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Old 02-15-2013, 05:09 PM   #1 
bluefishluck
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Exclamation Betta constipated, SB disease for 1 month

Hello everybody,
I've been trying to fix my 3yr old Betta fish's constipation problem for a month now and nothing has changed so I would really like some additional advice here.


Background:
  • I have my fish Kappy in a 1.5 gallon tank at 80 degrees.
  • I feed him Omega 1 Betta flakes (I've heard flakes are bad but he won't eat anything that sinks)
  • His stomach is swollen and he constantly sinks - really has to work to get to the surface to gulp air or get food
I've tried feeding him peas but he won't eat it. I've also fasted him a few times for a period of four days but he still was very bloated. I haven't seen many/any feces in the tank this whole month but I can't imagine he's gone a month without passing SOMETHING. I tried adding 1/2tsp of espom salt per gallon but that didn't work either. His appetite is still very good and despite the fact that he lays on his side sometimes on the bottom and that he really has to struggle to swim upward he doesn't seem like he's on death's door. His stomach does seem to have gotten more swollen, despite my best troubleshooting efforts here. Any advice on how to cure his constipation/swim bladder disease for good and for all? I've had him for 3 yrs now and I would hate to lose him.

Thank you for your help! This is my first time on the forum - desprate times call for desprate measures!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:34 PM   #2 
shellieca
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You've had him a long time congrats on taking such good care of him. With the Epsom salt try 1 tsp per gallon & I think some people have even gone up to 3 tsp. just increase slowly, start with 1 & see what that does. Daphnia I believe also can clean them out, I feed all my Bettas frozen daphnia every now & then. It is possible he has something else going other than constipation but I'm not versed enough to give suggestions on what it could be. Is he pine coning at all?
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:33 PM   #3 
callistra
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More info please: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Photos would also help.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #4 
bluefishluck
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Hello, sorry for the delayed response, things have gotten pretty busy! Ok so here is more info.

Housing
What size is your tank? - 1.5gal
What temperature is your tank? - 80
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega 1 Flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? dechlorinator

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? have not tested

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? seems bloated
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? struggles to swim to surface, lies on bottom
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? tried fasting for 4 days, attempted to feed peas (did not eat them)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? first time he has been ill
How old is your fish (approximately)? 3yrs

----------

I took a picture (sorry it's a little fuzzy!) and it can be found here: http://tinypic.com/r/2l8b1cm/6

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #5 
callistra
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You can't cycle something so small, and the filter will only stress him out because he'll have no way to get out of the current. I suggest removing the filter and increasing water changes to three times weekly -50% 50% and 100%.

I also suggest switching to a high quality pellet whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. Flakes cause bloat problems in a lot of bettas. They also muck up the water a lot faster in things so small. He should get two small meals a week (don't let anything go to the bottom) and one fast day a week. Just how many pellets to feed depends on which you pick up.

How are you monitoring temperature?

For now I would do a series of 3 50% water changes followed by 100% change and thorough cleaning of gravel and decor. You must use same temp water (match running tap tank temp using in tank thermometer, and premix water with conditioner ( you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store if you don't already do this) before the fish sees the water. The 50% he can stay in the bowl and you can use a new turkey baster that's never seen chems to remove half the water. For the 100% he should be scooped into a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you clean his tank. He should be acclimated to the new water by adding a few tablespoons of new water to his cup every 10 minutes for an hour, while he's floating in the tank.

I would also fast for another 3 or so days, and add 1 tsp per gallon epsom salt. It must be pure 100% magnesium sulfate with no additives. I get mine from CVS Pharmacy. Predissolve it and add it over an hour to avoid shock. Only replace along with a water change and only replace as much as water you change. Leave him in there for at least a week.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:21 PM   #6 
bluefishluck
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The only thing is he only eats the flakes - he won't eat anything that doesn't float on the surface...but thank you I will try your advice!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #7 
callistra
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What else have you tried to feed?

Have you tried New Life Spectrum Betta pellets, Omega One Betta Buffet or soaking in garlic guard?
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:05 PM   #8 
bluefishluck
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I don't remember which ones I've tried but I did buy a couple different varieties of sinking pellets and he is never interested in them. I have started pre-soaking his flakes in water now though so they won't expand one he has ingested them. I've also been using API Aquarim salt - is that sufficient? All in all though I've had this fish for 3yrs now in the same tank with the same food and this is the only time he has ever been ill. I'd really like to try to get him back on his "feet. So Thank You very much for all of your help!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:39 AM   #9 
callistra
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Soaking food is not okay. It leaches all the nutrients out and flake food is poor anyway. The only exception is if you want to soak it shortly in garlic guard or a full 10minutes in vitachem.

I suggest trying NLS Betta has it has garlic and I've never had a fish refuse it unless it was terminally ill. You also may need to fast your boy several days before introducing new food - 3 or so.

He may just be aging out.. 3 years is a long time for a betta in something of this size.

Aquarium salt is not good for bloat, and in fact it can make it worse. Epsom salt is what you need.

Also AQ cannot be used more than 10 days or you risk premature organ failure.. presenting as bloat..
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #10 
bluefishluck
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I fasted him for 4 days and then just fed him the NLS Betta I bought online nad he gobbled it all up! I'm also going to go buy Epsom salt tomorrow and try that out.
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