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Old 11-08-2011, 05:07 PM   #1 
coldpizzaonmondays
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Exclamation Fishy is sick and I don't know what's wrong! Help!

I bought a blue crowntail betta (male) a few weeks ago and he was happy and healthy up until about 4 days ago. Except he still doesn't like his name, Fishy. Not that I blame him...

He's been hanging around the bottom of his tank more than usual, it looks like someone wrapped a teeny bit of cotton around the bottom of two of his caudal fin bits, and one of his pelvic fins (which are and have always been red). I also haven't seen him poop in a while (though he may have sneakily done so while I was out). He's still blowing bits of bubble nests, eating, flaring when a mirror is near him, and swimming actively. I came home today and noticed his belly was more bloated than usual, and am worried.


Two days ago I put a bit of epsom salts in his tank to see if I could get him to poop, but to no avail (like I said, unless he's done it while I've been out, though I don't see any on the bottom of his tank). I cleaned his tank two days ago and will be cleaning it again tonight or tomorrow. I also ordered some Jungle Fungus Clear tabs and put a teeny bit in today in the event the bit on the ends of his fins is a fungus (I put in the correct amount for the amount of water he's got).

He is in a half gallon tank... I know I know super tiny. This is what I bought for him at the pet store before I knew anything about betta fish. I have a 2.65 gallon tank with a filter in the mail which should be arriving tomorrow... I feel so bad for him in the little tank.
There is no filter, but I do a 100% water change every 4-6 days usually (again, this is because I didn't know much about betta fish) and use filtered water as well as a water conditioner (Which I can't remember the name of right now). And the water temp is usually around 78 degrees.
He's got a live plant in there with him and a little buddha statue (so he can meditate of course).
I usually feed him a 2-6 freeze dried bloodworms a day, but I've been fasting him for the past three days and then fed him a few today which he ate as if he'd never seen food before.

I'm worried because of the bloated belly and that the epsom salts have done nothing that he may have dropsy.

I'm not sure what to do now, but I have plenty of Jungle Fungus Clear, Aquarium Products Quick-Cure Aquarium Treatment, Epsom salts, sea salt, and Aquarium Pharmaceuticals 93B Bettafix Remedy is en-route with his new tank. I've also read a bit about giving them small bits of pealed fresh or frozen (thawed) peas, so I'll be grabbing some in a bit for him in anticipation for a response.

Any help would be much appreciated!

When I first got him:


Bloated belly today:


I got him mid-flare so you could see the two finbits with cottonlike stuff, on the bottom towards the back:


Another bloated belly picture:


Thanks to everyone who replies! It means a lot to me.

Last edited by coldpizzaonmondays; 11-08-2011 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #2 
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Handsome boy you got there.. and welcome to the forums. At least you're trying and learning :)

Okay, first thing lets get the bloating under control so it doesn't turn into SBD.

Freeze dried any food has a high potential to bloat fish- as they expand in their bellies once filled with liquid. Why it is usually recommended to be used as treats, and only a couple at a time when feeding as a treat/meal replacement.
Pellets are the idea staple- the common ones you will want to feed 4-6 total a day, spread between 2+ meals a day. Unless they say "mini", in the "mini" case you will want to feed 6-10 a day, spread between 2+ feedings a day. One day a week fasting won't harm him and can help his system catch up, as their stomachs are about the size of their eyes.

So for his bloating, you were correct with Epsom, just didn't do the correct treatment. You fasted him, so feed him very little- I would avoid the FD food if possible. If not, then you will want to feed 1-2 per meal, and make sure you presoak them in a bit of tank water before feeding them. Presoak them for a few minutes before you feed them at any time.

Go ahead and do 2 teaspoon per gallon of Epsom Salt (Since he is in half you can divide it in half to be 1 teaspoon). If you have an empty 1 gallon water jug you can premix the salt in there to make water changes easier. Make sure to dissolve the salt prior to adding your boy in it. Make sure to use your water conditioner as well.
You will want to do daily 100% water changes until 2-3 days past the last time you see him bloating.
Keep the tank warm- they require 76-82*F. I would also keep him in his half gallon during treatment to make the 100% daily water changes easier- keep it bare bottom to watch his outtake. It will probably take close to a week or a little more.

After he is done in his QT and not bloated you will need to check his fins. It sounds as if he has the fungus type of fin rot- which happens in unfavorable water conditions when they have a rip or a tear in their fins. In a half gallon you would of wanted to do 100% every 2-3 days at the most. But the daily 100% water changes during his bloating treatment may clear up the rot. If not, we can do an AQ Salt treatment. But we'll figure that out once the bloating is gone, since we can't mix both medications together, we will do the most damaging one first. - But in all honesty, it doesn't look like he really has it, if anything it's very mild so just the clean water during treatment may be enough.

The pea method, some use it for their bettas, but they are generally for use for goldfish who are constipated. Bettas are insectivores, and have trouble digesting plant material. Basically what the pea will do is become a lump in his belly, and as his body is trying to remove it since it can't digest it, one hopes it pushes out anything else in his system. It's not the healthiest, or best to use. The Epsom Salt used daily with the water changes should be enough. Bettas don't poop a whole lot, sometimes it takes days.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Also would like to add- get a refund on bettafix- as it is a watered down melafix which has a high potential risk to damage their labyrinth organ. They sell it, but it really isn't wise to use- as there are a lot of other, safe conservative treatments and medicines out there.

Last edited by Myates; 11-08-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #3 
coldpizzaonmondays
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Thank you so much for all of your help! And thank you, I think he's beautiful! I'll clean his tank right now and remove the rocks, add a teaspoon of epsom salts, and the water conditioner. I'll probably be running down to Petco this weekend to get some new rocks for the new tank, and I'll pick up some pellets while I'm there. You mentioned AQ salt, should I pick a bit of that up while I'm there as well? I only have sea salt and epsom salt right now.

I was looking at heaters for the new tank as well since it's difficult to regulate the room temperature in my apartment and I know that affects the tank temperature. Is there any particular heater you would recommend for the new 2.65 gallon tank?

Also, what medication would you recommend instead of the BettaFix? I'd rather be armed with whatever medications he could ever possibly need instead of waiting on them to be delivered and risking his poor little life should he ever get sick again.

Basically, what all do I need to get in addition to what I've already got to make sure Fishy's happy and healthy? It's so difficult trying to find accurate information as there are so many sources!

One last question, I've been trying to see what other fish/creatures might be good to either have in a tank near him or in his tank. I know sometimes betta fish get depressed, and as I'm in classes or at work most of the day, I don't want him getting all sad while I'm gone. I've read tons of different sites about what tankmates would be best and whatnot. I know his new tank is also somewhat small, but is there a friend I could put in there with him that wouldn't nip his fins and that he wouldn't try and eat? Or would it be best to buy a friend to put in the tank he's in now once he's better and in his new tank so they can stare at each other and make faces from afar?

Again, thank you so much for the information and quick reply!

(Also, I love your avatar, it's adorable!)
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:20 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldpizzaonmondays View Post
Thank you so much for all of your help! And thank you, I think he's beautiful! I'll clean his tank right now and remove the rocks, add a teaspoon of epsom salts, and the water conditioner. I'll probably be running down to Petco this weekend to get some new rocks for the new tank, and I'll pick up some pellets while I'm there. You mentioned AQ salt, should I pick a bit of that up while I'm there as well? I only have sea salt and epsom salt right now.
If you have it on order already, then I would just wait for that. Otherwise if you don't have it by then and he isn't bloated up anymore, you can.. but post a picture here first to see how his fins are doing. If they are cleared up, then he won't have to go through that treatment.

I was looking at heaters for the new tank as well since it's difficult to regulate the room temperature in my apartment and I know that affects the tank temperature. Is there any particular heater you would recommend for the new 2.65 gallon tank?
Marineland brand is pretty good.. I've heard iffy things on the tetra brand for small heaters. I would do 25-50 watts, and if you can get one that is adjustable, then that is better as they are more reliable.

Also, what medication would you recommend instead of the BettaFix? I'd rather be armed with whatever medications he could ever possibly need instead of waiting on them to be delivered and risking his poor little life should he ever get sick again.
Most things can be cured with Epsom or AQ salt and clean water, fortunately. I read you have a fungus and Quick-Cure coming as well- those should be enough to cover other problems should they arise. Normally with proper water changes, good food high in protein and warmth, they don't get sick all that often. Only thing I could think of is General Cure, but I think Quick Cure does the same treatment.

Basically, what all do I need to get in addition to what I've already got to make sure Fishy's happy and healthy? It's so difficult trying to find accurate information as there are so many sources!
There are a ton of information, and you have to take each with a grain of salt, as most pet store employees will tell you the bare minimum to keep one alive, at best, but not living and thriving healthy and happy. Males especially love caves of sorts- even a half buried coffee cup works. I know all of mine loves theirs.. whether it's a decorative cave, or a colored see through cup, they are in it daily and nap in them. Most tend to like medium to heavily planted tanks- silk or real plants. If you can get a couple taller ones, or one with broad leaves, they will use it as a bed.

One last question, I've been trying to see what other fish/creatures might be good to either have in a tank near him or in his tank. I know sometimes betta fish get depressed, and as I'm in classes or at work most of the day, I don't want him getting all sad while I'm gone. I've read tons of different sites about what tankmates would be best and whatnot. I know his new tank is also somewhat small, but is there a friend I could put in there with him that wouldn't nip his fins and that he wouldn't try and eat? Or would it be best to buy a friend to put in the tank he's in now once he's better and in his new tank so they can stare at each other and make faces from afar?
For a tank that size, I wouldn't recommend any other fish, as the bio load would be rather too large. Even a snail would be too much, as they have huge waste issues. You could always buy a kritter keeper (spelled that way) from Petco.com. I have medium-large (2-3 gals approx), you can easily heat it with a heater (10-15 watt) and place it next to your other tank for a new betta :) It's cheap (and despite what the pic shows, it's clear), but you would have to be willing to do 1 extra water change a week (1 50% and 1 100% per week for that size unfiltered). But they are sturdy and have a good amount of room for one- the medium size is perfect, imo.
Or you could use your half gallon, just keep in mind you won't be able to heat is properly, as well as limited space for the new guy to have cover. As well as you will be doing a 100% water change every 2-3 days in the half gallon. The half gallon is perfect for a hospital tank :) It comes down to your choice.


Again, thank you so much for the information and quick reply!
I'm usually stalking the forums off and on during the day until early evening :) You're welcome!

(Also, I love your avatar, it's adorable!)
lol thanks! I know it's not fish related, but who could pass up a rat with a teddy bear? :P

Last edited by Myates; 11-08-2011 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:25 PM   #5 
coldpizzaonmondays
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Excellent, thanks so much! I'll keep posting updates and photos as needed on here until he's back to happy healthy Fishy. :)
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:59 PM   #6 
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Hehe we're rooting for Fishy!
And don't worry about the name.. I have one named No Name!
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #7 
coldpizzaonmondays
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Wow! I put him in about an hour ago to a clean lightly salted bowl with only the three little plants in it (I thought he'd like a place to hide) and he's already looking better! He's swimming around like crazy and he doesn't look painfully bloated anymore. Still bloated, and still no poo, but he's looking better. The fungus is gone from his fins too! Don't know if that's from the fungus tab from earlier, the clean water, or the salt... but it's gone!

I'll keep you updated as he improves. :)
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:22 PM   #8 
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Good! Just keep an eye on it, but with the daily water changes you'll be doing, you shouldn't see it return. :)

But if you do, don't get discouraged- it would most likely be a very slight case of it and that would be quickly taken care of.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #9 
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Something that might help if he is a bit bloated/constipated.
Use a mirror for a few minutes and get him to flare. This will sometimes make them poo. I don't know if you give him much flaring exercise, but it might just help him along a bit.
Myates has given you some good advice otherwise.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #10 
coldpizzaonmondays
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Haha, I'll give that a try tomorrow morning. I'm sure I've shaken him up enough as it is tonight what with the cleaning and salt. I do give him about 10-20 minutes of flaring exercise a day. He didn't used to respond to the mirror but after a few tries he started going crazy! It hasn't made him do anything besides get all macho yet, but maybe it'll work after he's been hangin' out in some epsom for a night.

I'll let you know how it works tomorrow, thanks for the advice! :)
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