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Old 03-13-2014, 09:44 PM   #1 
Roxazaloah
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Unhappy Swim Bladder Suspicion?

Hi all,

I'm looking for a bit of help in trying to diagnose just what is happening to my betta fish, Herbert. He was purchased June 29, 2013 - so close to being a year old now! - - He seemed to be very healthy and happy.

We moved to our new house in November '13, and I slowly changed his water over to our -well- water. It was a gradual change from city water that *was* hard water, to well water that for the most part SEEMS to have less iron in it than the city water.

I've kept Herbert on a pellet-based diet (Tetra Betta pellets), and we have started breaking them up and feeding them to him after seeing him have difficulty eating one whole. He used to be fed 3-4 pellets 2 times a day, in the morning before work, and at night after work.

About 3-4 weeks ago, I started noticing his stomach was looking just a tad bigger - the coloring was just a little lighter, so I knew something was off. We started giving him less pellets gradually, and last week on we were doing about 2 pellets twice a day. The last 3-4 days however, he is eating less and less; today was my breaking point with him not so much as even doing his hungry dance for anything. He ate 1/4 of a pellet and 1/2 of a blood worm I tried feeding him just to see if he would eat.

He is very lethargic and spends most of the time now in a corner in a cluster of leaves or down in a decorative tree stump. He won't respond very well to stimulus and tries to hide away - what really got to me is that he usually greets me when I come home from work, frantically swimming back and forth when he hears me call out to him - - and now he's just like he was when I first brought him home.

He is currently in a 10 gallon, heated and filtered tank, with weekly siphoning of gravel and new clean, conditioned water added. Decorations in the tank are rinsed, and filter is rinsed out weekly on the same day of siphoning. I currently have no way of testing the water for ammonia - I can't seem to find a liquid ammonia testing kit ANYWHERE.

Link is attached for pictures of him and his (from what I can tell) swollen belly. I'm not sure what I can do. I think he may be constipated, but I don't know if anyone has seen early symptoms of some kind of illness from pictures like these. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much, I'm just worried sick about my lil guy...

Link to pictures: http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/ro...Swim%20Bladder
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:06 PM   #2 
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Well he definitely looks like he may be constipated. Good thing is, no signs of dropsy. Him being backed up could definitely be causing the lack of appetite and lethargy. Do you have something you can use as a hospital tank? Something with no gravel on the bottom so you can see if he passes anything.
Is his home heated?
If it is, and you can't heat a hospital tank, you can put him in some kind of container you can float in his current home with him in it, to stay warm, and start an epsom salt treatment.

The epsom salt has to be 100% pure, uncented, no additives, and unscented. Pre-mix a solution of 1 Tsp per gallon in a cup with his tank water, and add it in a bit at a time over the course of an hour,
adjusting the amount you pour in according to what size his hospital enclosure is. Like if he's in a 1/2 gallon container, use half the solution that you mixed a tsp with. Does this make sense? lol.

Anyway, let him stay in there overnight, monitor for waste if any, then make a fresh redose with fresh water. usually within 3 days, they will pass something, if not, you can double the 1 tsp per gallon solution to 2 tsp per gallon, and feed him some daphnia, which act as a laxative along with the epsom.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:19 PM   #3 
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Actually, in this one I may be seeing some pine coning...
You might be better off posting this in the disease and emergency section on this site for better opinions and advice than mine.


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Old 03-14-2014, 08:27 AM   #4 
Roxazaloah
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@ Betta Nut - - thank you for your reply - I have posted it in the diseases/emergency section. I DO have a 3 gallon cube tank that I can use as a hospital tank. I also have smaller heaters I can use in that tank to keep it as close as the original temp as well. What exactly does an epsom salt treatment do for bettas if I could ask?

For anyone else viewing, I've posted this thread here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=365498
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:41 AM   #5 
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Epsom salt is used to help pull out toxins from their body. It's also used for constipation and bloat. It works in the opposite way as aquarium salt, which is generally used for external things and wounds. AQ salt would make bloat worse, because it retains fluid. Epsom salt is also very gentle on your fish, so it's often one of the first things people use with internal ailments. It's also used in conjunction with something like API General Cure for fish with dropsy, so til someone can verify he has that, since it's easy to find in any drug store/walmart, I'd get him started on that.
Dropsy is a bad disease, but if it's caught early on, which would be the case here, a fair number pull through.
Best of luck to you!
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