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Old 03-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #1 
miyukiwynter
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Possible swim bladder problem?

My betta seems to be showing signs of a swim bladder problem. He's tilting backwards and sinking to the bottom and he seems to struggle to get back to the surface. I have a plastic leaf with a suction cup on it that is close to the surface, so he's been resting there a lot more than usual, and today I noticed he seemed a lot less active when I looked over at him. (Usually if I so much as look at him he starts swimming all around excitedly)

I have been fasting him for a few days, although it's not really much of fasting because I keep giving him just one pellet because I just want to test his appetite though I know that could just be hurting him more... I gave him a piece of a pea two days ago but I have yet to see him pass anything.

Just now I gave him a water change, and since I had been planning to redecorate his tank, I put in the new decor and at the moment he is exploring it, but again, he seems to just be sinking down and struggling to get back up.

He gets very aggressive when I don't feed him which is why I feel bad fasting him, but should I just try to really fast him with no food at all? And for how long?

Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:53 PM   #2 
miyukiwynter
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Oh I forgot to add that when he is resting on the leaf at the surface, he does tilt to the side a bit.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:05 PM   #3 
callistra
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Can you please share photos?

Also more info is needed: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Did you remove the metal from the hammock?
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #4 
miyukiwynter
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Originally Posted by callistra View Post
Can you please share photos?

Also more info is needed: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Did you remove the metal from the hammock?
sadly my camera isn't working right now.

and is there really metal in that hammock? how do i take it out?

as for the extra info:

Housing
What size is your tank?
sadly it's only about 1-1.5 gallons. I've been meaning to upgrade him sometime soon.

What temperature is your tank?
72, stays constant.

Does your tank have a filter?
it came with one but the current was too strong so I don't use it.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
no

Is your tank heated?
no

What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
aqueon pellets and same brand freeze dried blood worms on occasion

How often do you feed your betta fish?
I'd been doing two pellets once in the morning and once in the evening. (they're very small pellets, about half the size of his eye)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change?
once per week

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
full water change other than the small amount of old water that I keep him in while he waits.

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
topfin betta conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

I don't have the supplies to test.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
only the tilting and his belly is bloated. No scales sticking out or anything.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
he seems a bit less active, but still decently active in small bursts rather than constantly as he usually it

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
about a week ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
feeding him less, and giving him a piece of a pea

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
he had a similar problem when i first got him, but not with the tipping he has now.

How old is your fish (approximately)?

about 6 months or so
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #5 
callistra
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His problem is that he is freezing and not getting enough water changes. Depending on how long the hammock has been in there, he may also be poisoned by it.

Yes there is metal.. if you pull the leaf off the suction cup you will see it there. Most people remove it with tweezers.. just pull it out.

Here's some general care info.. if you follow it all he will recover... in addition to addressing all of the below, I suggest using epsom salts at 1 tsp per gallon - 100% pure magnesium sulfate. It must have no dyes, perfumes or additives of any kind - check the label and sniff it. It should not have a scent and it should be white.You need to predissolve it in separate cup with some of his water and add slowly over an hour. Salts do not break down or evaporate so you only need to add more along with a water change, and only add as much as water you actually change. Leave him in the salts for 2 weeks. He should be okay after that. I get my salts at CVS Pharmacy

Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. Bettas kept in 1 gallon containers live an average of about 2 years compared to double that+ in larger containers. The 1 gallon would need 3 weekly water changes of 50%, 50% and 100%, and even then they will be subjected to ammonia.

The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.

Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w heater. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.

Failing to keep your betta at a constant warm temp will weaken his immune system and make him much more likely to become ill. It will also slow down his digestive system so that he will become constipated. Over time, chronic constipation can turn into internal infection.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:51 PM   #6 
miyukiwynter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callistra View Post
His problem is that he is freezing and not getting enough water changes. Depending on how long the hammock has been in there, he may also be poisoned by it.

Yes there is metal.. if you pull the leaf off the suction cup you will see it there. Most people remove it with tweezers.. just pull it out.

Here's some general care info.. if you follow it all he will recover... in addition to addressing all of the below, I suggest using epsom salts at 1 tsp per gallon - 100% pure magnesium sulfate. It must have no dyes, perfumes or additives of any kind - check the label and sniff it. It should not have a scent and it should be white.You need to predissolve it in separate cup with some of his water and add slowly over an hour. Salts do not break down or evaporate so you only need to add more along with a water change, and only add as much as water you actually change. Leave him in the salts for 2 weeks. He should be okay after that. I get my salts at CVS Pharmacy

Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. Bettas kept in 1 gallon containers live an average of about 2 years compared to double that+ in larger containers. The 1 gallon would need 3 weekly water changes of 50%, 50% and 100%, and even then they will be subjected to ammonia.

The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.

Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w heater. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.

Failing to keep your betta at a constant warm temp will weaken his immune system and make him much more likely to become ill. It will also slow down his digestive system so that he will become constipated. Over time, chronic constipation can turn into internal infection.
Yes, I know the temperature thing and the size of the tank need to be fixed, and I plan on doing that as soon as I can afford it. A friend of mine just talked to me about it as well and I'm going to get the salt tomorrow morning. For tonight I'm going to keep his light on (since sadly that's his main heat source at the moment) and wrap up the tank to keep him warm. I just removed the metal from the hammock (which makes me angry that someone would even make something for fish with metal in it, thank you for alerting me to that I didn't even see it!)
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:35 PM   #7 
callistra
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You need to turn the light off at night, unfortunately. He can't sleep and the lack of sleep will only hurt his immune system more.. also using a light to heat a tank causes swings that are hard on fish. Honestly, unless you have live plants I wouldn't put a light on at all. Betta's dont' like direct light.
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