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Old 04-07-2013, 01:28 AM   #1 
Goodbettabest
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What the heck! my betta is a cork

I'm hoping someone can shed some light on my betta issues. He has developed a kind of fuzz over his scales but it doesn't link like what velvet is supposed to look like. He also seems to have trouble staying under the water, he keeps popping back to the surfaceso h e spends his whole time floating& swimming on top. When he rests against the side of the bowl the back half of his body seems to twist sideways.He is still feisty & eats like a little glutton. He is currently in a 1 gal bowl, unheated as i live in the tropics & the water temp stays between 80 & 82 deg (27-29 celcius ). He gets a weekly 100% water change including washing the gravel & ornaments. Any ideas?
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:33 AM   #2 
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A 1 gallon bowl? You need to give your betta a bigger tank. His issues may be developing from his lack of room.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:40 AM   #3 
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I have only had him for a couple of weeks and have a larger tank ready for him but thought it may be easier to treat him if he stays in the bowl? I can move him straight over to the bigger tank if you think that will help? I have attached a couple of pics of him, not great but if you look closely you can see the fuzz that is obscuring his scales over his head and front of his body.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:14 AM   #4 
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Ok, he is now in his 4 gal tank. Still spending all his time on the surface. He is swimming a bit but is very jerky & erratic & seems to do a lot of flapping his fins with very little forward progress. Something is definitely not right with him any help would really be appreciated. The fungus is still there as well although it doesn't seem to have gotten any worse. I'm a first time fish owner and at a complete loss as to how to help him.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:39 AM   #5 
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He definitely has a problem staying upright, he can't rest because when he does he tips over on to his side. I just watched him try hard to swim under the surface & he couldn't do it, he just popped straight back up. He is a very small fish and is not bloated at all, quite the opposite infact, he looks too thin to me. Like i said I've only had him a couple of weeks but he is very different now to what he was a few days ago and i want very much to help him
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:51 AM   #6 
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I don't have the first hand experience you are hoping for, but after your posts I can see you need help and nobody has managed to see your posts. I hope the know how I have is enough until someone else more qualified can chime in.

Sounds very much like a swim bladder issue.
Every site I can find on the condition all agree that constipation and overfeeding are the most common cause in bettas and suggest fasting him for a few days (some say two days, others three)
Some suggest feeding a pea after the fasting but people on this site often speak against them so I would appreciate someone with more knowledge cutting in at this point.
Another cause is listed as a bacterial infection that is inflating his swim bladder. Appropriate medication could be applied but it is up to you if you prefer to treat for that as well right away or give the fast time to work.
On top of that his bowl changes in such a tiny space need to be far more often. Swim bladders are sensitive to infection and even if he is constipated he is still secreting ammonia through his gills that cant be allowed to build up. Partial water changes every other day and one full change a week.
I wish I could give more coherant advice but I really don't like to speak up unless nobody else does. With luck might pop in just to correct me :)

[edit] Been doing some research on your behalf and an alternative laxative to a pea (and much safer) are frozen daphnia (water fleas). If you have a large pet wholesaler nearby or something you might like to ask? Apparently they are a treat food to bettas as well the same as bloodworms so he gets to be pampered as he recovers.

Last edited by Taeanna; 04-08-2013 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #7 
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I would say if it is swim bladder, and it does sound like swim bladder, minus the fuzz, fasting for a few days will be beneficial. Also, epsom salts are helpful with swim bladder. Do not use a pea. This can cause problems.

My boy was back to normal swimming after about two weeks of treatment with similar swimming symptoms.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:17 AM   #8 
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my betta has swim bladder problems frequently. what has usually helped is adding epsom salts to the water, 2-3 tsp per gallon, and fasting for a couple days. he also likes having things to rest on or tangle himself in near the surface so he can control how he sits in the water when he's having trouble, so you could try to find a really tall plant or a betta hammock to make him comfortable while you wait it out.

when you say "fuzz" i think of columnaris, but i don't have any personal experience with that and i can't see it in the picture... maybe you should look at the sticky about diseases up there and see if that sounds like it and what is recommended. if it's not that, could it just be a thick slime coat? if you've only been changing the water once a week in the 1 gallon, unfortunately that's not enough, so hopefully he'll be easier to care for in the bigger tank. check out OldFishLady's sticky about water changes in the betta fish bowls/habitats subforum to see how often you're going to need to change it!
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:50 PM   #9 
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Thank you all so much for your help and advice!! I really appreciate it. I bought him a new tall plant yesterday and put that in his tank and he slept on the surface in amongst the leaves last night. This morning I woke up and found him exploring the bottom of his new tank. He also seemed to be a lot more relaxed when swimming without the frantic flapping around to keep himself on an even keel. I didn't have much time to observe him before work but I'll keep a good eye on him this afternoon. I'll try the epsom salt & fasting him for a couple of days and see whether that also helps. I was under the impression that swim bladder problems were a result of bloat but I guess that is not necessarily the case?
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:41 PM   #10 
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swim bladder can be caused by bloat...the bloat comes from overeating. The white fuzz sounds more serious than the SBD though. I also thought columnaris like the person above, but i've never seen it in real life. It's good that you have a larger tank - I don't like to keep sick fish in 1 gallons because it's too hard to maintain a consistent temperature
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