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Old 07-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #1 
HazelrahLayna7
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Question THREE fish with swimbladder issues...?!?!

Hey there. I'm trying to figure out just what's up with my fish, two sink like a rock and the other one stays near the surface. It looks kinda like some swim bladder issue, but I'm really not sure how they all developed it... I've been having horrible luck with my fish lately, went from seven to four in a week and a half about a month back, and don't want to just stand by when I could be doing something.

Housing

What size is your tank? 10 gallon, but I fill it a couple gallons short of the top so there's about eight and a bit gallons of water in there.
What temperature is your tank? About 77 Fahrenheit, I just changed the temp so its warming up.
Does your tank have a filter? Not currently, planning on putting one in at the gentlest level to get rid of that irritating protein film that hangs around in my tank.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Nope.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? I've divided the tank three ways. Two females and one male betta, no other creatures.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New Life Spectrum Betta Formula
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day one pellet. I've been holding off, seeing if maybe fasting would help.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% and often a bit more.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I use Seachem Prime to condition the water, beyond that nothing.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I haven't been able to test them, but I know that can be helpful so I'll be posting it in a bit.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Their colors aren't really washed out, I can't find any stress stripes though that doesn't mean they aren't there and I'm just not seeing them. Diva's fins are a bit ragged, I think she might have been biting them, and Temple's have a few new nips in them as well. Professor's fins aren't that great, but they've been that way for a while so I don't believe it's a symptom.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Diva and Temple sink like a rock. They can swim to the top without extreme struggling, but once they stop swimming they sink at once. It's like their tail gets heavy....which can't be, because they have relatively little fins. Professor doesn't have as intense of a change, he still swims fairly fine, though he's been hanging out near the surface a lot lately... I can't tell if it's out of choice or swim bladder issues. I'm going to be watching them to try to find out.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last Wednesday I noticed that Diva was growing 'heavy' in her tail, as in she was sinking often. She was fasted, but there was no chance come morning, and it was then that I noticed that Temple and Professor were showing potential signs of it as well. I was out of town from Thursday afternoon to late Saturday night, and they fasted during that time since Mom doesn't feed the fish. Sunday was busy too so I didn't have time to sit down and find out what was up, but I can now, so here I am.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Fasting
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No. Professor has pretty ragged fins and I'm not sure what from, but it's been a while and they look fine, just haven't grown back.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Oh boy. Well I got them from pet stores.... I've had Professor for a year come July, and I've had the girls for about a year and a half.

Let me see....other details. I think there might have been some kind of fungus growing in their old tank but it might have been loose strands of the protein film that stuck to the plants. Just in case it was fungus, I changed the tank they were in and redid dividers and have placed a different heater in, I just need to clean my filters really good. The only thing that was the same in this tank is the plants, but I'm not inclined to say that that's what's up. I would lower the water/put them in shallow-er containers to help with coming to the surface, but I'm never sure how to keep the water warm enough, since I believe my heater would be too strong for the shallow-er tank and I can't find a nack for floating the containers. I know Epsom salt is good to use with SBD, would it be a good idea to get some of that going? And I'm getting a bit nervous about how long they've been without food.....I know they can live for long enough without it, but it's not good to push it too far and I don't want to deprive them of food for energy, especially when the two girls are having trouble anyways.

Last edited by HazelrahLayna7; 07-01-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #2 
LebronTheBetta
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Fish release hormones which alert other fish (in this case, bettas) that they are there. I don't really recommend keeping males and females together even if divided due to this fact. The stress might be interfering their swim bladders, but that isn't definite.

A past betta of mine had the same symptoms as your females. If they try to go up, they sink back down. I did the original Epsom Salt Treatment. 1-3 teaspoons per gallon, (depending on how bad they have it) dissolved first before added to the water, and doing 100% changes daily for 10-14 days or until the symptoms have stopped.

I would put them in separate small containers, (around 1-3 gallons or so) because to be honest, I think cleaning out a 10G daily is a big hassle. Just feed every other day of treatment and then they should be well in no time. (:
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:15 AM   #3 
HazelrahLayna7
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Originally Posted by LebronTheBetta View Post
Fish release hormones which alert other fish (in this case, bettas) that they are there. I don't really recommend keeping males and females together even if divided due to this fact. The stress might be interfering their swim bladders, but that isn't definite.

A past betta of mine had the same symptoms as your females. If they try to go up, they sink back down. I did the original Epsom Salt Treatment. 1-3 teaspoons per gallon, (depending on how bad they have it) dissolved first before added to the water, and doing 100% changes daily for 10-14 days or until the symptoms have stopped.

I would put them in separate small containers, (around 1-3 gallons or so) because to be honest, I think cleaning out a 10G daily is a big hassle. Just feed every other day of treatment and then they should be well in no time. (:
I remember that I've heard that before. x/ They seemed to be doing alright, but I see how it could have triggered it. Once they're all squared away I'll redo the ten gallon to be divided in half and place my boy in a different tank, it would be better for them.

Thank you so much for the advice! I'm glad to hear they recovered- gives me hope I can catch this before it gets worse! I just need to find some good quarantine containers.... all my one gallons are tall jars that just won't do for the obvious reason that they're tall! *Off to scour the house*

Oh, and any thoughts on how to keep them at an ideal temperature?
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:28 AM   #4 
Seki
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When I needed to treat my fish and keep him warm, too, I floated his quarantine tank (it was plastic) in his larger five gallon tank. Worked great and his temperature stayed constant. :)

Best of luck with your babies! I know it's difficult when your fish aren't feeling well~
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #5 
HazelrahLayna7
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When I needed to treat my fish and keep him warm, too, I floated his quarantine tank (it was plastic) in his larger five gallon tank. Worked great and his temperature stayed constant. :)

Best of luck with your babies! I know it's difficult when your fish aren't feeling well~
Whoo whoo, I found things that will work- Or rather, plastic draws from an assemble your own thingy. xD A gallon fits nicely in it without being too deep.

Thanks Seki- they're precious. <3 Heh, I'm going to care for them to the best of my ability, but when I find myself fishless I'm going to stick with just rabbits for a little while- you can take them to a vet when things aren't as they should be! x] That would be a great idea, if I wasn't floating-incompetent, which seems to be the case! Though that makes me think.... There's an extra bathroom in the house and an electric heater I could put in there.... if I could get the temp steady it would be perfect. Seems I have some experimenting to do.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:55 PM   #6 
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Quick update: Got them all into separate containers with Epsom salt- the girls have two teaspoons per gallon and Professor has one. Professor stopped being freaked out about the new surroundings pretty quickly, and Diva just started swimming around a bit. Temple isn't quite there yet, though I did put her into her container last, so it's likely she just hasn't quite adjusted yet. I'm waiting until Mom comes home to try out the heater/bathroom idea- I might not set anything on fire then. :P
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #7 
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I hope your fish get better soon, but I want to clear something up about your feeding schedule. You say that you normally would feed them 1 NLS pellet a day, and that's it? Nothing else?
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:18 PM   #8 
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Two of my bettas are also sinking like a rock :( They've been for the past 3 weeks. The epsom salt hasn't done anything for them. I will be keeping an eye on this thread:)) Hope your fish get better!
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #9 
HazelrahLayna7
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Originally Posted by majesticstorm View Post
I hope your fish get better soon, but I want to clear something up about your feeding schedule. You say that you normally would feed them 1 NLS pellet a day, and that's it? Nothing else?
Nothing else. I know...it's verging on too little. I had tried to do 2, but with schedule craziness I've lapsed... yet another thing to change once they're recovered.

Speaking of that, how should I be feeding them right now? I don't want to feed them too much, but like I mentioned in my first post, I'm unsure about letting them go much longer without food.

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Two of my bettas are also sinking like a rock :( They've been for the past 3 weeks. The epsom salt hasn't done anything for them. I will be keeping an eye on this thread:)) Hope your fish get better!
I hope so too- and for yours as well! If I knew anything to help I would, but I'd say I'm more clueless! I hope they recover soon.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:03 PM   #10 
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Yeah, I think it's too little. I use NLS betta too, and I feed my boys twice a day, at LEAST 4 pellets each time. My doubletail eats 4 pellets each time while my other two eats 5 pellets each time because they are plakats and more active. I've had no swim bladder issues at all.
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