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Old 01-06-2012, 10:51 AM   #1 
tlyons01
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Swim Bladder "bubble" is not there

My betta has been having issues swimming for a few weeks now. It seems like he can't get his tail level with his head when swimming, so he sorta droops when moving along. I had him in a divided tank, and after I noticed this he was moved into his own tank. I fasted him for a few days thinking he was just constipated. He poops normal. I have added IAL to his tank, he seems like he is happier these days, but still can't get his back half to stay up. I am pretty sure that the bubble you can see in their side near the tailfin looks like it is gone. I want to say it was noticeable before these changes in him and I can see it in my other betta boys. Not sure if that is relevant or not


Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
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? was topfin betta pellets, changed to New life Spectrum Betta 3 days ago, also frozen bloodworms once a week or so, occasionally frozen daphnia. Not regular on the variety, but I do try
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice daily, 4-5 pellets, they are micro, 2-3 worms when fed and fasted once a week

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every 4 days
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and/or stress coat

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

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate: 5
pH:7.8
Hardness:N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Pale, dark coloring appearing on gills near the beard, white rings around eyes
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? he looked like he didn't feel well at first, now he gets excited when I get close to the tank. He does lay around alot, he has a hammock near the surface he uses and a plant with various levels that he lays on
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3-4 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Did a general cure treatment in divided tank before I moved him.As well as aquarium salt in the divided. Now he just has the IAL
Does your fish have any history of being ill? not really, he had some fin rot prior to this but nothing else
How old is your fish (approximately)? Dunno really, I have had him for 6 months
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:12 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Can you post a pic of him...of both in flare and resting mid water

When he flares can he hold the tail correctly

With some of the long heavy fin males its not uncommon for them to have problems with holding their tail up or level-If it was swim bladder related he would be having buoyancy problems of either not able to keep upright, unable to swim down or swim up...if its just not being able to hold the weight of his tail...it most like due to tail weight itself and it can even be too strong of a water current....sometimes as the fish ages they can start to have problems holding the tail-unless it is injury related..

I would try baffling the filter if you haven't already, exercising him several times a day with a mirror and get him to flare to see if that will help any by building muscle mass....
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:38 PM   #3 
tlyons01
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Thanks for your response OFL, that makes more sense to me about the weight of his tail. Since you said that, I have decided that would have been a better description of his issues. I have pictures I just took 5 min ago. I could not get him to flare at all, which makes me wonder if he isn't sick, especially since he used to flare at everything. I knew he was lethargic, but I thought it was due to more of the issues I described above. As for the current, I have a unit that I can adjust the flow, and I have it set pretty slow for him. There is no change in his swimming when I turn it off for water changes or to handle the filter maintenance, so I don't think it's that. I could be wrong
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Old 01-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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From just those pics...it looks like more than a heavy tail issue or water current.....has he been injured or anything-if not, it may be genetic and not much can be done except to make him more comfy.

I would go ahead and start an Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) treatment, tannins and water changes in a small QT container that can be floated (attached so it doesn't sink) in the heated tank to maintain 77-78F and cover the top of the QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source-either IAL or dried Oak leaf and let this steep for 30min and use this water for 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.

Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water-start 50% daily for 3 days-On day 4 make 100% with the Tx water-repeat this schedule for 10-14 days

He needs to stay in the QT and Tx water for the duration of the treatment time floating (attached) in the heated tank with the wrap over the top.

Once the treatment is complete-start making 50% with fresh-like temp dechlorinated water to get him re-acclimated to the chemistry and ready to be placed back in his tank....

Keep trying to get him to flare and exercise him a few times daily

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals....the food you currently have will work fine...

Keep us posted.....
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #5 
tlyons01
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Ok thank you.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:52 PM   #6 
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Do I need to remove the IAL from the water after steeping for 30 min, or can I leave it in there and reuse for the other days? Also, I start him off in this solution, or do I start off with his tank water? Thanks again
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:07 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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I leave my tannin source in my premixed treatment water-the longer it steeps the more tannins released the darker the water the more the Betta likes it....

Start off with the tank water in the QT and make the water changes to acclimate him to the Tx water with the 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour the first day
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:05 PM   #8 
tlyons01
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I totally misunderstood that part of the instruction. I dropped him straight into the Tx water from the tank water and I was wondering why I was changing out 25% every 15 min...Well, he is still alive, so he survived my mistake.. I think he might forgive me..I am onto the 50% wc daily and the rest per your direction. Will post in a few days his progress or decline
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:37 AM   #9 
tlyons01
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It is a sad day today, Fred moved on into that place that fishes go. RIP Fred, I'm sorry it ended this way for you
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:20 PM   #10 
dramaqueen
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I'm so sorry about Fred.
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