I work at a pet store, and we recently got a fish in that seemed to have the beginning signs of a swim bladder disorder. when it started getting a bit worse, after a few days, he was put back in our "isolation room." now, fish in the isolation room rarely get treated unless one of probably three employees is there to do it, so he's been getting worse and worse. he has now had it for maybe a week and a half, and cant even get upright to eat for me to try a piece of frozen pea. at work, he was in a small cup, and the temperature was at about 70 probably. I brought him home, and he's in a spare one gallon bowl I had at about 77 degrees. I read about Epsom salt, so I put a little bit in there, a low dose. just wanted to know if there was anything else I could do for the little guy. he tries so hard to move around and get upright, but his body has curved. it looks like he's chasing his tail sometimes.
Oh wow he is really face down huh? I would suggest a betta hammock, one of those little leaves that suctions to the tank, not sure if you have them where you work, but they are like $3.00 at petsmart. I have a rescue with swim bladder issues right not and she sits on hers almost all the time. Just makes it easier for them to breathe, and eat.
Its definitely a sign of swim bladder problems when they are stuck face down, but ive never seen one quite so U shaped. Swim Bladder Disorder is typically a symptom of a different problem. Bloat/constipation is common, internal parasites, or bacterial infection. Your guy does not look bloated. Is he pooping at all? What color is it?
he hasn't pooped since I've had him, but I just brought him home yesterday so i'm not sure. there was some brown stuff at the bottom of the cup I brought him home in, but i'm not sure if it was just food he hadn't eaten or if there was poop in there, too. I work at petsmart, so i'll get the hammock, but he moves around and spins around quite a lot so i'm not sure it'll work. there are rocks in there now to hold down the heater, but I put in as little as it took so I could monitor it.
Poor guy :( My rescue girl that is battling SBD and a bacterial infection is from petsmart. She is stuck on her side though not upside down. Ive had her 2 weeks with little improvement. Keep an eye out for what color his poop is, and keep trying to feed him.
I would dose the Epsom salt at 3 tsp/gallon, this is the max dosage but it wont hurt him. How long has he been like this? You could start antibiotics, its more likely that the cause is bacterial rather than parasitic. Kanaplex is the preferred medication for these things, but you could also use Maracyn II, though it can be rough on them.
Also- Ive been having a tough time getting my gal to eat, she bops the pellets with her head, and of course they sink and she cant get them. Im going to try flake food even though its not as good, just so she doesn't starve. Maybe try the same for your guy.
for the Epsom salt, I heard varying doses from 1 tsp per gallon to 1 tsp per 5 gallons, so I did a half tsp for his bowl to be safe. he's been this way since we got him in. It's the first fish we've ever gotten in like this as long as i've worked there. we got him in probably a week and a half ago, and I remember he was a little wobbly back then when I opened the box and pulled out his cup. I've tried to find kanaplex before, with no luck. we have maracyn II, but if you say it could be harmful to him, i'd rather not risk it unless I have to.
1-3 tsp per gallon is what everyone on this site has recommended to me, and what I have been using with my fish. I would definitely up the dosage with him. I had to order my kanaplex online. It hasn't arrived yet so I cant tell you how its working. I have been using Maracyn II with my girl, and it doesn't seem to be hurting her its just not helping either.
My suggestion, up your salt to 2-3 tsp/gallon today, and see if that helps first. Dissolve the salt in a glass of water and add very slowly into his bowl, like over the course of an hour. Remember, Epsom salt is not really salt, it is magnesium sulfate, and cannot hurt them the same way regular salt would. It is actually supposed to be very therapeutic.
If after a couple days that doesn't work, either take a shot with Maracyn II, or order Kanaplex. If he does have something bacterial going on you will have to use some sort of anitibiotics. Kanaplex is supposedly not as hard on them as the Maracyn, and it is supposedly absorbed better by the fish, and therefore is more effective. I am kicking myself for not just ordering the kanaplex immediately when I bought my gal.
Although my gal is stuck in a different shape than your guy they essentially have the same issue, if you would like to read my thread on her, and all the advice I was given for treating her here is the link http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=245713.
my concern is that I may not have the time for the kanaplex to arrive. i'll try the added dose of the Epsom salt treatment while I decide what to do.
I did buy an antibiotic for another one of my bettas that was cured very quickly, but I lost it. just my luck :/
That was my concern too, but nothing else seemed to work. Maybe order the kanaplex, and use Maracyn II while you wait for it to come? There's a chance the Maracyn II will work, and then you'll have the kanaplex for the future (its only $6.) The concern people have with Maracyn II is that it is hard on the fish's kidneys. Since your boy isn't bloated and retaining fluid that is a good indication his kidneys are still functioning properly, and can still handle the medication.