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Old 03-17-2013, 11:25 AM   #1 
LeoTheLakerBetta
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Exclamation Sever bloating!!

Okay so one of my sorority girls is really severely bloated. I have already tried feeding her part of a pea which she happily ate but the bloating did not go down. I also ntried epsom salt last night which also did not work. I think it is constipation. Since I cuppd her yesterday, she hasn't pooped so I see that as evidence. I tried researching how to cure constipation but so far I have only found that daphnia would work but I have no access to that.

Here is the info:

Housing
What size is your tank? 29 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? 78 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Filter output created a lot of bubbles but other than that no.
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Other girls and some platies mollies.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Tropical Flakes.
How often do you feed your betta fish? I feed once a day everyday except one or two days out of every week depending on how fat they can get. Some of the girls are real piggy so they eat more than others causing me to skip a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat, although I will be switching to Prime today as I am running low on StressCoat,

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No.

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

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? She is very bloated around her stomach area, with the sides bulging out. She has trouble swimming although she can get air okay. No pineconed scales.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Trouble swimnming, lays on her side. Really bloated. She used to eat a lot and hog all the food. No poop so far :(
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 2-3 days ago when I realized her bloat was not going away, and was not due to overeating.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, I added dissolved Epsom yesterday along with part of a pea for her to eat; it has helped with another girl before so I thought I would try it.. And I have her cupped.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope not at all.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got her in November when she was pretty small so maybe a year. Not really sure.

I can try to get a picture up, but really all it is, is bloating and trouble swimming, I've been reading up on constipation but I don't know how to promptly treat it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:36 AM   #2 
callistra
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Flakes aren't good nutritional value, and a lot of bettas have constipation problems on them. You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week. I know with sororities it's harder to count pellets eaten, but try to go this general direction.

For the girl.. I would not QT in anything less than 1 gallon because the ammonia builds alarmingly quickly in those cups.. you could have as much as 4ppm ammonia in 24 hours. If you do keep the cup I would do no less than 4 100% changes daily. If you can get a 1 gallon or even 2 gallon critter keeper you can fill that half full and float it and only have to do 100% daily or every other day.

I find epsom salt "baths" to be pointless.. those that poop do so from the shock of it not the salt itself, which is not good. I would add 1 tsp per gallon to the QT. It needs to be predissolved and added slowly over an hour to avoid shock. Once she's acclimated you don't need to keep adding slowly with each water just. Just add it normally, predissolved, during a water change. Leave her on this for a full week and fast during this time. She should clear herself out.

If this continues to be a problem and changing food does not help, you may need to cup during feeding to limit the really piggy ones.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:44 AM   #3 
LeoTheLakerBetta
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I know flakes aren't the best but I have tried feeding them pellets to no avail. I have the other fish to feed to which also like the flakes, and as a result the girls would eat that instead of the pellets. Or they would double up on food intake. I have been feeding my veteran girl since April on flakes no problems, so would be okay if I continued on flakes? All of the fish in there won't eat anything else. Originally I tried pellets for a full week without them eating it. I don't like to be stubborn but this is how I feel about it..

I can move her to a one gallon, I was originally hoping she would clear out in a day but I guess not.

And the salt will be no problem. For my one gallon, will half full be fine?

Thank you for your help I'll keep this updated over the week.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #4 
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They may need to fast several days or a week before they will take the pellets. You can also soak them in garlic guard to make them more appetizing, and wiggle your finger to get their attention so they recognize it as food. Also some pellets are b better than others.. a lot of the lower quality ones they won't take. Have you tried New Life Spectrum Betta?

Half full is fine on the 1g but I would do daily 100% changes in it.. just empty it back into the tank and fill it back up with tank water. The epsoms are plant ferts and won't hurt your other girls.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:42 PM   #5 
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Personally, this is just my opinion based on my experience-I feed lots of flakes to my juvies when I wean them off live foods and have never had any problems with constipation, bloat or nutritional issues that lead to health problems. I don't use and never have used Betta specific foods, however, the processed foods I do feed are good quality community flake and pellets type foods that I feed a wide varied diet. I recently and still in the process of conducting an experiment using just freeze dried blood worms as the only food with an adult male Betta-I don't have my records near by at the moment to give the exact time frame, however, it has been longer than 30 days and so far I haven't seen any adverse reaction-but time will tell.

I have seen so many reports of both FD foods and flakes being bad for Bettas-I felt it was time to see for myself and have other experiments planed too-with one being the Betafix, but I really wanted to try this on a sick Betta and I rarely have any-Sometimes problem with a product or food will be started from second hand info based on a well meaning hobbyist that had a problem then associated the current product used to being the cause-when the product or food had nothing to do with it-I was guilty of that myself...I don't want to say these are myths so much as a person opinion, however, sometimes these opinions are told so much that they soon become fact when they don't have any real scientific fact to back it up. Not that I can provide anything more than a personal opinion based on personal experience and non-scientific experiments that I conduct-but I almost always will have a control to compare with.

Anyway, since your female is symptomatic to the bloat-What I would recommend is a full Epsom salt treatment and not a bath. I would Qt in something small, bare that can either be heated or small enough to float in a heated tank. Your goal is to maintain temp of at least 76F and with bloat-it would be better to have the temp in the 78-80F range for metabolism in case it is due to constipation. Cover the QT with something to help retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ-You want to see condensation buildup on the walls.

Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source-either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for at least 30 min to allow the tannins to start releasing and salt to dissolve. Shake well before use.

Using this treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1hr the first day. Dim lit quiet location and hold food for 24h.
She needs to stay in the covered bare QT in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 10-14 days. It can take several days to start to see improvement-It all depends on the cause.

Tomorrow-using the treatment water make 50% water changes daily to complete the duration. Don't worry about any leaf bits that may fall into the Qt.
If you used a tannin source-the water in the 1gal jug should look darker each day and this is what you want.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals-If you have access to live mosquito larva-offer several rinsed a couple of times a day.

Good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:55 PM   #6 
LeoTheLakerBetta
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Okay so now she is in a half filled 1 gallon heated. There is condensation on the walls and its at 78F. I don't have access to any tannins from oak trees or IAL. Is it safe to use a tea bag?
I didn't get to see this until now, so I did not do the water changes for the first hour today; maybe I can do it tomorrow. I know I can easily do 100% water changes each day for a couple of weeks. I have plenty of salt so that's not a problem.
Today I just filled the tank with regular tap water w/ conditioner and slowly added the predissolved Epsom into her tank over an hour. So far she still looks the same..
She still has some trouble swimming.

Thanks for the help I really appreciate it.

Last edited by LeoTheLakerBetta; 03-17-2013 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:48 AM   #7 
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IME-with an already compromised fish-it is better to limit water changes to partial daily to every other day. Betta don't produce the amount of byproducts that some think. Stress can sometimes be the factor that causes more problems and its important to limit that if you can.

In a pinch a decaf tea bag will work-either green or black decaf tea. Steep the tea bag in the 1gal jug of dechlorinated water and let it steep for about 10min-then remove-add the Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) and use this jug of water for the partial water changes.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:31 PM   #8 
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Okay, so I'll change the water tomorrow then with those specification. Thanks, I'll keep this updated.

Today she seems the same but it doesn't look like she is near giving up.
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