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.
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.
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
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.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
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
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).