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Old 09-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Beginning aquarist suspects bloat

I had never had a fish before I got my veil tail betta, Thor. He has suddenly become ill, and I'm really worried. I got him in April 2011. He struggled with fin rot while I was cycling his tank, but he recovered and was doing great for the last few months.

Monday was the first day that I noticed something was wrong. He is lethargic, has lost a lot of color, has clamped fins, and is spending a lot of time at the top of the tank. His abdomen (the area where his pelvic fins come out) looks bloated and tight. I don't think his scales are 'pine-coned,' although I'm not sure if I would recognize that in its early stages.

He lives in a cycled 5-gallon tank with a 25W heater in my office. There are no other fish or live plants in the tank. I treat his water with Amquel (2 drops/gallon) overnight before putting it in the tank. I change 1-2 gallons of the water every 1-2 weeks. I feed him Hikari betta pellets, 3 pellets per meal. He gets 3 meals on Mondays and Fridays, 2 meals on Tuesday through Thursdays, and no meals on Saturdays and Sundays.

I was out of town for a few days last week, but my co-worker assures me that she followed my explicit instructions for feeding him according to his usual schedule, and swears he did not get any extra food. We are friends and I think she would tell me if she screwed up. I checked his ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels on Monday--all were fine. He also ate normally on Monday. I changed out 2 gallons from his tank on Monday. Tuesday morning I fed him 1/4 of a peeled, thawed frozen pea. I haven't fed him since then.

Our AC was out in the office, and it's been really hot. His water temp has been running a little warm, like 78-82 degrees. I can't think of anything else that has changed (except I changed his carbon filter cartridge last week before I left town.) Those are the only things that are different.

Is there anything else I should be doing? I feel terrible seeing him so obviously uncomfortable and not knowing what to do. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:20 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
If he's bloated, fast him for a few days, and if that doesn't work, qt him in his cup or in a tupperware, float him in his tank for warmth, and add 1 tsp/gal of epsom salt to the water that he is in. Epsom salt is a laxative for us and fish. Just be sure to premix it before changing his water to it so he doesn't get burns from the salt crystals and to change his quarantine water every day.

If you have live plants, the epsom salt won't hurt them since it's been used as a fertilizer before.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:25 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping...sorry your having problems......

What are your numbers for: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and what type of testing products are you using....what does the temp normally run....

It sounds like a water quality issue has caught up with him.....I would recommend Epsom salt treatment (Not aquarium salt)

You may need to bring him home during the treatment

QT him in something small, bare bottom-like those temporary cups a lot of Bettas are sold in...cover this with plastic veggie wrap to help retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ-no water movement-dim lit quiet location-water temp in the 76-77F range

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL (Indian almond leaf-found online) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree-Oak leaf (12-18 crushed/gallon)...Let this Tx water steep for 30min for the tannins to release and salt to dissolve.....Shake well before use and use this premixed Tx water for 50% water change every hour for 3 hours today and tomorrow start 100% water changes every day for the next 10-14 days while he is in the small QT container-he needs to stay in this TX water all the time-this is a treatment not a bath/dip...

Nutrition-hold food for 2 days-then if you have access to mosquito larva-rinse and offer these twice a day-if not frozen is good or pellets that have been laced in fresh crushed garlic juice-feed small amounts 3 times a day....

Good luck and keep us posted....the faster you get the treatment started the better.....
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