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Old 10-15-2011, 11:40 PM   #1 
chrikc1
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Unhappy Please, Please Help :(

My Betta, Ares, has a severely swollen belly. I have been searching online for hours trying to find the proper course of action. His belly is bigger on one side but his scales lay flat, not pinecone-like as is traditional with dropsy. He does not appear to be eating. He is swimming but not a lot. Hanging off the bottom of his belly there is a milky transparent substance (cloud or cotton like). He is in a clean, filtered, and aerated 10 gallon tank. I add aquarium salt to the water every time I change it. I have had him for two years without a single problem until now. I went and got him a "general medication" today and added a bit extra salt to his tank. The meds say they help bloating but I am unsure that is the issue. Does anyone have any advice for me?
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:42 PM   #2 
purplemuffin
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What is the general medication? Some betta medications tend to not be good(bettafix or melafix) and can cause more issues!

Think you can get a picture of the stuff on his belly? Also, you mean you have used AQ salt for 2 years straight?

Last edited by purplemuffin; 10-15-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:43 AM   #3 
Myates
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Ack!
Welcome to the forums and sorry to hear your guy is sick.. lets see what we can do.

First off, regular use of AQ salt can be very harmful to them.. as they are tropical fish and not salt water/brackish fish. Has potential to harm their internal organs, as well as all the bacteria and the fish become immune to it's beneficial healing properties due to over exposure. I will try to find what another member researched about it..
As well as adding AQ salt in with any medication will definitely harm them.. it's a big no-no.. for now, you should QT him in a 1 gallon, or a small tupperware container that you can float/tape into his main tank to keep the warmth. Don't add in any "general medication" as medications are very harsh to begin with, and if it's not for the particular issue, it as well can harm/kill your little guy. Don't add in any AQ salt.. AQ salt will make bloating very much worse.

So pretty much, all you done can/will hurt him. So at this moment just put him in fresh clean water with the proper water conditioner. I know you didn't mean to, you didn't know. Not blaming you since you were trying to help and you came here trying to seek info. So it's not entirely your fault.. just letting you know, gotta be careful when treating an animal.

You will need to get Epsom Salt, found in the pharmacy dept in places such as Walmart for very little money. Make sure it is regular/plain with no added fragrances.
Dissolve 2 teaspoon per gallon, add in the water conditioner and you will have to add in the Epsom Salt/conditioner each time you change the water. You will need to do 100% daily water changes for up to 3 days past the time he was last seen bloated.
Fast him for 2-3 days as well when in treatment.
The milky white substance sounds like excess slime coating.. which happens when a fish is trying to ward off something wrong, normally when something is wrong with the water. (This will be the salt & medication) The water changes you will be doing with the Epsom Salt should help that issue.

What % and how often are you doing water changes in the 10 gal?
What kind of food, and how much are you feeding him?

You may think that the salt and such isn't hurting him, especially if you've been doing it for so long.. but just remember, any unfavorable conditions will catch up to them. Whether it be over feeding, lack of cleaning the tank, salt, no heater, etc. They can go a ways living in bad conditions, but they can't always live that way..
Sorry again he is ill.. I hope he pulls through.

Last edited by Myates; 10-16-2011 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:52 PM   #4 
chrikc1
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I put 1/4 tsp of non iodine fine grain sea salt in the 10 gallon tank. I have kept fish for a long time and have never had an issue using it. The medication is by API and is called "General Cure" and is for "Gill and skin flukes, hole in the head disease, wasting disease, and swollen abdomen (Tapeworm). He eats tropical fish flakes and occasionally bloodworms. I put in three moderate pinches but until his symptoms started he was in a community tank with 4 other small fish. I generally do 70% water changes once every month.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:12 PM   #5 
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I just mixed up a batch of the water with epsom salt and water conditioner and transferred him to a 4 cup tupperware container and am now floating it (and him) in the tank.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:33 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrikc1 View Post
I put 1/4 tsp of non iodine fine grain sea salt in the 10 gallon tank. I have kept fish for a long time and have never had an issue using it. The medication is by API and is called "General Cure" and is for "Gill and skin flukes, hole in the head disease, wasting disease, and swollen abdomen (Tapeworm). He eats tropical fish flakes and occasionally bloodworms. I put in three moderate pinches but until his symptoms started he was in a community tank with 4 other small fish. I generally do 70% water changes once every month.
Some fish do good with a little salt.. but bettas.. in time not so much.

Remember, through osmosis, a feshwater fish will loose water and dehydrate when placed in a tank with too much salt. Because the kidneys are responsible for maintaining the proper salt content in the blood, I suppose itís possible that they could be effected by over salting.
Like with any medicine, AQ salt should not be used for prolonged periods of time or in very high doses. Ten - fourteen days is the maximum amount of time you should treat a fish with AQ Salt. Prolonged use can cause kidney and liver damage. Also, like any other medicine, the appropriate dose should be used. Do not use AQ salt as a "preventative" medicine at a low dose, as it will eventually become less effective and diseases will become resistant to it. For example, when 1tsp/gallon of water is needed, do not use .5tsp/gallon. Its like taking a half an aspirin when you need three, it doesn't do anything.

I would definitely reconsider using it unless absolutely needed.
As far as general cure.. no where on the package, nor what you said, for bloating. If it was tape worm, you'd know, and I've never heard of a betta with tape worm. Just gotta be careful with what you put in the tanks, as some will cause harm down the road.

Epsom Salt is pretty mild, unlike AQ salt, it won't kill plants and a betta can be in it indefinitely. You should see a difference in a day or two along with fasting. Good luck!
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:16 PM   #7 
chrikc1
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Thank you so much for all of your help! He does seem to have picked up a little. He was constantly on the bottom of his tank but now, in the container, he is hovering near the surface. I am starting to notice his scales lifting a bi around the swollen area. Does this mean he does have dropsy and its too late for him? Also, is epsome salt something I should use regularly or just in these instances. I was told by the local aquarium store not (not a chain like Petsmart or Petco) to use the salt to begin with so thank you for clearing that up for me.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:01 AM   #8 
Myates
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*facepalm* @ pet store employee...

They can live in Epsom Salt indefinitely, but they really shouldn't. When that is said, it's a reference as to how safe it is with them, but I would never keep a fish in something that is meant to heal them.. so I definitely would not keep him in it all the time. There is also a risk of the fish becoming immune to the salt, so when needed, it may lose it's efficiency.

You say lifting.. as in half of each scale is starting to lift up off the body?
Is his eyes bulging? Is his belly grey? Those are usually the first signs of dropsy and are important in diagnosing.

I want to say if he's pineconing and has a bloated stomach to go ahead and treat him for dropsy..
(And don't hate me for this.. this is when it's needed! lol...) Use API General Cure OR API Erythromycin OR Maracyn II and/or Maracyn for best results. Feed something containing Metronidazole, for example, Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. (You may have to soak the pellets in garlic juice to get him to eat it)
Keep doing daily 100% water changes.

I'm sorry.. I gave you the correct treatment for bloating, but didn't have any other sign of dropsy on my end =(
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:37 PM   #9 
chrikc1
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He passed today. Thank you for all your help. Hopefully now I will be able to avoid the problem now when i am ready to get another.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:55 PM   #10 
ANHEL123
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Hi sorry i know it too late but just want to say that Epsom salt you can use 1tsp/gall up to 3tsp/gall . Epsom salt for buoyancy issues, swim bladder problems, constipation, internal parasite, pope eye. When you do Epsom salt you also need pre mix salt for the right dosage and make 100% daily water changes. And you can qt fish so it will be easier for you to change the water.
I also think you need to do more water changes.
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