I am new to the forums and seems I came to the right place for some good advice so thank you in advance to any replies. I picked up my first betta, Gus, about 2 months ago. He has been great up until two weeks ago. Overnight his belly had swelled up! I have down a lot of reading and everything sounded like it was constipation. Especially since I read that the main foods I was feeding him (bloodworms, flakes) were probably the culprit of this issue. Wish I would have read more beforehand about proper diet... So I decided to go ahead and treat for that. I fasted him for 3 days, did a complete water change. But no change in his belly. Mind you during all of this his attitude has remained quite the same. Swimming all over the place, being pretty active like he usually is. I then decided to try the frozen pea trick, he ate a little, not much. Waited another two days and no poop or reduced swelling. I then proceeded with epsom salt baths for the next two days. Trying to do one step at a time to not stress him out. He's a pretty tough guy because none of this has really seemed to bother his personality in any way. I then went and picked up some frozen daphnia to see if that would help push things along, but he had no interest in it. I read more that if some of these treatments did not work to try using Maracyn 2, in the off chance he had some sort of other issues going on but that hasn't helped either and I am on the fifth day of that. The only other thing I can think of is to treat for intestinal parasites? I work in the veterinary field and would find it quite crazy for parasites to cause him to plump up like that in just a few hours, but fish are not my forte so I suppose anything is possible! I'd assume it wouldnt't be a tumor for the same reason? I'm not really sure where to go from here...He's so big that his scales have become almost translucent in that area. I'm afraid he may burst! During this I have fed him a few pellets here or there just so I am not starving him, however I am not seeing any poop at all. I love this little guy so much and don't want to lose him so soon. Any help would be ever so appreciated! Please be absolutely honest, even if everything I've done has been wrong so I can learn from my mistakes in the future. Thank you!!!!
What size is your tank? 2.5 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets (was doing freeze dried bloodworms, flakes)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100 percent
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Conditioner
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Swollen abdomen
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 weeks
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? See Above
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? 6 months?
Just a few questions, what brand of pellets are you using now? And what conditioner do you use?
It seems like you've done a fair amount of research and the care looks fairly good to me. I might try to do one 50% water change during the week and then the 100% at the end of the week as ammonia can build up fast. Even if he's not pooping, he still excretes it through gills and whatnot.
Can you get some pictures up? These would really be helpful :)
Also (might be silly) but did you blanch the pea before feeding it? Also did you skin it? You could try mushing it up with some flakes in it and plop a tiny piece in to see if he'll go after it.
His food is New Spectrum Pellets and the Conditioner is the API Betta conditioner. Thanks for the tip on the water change! And yep, definitely blanched and skinned the pea. But think I will try your suggestions of mashing it up with his normal food. Hopefully this pic gives you a good idea! Thank you!
Oh poor guy . But his behavior is the same for 2 weeks and you already tried epsom and medications. I would not treat him any longer until you sure it really internal parasites. It can be tumor too. I saw a few exactly problem on this forum , i am going to try to find those links just too see outcome. But how much of the Eposom salt you did ? Epsom salt if very mild on fish and you can use it for very long time, it helps with internal problems. You can use 1tsp/gall up to 3tsp/gall. I would try 2 tsp/gall at least and you can do daily water changes. So i would do epsom (unscented ) again. Make sure you pre dissolve it first. Try frozen daphnia again. People saying it helps if it constipation.
My girl's bloat seemed to finally go down after 2 weeks of espon treatment, fasting and then lastly being fed crushed pellets mixed with garlic juice. Good luck with your fishy! I know how frustrating and worrisome this can be.
And i just want to say Epsom salt like i wrote can be used for very long time like more than a month. And some fish with chronic constipation or sbd you can even use indefinitely in low dose which is 1tsp/gall.
Okay, sounds good! Thank you all for your care and concern! And just to confirm, Anhel, are you saying 1 teaspoon per gallon? Because everything I had read said 1 tablespoon per gallon so thats what I had been doing...
Oh I see what's going on, that's epsom Salt which is very different than aquarium salt. Here's what I've learned so far:
Epsom salt is mainly used for bloat and constipation (so you were using it correctly), also swim bladder issues. It also helps for antibacterial and fungal treatments like aquarium salt.
Aquarium salt is used mainly for internal parasites, and nitrite poisonings. You can also use it to battle ich, velvet, body slime infections and sometimes to help heal up wounds in your fish. But for wounds afterward you want to use Stress Coat to help, it heals with aloe.
But yeah, I'm sorry about your fishie and I hope he can get better soon! I'm sorry I don't have any answers for him :(