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Old 10-06-2012, 09:48 AM   #1 
eabcrouch
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Sick Betta fish - swim bladder??

Our betta fish has been having symptoms for a couple of weeks now. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed he was floating up to the top and struggling to stay down. I read about it and assumed he was constipated and was having a swim bladder issue. I fasted him for 3 days and he seemed to be back to normal. Before the incident we had been feeding him 5-6 pellets a day and afterward we cut it back to about 3.

A couple of days ago, I noticed it was happening again. This time, he was floating with his tail up and his nose down, again near the top of the water. I tried to take a photo but he would not keep still and the lighting is not great. You can't tell from the photo but his colors seem normal and are pretty vibrant. He appears to poop about every other day - I don't know if that's normal or not. We have not fed him since yesterday, but I do not know what to do or what the problem may be.

Here is some important info
- We feed him aquaeon betta pellets, 2-3 a day
- He has a heater that is on a timer, so his temp is constantly between 78-80
- 100% water changes two and sometimes three times a week
- I put a bit of tap water conditioner and aquarium salt in his water when I change it - when we bought him he was suffering from fin rot (we didn't know what that was at the time) and salt was recommended for that.
- He seems to poop about every other day but his poops are a little smaller lately than they used to be

image link here:
http://imgur.com/jXZnp

Housing
What size is your tank? 1.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
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? aquaeon betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day 1-2 pellets each time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? twice weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner and aquarium salt

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

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? no
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? floating at top, struggling to stay down
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 weeks ago, then they improved. again 2 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? fasting for 2-3 days after symptoms show up
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? we bought him approx 2 months ago, no idea how old he is

Last edited by eabcrouch; 10-06-2012 at 09:57 AM. Reason: photo was not showing up
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:30 AM   #2 
Taffy1
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Apparently swimbladder can be caused by constipation. So it could be a combination of the two.

If you suspect constipation, you can take out a frozen pea and thaw. Then skin it and put it in the tank.

Sometimes flaring will trigger a bowel movement. So putting a mirror next to his tank can make him flare and that might help as well.

You were better feeding day at three pallets per day, as overfeeding Can cause problems. A bettas eyes is much bigger than its stomach (LOL)

Good luck
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:36 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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It could be several things or a combination of things-Swim bladder, labyrinth organ or internal organ damage. Its not uncommon for S/S of buoyancy issues to show up in the domesticated Betta due to-genetics, birth defects, how reared at the fish farm, poor care in general before you got him. It can also be internal organ damage due to long term sodium chloride use. It can be caused by too cool-dry air over the water that caused labyrinth organ problems. Fatty liver or poor nutrition also can be causes to name the most common.

What I would recommend-Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) tannins and good nutrition.

You can treat him in the unfiltered 1.5gal-but lower the water level by half or best to use a small QT container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-78F range for treatment.
The small temporary cup some Betta are sold in work great for a QT container-be sure and attach it to the side of the tank so it doesn't sink.

You also need to cover the QT with plastic veggie wrap to help retain heat/humidity over the water for the labyrinth organ.

Premix some treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water. Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source if you have one. Either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree-Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this water steep for 30min to start releasing the tannins and Epsom salt to dissolve...Shake well before use....

Using this premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today-This will get him acclimated to the new chemistry and start the treatment.
He needs to stay in the covered QT in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 14 days.

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

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals and if you have access to live mosquito larva-offer several rinsed a couple of times a day.

It can take 5-7 days to start to see any improvement-but you want to complete the full 14 days-If it is genetic he may need to stay in low dose Epsom salt 1tsp/gal long term.

Keep us posted.....
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #4 
eabcrouch
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Thank you for your help!! We will try this right away.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:58 PM   #5 
Withered
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I don't mean to hijack a post but I am trying this treatment as well with my betta who seems to have awful SBD. When you say cover the top with plastic wrap, do you cover the whole thing tightly...or leave a little small part open? I was afraid covering the whole top wouldn't allow any air for him.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #6 
Perseusmom
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I hope he gets better soon ! Also I would change the type of pellets you are feeding him I dont those are very good from what I hear. Try New Life Spectrum Betta pellets they are great !
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Withered View Post
I don't mean to hijack a post but I am trying this treatment as well with my betta who seems to have awful SBD. When you say cover the top with plastic wrap, do you cover the whole thing tightly...or leave a little small part open? I was afraid covering the whole top wouldn't allow any air for him.
When you QT-you should have dead air space between the top and water...usually about half-1in and this is enough space for the needed oxygen.
Then every time you remove the plastic wrap-to feed and water change-this will provide the needed gas exchange-

As long as you remove the plastic wrap 1-2 times a day and have the half to 1in dead air space-that is plenty of oxygen for the Betta.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:20 AM   #8 
eabcrouch
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We are on day 2 of the treatment and he seems to be doing better. I could not find mosquito larva but have been using dried daphnia, I hope that will work better than the pellets. Luckily I had saved the plastic cup and lid with air holes that he came in and he is clipped in that to the side of his tank. Will keep you posted and thanks again!
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:13 PM   #9 
KinkyKalypso
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I think acheron is having this same problem. Luckily I live int he country and have oaks all in my yard as well and about 100 other different trees, dang i knew i shouldve joined ffa and 4h.. Anyways Acheron had been constipated on Saturday night so I salt bathed him and kept him in a medical tank over night. Sunday morning he seemed to be doing better so back in the big tank he went. Sunday night seemed ok and Monday morning when I went to work Last night when i got home he was side ways again. So into the Medical tank he went for another dose of Salt. Then once again back into the big tank.. and back on his side.. Im so confused, Rave is in the same tank, same water, same everything and is doing just fine. Its a 10 gallon tank with a divider. Raves side has the filter and on Acherons side I have a bubble stick to have the water constantly moving... No unusual spots on him, no stringy like substance on his fins nothing.. So i really dont know what else I can do.. Going to try the leaf and salt water combo but I hate the thought of him having to go through this for 14 days.. Can I add a fake plant for him to hide or lay on in to the bowl?
OH AND...
when he swims he seems fine also... But all of this starts when he tries to just float around!

Last edited by KinkyKalypso; 10-09-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:48 PM   #10 
KinkyKalypso
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O and also when you do the water change with the leaf salt mixture are you suppose to poor the leaves in with the fish or no.. HELP!!
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