Okay so a couple of weeks ago Swifty came down with his first bout of SBD. We believed at the time (which is still a probable possibility) that this was caused by constipation. We did initially cut down his food for a few days and then fed him an unsalted organic pea (that was skinned). We then joined this forum and learned some very valuable tips - thus also putting him in a hospital tank for 2 days with epsom salt treatments. He had a monster sized poo and went back to normal. We begun feeding him the pellets (lightly) and literally a few days, he was right back to the same issues; floating on his side, buoyancy issues, etc.. We had received a tip to pick up some Jungle Labs Anti-parasite food, & a few other things most of which I haven't been able to pick up from the store. Anyhow, because he was still looking bloated so I thought just maybe he hadn't got his system fully cleared. So I put him back into the hospital tank with epsom salt for 2 days. Last night he had super monster poops again; the first round was a more red-brown color and the second round was right back to his normal color. This morning he was swimming normally, so my hubby transferred him back to his normal tank. He was fine for the entire day -- until now. He is right back to side floating and he can't swim farther down than an inch or so in the tank. The entire time, his attitude hasn't changed for the bad except for when he would get bored in the hospital tank. He has always been responsive to my voice and flutters excitedly whenever I walk into the room. He had lost a bit of color in the hospital tank, but I think it was primarily just stress as he doesn't like being in there at all. Back in his tank right now, he is vibrantly red & still very responsive. He still looks bloated to me, but he is pooping completely normally.
Ultimately I have 3 questions here:
1) If the cause of this is a bacterial infection, is there some trick to getting him to eat the medicated foods? He absolutely will not stomach the stuff. He grabs the pellet and spits it right back out.
2) Is it possible that he just has something permanently wrong with his swim bladder thingy? If so, is that possible for him to go back & forth with sometimes okay and sometimes not?
and 3) Since he is pooping normally and I can't get him to eat his darn medicated pellets, should I feed him the normal dosage of food? Below is a pic of him last night in his hospital tank so you can see if he is too bloated or what not. His fins are back to normal in his normal tank (meaning they are super red and extended to their normal lengths -- he had them clamped together last night in the tank because he just hates it in there)
I am just truly at a loss here of what to do or what the problem is. If what I am doing is all that can be done, then I can accept the fact that I am giving him my best -- but if I am missing some key point here, I would feel terrible if I could prevent him from such discomfort that could lead to further problems down the road....just utterly lost.