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Old 08-02-2011, 11:32 PM   #1 
mookeeful
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Swifty's Swim Bladder Disorder - help?

Sorry not trying to spam the thread or anything... I just didn't get a single response from last night's post...so I thought I would try again...

Okay so a couple of weeks ago Swifty came down with his first bout of SBD. We believed at the time (which is still a probable possibility) that this was caused by constipation. We did initially cut down his food for a few days and then fed him an unsalted organic pea (that was skinned). We then joined this forum and learned some very valuable tips - thus also putting him in a hospital tank for 2 days with epsom salt treatments. He had a monster sized poo and went back to normal. We begun feeding him the pellets (lightly) and literally a few days, he was right back to the same issues; floating on his side, buoyancy issues, etc.. We had received a tip to pick up some Jungle Labs Anti-parasite food, & a few other things most of which I haven't been able to pick up from the store. Anyhow, because he was still looking bloated so I thought just maybe he hadn't got his system fully cleared. So I put him back into the hospital tank with epsom salt for 2 days. Last night he had super monster poops again; the first round was a more red-brown color and the second round was right back to his normal color. This morning he was swimming normally, so my hubby transferred him back to his normal tank. He was fine for the entire day -- until now. He is right back to side floating and he can't swim farther down than an inch or so in the tank. The entire time, his attitude hasn't changed for the bad except for when he would get bored in the hospital tank. He has always been responsive to my voice and flutters excitedly whenever I walk into the room. He had lost a bit of color in the hospital tank, but I think it was primarily just stress as he doesn't like being in there at all. Back in his tank right now, he is vibrantly red & still very responsive. He still looks bloated to me, but he is pooping completely normally.

Ultimately I have 3 questions here:

1) If the cause of this is a bacterial infection, is there some trick to getting him to eat the medicated foods? He absolutely will not stomach the stuff. He grabs the pellet and spits it right back out.

2) Is it possible that he just has something permanently wrong with his swim bladder thingy? If so, is that possible for him to go back & forth with sometimes okay and sometimes not?

and 3) Since he is pooping normally and I can't get him to eat his darn medicated pellets, should I feed him the normal dosage of food? His fins are back to normal in his normal tank (meaning they are super red and extended to their normal lengths -- he had them clamped together last night in the tank because he just hates it in there)

I am just truly at a loss here of what to do or what the problem is. If what I am doing is all that can be done, then I can accept the fact that I am giving him my best -- but if I am missing some key point here, I would feel terrible if I could prevent him from such discomfort that could lead to further problems down the road....just utterly lost.

**UPDATE from last night: we did also pick up some frozen brine shrimp to start him on once a day...I was told that this had higher fiber & may help as he could just be prone to constipation. We did not feed him last night or this morning, but did give him some of the brine shrimp this evening. Prior to the feeding, he had 2 more major poo's, but still cannot get farther then halfway to the bottom of the tank trying majorly hard.

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gal.
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Not at this time (when the temp goes down, it will be)
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets, 42% protein
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once or twice a day - every day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Generally 50% weekly - and will do 100% monthly... the month mark is approaching this weekend (though his current tank was 100% Saturday night as we put him in a new tank today)
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? The dechlorinator & stress coat along with pH down since our water is abnormally high on the ph tests.

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:0
pH: 7.0 - 7.2
Hardness: N/A (not entirely sure, but I think the conditioner helps with this)
Alkalinity: 0 (I think our ammonia test also includes this, off the top of my head...but I am not 100% on this answer)


Symptoms and Treatment
Listed above.


Below are pics; #1 is in the hospital tank 2 nights ago - #2 & #3 are from last night (he had been in the tank all day and was fine until the evening).
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:26 AM   #2 
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Another update that I was not aware of being abnormal: his poo is white. It had always been a whitish color, so I thought nothing of it...but after reading another forum thread that discussed internal parasites, I realized that it was not normal. I have just now finished up a 50% water change and was sure to siphon the gravel very well. There was quite a bit of poo in the bucket -- so he is going, it just doesn't seem to be helping him at all. I will be going to the store to get some minced garlic (as I read that was a good trick to getting them to eat as well as being good for them). I figured this was a key point to reference as well.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:34 AM   #3 
Pitluvs
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Just a suggestion... my Hughie had severe SBD when I took him home. I put him on Epsom for 2 days and he could swim again (he was upside down at the top of his cup when I bought him) so we took him out of the salt. The next feeding, he was floating again. I put him in salt for 7 days this time, and when I transferred him back, he didn't float. I don't think you're leaving your guy in the salt long enough. It's always a good idea to do full treatments even if you see a change in the first few days. Could you try that? I did switch my guy over to frozen brine shrimp too, something live to get the tummy going. I'd try this before starting medication. Even if it's parasites, the Epsom should help him get them out.
He's so lucky to have a great Betta parent like you! He's ghorgeous by the way!
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:20 AM   #4 
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Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear Swifty's at it again. :( Poor guy. Well, it's entirely possible he could have a permanent swim bladder problem but I'd like to see if we can get rid of the parasites first. If he has a gut full of parasites, his full belly will press against his swim bladder and cause him to be unable to control it. Ideally, the pellets would help most but if he won't eat them he won't eat them. You could try soaking the pellets in garlic juice or in the juice of his thawed frozen brine shrimp and see if that will make them more appetizing. Plus side is garlic is a great immune booster.

If he won't eat the pellets, it's time to try Jungle Labs Parasite Clear tablets or General Cure.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:56 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear Swifty's at it again. :( Poor guy. Well, it's entirely possible he could have a permanent swim bladder problem but I'd like to see if we can get rid of the parasites first. If he has a gut full of parasites, his full belly will press against his swim bladder and cause him to be unable to control it. Ideally, the pellets would help most but if he won't eat them he won't eat them. You could try soaking the pellets in garlic juice or in the juice of his thawed frozen brine shrimp and see if that will make them more appetizing. Plus side is garlic is a great immune booster.

If he won't eat the pellets, it's time to try Jungle Labs Parasite Clear tablets or General Cure.
Alrighty... we tried soaking the pellets in the brine shrimp last night when I did the water change, so I am getting garlic tonight. With the tablets, do I have to wait a certain amount of time before placing him back in the tank? And should I add them daily with his water changes?

Thanks for helping me Sakura, I really appreciate it.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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You need to do a full 10 day treatment in the Epsom salt 2tsp/gal water...by removing him early you are not allowing the treatment to take care of the root cause especially if it is bacterial related......Once you complete the full 10 days and he is still having buoyancy issue-continue the treatment for 4 more days...this will tell you if it is a chronic problem or not and you may have to keep him in low dose Epsom salt 1tsp/gal in the display tank..

If you feel the food is the cause-get a different type of food and feed in small frequent meals....
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:52 AM   #7 
Sakura8
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Thanks OFL!

Right, I didn't catch that part. 10 days of epsom salt, no matter how much Swifty complains about it. Don't worry, I do the same thing, take my boy Sherman out of his epsom salt after a few days. This darn impatience of mine, it's something I've got to work on. And do get the garlic, it will help make his food tasty (and your food, too!). If, in 14 days, he still has his swim bladder problem, then we can think about the meds for parasites. Pitluvs is right, the epsom salt should help expel them if he has them.

Good luck, mookeeful, keep us posted!
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #8 
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@pitluvs: Sorry I missed your reply this morning -- it was a total pre-coffee boo boo! I can definitely leave him longer for sure... I just read somewhere (gosh I have been pouring over so much material I can't recall the source) that it could be harmful to the kidney's, so I thought I was doing the right thing by removing him after 48 hours of treatment. And TY for the compliment! I just fell in love with him at the store, hehe and chose him for my "hubby's" fish, lol! @OFL: TY so much for the replies as well; I was just going in circles about what to do for the poor guy!!! I super freaked when I read that white poo was a possible parasite side effect last night, so that's probably the new parent in me, hehe. @Sakura: I know what you mean about patience! Sometimes I feel like the time is creeping by as I sit in front of his tank biting my nails. I did just get home from work & shopping, garlic being the FIRST thing on my list (also with 3 girl betta's - dang it they were just so cute, I just can't help myself) and I already have it soaking as I type to make juice to soak his food in.

Should I still be continuing on with daily 50% water changes or should I just add the epsom salt to his tank? Just want to make sure I do it correctly.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:08 PM   #9 
mookeeful
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Oh and TY all for your help. I appreciate it so much and will be so sure to keep ya posted on my lil guy (well technically my big guy - he is the biggest of my boys, hehe)
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:43 PM   #10 
Sakura8
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Long-term epsom salt won't hurt him but long term AQUARIUM salt will. I know, too many salts. And don't worry about freaking, I get so panicked when any of my bettas act even slightly listless, especially my baby Sherman. It's definitely the betta parent in all of us.

I would do another 50% change then add the epsom salt. I hope the garlic works to get his appetite going.
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