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Old 01-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #1 
Kiiarah
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Betta fell! Damaged swim bladder?

Hi everyone, it has been a while since I posted on here but I really need some advice. A friend of mine has a betta who we believe had injured his swim bladder and we need to know if anything can be done to treat and/or reduce symptoms. I have some experience treating bacterial SBD but never internal damage. During his water change two days ago, Leo jumped out of his vase and fell into the sink. He got picked up immediately and put in the water where he looked a bit disoriented but seemed to recover. He did spend a minute or two swimming crooked, but then he was acting fine so we just attributed it to mild shock from the fall. Today he has been staying at the surface of his water and is on his side. When he swims he is sometimes jerky in his movement but seems to be able to right himself until he stops moving. The area where his swim bladder is seems slightly swollen today as well. Is there anything we can do to help him recover, and are there any warning signs to watch for that would indicate his condition is worsening? I have heard of fish living with chronic SBD for years with a bit of help, but I am not sure if that applies in the case of injuries. Any advice as to the best course of action would be very helpful. Thank you so much!
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:33 PM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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Try putting the fish on 3 teaspoons of epsom salt per gallon (PRE DISSOLVE). Epsom is good for internal problems.

I read "vase"... I am guessing it is not heated. ATM try finding a 1 gallon shallow bowl, or container, that he can be placed in. If there is any possible way to get the temperature up to 78, do so safely. Do not just add hot water, which can cause more severe shock. Even a temporary heater (tetra is cheap and not worth it, but if money is tight this is what you may have to do). IF you can, try to get a 1.5 gallon and an adjustable heater for long term. Trust me, it will be well worth it! :)
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:35 PM   #3 
callistra
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Epsom salts will decrease ph and depending on how soft your water is it could do it a lot. If you're gong to use that much salt I would start with 1 tsp and add it very slowly over an hour. Wait another 12 hours before adding a second tsp etc with third.

I've never needed to use that much salt, personally but I know people on this forum do sometimes.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:10 PM   #4 
Kiiarah
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Thank you for the advice. Sorry it has been a while since I updated this. He is doing much better now. We haven't added the salt yet because she hasn't been able to get any but I found mine a couple of nights ago and will bring it over to put in tomorrow. He is now able to swim much better and is no long just laying on his side at the top of the vase. He can float upright in the middle of the water now and is much more active and just looks much more comfortable than he did when this was posted. The only item of concern right now is that swim bladder still appears to be somewhat swollen. It doesn't seem to be worsening, just hasn't gotten better. Is there anything to do other than add the salt to decrease swelling, or is that something that may stay permanently? From my experience with bettas, I would say he appears to be on the mend. The fact that he is eating and swimming actively is reassuring and he appears to be pretty much back to his usual self, but if there is any internal damage that can be further repaired we would like to do so. Thanks again for the help and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #5 
Sena Hansler
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Warm clean water would be the best bet if you can't get the salt. Their immune system and digestive track does a lot better in 78-80 degree temperatures, plus proper husbandry helps too! Glad he is getting better
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