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Old 06-25-2013, 04:07 AM   #1 
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Question Swim Bladder symptoms preceding death..?

A friend of mine just got into the Betta keeping world. Her new Betta, Ron, became ill as of yesterday so she came to me for help. He was lying on his side near the surface of his tank, being very lethargic. He looked a bit paler and definitely wasn't being his usual flashy gorgeous self. His fins weren't clamped. He was maybe a tad bloated. He would only swim right side up if she disturbed him. I scoured all the websites on care for Swim Bladder, which was my first assumption, and this is how I instructed her to care for him:
•Put in 1 gal hospital tank with clear bottom (to see poo if constipation was the problem) and a plant to lay on
•Water change with aquarium salt added
•Fast him in case of constipation
•Keep warm and watch

She did all of this. He got progressively more lethargic throughout the day. The only swimming he would do was upside down. A few hours later, he stopped breathing. There is no evidence of external parasites, he looked to be in great health even in death. No pine-cone like scales or heavy bloating so I don't think it's dropsy. He couldn't have been depressed because he was eating like a pig the day before. No fin tears or fungus spots. I just don't get it. I've never heard of a betta that was perfectly fine, had Swim Bladder symptoms for a day, then perished.

Poor Ron, he was a gorgeous and flashy red double tail. What do you guys think happened, and did we do everything we could to help?
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:19 AM   #2 
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Location: Newcastle Australia
The truth is that swim bladder and dropsy are often signs of something that been brewing inside them for a while.
Swim bladder happens when bacteria or toxins in the fish invade the swim bladder and fill it with gas/liquid. This in turn makes the fish either too light or too heavy to swim properly.
Dropsy happens when the kidneys of a betta begin to go into panic mode and cannot mop up the toxins in the fish's blood.
While the two often happen together they are not the same thing, since dropsy can happen independant of swim bladder if the problem is for instance poisoning or parasites.

It really sounds like you did everything you could for him. I assume he was a pet store fish and many of those do not have the cleanest bloodlines, this can cause problems for them as they get older regardless of their care.
I am sure he knew he was loved until the end.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:21 AM   #3 
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Thank you Taeanna for your answer, and I apologize for my late response. I believe you're right about him, picking up something at the pet store. He went really fast. It's a shame because he was really quite pretty. Thank you for your sympathy too.
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