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Old 02-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #1 
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Join Date: May 2011
Betta extremely bloated, fasting/salt not helping

Hi everyone,

I've had my Betta Dickens for a year now. Details about his housing, etc are below. A few weeks ago I noticed that he is very bloated, particularly on one side (right). I fasted for 3-4 days, gave him a couple of small pieces of thawed pea, fasted another couple of days, tried Daphnia and another fast. Nothing is helping. I then added Epsom salt to his tank for about 5 days and that did not help either. He is starting to pinecone a bit now so I'm getting concerned. He is acting normally, not having trouble swimming, appetite is good. When I started feeding again I tried switching his diet (he was getting 2-3 pellets twice per day of Omega One Betta Pellets or NLS pellets before I noticed the issue) to pre-soaked flakes and tried pre-soaking the pellets too and have reduced feeding but to no avail.

Not sure at this point if it's a tumor or dropsy or something else and unsure where to go from here. Since he's acting normally I don't want to be too aggressive in his treatment (or euthanize) until I know he's suffering.

Many thanks in advance.

What size is your tank? 10 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78-79 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? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega one betta pellets or NLS pellets primarily
How often do you feed your betta fish? Before this isue started, 2-3 pellets twice per day. Less now (maybe 2 pellets daily)

How often do you perform a water change? weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: 7.2
Hardness: 3
Alkalinity: 2

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? very bloated, some pineconing
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? None
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2-3 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? fasted, changed feeding and food, epsom salt
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Got him one year ago, he was a juvenile then, not sure of exact age
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Last edited by librarygirl; 02-24-2013 at 10:12 AM. Reason: added photos
librarygirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2013, 12:03 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Sorry you are having problems.....Since the swelling is asymmetrical-it most likely is a tumor and the progression/growth is starting to impede on vital organs causing him to become more symptomatic. Sadly not a lot we can do except to make him comfy.

I would lower the water level or move him to a smaller tank if he seems to be having problems swimming to the surface and cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ-unless you are able to retain it with your hood-you want to see condensation buildup on the inside walls, no water movement, temp 76-80F and if he is hungry-feed him. I would limit water changes to 50% once-to-twice a week depending on what you have him in-using premixed treatment water of Epsom salt 2-3tsp/gal and heavy tannins.

Since he is otherwise acting normally-personally, I would keep him in his 10gal and add the Epsom salt 1tsp/gal. If he start to have problems swimming-I would move him to a smaller container with Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and tannins.

Most important...Enjoy him while you can and do what is right by him when the time comes....With that said, these guys can surprise us sometimes and bounce back....

Good luck and keep us posted....

Lovely fella by the way....
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