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Old 06-13-2012, 07:15 AM   #1 
zombiegirl
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Chronic Constipation - what can I do?

Jekyll, our CT, has had issues with constipation ever since we bought him, but it seems to be getting worse. It used to be a once in a while thing, but now it's every other week he's constipated. It's now been seven days since he's gone to the bathroom and he's looking bloated. He's in our QT right now with no substrate so I can monitor when he goes and how much and with Epsom salts. For the last week he's been on a diet of very little brine shrimp and nothing else. I tried to get Daphnia, but our LPS is currently out. I've been fasting him for two days now because I know it isn't good to keep feeding a constipated fish, although he acts like he's starving to death I've been able to manage this issue with him by adjusting his diet and a day or two of fasting every week in the past, but that method no longer seems to work like it once did.

Any thoughts? What can I do different to help this not happen? I normally only feed him soaked pellets and frozen brine shrimp because anything freeze dried seems to make him worse.



Housing
What size is your tank? He's currently in a one gallon QT
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Frozen brine shrimp and Omega One pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day - but he's on day two of a fast

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Right now every day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100 %
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat +

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: 7.8
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He's bloated
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He seems fine, swimming and active
When did you start noticing the symptoms? it's been off and on for months
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? On day two of Epsom salts
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Yes, he gets constipated off and on, has since we got him.
How old is your fish (approximately)? We've had him for six months, but I have no idea how old he is.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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You don't want to confuse Bloat/constipation with normal full tummy and treat needlessly....

Generally with Bloat/constipation you will have other signs/symptoms along with the enlarged abdomen. Buoyancy problems being the big one, along with being lethargic, hiding, clamp fins, stops eating and pooping.

While your fella appears to not be pooping-he might be and he is eating it or its breaking down before you get to see it in the bare bottom container.

How much Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) are you using....

I wouldn't fast any longer than 2-3 days and I wouldn't soak the food-since soaking can leach nutrients and water soluble vitamins.
While the food will swell up if you place it in water....it doesn't swell like that in the gut since he has enzymes and gastric acid that break the food down.

With CT they often can appear more rotund than other tail types.

Since he is otherwise asymptomatic-what I would recommend-more exercise and mosquito larva-several rinsed several times a day.....
Reduce water changes to twice weekly...1-50% and 1-100% in the 1gal unfiltered tank.....

Can you post a pic....
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the response! I'll stop soaking the pellets. LPS will have Daphnia in on Monday. Will that help him?

Since posting this morning he's been clamping his dorsal and resting on his plant which is unusual for him. He still reacts when I come up to the tank, but he's not his normal active self. I used 1 tsp of ES. He's in a gallon QT. He is typically a fish that looks rather stuffed after he eats, but that always goes down by the evening. I feed him in the mornings. The last time he was constipated, he went eight days and looked more swollen by the day, then he pooped, a lot, and he was fine. This happens periodically with him. I may be missing his poop, but I don't think so. It's always been the same with him, little brown balls. So far, no poop this week.



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Old 06-13-2012, 04:42 PM   #4 
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Try increasing the Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to 3tsp/gal and adding a tannin source....Either IAL or dried Oak leaf premixed in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water...let it steep for at least 30min and use that for 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.

Tomorrow start 50% daily.

Change brands of food....especially if it has been opened for over 6 months and/or high in grain/grain byproducts......Make sure the first ingredients are fish/seafood....Make him flare 3-4 times a days for 3-4mins and if you have access to mosquito larva...feed them instead of processed food for a few days....
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #5 
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Thank you so much.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:25 PM   #6 
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Oh and I have a question concerning tannins; is this necessary? I don't have any on hand. I can order IAL, but it will take a few days to get here. We have a few oaks in the neighborhood, but I live in Florida and the city sprays for mosquitoes regularly. I know, don't get me started. So, the local oak leaves would likely kill my fish. Is there anything else I can use? Maybe something I can pick up from the store?
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:12 PM   #7 
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Sill nothing. He's sluggish now and not himself at all. He's swimming awkwardly too. The ES doesn't seem to be doing anything for him. What else can I do?

Last edited by zombiegirl; 06-15-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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