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Old 09-14-2012, 11:19 AM   #1 
CTBettaLover
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Bloated but still pooping and other issues.

Hello!

So my CT Stanley has been having bloat problems since day one. I gave him a bit of a pea one time and it worked fine. Now however, he has been bloated for a week or two and it hasn't gone down although he is still passing stool. It may even be growing ever so slowly. Sometimes his poop is the normal cinnamon color, other times it is this color but hanging, connected by bits of stringy white stuff, and other times such as yesterday it is completely white and stringy like it got pushed through a playdough spagetti maker.

He eats like a pig still, or would if Id let him. Ive fasted him for 3 days and gave him a single regualar sized betta pellet soaked in treated water yesterday. He does seem to be hiding a tad more than usual but he still greets me excitedly at the glass whenever I come near and explores his tank when Im not.

I think his bloat must be because of either internal parasites or internal bacterial infection judging from his poo. I treated him with 1 tsp/ gallon (8 when discounting decorations and gravel) epsom salt dissolved in treated water yesterday and it made him poo white within two hours.

Ever since day one I have had pest problems that may be contributing to his health issues. I brought home a live plant from Petco (bad idea!) and introduced all sorts of critters to his tank. I have found and removed a single very small snail. I had an outbreak of freeliving worms that wriggle in an S shape when in the open water a couple months ago. They hungout just above the surface of the water on the glass. This is how I first noticed them. Stanley likes to search for them in the gravel and happily slurps them up like spagetti when i point one out to him. I have since used a gravel vacuum for pwcs and they have greatly reduced in number. I only see one every now and then. A couple weeks ago I noticed daphnia looking creatures crawling all over the glass. They were white specks with very short pointy tails on one end. They have since subsided greatly as well. Just yesterday though, I noticed what seemed to be planaria (not many) on the glass. They were shorter than the other worms and seemed flatter as well. I dont know if maybe him eating these little daphnia and worms could have infected his tummy or not.

There has also been a recent bacterial bloom (i think) or algae bloom. There is white cobweb like stuff growing all over the glass and decorations even after taking them out and rinsing and scrubbing with hot tap water. It breaks apart very easily when i move the water much such as during water changes. It turns brownish in color and to a thick slime when removed from the water. Maybe this has made him sick?

Please help me figure out whats going on with his tummy before it ends up hurting his organs and causing swim bladder disorder or worse....

Here are my stats:

Housing
What size is your tank? 10g
What temperature is your tank? 82 F
Does your tank have a filter? yes aqueon
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? not installed waiting on gang valve.
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none other than pests

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? aqueon mini betta pellets and aqueon FD bloodworms on very rare occassions
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day. Normally around 6 mini pellets.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-40%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aq salt 1/2 tsp/g & stress coat

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

Ammonia:<.25
Nitrite:<.25
Nitrate:0
pH: 7.7
Hardness: Hard
Alkalinity: Cant remember

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Very bloated
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not much
When did you start noticing the symptoms? two weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes epsom salt yesterday
Does your fish have any history of being ill? other than curled scraggly and holey fins, no
How old is your fish (approximately)? <1 year Ive had him for about 3 months and bought him from Walmart so that plus however old they are when given to the stores.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:28 PM   #2 
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You don't want to confuse a normal full tummy with bloat or constipation and treat needlessly. Generally with bloat and constipation issues you will have other S/S-like buoyancy issues, lethargic, hiding, clamp fins, stop eating and pooping to name the most common.

White poop doesn't always mean internal parasite as well as the absence of white poop....Change in fecal color can be related to diet change and stress related factor. Usually the fecal color will resolve on its own or change back and forth from dark to light. If you soak the food this can leach the nutrients and water soluble vitamins and this can cause a color change in fecal matter. Foods that are high in grain/grain byproducts can cause gas development.

Good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals is best.

Stress factor from too many/large water changes, filtration, chasing with a net or from other fish, water quality issues in general from varied factors, fasting too long, frequent diet changes, long term aquarium salt use, being new and/or change in environment...and the list goes on........

Stress factors can be different from Betta to Betta and these can also change as the Betta matures, become ill, over treated, toxic, issue that can compromise immune response in general.

Some CT can appear to have a larger tummy-as well as Betta that come from poor conditions that had not been fed regular-The enlarged tummy might be normal due to short body/anatomy, being fed on a regular basis, gaining weight.....

What I would recommend-since he is otherwise acting normal and eating-First make 2-50% water changes to get the salt out-Make 1-50% with vacuum and 1-50% water only with like temp dechlorinated water today.
Then to maintain water quality with regular 50% weekly water changes with vacuum in all places that can be reached without moving anything or disruption of plant roots.
Rinse/swish the filter media in the bucket of old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month to maintain good water flow and prevent a buildup that can harbor pathogens.

I would also decrease the temp a tiny bit to about 78-80F.

The critters you are seeing in your tank sound like normal critters that will form naturally and can even help maintain the closed system, however, since this is a closed system-they do need to be kept in check with regular water changes/vacuum, proper cleaning of the filter media and filter box, don't overfeed since overfeeding is often the reason you can have excessive number of even normal critters that are expected in aquariums.

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 09-14-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:06 AM   #3 
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Thanks! Ill lower the temperature. I am just worried because it is getting bigger and it looks really uncomfortable. I dont want it to get so bad that he does start having other problems because of it. I really think that the bloom of whatever this stuff is has something to do with it. It is very unsightly and Stanley does not seem to like it all. He tried his best to stay away from it but its everywhere! Thankyou for sharing your wisdom with me! :) I hope he gets better soon. But aren't water changes that large bad for the fish? Im already having enough trouble trying to get my tank to cycle because early on I unkowingly kept killing off all the good bacteria.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #4 
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The beneficial bacteria you want to colonize are sticky and adhere to all the surface areas in the tank, in the top layer of the substrate and in the filter media...very little are in the water column itself. Water only changes will not hurt or stall the cycling process, however, over cleaning and under cleaning can.

You need to vacuum in all areas you can reach without moving anything on a weekly basis-otherwise the beneficial bacteria can suffocate, starve due to the buildup of mulm/debris.

Same with the filter media-it needs a good rinse in old tank water or dechlorinated water to remove the buildup-

You want to clean the viewing walls at least weekly-but leave the non-viewing wall so that it can get a buildup of beneficial bacteria and algae-this is where a lot of microorganisms will colonize that can help balance the system.

Its a balance with closed systems-neither too clean nor too dirty.....
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:56 PM   #5 
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Any idea what the brownish-white cobweb like slimey stuff in my tank might be?
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:04 PM   #6 
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Also, his tummy isn't getting any better. It seems like its getting bigger by the day and he seems stressed out! It also looks more bloated on one side than the other but not by much. Im not sure if that means anything... Im really worried he's going to die. It looks like his stomach is going to burst!
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:19 AM   #7 
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Can you post a pic....

Usually when one side is bigger than the other-it can mean a tumor and not treatable-As the tumor grows it can press on other organs that is usually fatal.

If you haven't already, I would start Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannin treatment to ease the symptoms.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #8 
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Uh oh! I hope thats not what it is! I think it may be growing to fast and appeared too suddenly to be that. But I did epsom salt 1tsp/gal a couple days ago and you said not to so I stopped. I guess Ill start that again to maybe make him feel a little better. What is tannin?
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:09 PM   #9 
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And yes I will post a picture later tonight.
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:25 PM   #10 
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You want Epsom salt not aquarium salt.....aquarium salt can make it worse...

Use Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL (1 lrg crushed/gal) or dried Oak leaf(20 crushed/gal)
Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) and a tannin source if you have one. Let this premixed Tx water steep for 30min so the salt can dissolve and tannins start to release. Shake well

Place him in a small bare container that can be floated(attached so it doesn't sink) in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-77F range-Cove with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Using the premixed treatment water-make 25% water change every 15min for 1 hour today- while he is in the QT container-This will get him acclimated to the new chemistry and start the 10-14 day treatment.
He needs to stay in the QT in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period.

Tomorrow-start 50% daily water changes using the premixed treatment water.
If you added a tannin source the water should look darker every day and this is what you want.

Nutrition-if you have access to mosquito larva offer several rinsed twice a day-Otherwise offer good quality varied diet in small frequent meals.
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