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Old 11-08-2012, 12:11 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Idaho
Wound by mouth and possibly dropsy?

About a week ago, I noticed that Hrothgar was looking a little bloated and not pooping as often as usual. His belly also looked a little bit gray (although it's hard to tell because of his coloring), so I put him in epsom salt because it sounded like it was early dropsy.

Present day, he hasn't pooped in a couple days as far as I can tell, but he's still eating what I give him. He also still looks a little bloated. I reduced his food because of the bloating, but I hate not feeding him at all. I've been watching for pineconing and haven't seen anything.

Today while I was feeding him, I caught sight of what looked like a cut or wound right above his mouth, but it's really hard to see very well. I'm not sure what could have caused it or if I'm just seeing things. If someone else is more familiar with the particulars of betta anatomy than me, can you look at these pictures and see if you see anything strange about his mouth?

By the way, the brown spot on his head has always been there--it's just part of his coloring.

Besides that, he's looking pale, not pooping, but otherwise acting normally. I've still got him in the epsom salt.

What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? normally 79, but around 81 since I thought he might have dropsy.
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum Betta formula
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, 5 or so pellets.

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? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API stress coat

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
gray belly (I think)
wound above mouth, maybe?

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
no change--very active and responsive

When did you start noticing the symptoms?

mouth today, other symptoms a week ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
epsom salt, 2 tsp/gal

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
swim bladder disease, tail biting

How old is your fish (approximately)?
1 yr
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:33 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
From his pic, he dosen't look sick to me...

Any other symptoms like clamped fins, fuzz on body, ect.

When he was pooping was it brown and look like a cinnamon bun or was it white and stringy?

•Symptoms: Your betta will have a bloated belly and raised scales. They will look like a pine cone. This is usually a fatal disease caused by an internal bacterial infection resulting in internal organ failure but many have had success bringing fish back when treated quickly.
Early Symptoms: Swollen eyes (important), Gray belly (important), Clamped fins, Lethargy. If your fish has swollen eyes and a gray belly, I suggest that you treat it for Dropsy.
•Treatment: If you spot the early signs of Dropsy then treat him/her with ES at 1-2tsp/gal and Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets while performing 100% daily water changes. It helps to increase the temperature to 84*F. If he/she has begun Pineconning then do the full course as described below:
Performing daily 100% water changes. Increase the temperature to 84*F. Add 1-2 tsp/gal Epsom Salt. Use API General Cure OR API Erythromycin OR Maracyn II and/or Maracyn for best results. Feed something containing Metronidazole, for example, Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. If caught early, Dropsy is curable.

I don't see any pineconing and his eyes look normal to me...

Last edited by Tikibirds; 11-08-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:34 AM   #3 
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It sounds like swim bladder issues. I'd remove the salt and stop using it. There's no cure for dropsy if that's what he had so the salt wouldn't be doing much anyway. Boil a pea and take off the shell then smash or cut up the inside into really small pieces. Feed the pea to your betta. It works as a natural laxative for fish and should clean him out. Fast him for 3 days after the pea and watch for bowl movements, color improving, etc. Once he's doing better split up his feeding to 3 pellets in the morning and 2 at night. Giving him smaller amounts of food at one time will help prevent swim bladder from recurring.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:56 AM   #4 
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Location: Shangdong, China
If he had swim bladder disease, he would have issues swimming - either swimming on his side, unable to swim down, swimming upside down. Epsom salt is recommended as a treatment at 1 teaspoon per gallon. Normally SBD is caused by over feeding - so epsom and fasting are a recommended treatment. Some people do recommend the pea but I feel that is more for goldfish then bettas. Most bettas won't touch the pea anyways. Its also recommneded for Dropsy as it will help draw the fluids accumulating internally out of the body. However, by the time they pinecone - the internal organs are most likely shutting down.

It's aquarium salt you dont want to use because it will make the dropsy and SBD worse.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #5 
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He looks OK to me as well.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:04 AM   #6 
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You're right. Since he isn't swimming odd it probably isn't swim bladder but if he isn't pooping then he's definitely plugged up and the pea will help. I forgot to mention that that isn't a cut near his mouth. Bettas have a large frown shaped mouth. I believe that's what you're seeing. Thanks for some nice clear pics to go from! It's hard for many to get clear shots but somehow you pulled it off :)
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