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Old 10-16-2011, 10:05 AM   #1 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Help, I think fish is really stressed

I have been treating our betta Rock N Roll for swim bladder disease and he has been doing much better. Today when I went to get him to put him in an epsom salt bath, he got very stressed out - he plunged to the bottom of the bowl and looked a little pale for a moment there. I thought for sure I'd killed him somehow. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I scooped him up and put him in the epsom bath anyway (in hindsight, this was maybe not the right thing to do?) Anyway, he is definitely still alive - every so often he perks up and swims around a little and got especially active for a moment when my son started talking to him. But for the most part he is just sitting there, still. I'm thinking he is still recovering from whatever stressed him so bad but is there anything I can do to help him? Thanks to some advice from Myates yesterday, I know it's ok for him to stay in the epsom bath all day so my plan is not to move him again today so I don't traumatize him too much. If anyone has any other suggestions let me know. The epsom bath is in a different bowl vs. his usual so none of his plants or anything are in there - would that help him? Anything else???

ETA: I should add that his color is back to normal now and he does seem to be swimming around a bit more as time passes.

Last edited by chicagojo; 10-16-2011 at 10:09 AM. Reason: add more info
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:31 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
You can cover his bowl with a towel. Although it seems he's getting better anyway. Sometimes darkness helps them remain calm.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:05 PM   #3 
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Yeah.. they get to know real quick when they are about to be moved.. poor fella. I just started an AQ salt treatment on one of mine today. Had to move him to a 1 gal and will be doing daily 100% water changes too.. he's so going to hate me by the end of treatment.

If you still have the cup you got him in, you can use that to try to scoop him out. Usually if they are at the top and you dip the cup in, the pressure of the water will suck him into the cup and before he knows it, he's stuck in there. When it's time to place him back in his QT home, you can dump as much water out as you can then put him in, or dump the water through the net and then use the net to put him back in the tank. Can add in some stress coat to keep him calm, as well as keep the QT container in a dim spot for a bit after the change.

You can definitely add in a couple items from his tank into the QT container, he will feel more secure if there is something else in there. I put my boy's favorite sleeping cup and a plant in his so he'd have something familiar and a place to hide.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #4 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Thanks, I stuck one of his plants in there with him and he perked up a bit for a moment. For the most part he is hanging around at/near the bottom of the bowl, clinging to the side. I feel so sad for him. Yesterday he swam right into the net for me but today I had to chase him around a bit and I think I really stressed him out. Won't do that again. How long does it usually take for a fish to recover from something like this? I am relieved it didn't kill him because when he went pale I was 99% sure that was the case but can I consider him "out of the woods?"
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