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Old 11-11-2011, 08:19 PM   #1 
popcorn1010
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Betta is bloated and won't eat!

I literally just made my account since I visit this site anyway, I figured I should finally join.

My betta for about a week now has had what I think is swim bladder issues. He can't swim downward and I see him struggle to every now and then. I know you're supposed to fast them if this happens so I did for 4 days, then tried a bit of a pea and he wouldn't eat it. He bit at it but I'm not sure if he really ate any. It's been 2 days now and nothing seems to help.

I have a 5 gallon tank with a heater at around 80F. I rescued him from petsmart so I'm not sure if he was sick prior.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:36 PM   #2 
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Welcome, sorry about your little guy :(

Is his stomach bloated any at all? Is there a way you could put a picture on here for us to see?

If he isn't bloated, and just having issues swimming, then you don't have to worry about fasting, nor trying the pea method. If he is bloated then luckily, it's the same treatment for SBD :)

You already fasted him, so go ahead and feed him half of what you normally do, so he can get some nutrition going. Don't feed him any peas, as they can't digest them properly, and it can cause blockage as well. People use it in hopes to "push" out whatever is in their system because the body is trying to reject the pea.

If you have a smaller container, even a soap residue-free tupperware, go ahead and place him in that and float in his home tank to keep him warm.
2 teaspoons of Epsom Salt (can be purchased rather cheaply at most places with a pharmacy, such as Walmart) per gallon. You will want to do daily 100% water changes to his QT container while he is in the treatment. It shouldn't last more then 10 days, but go ahead and keep him in treatment for a day or two past the last time you saw he had swimming issues.

To make water changes easier, use a water gallon jug to pre-dissolve the salt in it (pre-dissolve prior to adding it in as it is), with your regular water conditioner and use that to do the daily water changes. Just fill up the jug each time you empty it. It will make the water change process easier and faster for you.

What are you feeding him, and how much/often?
How often do you do water changes, and how much?
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #3 
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Thanks for your reply!
Every time I try to take a photo of him he darts around so I can't seem to take one.

Yes he seems really bloated which makes me iffy on trying to feed him again. I normally fed him 3 pellets a day. I was thinking of switching to live brine shrimp or blood worms but I heard those could have too much protein? I'm not too sure I'm new to bettas.

As for the water changes I do 20-30% weekly.

I DO have a smaller container I had him in for a few days so it would be easier for him to swim to the bottom but it seems like he's given up on trying. Epsom salt is the only thing I haven't tried yet so I guess I'll buy some tomorrow.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:48 PM   #4 
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Three pellets a day is on the low side.. so makes me wonder if something else is up.
While he is in the QT tank, keep it bare bottomed and keep an eye on his poop. The Epsom will work as a laxative- so he should poop within a couple of days. If his poop is white and somewhat stringy, let us know as that is a sign of internal parasites.
Otherwise, the Epsom should work for both the swimming issue and the bloating.

For a 5 gal, if there are no live plants I would boost it up to 30-50% water changes a week, siphoning regularly.
If there are live plants, then 25-40% should be fine.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #5 
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Mkay I'll be sure to do that, thank you :)
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:52 PM   #6 
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Welcome and good luck, keep us updated on how he is doing :) If you see any other signs of illness such as lethargy, loss of color, clamped fins let us know.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:17 PM   #7 
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Been doing the epsom treatment and nothings changed :(
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #8 
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He just passed :(
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