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Old 08-08-2012, 10:38 PM   #1 
Ghost Handler
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Pseudo-Swim Bladder Disorder or Betta indigestion

This post is aimed at new betta owners who may have experiened a similar issue. I'm a new betta owner. My guy is named Draugur. Since aquiring Draugur I have looked to this forum for advice, and have found it quite helpful and informative. In spite of the abundance of good information posted here I continued to have concerns about 'Gur (no criticism intended).

In the mornings he would be swimming happily around the tank and enjoy his breakfast, but when I came home in the evening he would have trouble swimming to the bottom of his tank, and when he did manage to struggle to the bottom he would bob back to the surface like a cork when he stopped swimming. He did not have any other signs of distress, but would usually appear less active. Having followed the advice on this forum, and other sources. I was pretty sure that I was providing him with a good tank enviornment.

He's in a three gallon tank with a Tetra Whisper 3i filter and a Tetra non-adjustable micro-tank heater. (I know, I should get an adjustable heater, but it works for now' the temps stay between 80 and 83.) I check the water chemistry every couple of days with an API liquid test kit, and change the water 98% about every week. So far the ammonia has always been 0 or at least <0.25ppm, nitrate levels 0, and nitrate levels 0 with pH levels always close to 7. The tank has a small clump of live plants, and mopani wood which continues to leach tannins into the water (in spite of a week of presoaking). I also add < 0.5tsp of aquarium salt per gallon to the tank at every water change. I feed one small Aqueon BettaFood pellet twice a day, with the occasional alternation with API Premium Pellets. I've tried freeze dried tubiflex worms, but he doesn't seem to like them. I hope to try some live food soon, but haven't managed it yet.

For about the past week I have been soaking his pellet for about five minutes before giving it to him. This seems to have helped no end in resolving 'Gur's presumed digestion issues. I did read, somewhere on this forum, that soaking dried food can be helpful for some bettas' digestion, but it seemed to be mentioned almost in passing. So I thought that I might highlight this as a potental problem/solution. I post this only in the hope that it may be helpful to someone new who's betta may be experiencing the same problem, and would welcome any comments or observations from more experienced betta keepers.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:45 PM   #2 
lvandert
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awww poor guy sounds like he maybe has an unseen deformity. It also sounds like your doing everything you can for this little guy. for the frozen foods I would recommend blood worms. Their relatively small and you can always chop them up and feed with an eye dropper.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:03 PM   #3 
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Thanks Ivandert. I really think he just had trouble digesting the dried food. The past few days there has been no recurrance of the symptoms. He cruises around the tank just fine.

I do want to feed him some frozen or live food, but I'm not sure the local pets shops carry them. He doesn't seem to like taking food from the surface. I usually "sink" the food, and he appears to enjoy chasing it to the bottom, when he can get there, lol.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #4 
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lol, most do carry some form of frozen fish food, most. If they have brine shrimp you can chop those up too and eye dropper train. he sounds like a really good candidate for it. You put the food in the eye dropper and put that in their tank, when they come out to investigate you give them the food. They'll learn that eye dropper means food! and from there possibilities are endless
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