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Old 12-26-2012, 04:21 PM   #1 
Ganymede
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Floating Betta

I've had Drift for a few days now, and ever since I got him he's been floating to the top of the tank and swimming sideways. I left him in a hospital tank for a few days, doing regular water changes and keeping an eye on his droppings. He stopped floating and became way more peppy and I reintroduced him to his tank. Ten minutes ago he began floating again.

I thought it might be a swim bladder issue, so I treated him for that in the hospital tank. He hasn't eaten anything in about a week and I'm beginning to get worried.

Quote:
Housing
What size is your tank? - divided 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? - 85*f
Does your tank have a filter?- Yes.
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? - Drift has a golden mystery snail that was added today. The other half of the tank has another male betta and a blue mystery snail.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - New Life Spectrum pellets, though he hasn't eaten anything since I got him.
How often do you feed your betta fish? - Twice; three pellets each feeding time.

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? - 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - StressCoat for conditioning, plant fertiliser, and a small dose of calcium for the snails.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? - I've been unable to test my water (I was at Petco today and I forgot to bring a sample, herp). However, I do regular water changes, keep an eye on how the fish react to the environment, and spot clean with a turkey baster.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - No change.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - He seems very frustrated with not being able to swim downwards.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - He's been doing this since last Saturday, but I only began treatment a few days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - A few days in a hospital tank with warm, clean water conditioned with StressCoat. He cleared up fairly quickly and was fine when I put him back in the tank for a few hours.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - Unknown.
How old is your fish (approximately)? - Not sure.
Here's a video of his behaviour:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKpQMPsv5G4

If there's any questions I can answer to help figure out what's wrong, please don't hesitate to ask. I want him to get well as soon as possible - when he was feeling better he was absolutely excited, and I don't want him to be this miserable again.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:52 PM   #2 
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I am wondering why is your tank so hot? I would turn it down to about 78-79, definitely no more than 80. 85 is too hot unless you're trying to treat for a parasite infection like ich, and then that should be a temporary temp.

I would definitely test your water. Any time you wish to run a cycled tank (a tank with a filter that is not getting 100% water changes) you really need to invest in a good drops test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. How long has the tank been set up? Are you sure it's cycled? One weekly water changes of 25-50% should be fine on a fully cycled tank of this size. The snails are very dirty and if you see that nitrates go over 20 ppm in the week's time then maybe the extra mid week change isn't a bad idea, but generally speaking it isn't necessary. At least one of the weekly water changes needs to include using a siphon to vacuum the gravel unless you have a very heavily planted tank that won't let you reach the gravel. On an uncycled tank daily monitoring of levels needs to happen an a water change according to readings. Here is a guide on in fish cycle: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838

I would go ahead and put him back in a qt tank and treat with epsom salts at 1 tsp per gallon predissolved. The salts need to be pure with no additives/dyes/perfumes of any kind. Check the ingredients label for pure magnesium sulfate. I would add this mixture slowly and not all at once over an hour or so to acclimate to the full tsp. Once he's used to it is safe to leave him in there for many weeks. I'd do this at least a week or two until he's well again.

What does his poop look like?

Are you feeding the snails algae wafers or pellets? Are you sure he's not getting to the snail's food?

Last edited by callistra; 12-26-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:05 PM   #3 
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Quote:
I am wondering why is your tank so hot? I would turn it down to about 78-79, definitely no more than 80. 85 is too hot unless you're trying to treat for a parasite infection like ich, and then that should be a temporary temp.
I've no idea why the tank is running so hot. It's got a Topfin 15w right now, but it's not adjustable. I'll get a new one when I can.

Quote:
I would definitely test your water. Any time you wish to run a cycled tank (a tank with a filter that is not getting 100% water changes) you really need to invest in a good drops test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. How long has the tank been set up? Are you sure it's cycled? One weekly water changes of 25-50% should be fine on a fully cycled tank of this size. The snails are very dirty and if you see that nitrates go over 20 ppm in the week's time then maybe the extra mid week change isn't a bad idea, but generally speaking it isn't necessary. At least one of the weekly water changes needs to include using a siphon to vacuum the gravel unless you have a very heavily planted tank that won't let you reach the gravel. On an uncycled tank daily monitoring of levels needs to happen an a water change according to readings. Here is a guide on in fish cycle: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=47838
The tank's been going for well over 7 weeks now, and I used filter media from my other tank to get it started. I use the siphon during every water change (the other 10gal has a snail and bristlenose pleco, so I know exactly how dirty things can get). I was being dumb and forgot to get a kit while I was out today, but next time I leave the house I'll be sure to grab one.

Quote:
I would go ahead and put him back in a qt tank and treat with epsom salts at 1 tsp per gallon predissolved. The salts need to be pure with no additives/dyes/perfumes of any kind. Check the ingredients label for pure magnesium sulfate. I would add this mixture slowly and not all at once over an hour or so to acclimate to the full tsp. Once he's used to it is safe to leave him in there for many weeks. I'd do this at least a week or two until he's well again.
I've not been able to find epsom salts in the area; only aquarium salts. Is this safe to use in place of epsom, or will I need to hunt some down?

Quote:
What does his poop look like?

Are you feeding the snails algae wafers or pellets? Are you sure he's not getting to the snail's food?
The poop was small and brown. The snail was just placed in his tank today, and was fed outside the tank. There's no food on his side of the tank at all, since he hasn't eaten anything I've tried to give him so far.

Is there anything else I should do for him, aside from moving him back to medical?
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:18 PM   #4 
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Is the 15w heater in his hospital tank then? The 10 gallon could easily run a 50w adjustable one. That's what I'd get for the 10 gallon. If the QT is 2gallons at least it could take a 25w adjustable one. Otherwise I'm not sure what to suggest. I don't put heaters in smaller containers

Epsom Salts and AQuarium salts aren't the same thing. Epsom salts can be found in the pharmacy section of your grocery store or at other pharmacys. I know CVS Pharmacy has some good salts that are pure.

It looks like his poop is normal, so not likely to have an internal infection.

I would just stick with the epsoms and clean water at this point. stress coat is fine too.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #5 
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The 15w is in the 10gal. The tank I'm using for qt is 2gal and it has a 10w. Neither are adjustable, which is prolly why they're running hot. I'll get the same heater I use for my other tank, since it checks the tank temp and adjusts accordingly.

As it turns out, my parents had a carton of 100% epsom squirreled away so I can go ahead with the treatment.

Thanks for all the help! I'll keep a close eye on him for the rest of the week and we'll see what happens uvu

edit: Should I feed him at any point during the treatment?
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:39 PM   #6 
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I highly suggest getting an adjustable heater. Since your tank is divided you could do two 25w adjustable like this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=21322 one in each divided end. That would be the best way to keep the heat under control. Those ones that are preset to shut off at a certain time tend to be really unreliable.

I'd wait a couple of days with the epsoms and then offer food again. Especially if you're still seeing poop without him eating he must be backed up from somewhere.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:41 PM   #7 
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I'll pick up the heaters tomorrow after work. Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #8 
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Please excuse me if double-posting is not allowed.

Drift's gotten better over the past few days - he's pooping regularly and no longer floats, though he does bend slightly to one side when swimming. However, there's a new problem that might relate to the floating issue.

When I bought him I assumed he was piebald, as his face was beige. Ever since treating him with epsom salt I've noticed that this beige is slowly disappearing, showing purple scales underneath. Would this be an infecting or fungus of some kind, and would it relate in any way to his swim bladder issues?
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:01 PM   #9 
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Interesting. It sounds like he did have an infection of some kind. The epsoms are a mild antifungal. Good catch. I would maintain the epsoms so long as you continue to see improvement.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:10 PM   #10 
ChoclateBetta
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The Ideal Temp range is 77-83.
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