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Old 10-15-2011, 09:24 AM   #1 
chicagojo
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swim bladder disease question

Last night our fish Rock N Roll was showing signs of swim bladder disease (seemed to have trouble staying upright, kept tipping to/swimming on his side, looked bloated, seemed to have trouble straightening out his body). I made the "diagnosis" after doing some online reading. One of the suggestions I saw on another site was to try feeding a tiny bit of cooked pea, which I did before I saw in a sticky here that you shouldn't do that (anyone happen to know why?) I also went out and bought some epsom salt last night but held off on doing the epsom bath because I read it was stressful for fish and didn't want to cause him too much stress all in one night. This morning, he seems to be doing better - staying upright much better, swimming around more, blowing bubbles. Not 100% back to his usual self but getting there.

So, my question is: should I still do the epsom bath (will it give him any additional benefit) or should I just fast him for a day or two and see how he does? He was, until a day or two ago, on a diet of only bloodworms due to bad advice I was given at the pet store. I had just switched him to pellets, which will be his primary food source going forward. He is a very tiny fish, but pretty energetic, but I think I will feed him only 4 pellets (2, 2x/day) going forward because he's so small.

I also intend to do a water change today, operating under the assumption that he had some constipation going on that may have...uh...resolved...overnight (I didn't think to remove the multicolored aq gravel substrate from his bowl so it's really hard to tell).

Anything else I should be doing to help his recovery?

TIA!
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:40 AM   #2 
Myates
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Aww poor fella.

Peas: Used to treat goldfish who are bloated/constipated.
Bettas are insectivores, since peas are a plant (in a sense), the bettas are unable to digest the pea, as well as it gives them no nutrition. Basically the pea method when used on a betta is this (which I think is silly): Putting in something undigestible into the small body of a betta in hopes to push out waste. Frozen daphnia is idea for constipation on a betta. But for SBD, you don't need to do either.

It may of been him getting used to pellets and the way they expand/break up in digestion.

A water change may be a good thing for him.. usually fresh water makes fish feel better overall. Just make sure to acclimate him to both temp and chemistry before adding him in (float cup in tank 20-30 mins while periodically take out water from the cup and add in tank water).

I want to say if he's not swimming sideways then not do Epsom.. but if he is still struggling a little I would go ahead and recommend doing 1 teaspoon per gallon, along with water conditioner (make sure to dissolve the salt prior to adding in the fish) with daily 100% water changes for 5 days (or 2-3 days past the last time he was sideways) and fast him for a day just to be sure.

I hope he gets better soon, poor little guy.
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:11 AM   #3 
chicagojo
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Thank you! Yeah, I don't quite get the rationale behind the pea. I watched him for a while and even though he is doing quite a bit better vs. last night he did still seem to be struggling so he's in the epsom bath now (and enjoying himself quite a bit!) and I did the 100% water change too that is all ready and waiting for him when his bath is done. So hopefully he will improve. I was just relieved to read that it's not a fatal condition. We had a fish death in our household last weekend and I don't think we could handle another one just yet!
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:38 AM   #4 
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Aww yeah I read that, I'm sorry =(

He can be in the Epsom Salt for a long time, much longer then AQ salt.. so leave him in the Epsom Salt water until tomorrow when you do a 100% water change, adding in more of the salt then, and continue each day.

I'm sorry if I didn't specify that.. some people just put them in baths, but when it comes to SBD, it's best to just keep him in Epsom continuously until treatment is over, just replacing the water (with conditioner) and Epsom daily.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:12 PM   #5 
chicagojo
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OH, ok, I didn't realize they could stay in that long so I took him out after about 15-20 min. We were out of the house all day but he was looking good when we came home and he is doing pretty well now. If he's still having trouble tomorrow I will go ahead and leave him in longer. Thanks for all the advice!
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