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Old 08-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #1 
InvertedVantage
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Fish lying on it's side and unable to swim down

Hi everyone, first post. I've been treating my fish for what appeared to be fin rot, so I had been cycling his water 100% every day for about three days and adding a bit of salt in with every water change. Yesterday I didn't get a chance to change the water. I fed him twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon and didn't notice any problems. When I woke up to check on him this morning he had a very bloated belly and floats on his side at the top of the tank (at first I thought he was dead!). Aside from floating listlessly at the top he still seems as active as normal; he tries to swim down with great vigor, though eventually floats back up again and gives up. Can anyone help, please? :)

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 84 F
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? Freeze dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Off and on. I fasted him for Saturday but before that I fed him once a day and after I fed him twice one day.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Recently 100% a day, usually about once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Splendid betta complete water conditioner

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? Extremely bloated belly
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Unable to swim down, floats listlessly at the top
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I took him out of his tank and put him in his PETCO cup. Other than that nothing yet.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 year
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:47 AM   #2 
HarlequinBBRM
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So the main problem here is you feeding freeze dried bloodworms. Switch to pellets after you start this treatment:
Do an epsom salt treatment of 1 tsp/gallon and fast your fish until you see improvement. Mix the salt and water in a 1 gallon milk jug or the like to ensure proper doseage, then slowly drip aclimatize your fish in his cup. Make sure you don't do the treatment for more then ten days, and to do 100% water changes every day, replacing the salt with every change. Keep him in a quiet and dark space to help reduce strees during treatment.

The temperature in your tank also seams a bit high, so I would try to lower that too (78*-80* is best).

Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:57 AM   #3 
InvertedVantage
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Is epsom salt the same as aquarium salt or something else?

I know the tank's warm but I don't know how to lower it; my room is quite warm, I think 84 might be the ambient temperature.

Here's a picture:

Last edited by InvertedVantage; 08-23-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:01 PM   #4 
Pataflafla
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Epsom salt treats internal problems like sbd and constipation. You can get it at your local drug store. It's usually in the laxative section since we have the same use for it as a fish does.

AQ salt makes sbd issues worse and treats external issues like fin rot and ick.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:01 PM   #5 
HarlequinBBRM
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Epsom salt can be bought in a pharmacy/drug store and is different than aquarium salt. The epsom salt acts like a laxitive and it will help with the bloat.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:10 PM   #6 
InvertedVantage
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Alright. You said drip acclimatize him in the cup? The water he's in now still has AQ salt in it, should I transfer him to the new tank water (just changed it and am letting it sit now after putting in some conditioner) and then put in a bit of the salt water?
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:17 PM   #7 
Pataflafla
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Premix 1 tsp/gal of epsom salt and take him out of the aq salt. That will only worsen his condition.

As far as drop acclimatizing, I'm unsure of this method. I would just change his water, premix the epsom salt and add it to that water, and then acclimatize him by adding some of the epsom salt water to his cup every 15 minutes. He should be ready to go into the actual epsom salt treatment in 45 minutes to an hour this way.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:38 PM   #8 
earthworm88
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I would probably change his current AQS water to fresh clean conditioned water and leave and fast him for the day and start the ES tx tomorrow. Change the water and keep 1/4 gal of it to pre-dissolve 1 tsp ES while you have him in a 3/4 gal conditioned water, slowly add the ES solution into his QT over an hour or so. Depending on how he acts, you can just put him into the 1 gal pre dissolved ES water in the QT altogether which is what most people would suggest.

Same as Pataflafla, I think the temp is a bit warm too and freeze dried BW can cause bloating also.

Good luck! Hope he feels normal soon
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #9 
InvertedVantage
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Ok, so, sorry I'm having a bit of trouble understanding your guy's instructions. :) I just went out and got some epson salt. I put him back in his 2.5 gallon tank with some fresh water so he wasn't sitting in a cup full of AQ salt water. I have a gallon of water mixing now with 1 tsp of epson salt and some water conditioner. Now what? :)
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:38 PM   #10 
earthworm88
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ok. This is what I would do:
1) leave him in the tank with fresh water to give him a break and do step 2) next day
2) scoop him out of his tank, discard water from tank, pour in your 1 gal premixed ES water, put betta back in.
3) change his water daily by repeating step 2
4) continue for 10 days and monitor, in the meantime, fast him for a couple days and feed him frozen daphnia.

Hope I am not confusing you. Others might do it differently.
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