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Old 08-10-2010, 02:08 AM   #1 
finnyfishy
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Swim Bladder Disorder?

Hi all, I'm new here and was hoping you could help.

3 days ago I received a betta (which i've named Finn, he's my avatar ), I tried feeding him when I first got him but he was so stressed out from his ordeal (I'll explain later how I acquired him) he wouldn't eat. Now thats he's eating a little I've noticed that his swim bladder is protruding like hes bloated. I've so far fed him all of 6 pellets, He's eating Aqueon betta food pellets. I didn't know anything about betta until all of 3 days ago and have done a lot of research.

So my question: Should I put him on a "fast" for a few days? Just try to feed him less for the time being? ... OR.. should his swim bladder protrude a little?

What does a protruding swim bladder mean anyway? Constipation?

Thanks so much for any help and sorry to be such a pest!

- Brittany
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:51 AM   #2 
Adastra
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Usually when a fish is bloated and constipated, the area between where his gill flaps stop and his anal fin starts sticks out a bit, whereas normally, the silhouette of the fish is smooth with no "bumps." The swim bladder is located in the lower rear half of the body, behind all the other organs, and is supposed to stick out a little bit.

We don't diagnose swim bladder disorder based on the appearance of the swim bladder, instead we notice when the fish is having trouble getting to the surface, or getting down from the surface, and infer that the reason why they're "stuck" is because their swim bladder is malfunctioning. Usually this is due to bloating in the intestinal area--this bloating puts pressure on the swim bladder and causes it to malfunction.

If he's not stuck or bloated in his abdominal area, he's probably just fine. I suggest feeding your fish 2-3 pellets twice a day (this is preferable) or 4-5 pellets once a day. Remember to always soak the pellets in water before you feed them to your betta. Betta tummies were not made to eat dry, bready, air-filled foods, so they experience something comparable to what happens when we eat uncooked rice. It expands in the stomach as it takes on moisture--causing discomfort and bloating.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:06 PM   #3 
finnyfishy
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Thank you Adastra!

I'm new to betta owning and am not sure if he make it. I'm just so worried about him since he was used for decoration at the restaurant I work at for a birthday party along with 5 others. All of our staff that was working that night took 1. They were kept in cold chlorinated tap water for 10 hours and the host of the party said she wanted to throw them away when they were done, I was so upset with her I thought I was going to be fired. I just found it so ridiculous.

I may just need to soak his pellets in water before giving them to him. Should I be feeding him something else?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:27 PM   #4 
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Poor things. People can be so selfish--your boss now has a dent in her karma the size of Nebraska. She'll get hers.

Clean water and heat can do wonders for a betta. If you don't already have one, I suggest getting a nice adjustable heater like this one: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3743+11368&pcatid=11368 bettas are tropical fish, and need stable temperatures of 78-83 degrees to be comfortable, healthy, and active. A heater should help him perk up a lot. If you order one online, it will be about $10 cheaper than at a pet store--so if you get one along with a couple of other items you'll save enough to more than make up for the shipping.

If he wasn't in the chlorine for more than a few hours it shouldn't have been long enough to cause irreparable damage. Just make sure you keep his water super super clean. If you tell me how big the container is I can tell you how often you should change it.

I suggest getting a couple of different types of food--no single pellet brand can provide your fish with complete nutrition. My favorite brands are OmegaOne Betta Buffet Pellets, Atison's Betta Pellets, Ken's Betta Crumbles, and New Life Spectrum. I alternate between OmegaOne and New Life Spectrum and also feed my fish a thawed out frozen brine shrimp and frozen blood worms a couple of times a week. It's a good idea to vary the diet as much as you can and feed them pellets that feature whole meats that are high in protein.

Last edited by Adastra; 08-10-2010 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:38 PM   #5 
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Wow, good to know!

He's only in a 1 gallon tank for now. It's all I had at the time and I had to get him out of that cup. I'm going to, for sure, upgrade next week. It has a filter on tank but every time I turn it on he curiously swims to it and gets caught on the filter. He has the bare minimum in his tank but thats changing today. I'm off to the local fishy store in an hour for some fish swag :)

His tank is cloudy, is that a sign of a needed 50% water change?
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:29 PM   #6 
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A one gallon tank needs to be changed 100% every other day. In such small tanks, there's no beneficial bacteria to help break down the ammonia into less toxic compounds and no plants to absorb it as it would in nature. So the only way to get rid of 100% of the ammonia is by frequently doing 100% water changes.

I would definitely leave the filter off, it won't do him any good and the current it causes will just stress him out. As for a permanent home for your guy, you should look for something at least two gallons--preferably larger, because most heaters are designed to heat a minimum of two gallons. My favorite tank kits are the Marineland Eclipse models--they are acrylic, so they're super light and durable, they come with a weak power filter that can be baffled for your betta's comfort, and a good fluorescent light that can support live plants. These tanks are also large enough to be colonized by beneficial bacteria. Before you get one, though, you should read this article explaining the nitrogen cycle: http://aqadvisor.com/articles/Cycling.php

I always advocate the fishless cycling method.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:32 PM   #7 
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Thank you very much, I'm actually off to the pet store to get some supplies!

Thank you for all the information, this really helped me a lot. I've been researching non-stop since I got Finn, but It's better to hear it from someone who actually owns them (and loves them properly)!

Thank so much, again!
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