture, but when he's sick he gets very swollen and he floats on his side. Usually his color will stay normal, but he acts stressed and will be very active because it's easier for him to stay upright while he's in motion.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:34 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Massachusetts
It sounds like a genetics thing unless you are overfeeding. I feed my adult betta 3 - 4 New Life Spectrum pellets twice per day, they are fairly small pellets and have pretty good ingredients. The filler in foods is always a wheat, corn or some other type of grain product because it can be added so cheaply.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:41 PM   #6 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
I had a betta who had sbd from being dropped on the floor and basically from being neglected and abused. He never fully recovered but he lived a year and a half with it before he died.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:50 PM   #7 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: USA
I hope it isn't genetics. I've had him for about 15 months and the problems have come and gone, not constant at all. At least he always makes a full recovery sooner or later. I just really wish there was some way to prevent it instead of just treating the problem when he's sick.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:49 PM   #8 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Florida
Epsom salt is mild and won't hurt him long term. I don't see a problem in adding Epsom salt to his tank when he gets sick. Sometimes they can get chronic cases of SBD and they just need to be treated for it often. I know it can kind of become a pain, but we pretty much all have that one Betta who is a pain.

One of mine is blind. I have to help him find his food which can take a while at times and a lot of the food sinks before he can get it. However, I love him to death and am not going to give up on him because of a chronic case of blindness. He still loves interacting with me just as my VT did when he was bloated and floating sideways (but it was from internal parasites).

IME they don't really suffer when they have an owner who cares enough to care for them in cases such as these. They appreciate your efforts and really can live happily regardless.
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