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Old 03-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #1 
Smiley1324
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Swim Bladder? Dropsy?

Hi! I've had a male betta fish for about 3 months now and he was doing fine till about a week ago. For the past week or so, he has been floating on his side then rights himself up again. He has a bump in between his tail and stomach. Once he tries to swim down he floats back up again. I believed it was swim bladder so I feed him a frozen pea and fasted him for 2 days. It didnt work so I did the same thing again, except I also gave him a pellet. Now it looks like he has dropsy because he has a slightly large stomach and a few of his scales are starting to prick up. They also seem to be turning black. He eats normally and still floats on his side most of the time. Does he have dropsy or swim bladder? What should I do? Is any of this contagious?
Also, he lives in a 29 gallon tank with a heater and filter. He has some fish buddies that include tetras and guppies. I also have a female betta. I have plenty of plants for her to hide in if needed. He gets along fine with them and they dont bother each other. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Smiley1324; 03-10-2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Adding more info
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:41 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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I would get him in a small bare QT container and float it in a heated tank to maintain temp in the 76-78F range-Cover the QT with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ and start an Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) and tannin treatment.

Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and a tannin source-Either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally dried and fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) Let this steep for 30min-Shake well before use...

Using this premixed treatment water-make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.
He needs to stay in the covered QT-in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period of 14 days.

Tomorrow-using the treatment water make 50% water changes every other day to complete the duration.

Nutrition-good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals.

It sounds like he got too stressed and this compromised his immune response- Sadly, once the pine-cone starts he might be in system failure and not a lot can be done-but we don't want to give up too soon either.

Good luck and keep us posted...
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #3 
Smiley1324
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Thanks for the advice! Also, what is the difference between aquarium salt and Epsom salt?
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Aquarium salt is sodium chloride and Epsom salt is Magnesium sulfate

You have to get the Epsom salt at a store that has a pharmacy-it usually isn't sold in fish shops.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:08 PM   #5 
Smiley1324
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I can't tell if he has dropsy or swim bladder... I keep switching back and forth. Any opinions?
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #6 
callistra
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If you see scales sticking out it's dropsy. The only thing that causes raised scales is dropsy, as that is dropsy's very definition.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:23 PM   #7 
Smiley1324
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It looks like he has dropsy because his scales have barely started picking up. They are barely noticeable unless you really stare. I just got some Epsom salt and I'm ready to move him into a separate tank. How should I use the Epsom salt? Unfortuantly the other tank is only a gallon :( which I relieze is not big enough but it's what I've got. How often should I use the Epsom salt and is there a limited time he should be in there?
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:55 PM   #8 
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I'm backtracking.. are you saying you have a male and a female together? Without a divider? This is not good practice.. may be the cause of the dropsy..

1 tSP per gallon predissolved. Add slowly over an hour to avoid shock. After 12 hours you can double it and do the same thing. You only need to add more salt along wtih a water change, and only add as much salt as water you change.

What color is his poop? He may also need antibiotics..

Do you ever feed live or frozen foods?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:23 PM   #9 
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Ok I will separate them. Also, I feed him frozen blood worms about once a week if not less and betta pellets. I haven't seen his poop for a while now which worries me quite a bit. Maybe I'm just not their a the right time?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:58 PM   #10 
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The poop should be evident at the bottom when you siphon their tanks
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