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Old 05-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #1 
redian
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Swim bladder? Help please!

Hi, I tried searching first but had little luck finding anything I haven't tried.

So my betta started swelling about three weeks ago and his condition has been slowly deteriorating. At first I thought it was dropsy and so I immediately treated with tetracycline (the only antibiotic I had available) but he didn't seem to be improving during the 5 day treatment. I continued it to the end just to be safe. Then he had some white fluff on his forehead which I treated with the anti-fungal tablets I had from a previous illness. This got rid of the fuzz, but he remained swollen. He's gotten worse since, and now only rests on his side in a kind of bent position. Most people look at him and tell me he's dead because of the way he's laying. I realized after the fungal treatment that it wasn't dropsy because his scales weren't pine coning, so I figured it must be swim bladder and tried the pea treatments that everyone recommends and that hasn't helped either. I went home this weekend (I'm at college) and came back to find a serious case of fin rot (I've never seen such a large black spot on his tail) and he's largely discolored. His breathing seems labored and I'm just not sure what to do at this point. He's in a planted 5 gallon tank with filter, I took out the heater because of the dorm heating making the temperature fluctuate. Without the heater the temperature has been a steady 78 as opposed to the 76-88 range that it was with a heater. However, at this point I'm not sure what to do for him. It's been over two weeks that his stomach has been swollen and I don't know what else to do. I thought I had previously read about salt treatments but I couldn't find anything about how much to use for swim bladder and I kept reading conflicting things about using aquarium salt vs. epsom salt. I went out and got both but then never used either because of the conflicting recommendations. Any suggestions? What else could I try.
Also, if you have any suggestions on how to make the process easier please let me know. I'm really in the midst of finals now and any time I could save would be really appreciated.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #2 
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The combination of all those things sounds like columnaris to me (I have looked it up today and is actually what I JUST diagnosed my rescue fish as having) but I could be wrong. Look at this sticky: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=73333
It has a description of the disease and how to treat it, so you can see if that fits what's wrong with your fish. If it IS swim bladder, fast him for a few days while treating with 1 teaspoon of AQ salt per gallon and 100% daily water changes (this is how I treated a rescue with SBD).
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:59 PM   #3 
redian
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I don't think its columnaris. The one fuzzy patch was only for a few days and nothing similar has returned. I'll try the salt treatment though and see where it gets us. Thanks :)
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:03 PM   #4 
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Ok I'm sorry, I didn't want to worry you. I just heard one symptom after another (and it was on my mind) an immediately thought that. But the AQ salt (NOT TABLE SALT) and fasting worked wonders for my fish, so that should do it. :)
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:31 AM   #5 
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If you are trying to treat swim bladder disease you should use epsom salt. Epsom salt works as a laxative and will help flush his digestive symptom since its almost always caused by over feeding.
Its 1 teaspoon per gallon. Its easy to mix in a milk jug. add salt to water, mix, add in conditioner.
Fasting is good too for swim bladder but the pea is for goldfish - bettas usually wont touch the pea anyways. I think daphina is also used for blaoting/Swim Bladder issues but dont quote me on that

If you want to treat fin rot then it's aquarium salt. its also 1 teaspoon per gallon but unlike epsom it shouldn't be used for more then 10-14 days max. I think aquarium salt also helps with their gills but again, don't quote me on that.

An easy way to remember which salt is-->Epsom for internal issues like swim bladder/internal parasites and Aquarium salt for stuff like fin rot. Epsom for Inside issues, Aquarium for outside issues

I also though columnaris but....that's caused by a gram negative bacteria and you would need maracyn2 or something like triple sulfa to fight it off. There are others but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

Maybe he has an internal bacterial infection...

I would PM either sakura8 or oldfishlady for advice. I think what you want is epsom salt for the swelling and some type of medication but I'm not sure which medication. Just dont use bettafix but if you do follow the instructions very carefully

when was his last water change?

Last edited by Tikibirds; 05-08-2012 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:11 AM   #6 
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Swollen but not pineconing, definitely lethargic. Hmm. The swelling has steadily taken place over the course of a few weeks? Sounds like either a tumor or a severe internal bacterial infection. In a case like this, I'd definitely take him out and put him in a small "hospital" tank (if you haven't already). Something that is approximately a gallon will work best for treatment. Start him off on 3 tsps of epsom salt per gallon. Change the water every day and redose the salts (every other day if you're really busy). At this point, your best bet in the medication department would be Seachem Kanaplex but it's a hard medication to find locally unless you happen to live by a really good tropical fish store. It almost always has to be ordered online. Try www.kensfish.com My main worry is that it will be too late by the time it arrives. :/ Your other best option would be API Furan-2.

If you can, the addition of tannins would be helpful. You can get these using Indian Almond Leaves (IAL) or by crumbling naturally dried, clean oak leaves into the water until it turns a tea color.

When you treated him with the tetracycline, did you treat him in your planted tank? If so, did you remove any carbon from your filter? Carbon will adsorb all medications in the water, since that's basically what it's designed to do. Also, I'm not sure but the tetracycline could cause your good bacteria in your filter to crash a little. Some meds say they're filter safe but they really aren't. When treating with meds, it's always best to do so in a hospital tank if you can.

I hope the poor little guy makes it. Get well soon, little betta buddy! Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:04 AM   #7 
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Thanks for the correction, Tikibirds. I have never used Epsom salt before, and had no idea there was even much of a difference!
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:17 AM   #8 
redian
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Last night I performed a water change and added aquarium salt. He seemed a lot more lively last night and today. When he's resting his fins aren't really clamped anymore which is a bit of a relief but he's still floating on his side. It's a little sad to watch because every time he stops moving his fins he starts to turn sideways. terrible. His ventral fin looks as though it caught fire - its got a huge black spot that's mostly eaten away by rot I guess.

I'm going to go to the pet store by my school today and see if I can get a 1 gallon. Is it advisable to move him over to the 1 gallon tonight? My concern is that I wouldn't be able to keep the temperature steady because its so small. The only heater I have is an Aqueon AQ10W. Also, if I move him to a 1 gallon he won't have a filter. The filter currently has carbon in it but when I was treating with the medications (both tetracycline and the fungal stuff) I took the carbon out of it.

Thinking about it though I guess I can float the 1 gallon in the 5.5 gallon and keep it warm. I'll go get the 1 gallon now and a thermometer for it too. Thanks so much! I'll keep you updated!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #9 
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That's great news! And yea, watching fishies with SBD is heartbreaking, the way they float like that. That's how mine ended up coming home with me. Small hospital tanks are great, they allow for easier water changes (since they have to be so frequent) and you can really keep a close eye on him. Definitely let us know how he is!
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #10 
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You can use a storage container as a temp hospital. You should be able to easily find one that is 2 or so gallons - give or take. Then you can use the heater you have in the storage container. The only thing extra you would have to do is mix up more salt water to match the size of the container. The sterelite ones say how big they are but they give it in..I think quarts? Even if the container is a too big, if you are using a 1 gallon jug to measure out the salt water - you can easily tell how many gallons you are putting into it.

He will be OK without the filter.

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Thanks for the correction, Tikibirds. I have never used Epsom salt before, and had no idea there was even much of a difference!
I didnt either till i joined this site
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