Hi all. My Betta has been bloated on and off for a few weeks. I went away last weekend and left my fish in the care of my slightly autistic mother with very specific directions, and she still managed to overfeed (my filter had food pellets all over it) my slightly bloated Betta. His belly was quite large after that. I've been fasting him since, and he seemed to be doing absolutely fine. Then today, I woke up to my Betta laying at the bottom of the pot/vase decoration in his tank. At times, his gills stop moving, and he'll stop responding to stimuli. At other points, his gills seem to be working harder than usual. The only swimming he's done all day has been up to the surface for air, and then back down to the bottom to sit for five to ten minutes. His fins are clamped down and he seems so very depressed. I would wager to say he still has an appetite, as earlier today (he was slightly
more active then), he would come up to meet me when I opened the tank lid, as though he was expecting food.
Besides the bloating, nothing in my Betta's appearance has changed. Last night, his belly seemed normal, so I fed him a single food pellet. He was acting fine, "playing" with me (he chases my finger if I put it near the tank), flaring at his reflection when I turned on the tank light, etc. Since his symptoms began, I raised the water level in an attempt to make the water more still (I thought maybe he was hiding out in the pot because he didn't like the filter motions), raised the temperature slightly (I read somewhere it helps with bloating), then lowered the water level (after his gills began over-working) to increase the oxygen in the water, and have added Melafix and Pimafix to the water (I realize that they aren't very strong medicines, so I figured adding them wouldn't hurt anything). He's only seemed to have gotten worse.
I've decided to move him into a smaller bowl/dish, with the water level low so he'll have an easier time getting air, and add some epsom salt to combat the bloating. Is there anything else I can do?
What size is your tank? 10 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 Fahrenheit
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, Tetra Whisper 10i
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 1 Male ADF (he's fine, no behavior/appearance changes whatsoever)
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets (Tetra Color Enhancing Pellets) and the occasional dried bloodworm as a treat.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Before he started getting bloated, two pellets in the morning, two at night. After the bloating, I fast until I see his belly shrink, then feed a pellet or two. He tends to bloat back up after that...
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
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? None, I'm on well-water. Chlorine has never seen my water.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I currently only have an ammonia tester, as my local Petsmart is always out of API's full testing kit...
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Bloating
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes: bottom sitting; breathing changes. I should mention that when he swims, he doesn't seem to tilt, but he only swims in "bursts."
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, see above.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He's been getting bloated on and off for the past month, and had ammonia burns when I purchased him (that haven't gone away, despite the fact I've had him for a few months, and I've been eyeing the ammonia levels carefully).
How old is your fish (approximately)? 8-9 months.