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Old 11-26-2011, 12:04 AM   #1 
ChelseaLlyn
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I think Basil may have eaten sand...

So my dad called me ten days ago, saying my betta was really bloated, hadn't eaten in 4 days, and was acting lethargic. He fed him some freeze dried bloodworms, and my mom is really bad about feeding him when he acts hungry, so I just figured he was being overfed and told my dad to fast him. He tried for a few days and there wasn't any change, so he tried epsom salts, peas, and Jungle fungus eliminator. Basil won't touch the pea, but the epsom salts seemed to help a little. No poo, but Basil was acting better. Well, I got home for Thanksgiving on Tuesday, and he was acting like he didn't feel good. He hasn't eaten since I got home and still looks like he swallowed a marble. Then, my dad told me that Basil had started acting sick after he changed the water the last time. When he did that water change, he used our bathtub instead of the kitchen faucet to fill the bucket, there was some sand left in the bucket that must have come from the faucet (we have a well).

Long story short, my dad thinks it may have something to do with the fact that he didn't let the water sit for a day like usual, but I think Basil ate some of the sand. I can't think of anything else that would be causing it. If he ate the sand, is there anything we can do? Otherwise, can you suggest something else we can try to make him feel better?


Housing
What size is your tank? 10G
What temperature is your tank? 79-80
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? aqueon pellets, blood worms (once)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1x a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? about every two weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? not sure, last time was almost 100%
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?

These are all after the filter has been out for a few days while we're treating with Fungus Eliminator. Also, the pH is high, but it's steady. we couldn't get it lower without it bouncing up and down, so we figured steady and high was better than drastically changing between low and high.

Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 8.2-8.4
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? very bloated. Scales around stomach are white, and stretched a little, but not really pineconing.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargic, hides, won't eat.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 20 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? fasting, epsom salts, tried peas, fungus eliminator just in case.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? fin rot, which was healing.
How old is your fish (approximately)? about 1 year.

Last edited by ChelseaLlyn; 11-26-2011 at 12:23 AM. Reason: tested the water; including new readings.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:36 PM   #2 
inkrealm
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not sure the water changes are suitable.... bumping the thread up for someone who has experience with larger tanks though... mine is a five gal and cycled so I don't have to deal with that.... how long did you try fasting him for?... have you tired flaring exercises?.... if sounds like you've tried all the bloating meds I know....
maybe someone else will have some ideas :( do you treat your water? are you sure there's nothing bad in it?.... have you been doing every day water changes? if not how long ago was your last one?.... and is that ammonia constant?.... usually 2.5 is around when you wanna change it...
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:07 PM   #3 
Myates
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Sorry to hear about your little guy :(

A few questions, then some recommendations :)

When doing the Epsom treatment, how was it done?
Recommended 1 teaspoon per gallon, daily 100% water changes.. should only take a few days.
It's wise to put them in a bare-bottom container to make sure they go to the bathroom- look for stringy white waste, that is a sign of parasites.
Don't feed him peas- people use it, but it's actually a treatment for constipated goldfish. Bettas can't digest the pea, and has potential to cause more blockage as the body is trying to rid itself of the foreign object.
No reason for fungus meds as bloating isn't a fungus and can cause more harm then good..
Place him in a QT container of clean water, Epsom and water conditioner. Change daily- you should start seeing a difference if done correctly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChelseaLlyn View Post

Long story short, my dad thinks it may have something to do with the fact that he didn't let the water sit for a day like usual, but I think Basil ate some of the sand. I can't think of anything else that would be causing it. If he ate the sand, is there anything we can do? Otherwise, can you suggest something else we can try to make him feel better?
You don't have to allow water to sit- most water conditioners that remove chlorine, nitrate/ites work instantly.
If it's not food it's highly unlikely he ate any sand. Not saying it's not possible, but it doesn't sounds like something they would do.



Housing
What size is your tank? 10G
What temperature is your tank? 79-80
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? aqueon pellets, blood worms (once)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1x a day
Possibly why if he ate any sand (still highly unlikely). It's best to feed them 2+ times a day- feeding them once will either over feed them, or under feed them.. no in-between. Pellets are the best staple and should be fed number one (outside of live foods)- 2-3 pellets per meal is what you are looking for, for 2 meals a day. Freeze dried anything is a treat at once or twice a week. Always pre-soak anything freeze dried in some tank water prior to feeding them as they expand in the stomachs and will easily cause them to bloat.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? about every two weeks
Tanks should have water changes weekly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? not sure, last time was almost 100%
For a 10 gallon you would want to do 30-50% water change per week, with regular siphoning of the substrate weekly to bi-weekly.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? none
You are showing up with ammonia and such, you really should be using a water conditioner during water changes. Even with well water it is always best to be safe since each area, the water is different. Add that in with not enough water changes you are risking having ammonia/nitrate poisoning which is deadly.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

These are all after the filter has been out for a few days while we're treating with Fungus Eliminator. Also, the pH is high, but it's steady. we couldn't get it lower without it bouncing up and down, so we figured steady and high was better than drastically changing between low and high.
Filters don't eliminate ammonia and such- water conditioners do. The reason why the ammonia and nitrate are actually lower then what would be expected is because of the water changes. But if they are that high after only a couple days from a water change, 2 weeks will end up killing him.
Don't attempt to change the pH, as they will adjust on their own, and the uppers/downers can cause more harm then good.


Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
pH: 8.2-8.4
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? very bloated. Scales around stomach are white, and stretched a little, but not really pineconing.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargic, hides, won't eat.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about 20 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? fasting, epsom salts, tried peas, fungus eliminator just in case.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? fin rot, which was healing.
How old is your fish (approximately)? about 1 year.
Even though they are hardy and can go a long time in unfavorable conditions, it does catch up to them, which I think it finally is now.
With the right Epsom Salt treatment it should work. But you have to continue to do daily 100% water changes, adding in the salt (pre-dissolving it before adding fish with it), and water conditioner each day.. should only be a few days to work.
Wish you luck and the best. Keep us updated.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:10 PM   #4 
inkrealm
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thanks Myates :3
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:30 PM   #5 
ChelseaLlyn
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Inkrealm: He's only eaten 3 or 4 times in the last 20 days or so. I tried to feed him today, and it actually seems like he can't eat. He'll try to eat, but either doesn't like it or can't swallow the pellet. He also won't flare at his reflection (which isn't all that unusual for him. He's a pretty non-confrontational little guy).

Myates: Can I leave him in the Epsom salt water constantly? I read in some places that is should only be for a little while, 2 hours at the most, so when I tried it today I only left him in for 1 1/2, just to be safe. I put 2 teaspoons in 2 gallons of water.

I changed the water today in his big tank, and I'll add some prime. It didn't occur to me before, but our well water is really high in sodium and fluoride (like in levels that are considered dangerous to humans). Could this cause problems as well?
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:32 PM   #6 
bettafish15
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Because of the water quality, it could be dropsy.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:26 PM   #7 
inkrealm
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if it's dangerous to humans I'd say yes,probably so :/
also a friend of mine had a Betta who swallowed a rock once... did the same trying to eat but can't... didn't make it to be honest... :/ but it could easily be that or water quality....
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:28 AM   #8 
ChelseaLlyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettafish15 View Post
Because of the water quality, it could be dropsy.
By water quality, do you mean the Ammonia/Nitrates, or the Sodium/Fluoride? I don't think it's dropsy, but do you know if high salt content in the water can cause dropsy, or would it have to be from an infection of some sort?
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:45 AM   #9 
Myates
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Epsom is perfectly safe- safe to use all the time, safe for plants and safe for us :)

It's AQ salt that will do internal damage such as liver/kidney failure if over exposed. Epsom won't do any of that..

Dropsy has other symptoms..

If he has internal blockage then there may be nothing you can do- but the Epsom works as a laxative, so if it's able to come out, it will help it come out.
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