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Old 11-02-2008, 10:18 AM   #1 
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Very sick fish...

Apologies, I just posted this as a 'reply' accidentally, and am now posting as a new thread because I'm desperate to get some assistance with the problem. (My first attempt at posting anything on a forum...)

Hi! I joined the forum because I'm concerned about the health of my beta... He seems to be quite ill... I went away on vacation for just over a month, and while I was gone, he moved to a friend's house. In that time, he didn't get his water changed, and was fed about 5 pellets, twice per day. I know the transport itself must have been stressful, so thought that may be the problem. However, he's been back for about a month now, and seems to be getting worse instead of better. The front of his body is bloated quite a bit, and he simply lies at the bottom of the bowl. He is also extremely pale around the bloated area. I spoke to someone at the store where I bought him, and he said to give him 1/2 of a pea - that if he was constipated, this should resolve the problem. I tried this twice, but to no avail. The bowl he is in is specific for beta (just a glass bowl that has a light attached to it). It has no kind of pump, etc. to put oxygen through the water.

I feed him about 4 or 5 pellets once per day. I typically change the water in his bowl once per week. I put in bottled water at room temperature. Note, I live in the Caribbean, so room temperature is between 82 to 86 degrees.

Does anybody have any suggestions? It's hard to tell if he is alive or dead, he is so still, simply laying at the bottom. When I feed him, he struggles to get to the top, then quickly sinks back down to the bottom.

Having read some of the posts, I'm wondering if perhaps the water is a problem? (Note, we bought the fish in Aug 2007, and he was fine in the same kind of environment until I went on vacation August 2008.)

If anybody had any suggestions, I would be most grateful.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:32 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Are you using stress coat or anykind of water conditioner? Even though you use bottled water, it could have traces of chlorine in it. I have never had a betta so I do not know if you can use stress coat in a tank with no filter, but you can research that.

Did his temporary home have children in it? Is it possible that they fed him something wrong or put something in the tank that did not belong?

Also, I am having a similar problem right now. I think it may be swim bladder. My fish cannot swim right. He just goes in circles and spins around. He darts to the top everyonce in a while to get air. I have also fed mine a pea and it has not yet helped. I do not know how long it takes but mine has been acting like this for 5 days now. Is yours pooping? Watch him closely after he eats to see. If he is not then he prob is constipated (swimbladder) and you should not feed him for 2-3 days unless it is a pea.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:18 PM   #3 
Join Date: Apr 2008
I'm guessing it's swimbladder disorder caused by poor water quality and overfeeding. It is generally only recommended to feed a betta 2-3 pellets twice per day. A large betta may be fed a little more. Also, what size is your bowl? An uncycled bowl should have a water change every few days depending on size.

Here's what I would do
1) Get at least a 2.5 gal tank (gives him more room and is easier to keep the water quality optimal). I personally do not use anything under 5 gallons.
2) Change the water in the 2.5 gallon every 3-4 days. The water in the bowl should be changed at least every two days depending on size.
3) Feed him some daphnia (thawed of course) to help him pass waste.

Remember to watch for poops. If you do see them note whether they are brown or white and stringy.

I would also read up about cycling a tank. There is an article here but I can't find it now. You can also just google "aquarium cycle." Hope this helps.

Last edited by Kim; 11-05-2008 at 07:22 PM.
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