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Old 11-23-2011, 03:05 AM   #1 
RoyalBlueDarling
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No idea if it's an internal parasite ...

Hi,

I'm new here and this is my first post, but I've been lurking for a couple of months now.

Housing
What size is your tank? 14 litre/3.7 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 26 C/78 F.
Does your tank have a filter? Mechanical (sponge and gravel) air filter.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and freeze dried blackworms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day (2 pellets per day), and a freeze dried blackworm a couple of times a week.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week, and gravel vacuuming with a turkey baster every second day.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat and Betta Water Conditioner.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: Not sure ...
Nitrite: 0 ppm (I check it every week.)
Nitrate: 0-5 ppm (I check this every week too.)
pH: 6.5
Hardness: Can't remember, sorry.
Alkalinity: See pH.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He stopped having bowel movements and became bloated.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Today he tried to eat his pellets, but couldn't and spat them out both times (during breakfast and dinner). I gave him a freeze dried blackworm, which I believe he ate. Also, he keeps hanging around the filter, and likes to poke around in the gravel below the filter. He's either hanging around on the gravel, or resting on a plant at the surface, not swimming around as much as he used to. I also noticed today that he's sort of dashing around, or he'll shake his head quickly while swimming in one spot.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? The constipation happened about a week ago. I fasted him for two days and it went away, but it seems to be back.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No. Not sure what it could be. I checked for velvet and icy with a flashlight, and his colour looks good.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, but when I got him from the pet store, I had him in a 1.5 gallon heated tank initially, and I noticed after a couple of weeks that the gravel had detritus worms in it (those translucent white ones that swim in an S shape and are 0.5-1cm long), which I found really strange because I've had a big cold water aquarium before, and the gravel never had any worms in it. Not sure if this is somehow related? I've read that detritus worms can't hurt fish.

How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure ... Maybe 8 months to a year? Only had him for a couple of months now. He's a crowntail.

I've got two bettas, and am really worried now that my other guy will get this, because I use the same siphon in the two tanks (though I wash and soak it in steaming hot tap water after each use).

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:59 PM   #2 
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An overnight update:

Well, he ate breakfast, and he's back to his old self, swimming around and exploring, being interactive, so I don't know what's been going on with him.

Still not sure if he's had a bowel movement.

He's smaller than my other betta, so I think that I'll keep giving him 2 pellets a day, but if the constipation comes back I may switch to 1 pellet a day and see how we go. It may just be too much food for him?

If his health status changes suddenly again, I'll post it in a new reply, but fingers crossed that he stays like this.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #3 
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I'm sorry this is late. If he's constipated you might want to try feeding him some daphnia. You could also try feeding him 1 pellet 3 times a day and see how he does.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:50 PM   #4 
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Bettas don't go to the bathroom all that often, nothing like most other tropical fish. Most go once every couple of days or so..
Two pellets total a day is actually quite low to be feeding them; 4-6 total a day is recommended, with 2+ feedings a day. 1 pellet a day will cause malnourishment, as just 2 a day will as well. The younger they are, the more they need to eat. 3 meals a day is recommended for the small/young ones..

The only thing that would cause constipation that I can see is the freeze dried foods- how are you feeding them? You will want to soak what you are about to feed in a bit of tank water prior to feeding, as they bloat up in the stomach and can cause bloating/constipation which can lead to SBD problems. Especially with a CT you will want to make sure you soak them as their bodies are more streamlined and are prone to bloating easier.

Internal parasites the waste will be stringy white- and if you look closely at it, it is possible to see it moving around a tiny bit after the fish has expelled it.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:44 PM   #5 
Hisaki Yuki001
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Like what Myates said, if you soak the pellets before giving them to him, that should and does help with the constipation and bloating. Unfortunately, Crown-tails are prone to constipation. I have a little crown-tail that not only has this problem, but it gets so severe due to internal damage when he was sick in the past that his stomach almost exploded. It had caused severe stretching that he had got a lesion from it and it started to split his stomach at his anus. I think that's the word to use.

He has more trouble digesting food now and I cannot feed him any pellets, soaked or not. If you try soaking them and feeding them and it keeps coming back everyday, you could try feeding crushed tropical flakes. I feed my little guy only crush Tetra tropical Crisps, as that's all he seems to be able to somewhat handle. I then fast him for at least a day or two when he bloats up. Just make sure you fast him for at least a day when he gets bloated. I'd never feed him until the blaoting is gone if it's due to constipation.

Another thing to look at as well is for parasites. If his poop looks stringy and white, that's a sign of parasites. I used jungle parasite cure on my guy just to make sure that wasn't the case. I hope this helps. ^_^

Last edited by Hisaki Yuki001; 11-29-2011 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:42 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dramaqueen View Post
I'm sorry this is late. If he's constipated you might want to try feeding him some daphnia. You could also try feeding him 1 pellet 3 times a day and see how he does.
Hi, I didn't realise that people had replied to this thread till now. I worked it all out myself by reading every single old post on the forum. It took a few days. I think I wasn't feeding him enough. I've started feeding him 2 pellets for breakfast, and one or two for dinner (sometimes throwing in a freeze dried blackworm or a defrosted bloodworm), and he's having regular and normal-looking bowel movements (you know those mini cinnamon bun ones hahaha). I was told to feed only two pellets a day, but I have a feeling that this only applies to those poor bettas in tiny tanks that don't move much.

Thanks for replying.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myates View Post
Bettas don't go to the bathroom all that often, nothing like most other tropical fish. Most go once every couple of days or so..
Two pellets total a day is actually quite low to be feeding them; 4-6 total a day is recommended, with 2+ feedings a day. 1 pellet a day will cause malnourishment, as just 2 a day will as well. The younger they are, the more they need to eat. 3 meals a day is recommended for the small/young ones..
You hit the nail on the head. I don't think I was feeding him enough with the two pellets a day. I asked 5 pet shops (one specialises in bettas, and one is an aquarium shop) whether 2 a day is good, and they all said that it was.

I've started feeding him 2 pellets for breakfast and 1 or 2 for dinner, sometimes throwing in a freeze dried blackworm or a defrosted bloodworm, and he's improved a lot. He has regular, normal bowel movements now, I'm pleased to say. Thanks for replying.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:50 PM   #8 
RoyalBlueDarling
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hisaki Yuki001 View Post
Like what Myates said, if you soak the pellets before giving them to him, that should and does help with the constipation and bloating. Unfortunately, Crown-tails are prone to constipation. I have a little crown-tail that not only has this problem, but it gets so severe due to internal damage when he was sick in the past that his stomach almost exploded. It had caused severe stretching that he had got a lesion from it and it started to split his stomach at his anus. I think that's the word to use.

He has more trouble digesting food now and I cannot feed him any pellets, soaked or not. If you try soaking them and feeding them and it keeps coming back everyday, you could try feeding crushed tropical flakes. I feed my little guy only crush Tetra tropical Crisps, as that's all he seems to be able to somewhat handle. I then fast him for at least a day or two when he bloats up. Just make sure you fast him for at least a day when he gets bloated. I'd never feed him until the blaoting is gone if it's due to constipation.

Another thing to look at as well is for parasites. If his poop looks stringy and white, that's a sign of parasites. I used jungle parasite cure on my guy just to make sure that wasn't the case. I hope this helps. ^_^
Hi, thanks for replying. Myates was right--I don't think I was feeding the little guy enough. I was worried because he is still little, but I'm giving him 3-4 pellets a day now (split up between breakfast and dinner), and sometimes I'll add a freeze dried blackworm or defrosted bloodworm, and he's doing much better.

I fast him one day a week.

I guess that in a way their digestive system works just like the human digestive system--without enough food, things just aren't going to keep moving toward the exit. Too much and you plug the pipes.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #9 
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I'm glad he's doing better. :)
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:32 PM   #10 
RoyalBlueDarling
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I'm glad he's doing better. :)

Oh, yes. Me too. He's put on some nice muscle mass, and is so fast now!
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