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Old 02-20-2010, 07:28 PM   #1 
Floating About
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Swim bladder problem?

Hello betta fish fans!

I'm a new owner of Alfred, a beautiful blue body/red fin crowntail betta. He was fine and lovely until I moved out to a new house, where I discovered the hard way that the water had too much chlorine in it. My boyfriend, who I moved in with, had two other bettas who had their waters changed first with the over-chlorinated water. The first betta didn't make it... and the second betta, a vibrant red half-moon, lost its entire tail. My fish was the last one, and he survived without any visible damage, though I imagine that he was pretty stressed.

Since then, I've been careful to strictly use drinking water that can be purchased in stores. He still exhibited some frantic movements, much like Manny's: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=37566. I think the problem here might've been infrequent water changes, so I remedied the problem by moving Alfred from a little box tank to a one gallon glass cylinder, complete with gravel and a couple vine-like plants (sorry, I don't know the name). This time however, I filled the tank with water from a 70 gallon fish tank in which my boyfriend's flowerhorn has been thriving in.

A few minutes later, I checked up on him and panicked because he was floating up uncontrollably and tilting on his side. I scooped him up and put him in the container we bought him in with new drinking water only. He seemed to recover somewhat, but he still can't control his swim bladder, his colors are losing luster, and his stomach looks a little bloated. Alfred has been under quarantine for two days now since this post.

The water from the flowerhorn's tank should have been fine, since it is very active and healthy. The 70-gallon tank had been refilled recently with the deadly water from the new house, but it had been filtered and left alone with the top cover off for three days.

Alfred had been on a regular diet of blood worms, flakes, and pellets, though we binged him on blood worms for a while because he refused to eat pellets. I believe the blood worms were freeze-dried. I've stopped feeding him blood worms now and kept him mostly on pellets and some flakes. I feed him every morning around 10am-12pm and at night around 9pm-11pm.

I do not know the temperature of the water, but my room is the warmest of the whole house when I keep the windows closed - which I always do at night. I would estimate the room temperature to be about 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit when the rest of the house is around 65 degrees. The tank is also on my desk, which is directly under a window and in the path of direct sunlight during the afternoon from another window.

Whenever I clean the tank, I change all of the water since I don't have a vacuum for it.

Please tell me what I should do - I don't like to see him suffer.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:33 PM   #2 
JamieTron
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It sounds like it could be swim bladder disease to me. I would try cleaning all of his water, keeping the temperature similar to the water temperature before the water change. Make sure if you use tap water from now on to treat it with aquarium water conditioner, it helps eliminate any chlorine in tap water. You can pick it up from your local petstore. Bottled water is okay too though, just remember it is normally very soft water, which isn't always good for bettas.

I would try fasting him for a few days, he is most likely constipated and not feeding him for a bit will allow the compaction to move through the body. Watch and see if he is using the bathroom. It can take awhile to heal from maybe 1 day to a week. Depending. Flakes, dried blood worms and pellets are all foods that can cause swim bladder disease because they expand. You could soak them in water before feeding them to your betta or feed him less at a time to help prevent further SBD accidents. Genreally people have said that the betta's stomach is only about the size of their eye.

If it is not constipation than...Sometimes a betta can also damage their swim bladder which can cause these problems as well...I have also read sudden changes in what temperature may also cause these symptoms with the swim bladder.

I hope this helps!! good luck!
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:08 AM   #3 
Floating About
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Thanks Jamie! Alfred's all better now!

You were right, I saw a little bit of poop at the bottom of his quarantine container, which I assume to mean that he was constipated. I'll be sure to cut down on what I feed him.

Thanks again! Much appreciated!
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