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Old 06-20-2010, 01:26 PM   #1 
MyLilBettaMen
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Oh no! I think Willie Nelson has swim bladder problems :(

10g tank w/divider, 2 male betta. feeding minipellets and bloodworms.

Last night I moved the tank and did a 100% water change with half spring water and half conditioned tap water. I removed two decorations because they were not open enough and either yellow algae or some kind of bacteria had started to live in them. I moved the tank because we opened an airvent in the kitchen and it was blowing on the tank. Right now the water temp is 78F. Last night Willie Nelson my Crowntail was doing fine, he swam around without problems to the bottom.. but right before I went to bed I noticed that he was sitting at the top of the tank (upright position) with his back sticking out of the water like a submarine at port, I thought this was odd and made plans to gethim a taller plant to sit on b/c I thought he just wanted to be up closer to the surface for air. BUT this morning he cannot reach the bottom of the tank and can only swim halfway down.. I'm putting my tall plant in there from my 30g tank for him to rest on.. but how do I help him with his swim bladder and how do I keep him from drying out on his back!?
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Old 06-20-2010, 04:39 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Does he look bloated? are the bloodworms the freeze dried type and if so, how much and how often are you feeding them?
How is the other Betta?
Is the tank filtered and before you moved it-how much and how often did you make the water changes and do you use any additives like dechloranator, salt, pH products etc....
How long have you had this Betta?
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:40 PM   #3 
MyLilBettaMen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Does he look bloated? are the bloodworms the freeze dried type and if so, how much and how often are you feeding them?
How is the other Betta?
Is the tank filtered and before you moved it-how much and how often did you make the water changes and do you use any additives like dechloranator, salt, pH products etc....
How long have you had this Betta?
He's not bloated, theyre frozen but not freeze dried and maybe two actual worms out of a cube for each betta. they eat once a day and I change the water 100% once a week. there is no filter because they get pushed around too much with one, i had an airstone in it but took it out temporarily because the ornament i was using to hold it down became full of algae/slime. I use a water conditioner for fish that gets rid of chlorine, chloramines, nitrites, and is supposed to enhance their slime coat.. I use the same stuff for my 8inch goldfish.. our tap water PH is usually around 8.0, which is ok for goldies.. not sure if thats ok for bettas so I use half spring water to bring it down. I have not been salting because I thought it was bad for tropicals to salt the water and I have only salted the goldie when she was sick. I've had the sick betta about a month I think and the other betta I've had for about a year and a half. The other betta is healthy and not showing any signs of being stressed. They've been in the divided tank together for about two or three weeks?
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:33 AM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Sounds like you are providing good care and since you have only had this guy for a month he was most likely sick when you got him or he has a deformed swim bladder from fry stage that can show up later in life.
The natural treatment would be QT and 100% daily water changes with Epsom salt 1tsp/gal for 10 days. I would also cover the top of the QT tank with a plastic veggie wrap to keep the air above the water warm and humid, if it is related to deformed swim bladder he may not recover but can still live a normal life as long as he is not struggling too much, hopefully it is just a swelling at the duct or mild infection that is causing the symptoms. Using a broad spectrum antibiotic will also work- but I don't use them so I can't advise

Your pH is fine and most bettas will adapt and be fine, I don't use long term salt either.
You also may want to add a 50% water change mid week to the 10g on a regular basis since you don't have a filter.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:52 PM   #5 
MyLilBettaMen
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Ok thank you! I woke up this morning and he has made a HUGE bubble nest.. it covers almost half of his half of the tank. He also swam down to the very bottom, but then he floated back to the top :( my QT for the bettas is only a little hexagon plastic container they sell in pet stores as "betta keepers".. will it be too stressful on him to be in such a small space for that long??
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Old 06-21-2010, 04:41 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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If he seems better, you could try just doing some 50% daily water changes in his current tank.
The Betta keeper will be fine for QT and this is just temporary for treatment so he should be fine
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:30 PM   #7 
MyLilBettaMen
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Ugh, I tested the water today, this doesnt make any sense. I've gone through two fishtanks now. The first one I thought the problem was because it was used when I got it and had housed a snake. But now I have no clue! My ammonia is already at 0.50 in that tank. I moved both fish into QT until I can figure out whats wrong with the tank.. My nitrites are 0 and my nitrates are 5.0, which makes no sense whatsoever to me because nitrites are supposed to be present before nitrates? Plus as I was moving Willie Nelson to QT I noticed the water surface is slimey.. I dont know a good description of it other than if you get dawn dishwashing soap on your hands and put too much but cant wash it all off? It smells sweet too, but I never use soap and this tank was bought new. I had sterilized it with vinegar but rinsed well (that was about 2 water changes ago). :(
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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Without a filter/filter media or oxygen source to maintain the oxygen level for the good bacteria you will not get a true cycle and this may be why you are getting the number you have. Along with the 100% water changes you make weekly and removal of the airstone could have caused death or decrease of what good bacteria was in the tank causing an ammonia spike.
The good bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank, in the top layer of substrate and in the filter media, very little are in the water column and so if the 100% water changes are just water only without substrate cleaning or cleaning the walls or decoration with the added airstone you could have a large enough colony of bacteria to keep the tank stable for 2 fish IMO. However, filter media is much better at maintaining that needed bacterial colony for a stable cycle.
Also what type of testing products are you using, strips or liquid reagent?

Without water movement the organics can settle on the top of the water and appear oily, by increase water movement, some water changes with substrate vacuum, removal of uneaten food and decaying matter usually will fix it.
Some fish food can contain more oil than others
Sometimes just the residues left on our hands from either soap, purfume, lotions, and the additives in some of the aquarium water conditioners can cause this as well.

You may want to add the filter back and rig a baffle to control the current and make 50% water changes with substrate vacuum weekly to keep the water quality and cycle stable.

How is the fish doing today?
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:37 PM   #9 
MyLilBettaMen
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What is a baffle? My substrate are large glass stones so when I clean the tank I take them out and wash with warm water. I use API liquid tests and I did add a conditioner when I did the water change.. their food has never been a problem before but I'll go buy some fresh food since Ive had that container for about a year.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:24 PM   #10 
MyLilBettaMen
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:( Willie Nelson is getting worse.. Now he's floating on his side and his body seems to be either swelling or curving the wrong way..














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