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Old 07-06-2011, 12:42 AM   #1 
Meg8556
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Location: VA
Bloat will not go away!!!

Hi,
I'm new to this site and I just inherited a poor little guy from a friend who did not take care of him at all!!! Before I got him I bought a 3 gallon tank and cycled it with no fish in there. I've had him for about 3 weeks now. I'm goi g to fill out the questionnaire and hopefully my pics will upload. Any help would be great. Thanks!!!

Housing
What size is your tank? 3 gallons Eclipse
What temperature is your tank? 83 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari gold pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 20% once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aquarium salt, water conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0 (ideal)
Nitrite: 0 (safe)
Nitrate: 0 (safe)
pH: 6.2 (acidic)
Hardness: 75 (soft)
Alkalinity: 40 (low)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has some black (and one white) freckles on his body and some darkness on the ends of his fins and the fins are clamped I believe. He came to me this way. About a week ago I noticed that he was very bloated. I know (now) that I fed him too much.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No change in behavior. Continues to swim all over tank like normal and takes naps when he wants to.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? June 29th (last water change)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I fasted him for 4 days while I searched everywhere for daphina to no avail. I finally gave in and tried to feed him some peas but he has only eaten a few tiny bites. He is hungry though because he keeps coming to the top of the tank when I open it and is looking for food.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? I don't think so
How old is your fish (approximately)? Maybe about 1.5-2 years old

I have sucked out all the pea pieces that he hasn't eaten and want to do a water change tomorrow but wanted to try and get some feedback first because I am so worried about the little guy! I called a few pet stores and none of them carry daphnia (frozen or in a can) but I did get the San Francisco Bay Company mixed cubes of frozen food to change up his diet for when he can start eating again. It has bloodworms and some other mixtures and one has daphnia in it. Elmo also seems to have one bright white freckle on his back and some glowing on the top of his tail. I know this is a horrible description but hopefully the pics will help. I don't know if he has fin rot or parasites or what! Oh, and his scales are not flares out at all so I do know that it's not dopsey and he isnt covered in white so it's not ick. Any help for what I should do to help him get better would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:24 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Hi Meg and welcome to the forum. I'm glad to hear you've rescued Elmo. First, even in his cycled 3g, you probably want to do at least one 50% water change a week. Ideally, I'd reccomend one 25% and one 50% a week but I know not everyone has time to do that many water changes. So definitely, if you can only manage one change a week, make it 50%.

Has Elmo been passing any solid waste? And what kind of conditions was he kept in before you got him?

Peas should help the little guy but I do have a few tips. First, use either fresh or frozen NO SALT ADDED peas. Secondly, be sure to blanch the pea thoroughly (boil for 2 min, soak in ice water for 1 min). Finally, feed Elmo a piece that's no bigger than one of his pellets.

If Elmo is constipated, and I think he might be, epsom salt should help him. You can get epsom salt at any drugstore like Rite Aid or Wal-Mart. The best way to treat Elmo would be in a small QT container that is barebottom so you can see if he poos at all. A small Gladware container, a cup or a bowl, anything like that. Put half of his tank water in the container. In a gallon container, mix up 1 tsp of the epsom salt with one gallon dechlorinated water. When the salt has dissolved enough, fill the rest of his container with the mixture. If you can, float him in his tank so he stays warm. You may need to cover the container if he tries to jump out. Change the water in his container every day and redo the salt water. If, after five days of treatment, he doesn't improve, increase the epsom salt to 2 tsps per gallon.

Oh, also, discontinue the aquarium salt while doing this. Generally speaking, he doesn't really need the AQ salt unless he has some fin issues or injuries.

And, uhm, oh, if he gets too stressed in his small container, you can treat him with epsom salt in his 3g tank. It's just the small container is easier to see poos in and for the daily water changes.

I hope this helps Elmo. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to post.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:38 PM   #3 
newbie32
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If you decide to QT him and float him in the tank, try to make sure you secure the QT to the side of the tank. If the QT floats over to the filter and gets flipped over, it could be disasterous!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:13 PM   #4 
Sakura8
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Oh, very good point, newbie.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:56 PM   #5 
Meg8556
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Thanks guys for the replies. So, he is currently in the middle of a BIG poo right now. Lol. He's definitely still bloated though. Before I got Elmo he was in a tiny tank in a classroom and his water was definitely not changed enough. Poor little guy.

A couple of questions: If I'm doing 100% water changes everyday won't that shock him a little? Also, should I only add some water conditioner to the QT along with the Epsom salt mixture? If I put him in a gallon tank (like a Tupperware container or something) can I put the lid on it to prevent him from jumping out if there is enough air space? This may be a completely stupid question but I don't know. Also, when I do the 50% water change each week I'm having problems getting the debris from the bottom. I got a hand pump suction thing but it's too big for the tank. I was wondering if a baster might work?? Any advice would be great.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:15 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum.....

Can you post a pic.....

Don't confuse bloat with a normal full tummy....with bloat they usually will have other symptoms.....like buoyancy issue, stops eating and pooping, lethargic, clamped fins, hiding along with the large tummy....if he is otherwise acting his normal self and begging for food...it may not be bloat, however, he would benefit from improved water quality to prevent problems......

In a 3gal filtered tank-water changes of twice weekly...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method to maintain water quality...you may also want to lower your temp a tiny bit and keep it in the 76-80F range

Filter media needs a swish/rinse in old tank water with a water change a couple of times a month....

Try and keep the water temp within a couple of degrees between new and old water with the water changes and Always use a good dechlorinator for the full volume of the tank not just the replacement water with partial water changes......

Nutrition-small frequent meals are better than one large daily meal of quality foods......

Keep us posted.....
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:02 PM   #7 
Sakura8
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If you're worried about 100% changes shocking him, you can acclimate him by keeping a bit of old water in his container and dribbling the new water in slowly. You can keep the lid or you can put clingwrap with holes poked in it over his container. And yes, a turkey baster works great for picking up poos.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #8 
Meg8556
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Well, Elmo's bloat has gone down a little bit. I found some frozen daphnia for him and have been giving him small amounts everyday. I am going to buy a 1 gallon qt tank for him this evening and give him the epsom salt bath. Now if I add 1/4 if his current tank water and then 3/4 of the Epsom salt water mix, should I also water conditioner and continue to give him small amounts of daphnia? Also, some sites say to only bathe them for 20 mins twice a day and then put him back in his original tank. Would that be better for him or just keep him in a bare qt tank with the Epsom salt mixture and do 100% water changes everyday for 5 days or until bloat goes down? Please let me know. So many conflicting responses out there! : ) thanks!
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #9 
Oldfishlady
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Can you post a pic...how is he acting..... any other signs/symptoms now that his tummy has reduced in size.....

You always use dechlorinator with any new water added to the fish.....

With the dip or bath method-I don't recommend this-you use higher doses of the salt and this can sometimes be deadly-this method should be used as the last resort....... with the treatment the fish stays in the salts for the specific duration along with water changes with the salts

Treatment are best done in small QT-since observation is an important part of treatment and it makes the needed water changes easier.....

I also recommend pre-mixing the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water...this makes water changes and correct dosage easier and it allows the tannins to steep longer as well
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:47 PM   #10 
Meg8556
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I can't upload a pic from my phone. : ( He is coming to the top of the tank when I walk over (because he's a piggy and thinks I'm going to feed him). He is swimming around and has flared at the mirror twice today. He is spending a lot of time hanging out either at the top of the tank in his plant (normal) or laying in his cave at the bottom of the tank (not as normal). He took a very big poo after eating some pea but he's not a fan of it and since I found the daphnia yesterday he ate that and did a small poo. After I put him in his qt tank tonight with the salt water mixture, I will give him a little more daphnia (he hasn't eaten yet today) and see how he does. Will post more later and try to get on my computer to post pics. Thanks!
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