My fish, Magic, is a crowntail male betta. i've had him for about three to four months now and about a month ago he started to have some problems. i do believe it's called swimbladder disease and it hits him constantly and sometimes randomly. i've realised it will act up with stress and overfeeding but even after feeding him smaller portions and less frequently than my other two bettas every week or two it will come back.
it starts with the top of his head surfacing out of the water, i notice he will try very hard to swim down but he'll float back up. next he sarts turning sideways - i've often come home to thinking he's dead! his belly is puffed up - constipation? - and he gulps for air much more than normal - stress? This lasts for two to three days and always gets worse before it gets better.
please help! he is one of my favorites and i really want him to live the happiest life he can Thanks
Can you post a pic?
A few question...
How big is the tank, water temp, how much and how often are the water changes and when was the last one, what kind of food being fed, additives used, live plants, filtration, any meds or treatments tried and if so, what and for how long?
it is a 1.5 gallon tank, water changes 50% every two days/ 100% every seven, no live plants, temp stays at a approx 70 degrees farenheit - no huge fluctuation. he is an active fish he likes to swim and prefers a high activity environment so he is next to my bedside. currently there is a lamp (not a heat lamp) right above his tank that is on to provide heat he might need. he will swim to different areas of the tank when he's not sick but when he is he likes to rest under the light because he cannot swim downwards and he lodges himself againt the plant to stay mostly upright :(
i use the same betta conditioner as always and recently treated for ich, (one drop with each 50% water change), which i believe is still slightly present but i do not use the medication when he acts up. he is a smaller fish, maybe because he is a crowntail? i have two veil tails that are larger and have never had this problem. he is fed a flake food that has smaller bits of shrimp mixed in - i keep the bloodworms away from him because they can cause digestive problems.
Sounds like you are giving great care, I would QT start a Epsom salt 1tsp/g treatment along with daily 100% water changes for 10 days.
I like to pre-mix my epsom salt in a clean 1g jug to make dosage and water change easier.
I would also cover the top of the QT with plastic veggie wrap to keep the air above the water warm and humid-unless you live in a tropical area.
Hold food for the first 3 days then offer half feeding every other day during treatment.
I just noticed the temp-70F is too cold-slowly get that temp in the 76-78F range.
OFL is right, especially about the temperature. Bettas are cold blooded, so their entire metabolism is reliant upon proper temperatures. When the temperature is too low, their digestion slows, exacerbating bloating and constipation, causing swim bladder irritation. Some bettas are more slim-bodied than others; these fish are much more prone to digestion and swim bladder problems. I highly suggest feeding him much smaller portions multiple times a day rather than one big portion a day--this should help a lot.
You also should get a heater with an adjustable dial, these are not optional, especially if your room temperature is so low.
thanks for the help! the temperature thing could definetly be the problem. if i wanted to give an epsom salt bath in a smaller container to keep the heat (like the 3-4 cup container that he came in) what would be the correct amount of salt to use? also, how long would i keep him in the bath for? i've been meaning to try this but am scared of making the problem worse.
I use Epsom salt 1tsp/gal and I like to pre-mix it in a 1g jug to make dosage easier.
When I do this type of treatment I use a QT container half to 1g in size and I keep the fish in the epsom salt water for 10 days. I make daily 100% water changes and this is why I like to pre-mix it.
The container that he came in will work great and you can float it in a heated tank to keep the temp, however, I like to keep the temp at 76F during treatment and so I don't heat the QT container, I want room temp and I also cover the top with plastic veggie wrap so that the air above the water is warm and humid.
great i'm going to try this today. the main reason i wanted to use his original container is because it would make it easier for me to see what waste he produces when the symptoms stop. i'll post what happens but in the meantime thank you so much for you help! i hope ths works this fish is such a love.