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Old 11-25-2011, 10:15 AM   #1 
Leopardclaws
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Exclamation Please Help! Emergency! Betta belly bloated!

My Betta's stomach is bloated, in fact, he is floating at the top, lopsided, on the side that is swollen. He is eating, I don't overfeed him, if anything, I underfeed him. He is not moving around a lot but sometimes he has spasms.Yesterday I noticed there were peculiar tiny tiny white particles floating in the water. Please help, I love my fish so much! When the electricity went out I moved them to a friends house so that they would be warm! I would do anything for my fish! Please, please, PLEASE, help me!

Here are some pictures and videos, sorry for the bad quality. The video quality gets better in the end.
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Last edited by Leopardclaws; 11-25-2011 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:26 AM   #2 
Leopardclaws
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Housing
What size is your tank? It's a fish bowl, I'm not sure.
What temperature is your tank? I don't have a heater, but I'm guessing... 60?
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? I don't know what that is so I'm guessing not.
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Small pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Every few days about 5 pellets.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every 2 months, I recently did it on Nov. 12, my Mom, knocked over my fish, which was in a cup while I was cleaning the bowl, we got him back in.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? All
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? None

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I haven't done any of these.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Stomach is bloating, a ventral fin is shriveled up.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Floating at the top, random spasms, not swimming around a lot, not as excited about food.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Oh, I think maybe... 7 months maybe?
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:34 AM   #3 
TaraVictor
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Well, firstly, you could really do with raising the water temperature in your tank, and getting an heater as well as a thermometre to monitor the temperature. Bettas prefer temperatures around 75-80C.

I'm no expert on diagnosing fish diseases, but judging by his symptoms, I think it could either be because he's bloated, or it could be swim bladder. Meanwhile, you could try adding some aquarium salt to the water, and cutting down what you feed him. Maybe even fast him for a day or two, and give him a pea to help with his digestion.

But yes, be sure to get an heater. That would help him loads. =)

Last edited by TaraVictor; 11-25-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:43 AM   #4 
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My guess would be swim bladder disease which is usually caused by over feeding, but you said you only feed him every few days? the treatment for SBD is epsom salt but I would wait for another person to confirm that before you start salt treatment. The good news with that is SBD usually isn;t fatal. It just makes the fish look really pathetic for a bit.
Aquarium salt, I think would make it worse if its bloating or SBD. AQ salt is more for parasites and fin rot - the outside of the fish. Epsom salt is for the "inside" of the fish, like SBD and Dropsy. At least that's how I look at it.

Taken from the stickie by Darkmoon:
Quote:
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.
Are his scales sticking out like a pinecone? If so, it may be dropsy

Also another issue is the lack of water changes. They excrete ammonia every time they breathe and from their waste and in smaller tanks it will build up fast. it it is high enough, it can be fatal.
The general water change schedule is 2X a week. Do one 100% and then a few days later do a 50% change.

If you can get a heater, that would be great. 60 is a bit cold for a tropical fishie.

While waiting for more responses, I would do a 100% water change and not feed him.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 11-25-2011 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:50 AM   #5 
Leopardclaws
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Thanks for you help guys! I'm doing all the things you told me. I am putting him in the sun to warm him, and my fish store is giving me a medication. The only place his scales are sticking out are where it's bloated.

The temperature is now 80!
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:00 AM   #6 
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what's the name of the medication? There are a few that are sold for bettas but can actually destroy the organ they use to breathe air.

The raised scales part concerns me.
Does he have a grey belly and swollen eyes?

Quote:
Dropsy
•Symptoms: Your betta will have a bloated belly and raised scales. They will look like a pine cone. This is usually a fatal disease caused by an internal bacterial infection resulting in internal organ failure but many have had success bringing fish back when treated quickly.
Early Symptoms: Swollen eyes (important), Gray belly (important), Clamped fins, Lethargy. If your fish has swollen eyes and a gray belly, I suggest that you treat it for Dropsy.
•Treatment: If you spot the early signs of Dropsy then treat him/her with ES at 1-2tsp/gal and Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets while performing 100% daily water changes. It helps to increase the temperature to 84*F. If he/she has begun Pineconning then do the full course as described below:
Performing daily 100% water changes. Increase the temperature to 84*F. Add 1-2 tsp/gal Epsom Salt. 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. If caught early, Dropsy is curable.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:05 AM   #7 
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Best thing to do is get to a WalMart of pharmacy and get yourself a box of Epsom salts, it's like $3-$5 for all the salts you'll ever need (I use my box for the fish in my bathtub hehe). Don't go with medication if it's bloating, just stop feeding and use 3tps of epsom salts per gallon. You'll need a gallon jug to mix this up, and change 25% of the regular tank water with the epsom salt mixed water every 15mins. Do water changes every 2 days with epsom salt mixed water.

Aquarium salt will dehydrate him and make things much worse.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:09 AM   #8 
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Leopardclaws,

Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear your little guy isn't doing well.

I suspect your betta may have some sort of chemical poisoning over long term due to very infrequent water change. Their organs can become slowly affected and damaged. If you said you underfeed your betta, so the obvious answer is that the bloating isn't really caused by food directly.

If it is a fish bowl, the common type is about a gallon? Try to use a gallon clean milk jug and fill it up with water, and pour into the bowl to measure the size. It is always good to know exactly what size tank you have, especially in the event you need to start treatment like now.

Because he has signs of bloating and unable to swim, you need to start him on treatment with Epsom salt. You can get this from Pharmacy, no scent, just plain. Here are the steps:

1) Clean the tank really well with hot water and hand
2) let sit until reach room temperature (I really hope your room temp isn't 60, as that is just too cold for bettas), you need to find a heater for the small bowl, it's more challenging to find, but they are out there.
3) of the 1 gallon water, take a little out and put it in one of those clean water bottle if you have (ie like poland spring disposable), then add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt into the bottle and shake well.
4) after you check to make sure all salt crystals are dissolved, pour that salt solution into the tank
5) You also need to buy dechlorinator, you can't just use unconditioned tap water. Most people recommend Seacheam Prime conditioner.
6) repeat the above steps every day for the next 10 days or so while watching for other symptoms.

Once you figure out how big the tank is, and need clarification regarding the treatment, let us know.

The number one rule to making sure your betta is healthy and thriving, is to keep the water clean and free of abnormal level of unwanted chemicals.

Good luck!

Cheers
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:13 AM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leopardclaws View Post
Thanks for you help guys! I'm doing all the things you told me. I am putting him in the sun to warm him, and my fish store is giving me a medication. The only place his scales are sticking out are where it's bloated.

The temperature is now 80!
Be careful with this, as drastic or fluctuating temperature will do more harm than good. So don't raise the temp too quickly.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:52 AM   #10 
Leopardclaws
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Originally Posted by Tikibirds View Post
what's the name of the medication? There are a few that are sold for bettas but can actually destroy the organ they use to breathe air.

The raised scales part concerns me.
Does he have a grey belly and swollen eyes?
It's called Bettafix and I am also putting in aquarium salt. I don't think it's dropsy, though it sounds like it may be Swim bladder. I put a pea in and it sank to the bottom, my fish hasn't eaten it because he can't swim down there. The pet store guy told me to put a small part of the pea in. I'm going to do it but I doubt my fish will eat it.
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