My betta, Fuego, has been sick for quite some time with what I think is swim bladder disease. I have read through the forums here and tried to help him. I have tried the peas, epsom salts, fasting, hospital tasks, and daphnia most recently. Fuego cannot get to the bottom of his 1 gallon tank and immediately floats right back up to the top. He does not have Dropsy as his scales don't protrude outward; however, he is very bloated underneath and that area is grey/white. He has still been eating, and loved the peas and daphnia...yet neither have done anything to help him and he is getting worse. It is now affecting his coloring as he is turning greyish and he is much more inactive. This has been going on for at least a month. When placed in the epsom salt bath, he has had small bowel movements that are mainly opaque and not normal at all. I also have been doing water changes as often as I can and have not been feeding him more than one pre-soaked pellet, part of a pea, or the daphnia in very small amounts trying to help him. I have tried just about everything to make him better but I am now at a loss of what to do and I hate watching him suffer. Please help!
Thank you for responding. I have already fasted him for up to a week at a time twice already, neither time having any success. The longest I have kept him in the epsom salts is 24 hours, and I have tried upping the dosage to 2 tsp/gal. I figured the pea or the daphnia would help, but I guess it is just making him worse. The poop, which has only happened twice in the last month, is opaque white with some undigested food and only a small amount. He has gotten progressively worse in coloring the last two days. Thanks for your help. Below is the questionnaire:
What size is your tank? 1 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 72 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Divided tank with another betta(1gal each)
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Normally pellets, but peas and daphnia since he's been sick
How often do you feed your betta fish? every few days
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? 50% then 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? water conditioner
Have you tested your water? No
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Yes, fading color and bloated
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes, inactive and no longer flares at the other betta
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a month ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes: peas, epsom salts, fasting, daphnia, isolation
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, I have only had him for about three months and was healthy when I got him
The minimum tank size you can divide is 5 gallons. This is too small to divide and ammonia is building up quickly, even with your water change routine. You need a second tank of 2g or a 5g to divide.
Bettas should be fed two small meals a day with one fast day a week. The pellets should be protein based - first two or three ingredients as whole fish, not fish meal or wheat.
He's getting constipated because he's freezing. Bettas are tropical fish and need a minimum tank temp of 76F but 78-80 is more ideal. Lower and it weakens their immune system and leads to constipation. Chronic constipation leads to internal infection. Hopefully he is not at this point.
Epsom salts should continue at least a week, if not two. I would fast the week with epsoms as a first start.
Then get a different tank for him and a heater for both. In a 2g you can use a 25w adjustable heater and 5g you can use a 50w heater.. something like Jager, Marineland visitherm or Aqueon Pro (black not glass regular line).
I would test any new heater in similar size container for 24hours with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold an appropriate and steady temp. Once you know it works he will need to be acclimated slowly by either clicking it up no more than 1 degree per hour and 5 degrees per day or by floating him in the already heated water for an hour.
Hopefully this will be enough, but if not he may need a good internal antibiotic like Kanaplex.
Thanks for your help, he is in epsom salts currently and will stay there for the next few days as you suggest. The fish on the other side of the tank is perfectly happy and healthy, which is why I was so confused when Fuego started being sick. I estimated the water temp. because I don't have a thermometer but that is what my room temperature is; however, I do have a light shining on the tank so it may be a little warmer than what I said. I will look into heat lamps. Hopefully he recovers soon :(
It's not okay to use heat lamps to heat aquariums as it will heat them unevenly and the swings cause a lot of stress and can even be lethal. I would move the regular lamp away from him too for the same reason. Tanks/bowls need to be kept on interior walls away from exterior, doors, windows and vents to avoid swings.
Tank temp will be several degrees below room temp so he is really freezing. He can't recover without a heater and his own tank. I hope you will do this for him. Your other fish must just be more hardy.. some fish can tolerate poor conditions longer than others.