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Old 08-27-2011, 11:33 AM   #1 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Please help

I don't know if this is a case of constipation or SBD. He's not bloated and he poops so I'm thinking its SBD caused by constipation?? How can I fix it?? I hate seeing him swim all funny. :( He's a halfmoon and I read somewhere that halfmoons are prone to having swim bladder problems. Is this true??

What size is your tank? 1.5 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? 79-80 degrees.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Moss ball.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets every other day.

How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? One 50% and one 100% a week.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Betta Water Conditioner.

Water Parameters: No.
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- It started out as constipation. Now he poops regularly, but he still floats to the top of the tank like a cork. You can tell that it's hard for him to swim down. He use to be fine in the evening and night, not having any swimming problems at all (weird, I know). But now he has swimming problems all day long. So he just hangs out at the top all day.
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He was bloated in the beginning when he was constipated, but the bloat is gone now.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He stays at the top and rarely swims down to the bottom since it's hard for him.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 2 weeks ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? When he was constipated I fasted him and did one epsom salt bath. That helped a lot. Since then I have been feeding him every other day so he won't get constipated again.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 2 months? Not including his time in the store.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:04 PM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
I guess no one could help.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:11 PM   #3 
Pataflafla's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
Maybe try soaking his food before giving it to him. If it's flakes, those have a tendency to cause bloating issues.

How long did you keep him with the epsom salt? It's most effective when used for 10 days, but it can be used long term unlike aq salt.

He might have chronic swim bladder issues from something being deformed or very improper care while he was developing. If that's the case, then it'll most likely just be a feed, fast, and epsom as needed.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:14 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Hi Thatgirl,

I'm no expert but I grabbed this from sticky diseases for SBD:

Swim Bladder Disease (SBD)/Bloat

•Symptoms: Betta has trouble swimming, maybe he can’t stay upright and can only swim on his side.

•Treatment: This is not a contagious or fatal illness. If it isn’t congenital (aka a condition that he/she has had since birth), then it is caused by over feeding or feeding the wrong foods. Bettas will typically recover after a day or two of Epsom Salt treatments (1-2tsp/gal) and fasting. You can help prevent a reoccurrence by switching to a better pellet food, feeding less and offering a more varied diet. To make it easier for the betta to eat and breath, you can make the water shallower. You can offer him/her frozen daphnia (sold at Petsmart) as daphnia will help him/her pass stool. DO NOT FEED THEM PEAS.

Apart from that, it may be a combination of this and something else?

I'm sorry I'm not much help - but it may point you in the right direction. If he's already passed, sorry for your loss :(
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:56 AM   #5 
earthworm88's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Dubai
Hi Thatgirl,

Sorry no one responded to your thread earlier. For some reasons, it had escaped my radar I like SBD topics (well, I don't like SBD on any fish, but it is a topic dear to my heart) as one of my boys has SBD but it appears to be a genetic defect for him.

Ok. Let's see.....

For a 1.5 gal tank, ideally the water should be changed every 2 days at 100% each, can stretch longer if you have live plants to use up some of the ammonia. But generally super clean water means very happy fish (as long as the fish is not easily stressed by water change)

From what you said, you have him for 2 months, but the SBD symptoms came on 2 weeks ago, so I will rule out the genetic theory for now.

You were right, ES would help with SBD, but one bath won't quite correct the problem so it could continue to persist. So let's put him back into ES tx.

To make things easier, pre mix 1 tsp of ES with a gal of conditioned water which you pour into his tank and keep it at 1 gallon for now.

Do 100% water change everyday with the ES tx for the next 10-14 days. Give us an update in 5 days to see if there are other signs.

Do you have any frozen daphnia or brine shrimp? That would help to make sure the intestines are not blocked or occluding the swim bladder in some way.

You want to try to correct this fast because if the SBD is not treated, it can become chronic and the fish won't be able to swim normal again.

In rare cases, it can be caused by bacteria, so you will need to observe to see if there are other changes in the meantime.

HTH and hope your betta get well soon.

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