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Old 07-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Calgary, Canada
Help-bloated betta!

Help! I went to feed my fish (a community tank with tetras, siamese algae eaters cory cats, snails and my male betta) and my betta didnt move out of the live plants that he likes to chill out in. I flicked the water near him, and when he turned around towards me I saw that he was huge! His belly is swollen up like a balloon, but his scales dont look lifted (but maybe I dont want it to be dropsy and am seeing what I want to see). I will try and get a picture up, the bowl I transferred him into gives off a lot of glare. Here's all my info:

What size is your tank? 35 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes, but it hasnt been working for months
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? See above

Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New era tropical flakes and omega one shrimp pellets. I tried giving him betta pellets but he refused to eat them after gobbling up some of the flakes. I did have to switch food about three weeks ago for a week, my pet store was out of the new era flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once per day with the other fish

How often do you perform a water change? Once every 1-2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Flourish plant supplement, iron, carbon once per month

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrates: 20ppm

Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His belly is incredibly swollen and almost looks grey
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is uniterested in anything and only moves when provoked
When did you start noticing the symptoms? I first noticed his lack of interest in food about a week ago, and saw the bloat this afternoon
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I moved him into a roughly 1 gallon bowl and added 1/16 tsp epsom salt to water. Unfortunately i dont have a heater or thermometer for this bowl yet, but my house is 26 celcius
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unsure, see next answer
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unsure, I ended up rescuing this fish when I found out my sisters coworker had left it with another coworker to care for a couple of weeks and the owner never came back....and the poor girl saddled with him never really wanted a fish.

Sorry, this is a super long post... I'm really worried about the poor boy. He was in a sad state when we got him, but he really flourished in our community tank.


P.S. His name is Optimus prime.... He's got a blue body and red head ;) Now to try and get a pic...
AmberJinx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2012, 10:31 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: MD
Oh, no! I'm so sorry. This seems to sound like the beginning of internal breakdown, (AKA Dropsy) Isolate him and treat with Epsom Salt 3 tsp. per gallon if the symptoms match this:
•Symptoms: Your betta will have a bloated belly and raised scales. They will look like a pine cone. This is usually a fatal disease caused by an internal bacterial infection resulting in internal organ failure but many have had success bringing fish back when treated quickly.
Early Symptoms: Swollen eyes (important), Gray belly (important), Clamped fins, Lethargy. If your fish has swollen eyes and a gray belly, I suggest that you treat it for Dropsy.
•Treatment: If you spot the early signs of Dropsy then treat him/her with ES at 1-2tsp/gal and Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets while performing 100% daily water changes. It helps to increase the temperature to 84*F. If he/she has begun Pineconning then do the full course as described below:
Performing daily 100% water changes. Increase the temperature to 84*F. Add 1-2 tsp/gal Epsom Salt. Use API General Cure OR API Erythromycin OR Maracyn II and/or Maracyn for best results. Feed something containing Metronidazole, for example, Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. If caught early, Dropsy is curable.

Thank DarkMoon for posting this. If you're sure that he couldn't possibly eaten anything, just hope this isn't Dropsy.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:54 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Calgary, Canada
Thanks, he made it through the night but he looks like a pine cone and definitely uncomfortable. I will start treatment for dropsy and hope for the best.... And I'll keep everyone posted.

Poor little guy. :(
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