Hey fellow betta lovers! I have a very serious concern here with photo documentation. I'm going to give an in depth coverage of the issue...Fair warning, sorry! =]
I have 4 males - 2 in heated 2.5 gallon tanks, and 2 in a divided 20 gal long tank - 10 gallons each. This problem is affecting all four of my beautiful boys and I'm very disturbed! I'm also wondering if this could be what has been making my knees and ankles hurt like hell...If there's lead or something in the water. They are all eating normall 3 - 8 small pellets a day (I have one giant plakat and vary their food with bloodworms occasionally, so it depends.)
I do a 50% water change once a week on the big tank as it's mostly unfiltered (for the reason I'm going to describe) and then 100% every two weeks or so. I filter each divided section for a few hours once or twice a week. The small tanks are unfiltered and get 100% changes (includes a cup or two of the old water) every 3 days, and always have. I use water conditioner and that's all to treat the water (so far).
THE ISSUE - I have recently moved into a new house, only a few miles away from my old place, but this new place is very old, in an old part of town. A few days ago, I noticed Brutus' stomach was HUGELY BLOATED
, seemingly out of nowhere. This had never happened before. There are no live plants in his tank and I hadn't fed him yet. I put him in a hospital tank with no substrate so I could see his poop color and monitor him closely. However, no poop at all. The next morning his bloating was gone, he was acting normal, so he went back into his part of the tank.
A more recent addition to the family, Stupid Fish, (can explain later) has always looked a bit big in the stomach to me, but I also thought he might just have a whiter tummy area than Brutus, so I didn't worry. In the past couple days, Poseidons stomach also seemed a bit larger, but it's hard to tell on him because he's all white, and I thought maybe I fed him a bit too much...
Today after changing both small tanks water 100% and filtering the water in the large tank, Brutus and my MG stomachs were huge - stretched white. Poseidons stomach was bigger, and Stupid Fish also looked especially bloated. So, now I know for sure, IT'S THE WATER. ...Right?
Nothing else about my routines or their environments have changed except for the water at this new house. It's been a few hours since the worst of it, but you can still see their stomachs and how bad it is. I have also noticed a few minor changes in the coloration of their faces and gills. Brutus' eyes seem to have a bit of a film on them towards the top and Poseidons gills seem redder.
I am going to take a sample of water from each of my taps and each of my tanks to be tested by this wonderful betta-informed Petco employee tomorrow, as I don't have any testing equipment here.
Has anyone experienced this? Any advice? The filter only seemed to agitate Brutus and make his stomach swell, he was fine before that all day. Now he is sitting on the bottom, fins clamped, tummy giant. Why would cleaning the water cause that? I would think it would help. Again, it's happening in the unfiltered water as well. One of my 2.5 gals has a live plant in it. The plant is doing great and has been with me in both the new place and the old place with no issue. Would using Brita filtered water be a good place to start until I can find out exactly what's wrong with the water? Regular water changes make things worse! =[
General support is also always appreciated, and a thanks if you made it all the way through this post! My fish are really important to me, please help!
Stupid Fish ^
And my MG who still needs a name. ^
And no, none of them have fin rot, the 3 just have dark fin edging. There was a lot of flaring when the 20 gal was divided up 3 ways and a few have raggedy fins from it! Everyone's ok and healing, and it's only split two ways now, with the short finned guys, Brutus and Stupid Fish. =]
Thanks in advance guys, I'm really worried! The bloating seems to go down after about 6 hours but it still scares me and I know it can't be good.