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Old 01-26-2013, 08:04 PM   #1 
LPGI
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Does my Betta have Swim Bladder Disease, constipation or Dropsy?

Last night I noticed that my Betta fish was very lethargic and was having a hard time swimming to the surface. It has been very cold where I live during the past few days so I moved him to one of the warmer rooms in the house. This morning he wasn't any better. I googled his symptoms and it seems most likely that he has Swim Bladder Disease and/or constipation, which can be caused by the cold causing his digestive system to slow down and overfeeding (during my research I realized I was overfeeding him). Anyway some suggestions were to cook and skin a pea to feed to my fish and to put Epsom Salt in his water. However my fish refuse to eat the pea, every time I get a piece of pea in his mouth he spits it out. I tried all day to get him to eat the pea. He hasn't gotten any better and just sits at the bottom of his tank only coming up to get air.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

A list of his symptoms are:
-Bloated abdomen
-Faded coloring, white stomach
-Lethargic
-Trouble swimming (he really has to work to use his fins)
-Sits at the bottom of the tank just opening and closing his mouth
-Won't eat
-As of now his scales are not sticking out and he does not have the pine cone effect

Any suggestions welcome!

By the way, sorry two of the pictures are sideways! My computer is having problems
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:12 PM   #2 
LeoTheLakerBetta
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Maybe you could fill this whole thing out so we can get a better idea of what's going on and therefore get you more accurate help and treatment :)

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

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?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:47 PM   #3 
LPGI
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Housing
What size is your tank? About 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? It dropped in the last few days but I think I've gotten it up to high sixties lower seventies
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? It has a lamp that helps heat the water
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None, he is alone

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Some basic Betta pellets, I was feeding him about 10 a day but I read this could have caused my fish's problem so I plan on dropping it to about 4 pellets twice a day.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Right now once daily but I'm planning on doing twice daily, two pellets per feeding.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Usually every two weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? All of the water, take all the rocks and decorations and wash them. I clean the entire tank.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I add a water conditioner specifically for Bettas

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I have not tested my water, I plan on picking up a kit soon.

Ammonia: I don't know but sometimes there are uneaten pellets on the bottom. During my research today I read this can be a problem that adds ammonia, so I am going to make sure I keep an eye on that.
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He started to lose his color and his abdomen became bloated. He has gained some color back but he is still bloated.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He has become very lethargic and doesn't want to eat. He has trouble moving and isn't flaring like he used to.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 24 hours ago, started doing treatment about 10 hours ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, I changed his water, putting less in so it's easier for him to get to the top for air, cooked and skinned a pea to try feeding my fish but he didn't eat it. I also put a teaspoon of Epsom Salt in his water.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No he has been very healthy
How old is your fish (approximately)?I got him about six months ago from the pet store, I don't know how old he was when I got him, but I imagine fairly young become he has grown since I got him.

Thank you very much!
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:19 PM   #4 
LPGI
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I just looked in the tank and there is some white stuff floating at the top of the tank. I'm not sure if anyone knows what that is.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:27 PM   #5 
sainthogan
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I answered on your other post. But in case you don't read it, you need a heater, a lamp will not keep the temperature where it needs to be constantly. Bettas are tropical and need a constant temp between 76-82 (pick a temp and keep it there, don't let it fluctuate, temperature fluctuations can be stressful and/or fatal)
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:51 AM   #6 
majesticstorm
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I suggest you don't use the pea and just use Epson salt since they do the same thing. Bettas are carnivores so they don't really do well with eating veggies.

Also, as sainthogan said, you need a heater. In addition, a water change every 2 weeks isn't enough for a 1 gallon tank. You would need 2 water changes a week, one 50% and another 100%. Could you give us the brand of pellets since "some basic betta pellets" isn't very specific. Different brands have different sized pellets. Unless you are feeding New Life Spectrum pellets, 4 pellets twice a day is still too much food for your fish, which is why your fish is constipated/has swim bladder disease. Since NLS pellets are much smaller than the pellets of other brands, you can feed more. I would suggest you feed only 2-3 pellets a day if you're using other brands.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:10 AM   #7 
LPGI
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Thank you for all the advice. I plan on stopping by the pet store today and picking up a heater plus a thermometer. I will also make sure to change the water more.

The food I have been using is Hilari Tropical Betta Bio-Gold. I had Bettas when I was younger and this is what I've always used. The back said to use ten pellets a day, but like I said I realized this is too much. I also meant to say 4 pellets once a day, not twice. Sorry!

Today my fish is still hanging in there. He is moving a little better and is still pretty bloated. I don't see any normal poop, but there is a large white blob floating at the top of the tank. Honestly I have no idea what that is. Does anyone else know?

Quick question, is the food I'm using ok or would you suggest using something else? I also heard soaking pellets for 10 minutes before feeding can help with constipation? I'm just looking for ways to help prevent this in the future.

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:13 PM   #8 
callistra
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Trying to get advice from two different posts means people are going to miss info... I'd stick to one. This is your other: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=126988

Hikari is not good because it has so much wheat. 4 a day is okay of this size but the first two or three ingredients should be whole fish not fish meal and wheat is the worst.

Soaking is only okay if you soak in vitamin supplement like vitachem. Otherwise it will just leach nutrients.

The white blob sounds like poop.. Blob is constipation.. white floating may mean infection.. Chronic constipation can turn into infection, however it may clear up on its own once he gets cleared out. Since he's been so constipated I would hold out continue to fast a few more days with epsom salts then continue feeding and see if his next few poops clear up.

Last edited by callistra; 01-27-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #9 
majesticstorm
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I would suggest you switch to New Life Spectrum or Omega One. They use better ingredients, not as much wheat :)

I think you should still split up the feedings of the pellets, twice a day, one-two pellets each time.

Last edited by majesticstorm; 01-27-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:59 PM   #10 
LPGI
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I'm going to try to stick to this post, I originally made two because I thought the first one hadn't gone through.

I ordered a heater, thermometer and some new food. They should be here by Friday. Until then I have been keeping his tank light on 24/7 to try to keep him warm.

He seemed to be getting better, but now he seems to be going downhill again =(

I have been changing his water daily, rinsing the entire tank then putting in fresh water with conditioner and epsom salt. He still seems bloated (he has been fasted for 3 days) Now he seems to be lying on his side on the bottom of his tank a lot, opening an closing his mouth.

I'm not sure what else I should do to help him, I hate seeing the little guy like this =(
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