About an hour ago, my brother informed me that Bubbles has "swim bladder". I saw the little guy floating on his side. It couldn't be swim bladder because he wasn't dealing with it earlier today. However, I DID just clean his tank (this was before he bloated). His vase was at 78 degrees. I got scared and unplugged his heater anyway and took out the bamboo in his tank (I get skeptical when I freak out). I don't know what this is or if it's fatal, but I don't want anything to happen to him. He isn't pineconing by the way.
Not sure about the SBD, but temps for bettas can be up to 85, but 78-82 is recommended. Bamboo is fine as long as the top leaves things are out of the water, otherwise it will rot. I'm sure someone else on the forum can help with SBD.
Usually 2 pellets, twice a day. Although, I wasn't home yesterday so I'm not sure. His poop looks normal. I don't really know how many gallons the vase is. I got him from a relative a few months ago so I don't know. I would say about 3 quarters of a gallon. Im ashamed to say that I get lazy and procrastinate sometimes. I shoot for once a week but sometimes it's every 2 weeks. *sigh* I bum myself out. but anyway, thats pretty much it.
For SBD, add 1 tsp/gallon epsom salt. Disolve it in the water before you add the Betta as the grains will burn him.
In a tank that size, you should actually be doing daily 100% water changes. And especially during this treatment you should be. Add salt for no more than 10 days. If he recovers early, than you can stop. Don't feed him, unless you can feed just a little bit of daphnia, or a tiny piece of boiled, de-shelled pea. Don't let the temp fall below 76, or above 80 (when healthy it can go higher, but problens can occur in hot water when a fish has SBD) This usually works to cure SBD. Than afterwards you should either upgrade or continue doing daily 100% water changes to prevent discomfort and any other illnesses. If you want to upgrade, try to get a tank that is at least 2.5 gallons. In that size you only need to do 1-50%, 1-100% water change a week. In a tank 5+ gallons you only need to do 1-25-50% a week.
If the vase is less than a gallon, I suggest you get into the habit of changing the water every other day, at least. I'm not sure how well the bamboo would eat up ammonia, but it's the only plant.... Personally I'd change it all out every day...
If you're not a fan of water changes, I recommend a 4 gallon tank. My veil Uncle has one with a filter, and after putting several plants in there, I only have to worry about his partial water change every Sunday. It'd probably be a good option for you. 4 gallons doesn't take up that much room, either, and the plants would make it pretty decorative. Not to mention the mass amount of room he'll suddenly have to explore.
Is the floating all he's doing? Like... is he acting normal besides that?
Thanks for the advice! I always put a tiny bit of aqua salt in his tank but I guess aqua salt and epsom salt are two different things. I'll see what I can do. Maybe I'll be able to convince mom to take me to petsmart tomorrow. As for getting a bigger tank, I'll need to find some space (shouldn't be too hard) and get mom to let me buy one (A lot harder). Until then, I'll just have to learn to suck it up and do water changes more often. Thanks so much everybody!
Depending on what kind of heater you have you may be able to get away with a 2 gallon or 5 gallon tank. Both will be about the same price range. Walmart has been carying an "aqua-tech" five gallon for about $25.00 lately and it has everything but the heater. PetSupermarket carries Penn-Plax heaters for about $14.00 that are big enough for a five or a well covered 10.
Just some things to think about.
About feeding I usually advise people who have more than one person keeping the same betta to get one of the little day-by-day pillboxes (SMTWTFS) with little hatches for each day and to put the daily feeding into each bin. You can't do that with frozen but it works great for flake or pellet.
Bamboo has an issue with the roots, when the roots break off they look kinda like little worms and betta will try to eat them. Since it is high in fiber AND already decaying a root bit is fairly mean to the betta's gut.