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Old 06-14-2011, 08:33 AM   #1 
sausj
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betta swimming sideways and upside down after cleaning tank

i just cleaned my betta tank (2.75 gallons) filled it with warm water and the required amount of betta water conditioner (about a tablespoon) and now my betta fish is swimming sideways and upside down at the top of the tank and keeps floating back up. what do i do?
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:08 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum...

What was the water temp in the tank and temp of the replacement water and when was the last water change before this one, how did you acclimate him back to the tank, any other additives used.....
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:11 AM   #3 
Sakura8
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Hi sausj and welcome to the forum.

Is this the first time your betta has ever done this and is this the usual routine you go through when you change his water?

It sounds like a sudden development of Swim Bladder Disorder for some bizarre reason. Normally this is caused by poor water quality but that's obviously not possible seeing as you had just changed the tank. It's also caused by injury to the swimbladder. Was your betta in the tank while you changed the water? I have noticed with my own guy that sometimes when I am pouring the water back in, it creates a strong enough current that he is tossed around out of control for a moment. During this time, if you have any decorations, your betta could be tossed into them.

Secondly, what temperature do you normally keep the tank at? Do you use a heater? And what temp was the water you put in? Was it very different in temp from the water that he had been in prior to the change? To minimize shock, you'll want to replace tank water with water of the same temperature, give or take a few degrees. The ideal temperature for a betta is around 78-80 degrees farenheit. For most people, they can only maintain this temp with a heater (unless they live in very tropical countries).

For the moment, I'd suggest putting your betta into a smaller container for treatment. The cup he came in from the pet store (if you bought him from one) is ideal because it can be floated in his original tank and he can stay warm. Get a 1 g container and mix up dechlorinated water with 1 tsp of epsom salts, the same kind of salts we humans use to soak our sore muscles in. Pour some of the mixture into his hospital cup and then put your betta in there. Keep him there for at least 3 days with the salt and change 100% of the water every day. If he shows no sign of improvement, continue for another 7 days with the salt treatment. Also, watch the bottom of the cup for any waste because another common cause of Swim Bladder Disorder is constipation.

Fast him for the first day or so, then offer him several very small meals, like one pellet each time.

I hope this helps.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #4 
sausj
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The water was a bit cool and the water I replaced it with was warm. I just got him and placed him in his new tank on saturday. I placed him back into the tank by putting the edge of the cup that I had drained on the waters surface and tilted him in. Nothing else was used besides the conditioner but I did give his tank a very thorough cleaning because the water had looked very cloudy before. As of now he is propping himself under his little cave...
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:24 AM   #5 
sausj
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Thank you very much Sakura8 no he does not have a heater and the water has been a bit cool as opposed to the new warm water I replaced it with. I'm not in the position to go and get some epsom salt as of now, but do I still put him in the small container and place the container in his tank?
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:26 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Sounds like temp shock.....and to understand...after 2 days the water was cloudy...correct.....and he was acting and eating fine for the 2 days you had him...
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:30 AM   #7 
Sakura8
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OFL, what do you suggest? Small container might help him get to the surface easier to breathe . . .

Thanks for the info sausj. I understand about not being able to get epsom salts right away (transportation is limited for me, too). I would wait and see what OFL says on the small container. OFL really knows her fish and has been taking care of them a lot longer than I have.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:31 AM   #8 
sausj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Sounds like temp shock.....and to understand...after 2 days the water was cloudy...correct.....and he was acting and eating fine for the 2 days you had him...
The water had turned a cloudy light pink color the following day. I'm not entirely sure whether his red decoration plant dissolving or the large pinch of bettamin my dad had let sit on his tank over night when I was away (which i immediately removed upon seeing it). He hasn't eaten either ever since we obtained him from the petco, but he has been very alert and swimming around just fine.
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:33 AM   #9 
sausj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
OFL, what do you suggest? Small container might help him get to the surface easier to breathe . . .

Thanks for the info sausj. I understand about not being able to get epsom salts right away (transportation is limited for me, too). I would wait and see what OFL says on the small container. OFL really knows her fish and has been taking care of them a lot longer than I have.
Thank you very much from the both of you
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Old 06-14-2011, 10:38 AM   #10 
Sakura8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sausj View Post
The water had turned a cloudy light pink color the following day. I'm not entirely sure whether his red decoration plant dissolving or the large pinch of bettamin my dad had let sit on his tank over night when I was away (which i immediately removed upon seeing it). He hasn't eaten either ever since we obtained him from the petco, but he has been very alert and swimming around just fine.
Don't worry about the eating just yet. It can take a betta a good week or more to settle into a new home, even without sudden problems like this. When he feels better, he'll eat.
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