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Old 02-21-2014, 06:34 PM   #1 
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Please help my sick betta friend

A couple of days ago, I noticed that my betta was having a hard time swimming. After I fed him later that day, he started floating at the surface on his side, and having an even more difficult time swimming. He couldn't seem to be able to swim down and he would float right up to the top as if he wasn't even trying. I've read all the articles on swim bladder disease and I tried the cooked pea thing. The pieces of pea would float to the bottom before he could even get it, so now when I try to offer it to him he won't even bother trying to get it. This is the second day I've been fasting him, hoping that will help. The pet store told me to try putting some herbal betta revive in his water, so I did that today. But he's not moving around much. Just sitting at the surface. Not floating on his side as much as yesterday, but still doing it sometimes. I just want to know if there is anything else I can do. Am I even doing the right thing? Is there hope for my little guy? I love him so much and it kills me to sit here and watch him suffer like this.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:35 PM   #2 
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Don't feed him any more peas!! They're actually pretty bad for them!
I'll let someone else with more experience help ya out more
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:45 PM   #3 
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I would feed frozen daphnia. It's healthier and more natural for bettas. How much do yo usually feed him?
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:45 AM   #4 
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It definitely sounds like something is going on with his swim bladder. You've been fasting him for two days now, right? Has he gotten any better? If fasting isn't working, like dramaqueen suggested, I would try feeding him some daphnia. If the daphnia doesn't work, I would then try putting some pure, unscented Epsom salt in his tank. If you do use Epsom salt, we can help you if you need instructions. Don't use daphnia and Epsom salt together as they both have laxative effects and could cause dehydration.

I'm not too familiar with Betta Revive, but I'm not sure whether it could help him or not.

What brand of food do you feed him and how many pellets/flakes per day? Foods with more fillers can cause issues like bloating, constipation and swim bladder in some bettas.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:40 AM   #5 
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I feed him probably more than I should, which is going to stop now that I've done all this research. But I feed him twice a day, about four pellets in the morning and a couple of crushed dried bloodworms at night. I would like to try the Epsom salt because he is very picky and won't try anything if it's not his regular food... How would I go about that? How much and what do I need to do?
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:50 PM   #6 
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One teaspoon per gallon is the usually recommended therapeutic dose for Epson salt. That's pure, unscented ES, pre-dissolved in another container. It's said you can use it for an extended period but, because it will dehydrate and cause difficulties osmoregulating (internal salt balance), I would only use it a few days at a time.

I see no problem feeding frozen Daphnia, Mysis or Brine shrimp for roughage along with ES treatment. (FD bloodworms are a bad idea.)

Flaring sometimes helps their movement. Don't worry too much. It may look bad, but they usually get over it.

For future reference. High-quality food is less likely to cause digestive issues. New Life Spectrum Betta formula and Omega One Betta Buffet are the best you can get off the shelf.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:36 AM   #7 
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What BRAND of food do you give him? Look at the ingredients on the label. As Aquatail mentioned, foods that contain a lot of grains or fillers can cause constipation, bloating, and buoyancy issues in some bettas.

As Hallyx mentioned, the two most often recommended foods on this forum are New Life Spectrum Betta and Omega One Betta Buffet. They contain quality proteins, and are well tolerated by bettas.

As Hallyx also mentioned, I would avoid anything freeze-dried. They pull moisture from the intestinal tract, which can lead to constipation (which in turn can lead to bloating and buoyancy issues). Frozen and live foods are good, though.

(Actually, the "ideal" food is live mosquito larvae. This is what they eat in their natural habitat. Depending on where you live (and what the season is), these may or may not be available right now.)

If this was my fish, I would try using Epsom salt at a dosage of 0.5 teaspoon per gallon. A lot of people recommend using 1 teaspoon per gallon, but I've had good results with the lower dosage.

Here is one way to add Epsom salt to your tank:
1) Put some tank water in a cup.
2) Stir in the desired amount of Epsom salt.
For example, if you want a dosage of 0.5 teaspoons/gallon:
--- 1 gal tank - stir in 0.5 teaspoons Epsom salt
--- 3 gal tank - stir in 1.5 teaspoons Epsom salt
--- Etc.

3) Stir until the salt is COMPLETELY dissolved.
4) Slowly add the solution into the tank.

When pouring the solution into the tank - I don't add more than 0.25 tsp/gal every 15 minutes. This allows the fish to become acclimated to it. IE:
If you're adding 0.5 tsp/gal, you should pour in the solution over the course of 30 minutes.....
If you're adding 1 tsp/gal, it should take an hour (or longer) to pour it in.

Epsom salt can take 1-2 days to have a laxative and fluid reducing effect. Once they poop and are swimming normally, I do water changes to remove it from the tank.

Also, salts don't "evaporate." So once you've added it, you don't need to add more (unless you want to increase the dosage). And the only want to remove it from the tank is via water changes. (Unless you have live plants, which use it as fertilizer.)

(If this post isn't clear, just ask for clarification. It's 1:30am here, and I'm feeling a bit incoherent. )

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 02-24-2014 at 12:39 AM.
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