My first grade class has a pet Betta, named Alex. How do we know 'he' is a 'he'? (or she?). And, he is doing great and is very funny. I have a 3 gallon tank- but he is by himself. And, it had originally one of those below gravel filter systems *(I then bought a filter you attach to the side..) Anyway, he likes to go through the old tube that attaches to the bottom grate and apparently has made himself a lil hideout under the rocks. But, when you knock gently he comes up from underground and looks like he is ready for a game or something. Its very funny!
ANYWAY- last couple weeks Alex's belly has gotten HUGE! I thought maybe it was from overfeeding. So, we have been real careful with that. I also changed filters and cleaned the tank.
His belly is still HUGE- is he sick? Is there something I can do? His activity level hasnt changed at all. One of the students said 'maybe he has babies in his tummy' - but we have had 'him' since November and 'he' lives alone?!
If he has really long fins it is probably a him. Females have short fins and an egg spot. Plus bettas are livebearers and lay eggs basically.
He his most likely bloated. The easiest thing to do would be to fast him for about 3 days. He will probably beg like crazy for food but he will be fine. Even just not feeding him over the weekend should help. If it doesn't get better let us know. There is a treatment as well that requires Epsom salt.
Good luck with your betta! I'm sure the kids love it! And welcome to the forum!
Hello mrs S and welcome to the forum! Please try to reply to these questions to help us help you.
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
If it's bloated maybe is because of overfeeding, I will suggest you to do daily water change at 100% for the next 7-10 days, fast him for a couple of days to see if he gets any better.
Meanwhile I will give you some replies of your questions, since I forgot to:
- No, he/she can't be bloated due to eggs.
- They aren't mammals, therefore they can't have "babies inside them" >_>!
- Overfeeding seems to be the problem, maybe one of your students tried to feed him/her and gave a mass-dosage of food.
- Try to get a cave for him/her, since it can one day get stuck at the bottom-filter and die of suffocation (Bettas need to breath inside the water AND the air outside).
- They are NOT hermaphrodites, so they can't get "impregnated" by themselves.
- Male Bettas do "bubble-nests" on the top of the aquarium/pond and then the female releases the eggs and the male fertilizes over it at the bubble-nest, so again, it is not full of eggs or babies inside of it.
- Try to give us a photo to see if we can spot any other problem of him such as: Fin Rot, Cloudy Eyes, Pop-eye, tumour (maybe is the cause of him/her being bloated) and many other illnesses.
Along with everything everyone has said here, you shouldnt change the filter. You leave it running all the time, and every couple of months when the flow slows down you swish the filter pad in old tank water to get some of the gunk off, then put the pad back in. How often do you change the water? :)
I do know they arent livebearers, and I do know they arent hermaphrodites! I dont need any of you thinking Im that bad- IM A TEACHER!! Geesh!
I just thought it was cute that my student said that!
I took pics but I have no idea how to post them here.!??!
I think the 'over feeding' idea is probably it...we have a 'zookeeper' job in our room- and he is 7 years old...so, I will make this lil guy *(the fish!) fast over the weekend.
And, I didnt change filter types on purpose. I lost part of the under gravel one moving classrooms this year. :) HE does enjoy his undergravel cave though- and is constantly zipping in and out of the passageway. But, I will keep an eye on him!
Are you using flakes? It might be beneficial to change to pellets. Then you can tell the zookeeper to only feed 2 pellets when school starts and 2 when school ends. :)
Changing the type of filter you are using was fine. Those undergravel filters are pretty worthless that come with the small tanks. Bettafish15 was just saying don't change out the filter media in the new filter just swish the pad around in old tank water to clean it off once a month or so.
Also I still think it's a good idea to get rid of the old undergravel filter. I know he likes it from everything you said, but as someone else has already said he can get trapped down there and die.(Very sad for the kids :c )
Since they have a labyrinth organ ( much like a human lung) they need to be able to swim to the surface of the water to get air from above the water level.
If you would like there are plenty of things to put inside the tank for him to swim in and out of happily. More than likely the only reason he goes down there is the darkness (and if you have a heating pad underneath the tank the warmth as well) because Bettas are native to small streams in South East Asia that often have lush plant growth over head and dead leaves at the surface of the water which provide shade for them. Even though the average store bought betta was bred for beauty and fighting they still prefer to live in habitats that simulate this environment.
The best (and more safe and fun) way to ensure he has a good shady hiding place is by purchasing a hide for the betta. I use wal-mart coffee mugs for my betta fish. It will take a couple of days to get used to it... (took my new girl, Molly, 3 days) and to figure out they can swim through it safely.
I would also try to get a "Betta Log" or "Betta Hammock" for your betta fish so they can come up for air easily at night resting on something close to the surface of the water while they sleep.