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Old 07-25-2011, 08:26 PM   #1 
mookeeful
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I think my betta is constipated & has swim bladder disorder

My hubby and I just got our bettas a couple of weeks ago. Before we found this site, we had found a few other sites that "looked" to be knowledgeable, and we begun certain treatment options from them as well as the pet store... I know have read enough here to know the HUGE mistake that was, but we are doing our best to fix or reverse anything we originally thought was okay. Our one guy - Swifty - appears to have a case of Swim Bladder Disorder brought on by constipation. The lady who is so helpful at the pet store (or so we thought) told us to feed them about 2 bloodworms 2-3 times a day...again, we know now this is NOT correct. About a week ago Swifty started having buoyancy issues & became really bloated. After some reading on some sites I (again) now know aren't very dependable... we had fasted him for 2 days as suggested as well as moved him to a hospital tank (1 gal) with the aquarium salt, decholrinated, 7.0 ph levels at about 76-79 degrees....and we fed him the mashed up, de-skinned pea (which we will NEVER do again!). As of last night I did the 50% water change, tested the ph levels & the ammonia - nitrate list as well... (off the top of my head I can't remember the exact measurement of that test, but according to the chart, it was safe.) Other than the pea he has not ate anything in the last week yet he is still bloated, having buoyancy issues & having troubles swimming as he just likes to go on his side. When you talk to him or come to the tank, he is still very responsive & will still flare up when prompted. What should our suggested next step & what type of a time frame should we look at for the poor guy? We hate to see him suffer & he is such a trooper. He lives in a 10 gallon tank, filtered, not heated (as our current temps are at the required level - we will be getting heaters next pay day), he has a filter, and airstone, & no tank mates... Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:32 PM   #2 
GunsABlazin
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well for starters, stop username AQ salt and start Epsom salt. AQ salt if for infections or open wounds and wont have an effect on SBD.
1-2Tsp Per gallon on the ES.

Last edited by GunsABlazin; 07-25-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #3 
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well for starters, stop username AQ salt and start Epsom salt. AQ salt if for infections or open wounds and wont have an effect on SBD.
1-2Tsp Per gallon on the ES.
Awesome, we will give that a shot!! TY so much!
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:41 AM   #4 
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yup, and Sorry for all those mis-spellings! It was late...lol.

You will want to do 100% water changes with the Epsom salt a day.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:07 PM   #5 
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yup, and Sorry for all those mis-spellings! It was late...lol.

You will want to do 100% water changes with the Epsom salt a day.
LOL! No worries - it was late for me too, so I didn't notice.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:42 PM   #6 
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yup, and Sorry for all those mis-spellings! It was late...lol.

You will want to do 100% water changes with the Epsom salt a day.
Okay sorry - just one more question!!! I was able to get the epsom salt today (was at out of town training all day and nothing was open that I know of last night that sells it). Do I need to do anything to counter the good bacterias that will be washed in his little hospital tank daily? I am of course dechlorinating & adjusting the ph in the water before treating it with salt. I do have some biozyme, but wasn't sure if that is also something that we should be adding too?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:23 PM   #7 
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The daily water changes will take care of everything in his hospital tank. He shouldn't be in the hospital tank long enough to need any good bacteria building up. Just use the dechlorinator and the epsom salt, that's all you need. Also, what are you using to adjust the pH? You probably don't need to do that because bettas will adjust to most any pH unless it's crazy high like 8.0 and up.

Also, feeding pea isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as you feed NON-SALTED peas and only a piece as big as a pellet of his food. And only feed it rarely, as needed. Some people run into trouble when they feed too big of a piece too often.

I'm sorry you got such bad information, but we'll do our best to help you here. Were the bloodworms you fed him freeze-dried or frozen? It's usually okay to feed frozen several times a day if you have to. Some bettas won't eat anything BUT frozen bloodworms. Picky things, haha.

Try the epsom salt for a few days but if he has not pooped by then and gone down in size, I would be very concerned that he has gotten a bacterial infection. You might want to start searching now for Jungle Labs Anti-Parasite Medicated Pellets. The medicine in those pellets, metrodinazole, is very helpful for treating internal bacterial infections. Unfortunately, the pellets can be hard to find so it might be good to get a head start on finding them in case he needs them. At the best, if he doesn't need them, then you can have them on hand for an emergency (which hopefully won't happen).
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:52 PM   #8 
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The daily water changes will take care of everything in his hospital tank. He shouldn't be in the hospital tank long enough to need any good bacteria building up. Just use the dechlorinator and the epsom salt, that's all you need. Also, what are you using to adjust the pH? You probably don't need to do that because bettas will adjust to most any pH unless it's crazy high like 8.0 and up.

Also, feeding pea isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as you feed NON-SALTED peas and only a piece as big as a pellet of his food. And only feed it rarely, as needed. Some people run into trouble when they feed too big of a piece too often.

I'm sorry you got such bad information, but we'll do our best to help you here. Were the bloodworms you fed him freeze-dried or frozen? It's usually okay to feed frozen several times a day if you have to. Some bettas won't eat anything BUT frozen bloodworms. Picky things, haha.

Try the epsom salt for a few days but if he has not pooped by then and gone down in size, I would be very concerned that he has gotten a bacterial infection. You might want to start searching now for Jungle Labs Anti-Parasite Medicated Pellets. The medicine in those pellets, metrodinazole, is very helpful for treating internal bacterial infections. Unfortunately, the pellets can be hard to find so it might be good to get a head start on finding them in case he needs them. At the best, if he doesn't need them, then you can have them on hand for an emergency (which hopefully won't happen).
Okies, we will look for the pellets ASAP just to have on hand! TY SO MUCH! We hate seeing him suffer - we feel so terrible. The original bloodworms that caused the problem, were freeze dried blood worms. I have been using a little kit that came with the test solution and an up & down solution for the ph. Our normal tap water here goes off of the charts - above 7.6 by default... I figured from what I read that was way too high. Is that something I should still be doing or am I over-compensating? We did feed Swifty the non-salted organic pea and I mashed it up very well, and it definitely was not bigger than a pellet. Again, TY all so much for your help. I just cannot stand seeing him suffer and he has been such a trooper. He is such a tough little guy!
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:08 AM   #9 
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I understand, you feel so helpless when a fish is sick. When a cat or dog or other pet is sick, at least we can pet it to let it know we care. But all you can do is watch a fish suffer. :( So stressful.

You should be fine without using any chemicals to alter your pH. If you want to be certain, you'll have to get a special testing kit that tests high pH so I don't know if this is something you want to do. Swifty will adjust to most pHs, although I do think anything over 8.0 would be on the higher side. My pH is 7.4-7.8 on average and all my bettas are okay with it. Sometimes the fluctuations in the pH does more harm than just leaving it on the higher side.

Another thing you can do to help Swifty is to put tannins in his water. You can do that by crushing up clean, naturally dried oak leaves or by soaking a decaffeinated green tea bag in his tank. The green tea needs to be just green tea, no extra flavors or additives. Rooibos tea, also known as red tea, works as well. You can also use Indian Almond Leaf, that is ideal, but it's kind of hard to find. Soak the tea bag for maybe an hour, then remove it. The tannins released will calm Swifty and help him in his healing process. They might also lower your pH naturally.

You did good with the pea, he shouldn't have any problems related to that.

Keep us posted and I hope Swifty gets better, er, swiftly.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:10 AM   #10 
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Okay one more thing about the medicated food: The Jungle Labs food is not available at any pet store near where I live... I have found this food that I may be able to get at our Petsmart (I will have to call in the AM): http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...53421#prodTab1

But this food has an additional active ingredient I wasn't sure about. Also just one more question: would the anti-parasite be what is used for all types of internal bacterial infections or should we also get the anti-bacterial around to be safe? (specifically the site also showed: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...psr=0#prodTab1) Thanks again for all of your help! You guys have all been so awesome!
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