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Old 10-02-2012, 12:49 AM   #1 
Withered
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Unhappy Swim Bladder or something else?

Iv'e had my fish since about early July and since I got him he's seemed to have had a bit of what looks like swim bladder disease. He's always slept under the bridge I have in his tank, or he'll get in between the heater and the tank and just kind of hang out there. I've tried to treat him with epsoms, which seemed to work somewhat, but he just seems to have gotten worse as time as went on. When I first got him he seemed happy, he was a vibrant color and he blew a huge bubble nest, then it seemed like his health has just rapidly declined over the months. I don't know what to do for him but I feel terrible. My last betta died and I got this one thinking that I'd do better and it just seems like I can't do any right. :(

Housing

What size is your tank? 3 gallons
What temperature is your tank? stays around 78-82
Does your tank have a filter? No
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? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio Gold Pellets and and Tetra Freeze Dried Bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? I was feeding him about 3-4 pellets daily and one bloodworm about once or twice a week with Sunday as his fasting day, but I've recently reduced it to 2 pellets per day.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? One 50% and One 100%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime, API StressCoat and about one drop of Tetra Easy Balance per gallon of water since my Ph was high when I tested it.

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: I think it was 7.0-7.5 if I can remember right.
Hardness: Very Hard
Alkalinity: Not sure?

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Bloated Belly, clamped, curled fins. Not sure if the fins are because of the water quality or not or because he is stressed out and sick.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He's gotten worse. He hides a lot under his bridge, sometimes he'll be at the bottom sitting (literally sitting) or floating at the top behind the heater on his side. Today when i put him in his cup to change his water he was floating upside down but would keep trying to correct himself. I felt horrible! He's also been darting and bumping into things lately as well. I figured it may be parasites along with the swim bladder, but I'm not sure.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? He's had the symptoms since I got him, but they've just recently started getting alot worse.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I'm treating him right now with 1tsp per gallon of epsoms and I also put some API General Cure in his tank to treat the parasites just in case.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? He seemed happy and healthy when I got him despite the small deformity and the slight what looked like SB.

How old is your fish (approximately)? about 3 months plus how old he was when i got him.

Any help with this would be appreciated. I have been doing everything I can, reading so many different sites it's not even funny. A LOT of sites say to feed them the insides of a pea, but there is no way I want to do that and cause more harm then good.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:05 AM   #2 
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I would firstly stop with the Easy Balance- bettas will adjust to whatever pH they are in with no harm, but when you start upping/downing it and playing with it you will end up harming or even killing the fish with the drastic pH changes. There are some fish who are very sensitive to pH, but not bettas. They are more sensitive to the changes you are causing and that will do the most harm.

How did you do the Epsom treatment? Normally for SBD you would want to be doing 2tsp of Epsom per gallon (dissolved prior to adding it), daily 100% water changes adding in the Epsom + water conditioner each time. It can take 8-10 days before they are better.. you will want to do the treatment a couple days past them being back to normal.

The pea treatment is best for constipated goldfish- basically for bettas a pea is empty calories/carbs that have no nutritional value and actually doesn't work- people assume it's the peas when in fact more likely it's the fasting and Epsom that helps a constipated betta.

The fin clamping is most likely due to stress and not feeling well.. your water changes, temp is spot on.
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:35 PM   #3 
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I had thought about changing the water I use to the bottled water that I use for drinking. It's the kind of water you get to put in those big blue jugs that are outside of stores. I think it's the brand Glacier, but I am not sure. Would it be better to mix some of that water with the tap gradually instead of using the easy balance? I just really think the water from the tap is way too hard for him because when I did the test strips it was at the hardest amount.

As for the epsoms, I only started putting them in last night, before I was putting them in his tank a couple months ago. I put 1tbs per gallon of water. I hear you can go up to three, but I didn't want him to get too stressed out, he gets stressed as it is trying to swim, which is one reason why I don't think I can do the 100 percent water changes every day. Is there another way to do it? Maybe 25 percent daily changes...or 100 percent every other day? Sorry for so many questions, I am just frustrated to no end that another fish might die in my care. :(
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #4 
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Here are some pictures. First picture is close to when i first got him. It's blurry, but you can still see how vibrant his colors were.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...715_164838.jpg

Next pictures are of him just a day or two ago. He looks pale and his fins are clamped. I don't know what else to do.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...g?t=1349227224

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...g?t=1349227233

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...g?t=1349227249

And here is a picture of him sitting up. He does this sometimes, and i've noticed when he sleeps under the bridge he is sometimes upside down or sticking to the side in a weird position.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t...g?t=1349227246
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:45 PM   #5 
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Anyone have any other ideas? I read a post that Old Fish Lady had about QTing them to a cup with epsom salt water and covering it with veggie wrap. I am in the process of doing this but he looks so stressed in the cup and keeps floating on his side or on his back. He looks miserable and I don't know what to do for him. I feel awful. :(
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:58 PM   #6 
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You can do it in the cup or you can just lower the water.I would do 100% daily water changes with epsom. You wrote you put medications General cure for internal parasites i would do it too and redose it every time when you change the water. If you need to do double dose just redose it.

Is he still eating?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:06 PM   #7 
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The only problem with lowering the water is that I wouldn't be able to have my heater going in lowered water. Is it okay for him to be floating on his side like that? I didn't add the general cure to this water, just the 3 tbs of epsoms and i'm doing the 15 minute 25 percent water changes for an hour and will do the 50 percent daily for 14 days like Old Fish Lady suggested in another post. Hopefully he doesn't die in the process, I am crossing my fingers, but I just don't know what else to do.

Forgot to add, he ate two of his pellets yesterday, but I didn't feed him today because he looks so bloated. I figure fasting him for a day or two wouldn't hurt..

Last edited by Withered; 10-02-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #8 
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my problem that i don't see that he is bloated. It very important if he is bloated it can be internal parasites. If he is not bloated thane it can be external parasites since he is darting.
If you sure he is bloated check for his poo. If he has white,clear stringy,wormy poop then he has internal parasites. And epsom salt and those medications it right treatment.

If he is eating then try to find frozen daphnia and feed him. If he has internal parasites it always helps when fish is eating so he can pass parasites with waste.
When you do 100% water changes you can pit water conditioner and let water sit 24 hrs this way water is the same temperature . Have him in changing container and add a little bit of the new water for a few times and let him sit in the water for about 5 min. Do it for a few times this way he might be less stressed because you acclimate him to new water chemistry/temperature.

It very important if he is not bloated though then it can be external parasites since he is darting . Is his scales raised. Sometimes if fish had flukes scales can be raised . Then you need aquarium salt not epsom salt.

So can you check on poo and are you sure he is bloated sorry i can 't see it

And also it really not your fault so don't blame yourself. Also you wrote your first fish died did you disinfect the tank? If not maybe he got it from first fish.
And i also agree with Myates about water. It better to use probably tap water but take long time to acclimate him.

I didn't see your answer yet because we posted at the same time
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:24 PM   #9 
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ok you saying he is bloated. Check on his poo. If you take the gravel out it will be easier for you to see it. If it will be white , clear and stringy it can be internal parasites.
If his poo normal color just epsom salt will help. But i like to do 100% water changes though.
Try to find frozen daphnia it good for bloating
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #10 
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I don't have acess to daphnia unfortunately. And he does poop pretty often from what I can tell. Sometimes it is white and stringy and sticks to the top of the tank and sometimes it is a brownish color and is stiff. So I am not really sure about that? He pooped last night and it was kind of stringy but it looked brownish to me. I'm not really sure what normal poop looks like for a betta. When my first fish died, I did disinfect the tank with white vinegar and hot water. Soaked everything for about an hour in very hot water and let the tank bake and air dry outside for about an hour or two.
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