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Old 07-03-2010, 02:18 PM   #1 
monsterpleco
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Bloated Betta

Hey everybody, I'm new here on the forums and I am really freaking out over my betta. She has been getting a bit larger and resting on the bottom of a quiet part of the tank for a few days now. This morning I looked at her and I realized this was getting way to abnormal. The bottom of her, right behind her head is where she shows most of the bloating.

Tank specs:
  • 10 gallon moderately planted tank
  • tank temp 75
  • a few guppies as tank mates
  • feeding her spirulina flakes mostly, bloodworms sometimes.
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:13 PM   #2 
monsterpleco
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EDIT::: I now realize that a mostly plant-based staple food is not good idea!! I automatically thought that like most fish, an extremely high protein diet could cause problems. Now I really need advice on how to get my betta's system flushed out, I guess? Want to get her through this.
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:52 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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How long has the tank been set-up, filtration and additives used if any, how much and how often on the water changes and when was the last one.
I would increase the water temp to about 78-80F
Careful feeding too much of freeze dried type bloodworms, too much, too often can cause bloat
I would stop all feeding at this point for at least 3 days until we figure out what is going on
Welcome by the way....
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:38 PM   #4 
monsterpleco
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The tank has been set up for at least 3 months, ever since I changed the substrate. I have a whisper ten that's very well established but I just added a palm azoo filter to let it build up bb, it's really small. The last water change I did was about a week and a half ago (50%). Also, I just cranked up the heat and the tank is reading 79
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:06 PM   #5 
Oldfishlady
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What kind of substrate and type of plants, how many guppies?
I would increase your water changes to 50% weekly depending on substrate and plant number and species.
If she is not better in a day or two with a fast, you can QT her and use Epsom salt 1tsp/gal along with 100% daily water changes for 10 days. A bare bottom QT is easier to use and to watch for poop. I like to pre-mix my Epsom salt in a 1g jug to make it easier for water changes and correct dosage. Epsom salt will work as a laxative and help reduce swelling
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #6 
monsterpleco
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I have java fern, red wendtii, anubias, and some hygro. There are 2 good sized female guppies in the tank. Unfortunately I don't have a QT tank set up, can I just move the guppies and treat the whole ten gallon with epsom?

PS. Is epsom salt available at the grocery store?
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:26 PM   #7 
Oldfishlady
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It will be harder to treat in a 10g tank and to do 100% water changes and I would not recommend that anyway due to the plants.

If you do treat in the 10g I would leave the guppies in the tank and make 50% daily WC, but be careful with the dosage of Epsom salt

You can use most anything that is food/human safe to QT her, even the cup she came in if she came in one that is, an old half gallon to 1g glass jar of some type will work, something clear and clean so that you can see her well and what comes out of her.

Is she still bloated and has the bloat gone down any at all? Are you still holding her food and by doing so has that helped reduce the swelling any? Any swelling noted any place else and no scale sticking up like in dropsy? Has she had any bowel movements? and if so, what did it look like?

Epsom salt is usually found at most stores that have a pharmacy dept, it is also plant safe and most fish tolerate it, however, some salt sensitive fish can have problems, both guppies and Betta usually have no issues with it up to 3tsp/g IME
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:15 PM   #8 
monsterpleco
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I have not fed her in a few days, and I haven't noticed any bowel movements. She's still noticeably bloated and each day her scales stick out a bit more like with dropsy :[
I have a book about fish health that said the only "treatment" for dropsy is general antibiotics. What the heck did they mean by that?

Should I really do so many/such drastic water changes? I'm just really worried she'll get too stressed out and die on me.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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If the bloating is just in the stomach area and to the point that the scales are sticking out-it may be system shut down/renal failure or the duct could be impacted, sometimes not much can be done, however, Epsom salt 1tsp/gal up to 3tsp/gal can help with the symptoms along with really clean dechlorinated water.
Often this is seen in long term aquarium salt use, poor water quality, high nitrate, diet has a role as well and when it stages out not much can be done
Using a broad spectrum antibiotic wouldn't hurt at this point since she has been symptomatic for at least a week(?) per your post and getting worse. I don't use antibiotic so I can't recommend any.....

Clean water can do amazing things for fish, kinda like fresh air for us...

You can have stress from water changes or stress from dirty ammonia filled water.....
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:05 PM   #10 
monsterpleco
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I just did a 60% water change and plan to get some epsom salt ASAP. So if I understand what you're saying correctly, I can scoop her up with a net and put her in a glass vase, and dose with epsom salt in there? How long should I leave her in there?
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