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Old 07-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #1 
percyfyshshelley
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alberta, Canada
Unhappy Very sick, bloated female

Id appreciate any help with my girl, Big Blue.

Housing
What size is your tank? 29g, just moved from a 20g
What temperature is your tank? 81F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, aquaclear 30 and sponge filter in the old (20g) tank, aquaclear 30, sponge filter, and fluval U3 in new (29g) tank
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Sponge filter
Is your tank heated? Yes, fluval heater
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Lived with 11 other females in the old (20g) tank, added 8 more females when moved to 29g

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS and omega one, the food that was fed most recently was omega one
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily

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%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime. When I moved the fish to the new 29g I also added stress coat and vitachem

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Yes, API liquid test kit.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0 (usually do get a nitrate reading but it was a new tank so all new water
pH: 8
Hardness: no test, but the water here is quite hard I believe
Alkalinity: no test

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? She became bloated after eating, very swollen belly, developed a white slime on her fins and body. She has rapid operculum movement.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? After becoming bloated, she hovered in one corner of the tank near the top. I moved her to a qt tank. This morning, she is lying on her side and has rapid gill movements.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Yesterday, right after moving her to a new tank.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I purchased her from aquabid and she arrived about 6 weeks ago. So I'd say, 6 months or less?

So two days ago, I combined two sororities (12 in a 20g, and 8 in a 20g) into a 29g. After getting everyone acclimated and into the tank, I fed them. Big Blue ((hadn't given her a proper name yet, but she's a big, blue DT) I think got more of her fair share. She was the most dominant one in the tank.

The next day, I noticed she was in a corner of the tank looking very bloated. She was still active and chased away any fish that came near here. I separated her. She produced quite a bit a poop that looked normal. I didn't feed her, of course. She still looked pretty good and I decided not to treat her with anything just yet.
However, this morning, she is lying on her side, has rapid gill movements, and a white slime on her fins and body.

What can I do for her? I have Epsom salt, aquarium salt, various antibiotics, and can go get something else if I need it. Should I have started Epsom salts right away? Should I do anything for the rest of the tank? All the other fish look fine. I'm fasting everyone for a couple days, just in case.

She was completely fine before I moved her.

Thank you!
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #2 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Since this happened just after she ate, I would quarantine her in a small tank, fast her for a day or two, and add some Epsom salt.

Epsom salt has a laxative effect (in fish and people). Since it doesn't contain sodium, it doesn't stress the kidneys.

I would start with a dosage of about 0.5 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon. The easiest way to do this is to put some of her tank water in a cup. Add 0.5 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon. Stir until completely dissolved. Slowly pour the solution back into her tank over the course of about 30 minutes.

Epsom salt doesn't evaporate, so you don't need to add more to the tank. When you do water changes, you can premix it into the new water. Or, if you decide she doesn't need it anymore, just do a water change with plain (non-salted) water.

If you're very concerned about her condition: After 12 hours at the 0.5 teaspoons per gallon dosage, you can increase the amount to 1 teaspoon per gallon.

It can take a few days for the Epsom salt to have an effect. The general rule of thumb is that, if needed, she can stay in Epsom salt solution for 10-14 days. However, she most likely will be fine after a couple of days.

At this point, I wouldn't use an antibiotic. It sounds more like she just overate. Plus, she's the only one who has these symptoms. I'm a little concerned about the white slime on her body, but she may just be shedding some slime coat due to stress. (If the entire tank had this, I would suspect a disease, rather than overeating.) Definitely do not use aquarium salt, as this can contribute to bloating and fluid retention, which will make her condition worse.

Also, Epsom salt has some mild antibacterial properties, so if there's anything going on bacterial, Epsom salt and frequent water changes should help.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 07-01-2013 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:25 PM   #3 
percyfyshshelley
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Thank you LBF! She's in a small kritter keeper and I started the Epsom salt treatment. Since she was barely moving I lowered the water level to about two inches, and put in a betta hammock. She went under the hammock :(
So I gently placed her on it, and she was like, oh, now I get it! She has been resting there and her face is just a few millimeters from the surface so she can breath. Her gill movements are less rapid now, she is slightly upright, she pooped s tiny bit, and I haven't seen any more white slime. She also looks less bloated.

The slime really had me worried but maybe it is just slime coat, I hope. It wasn't fuzzy or cottony, and it wasn't around her mouth or gills. all other fish are doing well.

She doesn't have a heater and I'm a little nervous to float her in another tank with fish, just in case it is something contagious. It is very hot here and the water is 79. The fish room is like a sauna and is miserably hot, so I don't think the water will cool too much overnight.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:18 AM   #4 
LittleBlueFishlets
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You can also cover the top of the tank with plastic food wrap. (Saran, Glad, etc.) This will increase the humidity level, and make it easier for her to breathe. Plus, the wrap will help maintain the water temperature tonight. (Be sure to leave at least several inches of air so she can breathe.)
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:21 AM   #5 
Narny105
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Could you provide some images? Epsom at that dosage is too high, and I don't even go that high for goldfish. Reason being is that yes, it is a great laxative since it pulls retaining fluids from the body, but it does have it's risks.

Too high of a dose and prolonged exposure is easily capable of causing a fish to become anemic, and this is not an issue that can be solved.

Keep it at 1/4th teaspoons for 10 gallons, and do not go any higher and prolong past 8 days. That is a much safer and still very effective dose for pulling retained fluids. I honestly think the high epsom dosage is what is causing some of the rapid breathing.

In issues of overeating, increasing the temperature alone and fasting can be enough to increase the fish's metabolism so food is processed easily through the body.

In terms of the slime appearance of her, pictures would be appreciated. A thickened slime coat is a result of external irritation causing the skin to produce more slime- similar to us forming mucus in our throat when it's sore.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:38 AM   #6 
percyfyshshelley
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Thanks LBF and narny. I put Saran wrap over the lid leaving some space for air. The water temp seems to be staying stable but I could float her in a big tank with a heater and without any other fish. She no loner has the white slime on her so I didn't take a pix. I did see a little slime In the water before I changed it, and I tried to photograph it, but it didn't show up in the pix. I can see what she looks like tomorrow.
Right now she looks pretty good. She is able to swim upright, but still has some buoyancy issues. She is not as active as she usually is, however, and prefers to stay on her betta hammock most of the time.
When I changed the water today I just used treated water without ES, since she seems to be doing better. I should add, she was breathing heavily before I added the ES. Her breathing has definately improved. She has pooped some too. I haven't fed her anything yet. I'm so glad she is doing better!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:45 AM   #7 
Narny105
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If you can keep the temp more stable floating in a bigger tank, that would be great! Glad to hear an improvement

Give her a full 24 hours fast and then try feeding a little bit of a blanched pea (without skin). Hopefully she will be back to normal by then!

If you want to, you can always fast the tank on the 6th day, and feed everyone some blanched pea on the 7th day, then regular food for the rest of the week. Just gives them all time to fully digest the food and have a weekly cleanse :)
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:34 AM   #8 
Narny105
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Good luck! :)
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