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Old 03-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #1 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida
Side Swimming

We have a community tank and a nice pinkish purple veiltail betta in it. He just started floating on his side and swimming like that to! We do have a tank we can put him in if we need to but he is not doing that well. We haven't checked temps in long time so it might be to cold but he has also been eating tropical flakes probably not the best, I am getting real betta food tomorrow, I just hope he makes it that long. Would that be the problem? My mom has always fed her bettas the tropical flakes with "no problems" but I know that they are carnivorous.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:54 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
More info is needed:

Photos would also be helpful. Is his stomach bloated? are any scales raised? Are his fins clamped?

Flakes aren't good nutritional value, and some fish do have constipation problems with them.. You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week.

You really need to be keeping an in tank thermometer with any fish in any size container.. Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.

Last edited by callistra; 03-10-2013 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:25 PM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida
Ok here are the questions but first: I am floating him in my tank with my betta, once he is acclimated I will keep him in the container with my tank water that I know is healthy because he isn't in control of swimming, a bag will be over the container to keep them form seeing each other.

I cannot get pics, my phone is charging, the params are unknown although I am a mod of a goldfish forum and I know all to well how important they are, will get them tomorrow.

What size is your tank? Old-40 gal Current- 2.5
What temperature is your tank? Old unknown, New is 77 78 ish
Does your tank have a filter? Yes on both
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? Mollies, danios, plecos, cories, tetras

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TetraMin Tropical will be getting good pellets tomorrow
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1 time every other day or so

How often do you perform a water change? Never really
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? Currently N/A


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins have been nipped, like not fin rot nipped
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He is floating at the surface with his right side curled and out of the water some
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today, about 1-2 hours ago, at 5 ish he was fine
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Moved him into a container to float and acclimate in my betta tank
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Unknown
How old is your fish (approximately)? Bought at chain store though not big one like PetCo, coloring suggests about a year

I was thinking something with his swim bladder,the way his side is arching from the water but I have yet to see a betta with SBD and peas don't work on them I'm sure
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:34 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
You've got some fin nippers in that community tank.. he may not be okay in there.

Also.. is your filter prefiltered? Because if his fins randomly appeared nipped and then his appearance changed all at once I would say either he was attacked or caught in the filter..

Peas only work if he's constipated. I can't imagine on your feeding routine he has any chance of being constipated..

It more sounds like from your feeding routine he is starving so I wouldn't withold food at this point, but I would look into getting some epsom salt - pure 100% magnesium sulfate with no other additives. I get mine at CVS Pharmacy. Predissolve 1 tsp per gallon in a separate cup and then add slowly over an hour to avoid shock. You only need to readd when you do a water change and then only add back as much as water you take out.

In a tank of this size I would do 50% change every other day and 100% weekly while he is recovering.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:05 AM   #5 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida
Ok we will get him into this 1-2 gal tank we have. We have pure Epsom. He is swimming better but still a little crooked.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:26 PM   #6 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
To understand-you don't make water changes on the 40gal or is it the 2.5gal QT you are referring to. If its the 40gal community tank-is this a soil based mature tank that generally don't need that many water changes. Reason I am asking is that if its a regular tank he was kept in-without proper care of the water-He might be suffering from a bacterial infection-along with stress that compromised the immune response. Water temp can be a cause of those S/S-especially long term under 73-74F, however, I suspect the temp is fine if the other species of tropical fish are fine-Also, you will see those S/S-with poor nutrition, too cool/dry air over the water and water quality will do that too.

What I would recommend at this point-QT without water movement in something small/shallow to limit struggling to reach the surface and that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain temp of at least 76F-Cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ and start an Epsom salt 2-3tsp/gal and tannins with limited water changes to 50% every other day using premixed treatment water-along with improved nutrition.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #7 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida

Great news!! He is swimming normally and eating his new Betta Food. He is now in the 1 gal with some gravel and plants. He is swimming nicely though. He is able to go up for air. The larger tank has been set up for a few (4 ish) months
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