Originally Posted by zebra3
He appears to be doing better now. He isn't as bloated and is swimming upright. I watched him swim to the bottom. However, he isn't quite as active as usual, but who is when they've been feeling lousy?
The next step for me is to figure out exactly what went wrong to keep it from happening again. My estimation is that he ate too much, maybe my pinch of food was more than I thought it was yesterday. I will give him a COUPLE flakes late tonight just to keep things relatively normal, but this poses a question:
How often do you guys feed your fish?
Thanks for all the responses I received during the night. I will do some more regular water changes, despite the fact that I don't believe the small amount of water I added to the tank was the cause of this unpleasantness.
My fish recently bloated, and then started doing barrel rolls at the surface. So I understand your reaction!
When this happened, I posted a panicked email. Callistra and Shellieca gave me excellent advice.... The little barrel-roller is now fine.
Here's what I did for my guy:
1) Fasting - Do not feed him while he's bloated. He will tell you that he's hungry - ignore his demands for food.
2) Epsom salt - It acts like a laxative. My fish was constipated and bloated. The Epsom salt got things "moving" again. LOL I think people here already told you about adding this?
3) NO peas - I've read a lot of conflicting advice about peas. But basically, it would only act as a laxative anyway, which is duplicating the Epsom salt treatment. So it's not needed.
4) Water changes - In an unfiltered 3 gallon tank, the recommendation is to do one 100% and one 50% water change per week. Always use a water conditioner.
Then, AFTER he's no longer bloated, and has been fasted awhile:
5) Feed a TINY amount. My guy eats pellets. Once I saw that everything was COMPLETELY back to normal with him, I fed him a SINGLE pellet.
6) After he successfully ate the pellet and did not bloat again, I put him back into regular water (without Epsom salt, but with conditioner). Acclimate him slowly!
7) I continued giving him SMALL meals. He's now up to two pellets, twice a day. And that's it.
I've read that their stomachs are the size of their eye. In other words, really small!
My bigger betta gets 3 pellets/2x per day (total of 6). This smaller guy (who bloated) gets 2 pellets/2x per day (total of 4).
Based on Callistra's and Shellieca's advice, I also switched his pellets. They said that 'fish' should be the first 3 ingredients. (Rather than wheat or cereal.) People here recommend NLS (New Life Spectrum) and Omega One Betta Buffet. My local petstore doesn't carry NLS, but they did have Omega One, so that's what I've been feeding.
Good luck! The barrel rolls at the surface had me convinced that he wasn't going to make it. But he's fine now. (Although he's decided that he likes chewing his tail. So that's our next 'challenge' to overcome. LOL)