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Old 09-16-2010, 11:30 AM   #1 
windfire
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betta seems to e sick

hi there guys, i have a small problem and was wondering if a epson salt bath would help. i changed Vulcans food about a month ago and shortly afterward he got bloat, i didnt make the conection with the new food and i gave him some pea and fasted him for awhile and he recovered. i fed normal food again and a few days later he had bloat again so i fed pea fasted and im using a product called heal all by bio elite which i've always had good results with. he seems to be over the bloat again but im still worried he cant stay on the bottom of the tank without bracing himself under something, a leaf or part of the decoration. im now feeding tetra betta flakes which he seems to enjoy. im also worried he might be starting to pinecone. can anyone help? i havnt moved him i figured the stress would make him worse
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:46 AM   #2 
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Have a few questions...

How big is the tank, how much and how often are the water changes and when was the last one, additives used, filtration, live plants, water temp?

When he is bloated what other symptoms is he having? and how long does it take for the bloat to go away, what does his poop look like?
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:36 PM   #3 
Adastra
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It might be easiest to follow this format for answering questions, since there are quite a few valuable pieces of information you didn't state in your first post: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #4 
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thanks adastra. riht here we go...

Vulcan lives in a 70litre custom built tank made just for him. its filtered by an internal canister and is heated to 25celsius. its a planted tank so i dont have an airstone and there is a khuli loach, an apple snail and a few cherry shrimp as tank mates.

he was being fed on a cheap no name brand flak food and frozen blood worms but i figured it was the new food giving him bloat and the brand of frozen blood worms i use is cultivated in pig manure so could also have contributed to any bacteria infestation. he gets pea once a week and im now feeding tetra betta flakes which he seems to enjoy. he still has a appetite.

i usually do a 25-50% change once a week along with a gravel vac but i have baby shrimp and i dont want to suck anyone up but i didnt think it would be too much of an issue as its got a filter. uhm, i cant test at the moment as im still saving to buy a good quality kit

he just doesnt seem himself, his poop was white and lumpy but that seems to be cleared up. he doesnt swim around as much as he used to and as i'v mentioned before doesnt seem to be able to stay on the bottom of the tank without bracing himself underneath something. im treating with bio elite heal all and i honestly havnt the foggiest how old he is. he's always been a very healthy fish i've never had a problem with him. im hoping the change of food will help but it sometimes looks like the scales are coming away from his bodies which i know isnt good.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:53 PM   #5 
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Most reputable brands of frozen blood worms are certified sterilized when they are processed, usually in these cases the frozen food is not to blame. However, if you've been feeding your fish low quality food for a long time, he may have developed an internal parasite infestation along with constipation and swim bladder disorder.

I would put him into a different container and give him epsom salt baths. If you don't have another fish tank, you can use a plastic storage bin--storage bins are only about $3 for a 4 gallon container with a lid, and they're safe for fish.

Epsom Salt Bath: In a separate container, prepare water of the same temperature or use water from the betta’s tank and dissolve 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per gallon. Slowly adjust the betta to the water over about 5 minutes--acclimation time is much shorter because the fish shouldn’t be exposed to this amount of Epsom salt for too long--then allow the betta to sit in the bath for 15 minutes. Carefully monitor the betta, and remove him or her if they show signs of distress. Consider changing the water in the betta’s tank during the bath so that the fish will have clean water to recover in. This treatment can be repeated once in the same day, but if repeated, the duration of the bath should be shortened to 5-10 minutes.

If you have another small heater to use in the hospital bin, you could use this treatment:

Epsom Salt Leave-in Treatment: In a separate container, prepare water of the same temperature, and mix in one tablespoon per five gallons of dissolved Epsom salt. Acclimate the fish to the salted water for at least a half hour. Alternatively, if you used water from the betta’s tank, you can transfer the betta into the water directly and dissolve the salt in another container--slowly adding the dissolved salts to the water over the course of at least a half hour. The duration of this treatment is three to five days--during this time, do water changes as necessary, replacing the dissolved salts as necessary.

It seems like the fish has some internal parasite issues, but the immediate concern is getting the bloating down and seeing if you get more abnormal poop. If he's starting to dropsy, the epsom salt should help with that as well. I would stop feeding him for now, as well, until the bloating goes down or you see him poop. Fish can go for weeks without eating, so you shouldn't worry about him starving.

Last edited by Adastra; 09-16-2010 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:38 AM   #6 
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ok so im starting the epson salt baths today and was wondering how many you can doo in one day? after seeing him in the hospital tub i can definately say he has dropsy without a doubt. his scales are visibly sticking out away from his body. im hoping i can save him and will continue to dose with heal all as i figure every lil bit helps but its not looking good
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Old 09-19-2010, 10:41 AM   #7 
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I leave them in the Epsom salt 1tsp/gal 24h-I make 100% water changes daily with the epsom salt water for at least 10 days, sadly once the symptom of dropsy shows often it can mean system shut down and all you can do is treat the symptom to make his last days comfy.,......but don't give up too soon.......good luck
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #8 
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hmmm ok may be time to rinse one of the spare tanks out and set it up as a hospital. so would you say a leave in treatment is better? i could use his heater and just do frequent water changes. damn i wish i hadnt given that 16L tank away would of been a perfect hospital, now i gota use one of the 40L.

i think i'll only fill it sorta half way so its not too deep and he doesnt have too far too swim to the surface, if he manages to get to the bottom. i have some java moss i could use as a bed/ hidey place, i'll leave the tank bare bottomed. anything i've missed?
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:58 PM   #9 
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I prefer the 10 day treatment with Epsom salt-when I need to treat I also like too keep the water temp in the 76-77F range or room temp for me

You want to do treatment in QT especially since you have shrimp, snails and loaches-however, Epsom salt is plant safe....

I use a clean 1g jug and pre-mix my epsom salt 1tsp/gal-this make daily water changes and dosage easier for me and I keep my jug of water in the same location as the Qt Betta so the water is pretty close in temp as well

Sometimes-depending on what/why I am treating I use a QT container that hold about 2 cups of water and float it in a tank to maintain water temp

I use dip/bath on occasion but in much higher amounts of salts and only in really bad cases due to the stress it can cause on the fish and often death

It is important to use enough salt to do any good but not too much-dosage and duration are very important with any treatment so not to cause more harm than good....over treatment can be as bad as no or under treatment.

With floating/sinking or balance type problems I like to use Epsom salt 1tsp/gal along with daily 100% water changes in QT for at least 10 days-sometimes they will recover in 3-4 days and I will continue treatment for 3 more days, but rarely longer that 10 days.
The epsom salt works as a laxative and it has some antibacterial/fungal effects too.

Sometimes these issues can be cause from poor water quality and often it is from a plug in the duct betwen the swim bladder and intestine and it can become inflamed/infected. It can even be from deformed swim bladder or poorly developed and it shows up as the fish matures
The pineconing can be a sign of system shut down and no matter what you do the fish may not survive, but it can also be from the bloat itself and he can recover with the right treatment...so never give up too soon....good luck...
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:11 AM   #10 
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hi everyone thanks for all the help, im afraid that Vulcan died last night. i found him lying on the bottom of the tank this morning when i woke up. it is very upsetting but im glad it wasnt a prolonged illness. so thanks again and i hope with my next betta i will be able to avoid this.
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