Today I found Masuka floating on his side at the top of his QT bowl. I thought he was dead, but I went to scoop him out with his cup and he can move, in fact he tried to swim away from the cup. I set him on the counter in the cup to watch him for a minute, he barely moved and after a little while he went back to just floating on his side. It's like he can't swim or even move his fins! He seems to be able to breathe fine though... I have no idea what's wrong :( I dumped some of the water out of the cup so it's shallow, because I am worried about him drowning... and I put a couple drops of slime coat in the cup and floated it so he can stay warm... I'm really nervous because I have to go to bed soon and I am so scared that in the morning he'll be gone :(
Hold food for a day or two. Also, premix 1-2 tsp/gal of epsom salt and use that water for daily water changes in his cup. This sounds like a swim bladder issue, so epsom salt is recommended along with fasting.
Change all of his cup water daily and use the epsom salt water (treated of course) until his problem is gone and he should be healthy. Have you fed him too much recently or was he finding uneaten food on the bottom?
EDIT: I don't recommend the pea method simply because bettas cannot digest the pea properly. Epsom salt and fasting will do more without the stress of trying to eat something they are not designed for. Supposedly, the pea method was used for goldfish, which are mostly omnivorous so they can digest the plant matter better than a betta.
Last edited by Pataflafla; 09-13-2011 at 08:29 PM.
Yeah I've heard of SBD, I just didn't realize it could come on so suddenly. I will try the salt and I think I have some frozen peas, but he doesn't look like he will eat :\ I don't think he could have eaten too much, I just got him from Petco on Saturday. He's been in a quarantine bowl since then. I fed him a couple of betta flakes yesterday morning, and this morning.
The flakes might be your problem. They're notorious for causing bloating and sbd issues since the betta gulps up some air while eating them and because it's hard to judge how much they really are getting. If you can get pellets, soak them before feeding to make sure there are no air bubbles inside and so that they won't expand in his stomach.
He might also still be having issues from the store as well. Can you get the temperature of your tank? His metabolism might be a little too slow to compensate for regular feeding due to cold temperatures.
How long should I give him to eat the pea before taking it out? Or should I just leave it in there?
I wouldn't give him any of the pea. Bettas are carnivores and are not designed to handle plant matter. While it does work to push anything out, the epsom salt will do the same without causing stress to his digestive system.
If you're set on using the pea, make sure they are blanched and without any salt.
They are betta flakes, supposedly designed for betta (but that could also be a load of crock), and they are teeny tiny compared to regular tropical fish flakes... my other betta never had a problem with them, but I have been meaning to get pellets. I always forget. :\
He's not making any moves on the pea, so I'll probably take it out. He isn't moving much at all, really. The shallower water seems to be helping though. Right now he is pretty much just tilting to his right, not completely on his side like when I first found him... but he barely moves. :(