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Old 06-12-2011, 09:03 PM   #1 
Kpabs
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Swim bladder, or just a floater?

So, Beibs has always been a pretty active Betta. I got him almost 4 months ago, and he's in a 2.5 gal, filtered, heated tank. It stays between 78-82 degrees. I do twice a week 50% water changes, and all the water parameters are normal (my pH is kind of high, but it always has been). I feed him 3 pellets once a day. There is gravel and silk plants in the tank. Everything has been fine.

In the past week or so, he started acting strangely. He floats at the top of the tank, and sometimes it looks like he's "sleeping"- i.e. he doesn't move at all and his fins kind of droop. Sometimes he'll start to swim down into the tank, but then it looks like he gets pulled back up. He's not floating totally on his side, but sometimes he'll start to tilt. He's still eating when I put food in, but he's definitely not as active. He's pooping, because when I change the water, I also suction up waste using a baster. And he doesn't appear to be bloated...In addition, it looks like he's struggling with the filter. When he's at the top of the tank, it'll sort of push him and he has to swim against it. He's never had this problem before (but then again, he was always active in the rest of the tank).

What should I do? I'm worried something is wrong, but I don't know how to fix it!
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:05 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpabs View Post
So, Beibs has always been a pretty active Betta. I got him almost 4 months ago, and he's in a 2.5 gal, filtered, heated tank. It stays between 78-82 degrees. I do twice a week 50% water changes, and all the water parameters are normal (my pH is kind of high, but it always has been). I feed him 3 pellets once a day. There is gravel and silk plants in the tank. Everything has been fine.

In the past week or so, he started acting strangely. He floats at the top of the tank, and sometimes it looks like he's "sleeping"- i.e. he doesn't move at all and his fins kind of droop. Sometimes he'll start to swim down into the tank, but then it looks like he gets pulled back up. He's not floating totally on his side, but sometimes he'll start to tilt. He's still eating when I put food in, but he's definitely not as active. He's pooping, because when I change the water, I also suction up waste using a baster. And he doesn't appear to be bloated...In addition, it looks like he's struggling with the filter. When he's at the top of the tank, it'll sort of push him and he has to swim against it. He's never had this problem before (but then again, he was always active in the rest of the tank).

What should I do? I'm worried something is wrong, but I don't know how to fix it!
Are you sure what you're sucking up with the baster is his poop and not leftover food? Just checking. It sounds like a swimbladder problem which is usually caused by constipation. Usually, but not always. Has Beibs recently suffered any injuries, like getting rammed by another fish or swimming into something?

I'd suggest starting him immediately on a treatment of epsom salts, 1 tsp per gallon. If you can get him into a barebottom QT tank, that would be ideal because I'm not 100% sure what the epsom salt treatment will do to your biological filter. But if you can't, that's understandable. I just don't know what will happen to your filter if it's cycled. Maybe someone who knows will post soon. Also, fast him for a day or so. Watch for poops (sounds gross, I know). I hope he gets better really soon. My guy experienced this last night where he couldn't swim down without enormous effort and when he got tired, he always floated right up like something was pulling on his tail. It was scary. I did put him in an epsom salt bath and this morning, he was swimming close to normal. So I really hope Beibs has the same outcome.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:24 PM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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Epsom salt will not hurt the nitrogen cycle...you want to QT in a clear bare bottom container for treatment-so you can observe and make the needed 100% water changes....this is an important part of treatment.....
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:16 PM   #4 
Sakura8
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Thanks, OFL. You always have the needed info.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:35 PM   #5 
frogipoi
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From what Sakura said, I think he probably ran into the filter or something :)
Even though you said a lot about your fishy, everyone prefers you use this thing:

Housing
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?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
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?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

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)?

Don't ask why, I just heard about it.
You don't have to use it :)

Last edited by frogipoi; 06-13-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:49 PM   #6 
Sakura8
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That could be, frogipoi, I hadn't thought of the filter. A lot of bettas, especially if they are feeling weaker, struggle with the filter current and it's really possible he got sucked into it a little or the current blew him into something. Good call, frogi.

However, once he's into a QT tank we can know for sure if he's really pooing or not. The epsom salt treatment won't hurt if he is. Change 100% of the water in the QT tank every day, too.
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