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Old 09-15-2011, 04:18 AM   #1 
akrall83
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: California
Elmo has SBD and nothing is working

Housing
What size is your tank? 1/2 gal
What temperature is your tank? room temp
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? beta flakes with dried blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? was daily, currently fasting

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? every other day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% because of the size of the tank
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? nutrifin, pH 7.0, prime

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

Ammonia:n/a
Nitrite:n/a
Nitrate:n/a
pH:n/a
Hardness:n/a
Alkalinity: n/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? he has lightened from red to white-ish
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargic, floating, floating on side or upside down, "S" spine, bloat, gasping for breath, when not floating lays on his side on the bottom.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1 week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes. started with immediate water change. Tried to feed him a pea on the advice of local fish place, but he wouldn't eat it, fasting, and epsom salt baths 1tbsp to 1gal of water
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)?I've had him for 3 months and he was full grown when I bought him.


Elmo is my 4 year old's red veil tail beta. I have been treating him for the SBD for a week and he is not improving. Today is the 3rd day of epsom salt baths and they really seem to stress him out. I'm worried that if I continue I will kill him, and if I don't he will die anyway. His bloat seems a little better tonight, but his behavior is unchanged. I just don't know what to do next. I've had betas before and never had this issue.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:47 AM   #2 
Sakura8
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi Akrall and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry your betta is so sick. Let's see what we can do to help.

First, when you do an epsom salt treatment, leave the fish in the epsom salt on a continuous basis for the duration of the treatment. It's most effective that way. Just doing period baths in the epsom salt mixture won't be enough to help. I know it seems a little drastic to leave him in the epsom salt mixture 24/7 but it does work best that way. While he is in his epsom salt bath, change the water 100% every day and redo the salt. I recommend 3 tsps per gallon and it helps to premix the water in a gallon jug (such as the kind spring water or milk comes in). Fill the jug with dechlorinated water and 3tsps of the epsom salt and allow the salt to dissolve. This makes water changes much easier since you don't have to measure out the epsom salt each time.

Also, bettas are tropical fish so they need warm temps around 78-80 degrees, with 76 being the lowest they should have. During the summer in most parts of CA, room temp is around 77-78 degrees so that's fine. But in the winter, especially up in northern CA, you'll want a heater. Unfortunately, it's really hard to heat .5g so you may want to consider upgrading to at least 1 gallon, preferably 2 gallons so you can heat it. If the water is too cold, it suppresses their immune system so they can't fight off infection.

It sounds likely that Elmo has an internal bacterial infection that is causing dropsy and the dropsy in turn is causing the SBD issues. Try the treatment with the epsom salt for at least 3 days, leaving him in the treated water. If he shows no signs of improvement, you might consider medication with Maracyn I and Maracyn II combined.

I hope this helps you and good luck!
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:22 AM   #3 
akrall83
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: California
Elmo isn't doing any better. His bloat has gone down a bit, but he still looks dead most of the time. I'm going to see about getting some maracyn, but I think it might be too late for a recovery.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:26 AM   #4 
Sakura8
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Okay, sorry to hear he isn't getting better. If you do get Maracyn, get Maracyn I and II if you can. If you can only get one med, get Maracyn II. Continue treating him with the epsom salt. It can take a few days for the salt to kick in. Good luck!
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