I've had my male Betta for about a year and when I woke up this morning I noticed that his stomach is kind of big and he is swimming along the top of the water gasping for air a lot. His scales aren't sticking out and he can swim it's just that when he goes to dive he just floats back up again, and he has a little trouble turning because of his stomach. I thought it might be dropsy, but his swollen stomach is the only negative sign he has. I fed my fish last night before I went to bed - I feed them every other day. He is in there with two Platys, and two Albino Corys and it has been that way ever since I bought him. Do you think maybe he just over ate? I put in Betta pellets and flakes for their dinner last night. I'm hoping maybe he just ate too many of the pellets that my Platys didn't (for once) go after like crazy. Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you!
P.s: If I need to I can go out and get medicine if you think this problem might be because of parasites or something serious.
Swim Bladder Disease (SBD)/Bloat
•Symptoms: Betta has trouble swimming, maybe he can’t stay upright and can only swim on his side.
•Treatment: This is not a contagious or fatal illness. If it isn’t congenital (aka a condition that he/she has had since birth), then it is caused by over feeding or feeding the wrong foods. Bettas will typically recover after a day or two of Epsom Salt treatments (1-2tsp/gal) and fasting. You can help prevent a reoccurrence by switching to a better pellet food, feeding less and offering a more varied diet. To make it easier for the betta to eat and breath, you can make the water shallower. You can offer him/her frozen daphnia (sold at Petsmart) as daphnia will help him/her pass stool. DO NOT FEED THEM PEAS.
This is from the two topics Darkmoon17 stickied. He's one of the experts on here.
It kinda sounds like swim bladder to me...I could be wrong, but it couldn't hurt to start treatment for it. I'd put him in a tank by himself for a few days, I think they say 3tsp epsom salt/gal and just make him comfortable. Feed him one pellet a day, or have him fast completely for a couple days. If it's swim bladder this should help.
Thank you for the reply. I had a Betta pass away from swim bladder about two years ago, but his was different. He remained at the bottom of the tank and wouldn't come up except for air and he lost a lot of color. He also would stick straight up like a candle with his tail hitting the gravel. I'm hoping that my current male just over-ate. Would aquarium salt work? Or does it have to be epsom salt? Just wondering because my tanks already have aquarium salt that I put in when I do water changes. I'm not going to feed my fish for at least a day, and see if his stomach goes down. I don't see any other bad signs aside from him being bloated/too fat.
Hmm. Besides dropsy and swim bladder the only other notes Darkmoon has that match the bloating is:
•Symptoms: Bloody red streaks across the body and/or fins, lethargic, loss of apetite, clamped, gasping for air, bloated, ulcers.
•Treatment: Septicemia is caused by an internal bacterial infection. From what I’ve read, it can be due to compromised digestion as a result of rapid drops in temperature. Since Nitrite poisoning can also cause red streaks, check for that first. I do not know if it can be treated conservatively as I have never tried. Though it is not contagious, isolate sick fish. Perform daily 100% water changes. Treat with API Tetracycline, API Erythromiacin, Mardel’s Maracyn II OR Jungle’s Fungus Clear/Eliminator. If you are treating with something that does not contain Metronidoxole then combine the treatment with Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. During treatment, use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt and Stress Coat (as directed on bottle) to help prevent secondary infections.
I'm still fairly new to this, but I've had fish before and that sounded an awful lot like swim bladder. I'm pretty sure epsom has a few different chemicals in it specifically designed more for the healing aspect. Not positive though. :/ Wish I could help more.
If you would copy and paste the sticky information in this section and fill it out to provide us with more information about the tank stats........ it would help us help your Betta...more info the better....
Aquarium Salt and Epsom Salt are two very different things and are used for different issues. It sounds like your boy has a very classic case of swim bladder disease but please fill out the form so we can make sure. He will need 1-3tsp/gal Epsom Salt (you shouldn't need more than 2tsp/gal though) and extra water changes. QT him if possible. You can either fast him or feed him less.
You can find Epsom Salt at Walmart in the pharmacy section. It is only $3 or so.
Good luck and keep us posted :)
Here is an update on my boy. It took him about 4 days but he is much, much better and is swimming and perfectly fine again. All in all I think it was constipation. His color is back and just as bright red as ever and nothing else has happened since. Thank you everyone for all of the replies :D!
Last edited by BlueBetta17; 07-25-2011 at 01:24 PM.