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Old 12-15-2011, 08:44 PM   #1 
Ogre44
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Alternative Laxative for Bettas

I think an combination of overfeeding on my part and an overindulgence in my pleco's algae wafer on my betta's part has given him a constipation/swim bladder issue.
Tuesday night I thought he was swimming a little strangely, but everytime I tried to really study his swimming patterns he would swim around as normal.
Wednesday night he seemed "stuck" at the top of the tank.
He wasn't rolled on his side or anything, but he had to work real hard to swim down, and when he stopped swimming he would float back toward the top of the tank.
I put him in a 2 gallon hospital tank with 2 teaspoons of aquarium salts at 82 degrees and he's been in there for about 24 hours now, but no bowel movement on his part.
He's either hanging out at the top of the tank looking very listless and unhappy, or wedged under the heater at the bottom of the tank.
I read that daphnia will act as a laxative for bettas, but all of my Local stores don't carry any, there's one more place for me to try over by my work tomorrow.
What else can I do to help my little guy?
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #2 
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Aquarium salt is more for injuries (preventing infections)

Espom salt is for swim bladder problems

If you over fed you may want to fast him for one or two days
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:54 PM   #3 
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He hasn't eaten since Tuesday.
I just read your post and re-read the original thread where I saw the salt.
I am now off to buy Epsom Salts.

Still looking for alternative laxatives.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:22 PM   #4 
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Epsom salts is all you'll need, there's no other laxative that works as well. Fasting and 1tsp of Epsom Salts per gallon of water and daily water changes should do the trick. Are you feeding flakes, pellets or freeze dried bloodworms? I feed mine frozen brine shrimp when they have swim bladder issues, a little food to keep the system moving. Goodluck!

And remember, Aquarium salt is for outside, Epsom is for inside (of the fish) :)
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:46 PM   #5 
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I alternate between a small pinch of Tetra BettaMin flakes in the morning and 4-6 Aqueon Betta Pellets in the evening.
I usually soak more than pellets than I intend to feed as he always misses a few, and hey the pleco has to eat as well, and I got distracted while feeding and I think he got closer to 8.
The Aqueon pellets are super small, hence the higher than usual number.
We tried the freeze dried bloodworms, but he wouldn't touch them.

He is now in the Epsom Salt water.
I will swing by the LFS tomorrow and pick up some frozen blood worm or brine shrimp just so he has something to eat that doesn't have any filler in it.

Last edited by Ogre44; 12-15-2011 at 09:47 PM. Reason: I KAN SPEELL REEL GUD
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:25 PM   #6 
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Just saying that peas can mess up you bettas organs. Try and stay away from that.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:35 AM   #7 
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Definitely Epsom, AQ salt can make SBD and such worse..
1 tsp of Epsom per gallon, daily 100% water changes, shouldn't take more then 5-8 days to work.
2-3 days of fasting, then slowly working the food up.

As for feeding, I have Aqueon in my mix-grab bag of pellets, highly suggest no more then 3 per meal.. feed one at a time (2-3 per meal) as to make sure he doesn't eat too much, and nothing goes to the bottom, as it will quickly start fouling up the water. No need to soak prior to feeding, as soon as they touch water they start to lose their nourishment, so soaking first is in turn, giving him less nutrients.
Feed the pleco the wafers after you turn off the tank light at night, the betta may not find it that way.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:20 PM   #8 
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5-8 days?
He looks so sad in his empty hospital tank :(
I think he's swimming better today, but no feces in the tank so he's going to stay I guess.
Fed him a tiny bit of frozen brine shrimp and he seems quite chipper, he even did a tiny little wiggle dance hoping for more.

After he finally defecates and begins swimming normally, how long should he remain in the tank?
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:06 PM   #9 
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I usually feed mine frozen brine shrimp, seems to keep the system going and they usually have a nice poop that gets them swimming better again. Usually after they are swimming normally, I leave them in for another 2-3 days to make sure the system is working fine. I took Hughie out when he started swimming and he was floating the next day lol
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