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Old 05-20-2012, 12:08 PM   #1 
KappaTheImp
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Disabled Betta

Guys, you may have seen my thread about my girl, Miss Pauling a couple of months ago. She has swim bladder disorder brought on by some kind of infection that probably left some scarring.

Basically, I'm concerned for her quality of life. I can only feed her a single pellet a day or she's unable to swim normally. Is that going to be enough food for her to live on? And not just live on, but be healthy with? I don't want to just VERY slowly starve her to death.

If that isn't enough for her, is being floaty really that much trouble for her? She's pretty clever about it, if she can't hang out at the bottom of the tank she'll wedge herself under her plant and hang out there, but what kind of existence is that for an active fish?

I don't want to provide a crappy life for her, but how can I tell if a disabled fish is happy?
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:13 PM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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Maybe it may not be chronic... I had Sasuke, who had SBD for a good couple months... He came from a home where the tank was never cleaned, dead fish rotted in the bottom, and the other live fish died later on along with the pleco...

Sasuke was on espom salt, then he "got better" and the treatment stopped. He was fed, and bloated again. I stopped treatments, and was almsot thinking it was chronic - and he'd eat, and always swim on his side for the rest of his life.

I did the treatment again, and did it the full 10 days despite him gettigng better after 5. I didn't stop the treatment until the very end, where he was weaned off, and finally, he was better!

I haven't read your other thread, sorry... :)

The thing is, if he didn't get better he would've stayed with me. To me... If a fish is willing to fight, willing to LIVE, there is no option to euthanise. I won't do it. I would've made or found a very shallow tank/tub, about 4 inches deep, and something as wide as a 10-15 gallon tank, an just as long. I would've given him live plants to sleep on, as he liked to, and a sponge filter for some movement but not a lot.

For Sasuke, he came to say hi! He tried hard to flare! He chomped his food, he slept on plants, he greeted everyone! If the fish were suffering, you'd know. There was only one time I thought he was suffering, but seeing how he acted, liek a normal fish, he wasn's suffering. I gave him a home free of ammonia sludge, free of other fish, and free from abuse.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #3 
betta lover1507
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well, you could try to feed her more frequent like 3 times a day
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #4 
Sena Hansler
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Considering she still has SBD, not feeding her is not going to help... Try feeding high protein foods - for Sasuke I just used mealworms (cut the had off, squeeze out the meat) becase of that, and unlike pellets which expand when they are eaten, it won't do that and won't make it worse.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:02 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sena Hansler View Post
Considering she still has SBD, not feeding her is not going to help... Try feeding high protein foods - for Sasuke I just used mealworms (cut the had off, squeeze out the meat) becase of that, and unlike pellets which expand when they are eaten, it won't do that and won't make it worse.
Sena, thanks so much for your input. That first post really means a lot to me. I've tried feeding some frozen foods for that exact reason, but it seems like it's much more difficult to control portions so I end up with the same result. She just isn't able to swim normally unless she's been fasted the day before, which I'm a little hesitant to do considering how little I've been able to feed her.

She actually swims very well for the most part, but if she stops to rest she just pops back to the surface. She's such an awesome fish, and I wouldn't even consider euthanasia unless I just knew she was miserable. I just want to make her life as comfortable for her as possible. I guess I'm looking at investing in a long shallow tank, and a real smooth hidey rock for her to park in.

I do also wonder if her dorsal fin gets uncomfortable or itchy or anything. With all of her floating it ends up poking out of the water quite a bit.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #6 
Sena Hansler
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What you could do, is feed on and off... It won't be the best for her, but feeding every other day may help. Just make sure to feed her high protein stuff because she'll lack the nutrients of evry day feeding.

Ehh, as you saw in the picture Sasuke left a part of his body out of the water eventually he'd wiggle to get more comfy, and it wouldn't be a problem.

Like Betta Lover mentioned, spread out the feedings throughout the day into 3 or more feedings, which may help. If you can find it, frozen daphnia to help clean her out, on the days she isn't fed regular food

If it is chronic, then yeah try getting a piece of acrylic or glass cut into a shallow long tank - she'd love it!
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:18 PM   #7 
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For chronic buoyancy problems I like to keep them long term in low dose Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) low water level containers with no water movement, items placed near the surface that can be used for her to rest on and with the top covered to retain heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ.
Her fins that stay out of the water are naturally protected by the slime coat.

I premix Epsom salt 1tsp/gal and tannins that I keep them in and for the water changes-(This is after I have done a 14 day treatment in 3tsp/gal Epsom salt/tannin steeped premixed treatment water.)

For water changes-this will depend on the water volume, however, I wouldn't make anymore than 50% 2-3 times a week-with one day of the week make 2-50% back to back. Adding live plants can also help.

With a chronic issue like this when the Betta is otherwise acting okay and not in acute distress-I would allow some algae to build up on non-viewing wall, driftwood, rocks...etc.....to encourage microorganism to colonize for her to graze/feed on for added nutrition and natural fiber.

For food/nutrition-if you have access to mosquito larva-offer several rinsed several times a day in place of processed food or any live foods like smashed up red worms, meat of common snails...etc.....or even make some homemade food using shrimp, garlic and spinach leaves-

With chronic buoyancy issue it can be related to either the swim bladder or the labyrinth organ and it is hard to pin point which one it is due to S/S being the same and so by treating both is what is best.

You don't want to confuse a normal enlarged tummy with true Bloat and withhold nutrition....If she is having buoyancy issues regardless of feeding...I would feed her, however, I would look at feeding different foods-often if the processed food is high in grains/grain byproducts this can create gas buildup-putting pressure on the duct and swim bladder itself-if the duct is blocked it can get inflamed, infected causing a secondary problem.
If the air above the water is too cool and dry this can cause labyrinth organ problems that can cause buoyancy issues.

Good nutrition is really important to help support the immune response.

At any time the Betta seems to be suffering you need to do what is right by the Betta....Only you know when that time arrives......

Good luck.....
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #8 
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my Cup would float up if he ate too much, too often, and after every water change. because of that, i'd feed him every other day, and after every water change, i'd put a plastic baggy over half his tank so he could stay under the water when he'd float up. i'm sure Miss Pauling will be happy, no matter what you decide to do. if you can, order some New Life Spectrum grow pellets offline. they're very high in protein, and sand-like. a small pinch is all you need. :3 my babies love it, but i'm out. x-x
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