HELP!!!!!!!! MY Precious Betta's Belly is Swollen!
Ok, so my precious Eugene's belly is swollen! He is swimming normally, eating normally, acting normally, but his belly looks bloated! I'm really hoping its just constipation, but I'm so scared he could be sick! He's never had a swollen belly before. I did toss a few extra pellets in this morning...I'm really hoping he's just a fat pig.
Someone please calm me down.
I tried to get a pic, but he just wont stay still and it isn't clear enough. I'll keep you posted if he changes in symptom.
Water: I don't know the ph, I know, I know, I need a kit
Temp: 70 degrees, or so
Ten gallon tank
Lives with a mystery snail
Eating Wardley Betta food and Hikari freeze dried blood worms
The temperature should be around 78F, 70F is really, really cold. Brr.. Is the tank cycled, 0ppm ammonia? Wardley is a very low quality food, too many fillers (wheat based) which might be the reason why his stomach's swelling. Hopefully you feed the bloodworms 2-3 times a week...
Prepare a small cup (the one he came in) or a small tank. (1-2 gallons) Next fill it with normal dechlorinated water and then put in some Epsom salt. 1-2 teaspoons per gallon, depending on how bloated he is. Dissolve it, and then after that slowly acclimate him into the quarantine tank.
A betta's stomach is roughly the size of its eye. If you overfed him, his stomach will bulge out. Since he is swimming and acting normally, I would simply not feed him tomorrow.
(Eating too much today means having a fasting day tomorrow!)
Now, let's discuss your water temperature.....
Did you mean to type 70F? That's too cold for a betta. They're tropical fish which do best in the 77-84F degree range. Do you have a heater in the tank? If not, what's your room temperature? Generally, water temp is a few degrees less than room temp.
Also, what type of food (brand name) do you feed him?
(@LTB - It sounds to me like Eugene just ate too much today. Since he's not having SBD issues, I'd try fasting for a day first, to see if the bloating goes down.)
Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 07-09-2013 at 10:52 PM.
Yes, I know he needs botha pH tester and a heater. It just a matter of being able to afford one. But thanks for the quick responses. I'm starting to think he just overate too, but I'm keeping a close watch on him and fasting him today. If he's still swollen tomorrow, then I will be really worried and start treating him.
@SaltAndLight - I wouldn't worry about getting a pH tester. Whatever the pH of your tap water is, it's probably fine for him. But yes, a heater would be a good idea. 70F is below the range for bettas. This means he's cold all the time. Being cold reduces his metabolism (which increases the risk of bloating), and also stresses his immune system (which makes him more susceptible to illness).
@LTB - Excellent advice on the temperature, the food, the cycling and the ammonia. But for simple constipation or bloating, I'd use a much lower dosage of Epsom salt - probably around 0.25 teaspoons per gallon. It's only when they start having more severe symptoms, such as SBD or severe bloating, that I'd recommend a higher dosage (about 1 teaspoon per gallon). If it's something really severe, like dropsy, that's when I consider going up to 3 tsp/gal.... Also, they need time to adjust to the Epsom salt. I've seen recommendations that the increase should be no faster than 0.5 tsp/gal increase every 12 hours. (Ie: start at 0.5 tsp/gal. If needed, 12 hrs later, increase to 1 tsp/gal. etc.). .... So, to answer your question: if the bloating doesn't go down after a day or two of fasting, then I'd start Epsom salt at 0.25 to 0.50 tsp/gal. If that doesn't work, a day later, I'd suggest using a slightly higher dosage. If his symptoms changed at any time (SBD or increased bloating despite being fasted), I would increase the Epsom salt dosage faster, and also investigate things like internal parasites or bacterial issues..... The best way that I can describe it is that there isn't always a clear-cut procedure. You have to look at the "big picture," and consider everything that's going on. There are symptoms, signs, environment (water quality, etc). Based on what happened previously and what's happening now, I decide what to do next.
Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 07-10-2013 at 05:32 PM.
I think it was definately just bloat. He looks much better after a day of fasting. He's certainly not sick. He's fiesty and active as usual today. And he sure was acting hungry when I came up to the tank. He was waiting right where I always feed him and he kept darting back and forth. When I gave him his "one" pellet(!), he gobbled it down. And when he flared, he had a bowel movement and it looked totally normal, so I'm happy. Thanks for all the advice.