Usually, when people here prescribe epsom salt or AQ salt, they mean round the clock. I think some fish are sensitive to being kept in it all the time but nearly all bettas do well. Leaving him in the epsom on a constant basis may ultimately be less stressful than taking him in and out; each time he is removed, he has to readjust chemically to fresh water and vice versa. However, if you feel more comfortable not leaving him in all the time, then do what you feel is best for the little guy. You can see the epsom salt is working though, since he keeps pooping when in it. :)
If you can, feeding him frozen brine shrimp instead of pea will have the same effect but be healthier for him.
I know a lot of people are against using pea on a regular basis (often on using pea at all) so I can't really say one way or another if a pea a week works or not. If anything, I would suggest devoting one day a week to brine shrimp.
This is what OFL said recently about peas:
Use of Pea for short term treatment of constipation is not harmful to Bettas....long term use can limit nutrition due to poor absorption.....the green pea will not block the GI tract....that is not how digestion works.....Bettas have lots of gastric acid and enzymes that break it down...same as with pellets....they don't swell up in the gut per se', however, poor quality foods-(high in grain products)- can cause pathogenic bacteria to develop causing the fish abdomen to swell due to the gases.....by soaking food to prevent this you risk leaching the water soluble vitamins and mineral, nutrients...."
Nerites are interesting: they can only breed in saltwater.
There are a lot of differing opinions about freeze-dried foods. Some swear it causes bloating and constipation while others, like me, have never experienced a problem. You can try the freeze-dried and see if it works or if it makes things worse. Otherwise, actual frozen brine shrimp. Obviously, you have to thaw it first, haha. Feed maybe one or two little shrimps and see what happens.
Well I found a place that has frozen brine shrimp, but thought maybe I should ask before I bought it.. I would be having a 2 hour trip back home, so they could thaw out a bit on the way home - would my fish then get food poisoning from their food being frozen and then refrozen again, or from it being at an unsafe temperature for too long? Might seem like a silly question, but better to be safe than sorry
I ended up buying some Hikari Tropical Micro Pellets (for tetras, barbs and small fish) that the guy at the aquarium recommended for bettas - they didn't have any betta food, but he said a lot of his customers prefer to feed them this anyway. I figured it would be better than the flake and brine shrimp mix...
Btw, my CT's still not happy - pics are attached (I used the flash this time, coz the last ones looked too dark - he isn't as pale as he looks, although still paler than usual)...
And also, does it mean anything if a few of his scales seem to be turning white? Prolly can't see it in the pics, but it's just above his right eye, and also on the left upper front part of his body. I haven't been too worried about it, but should I be?
I guess it depends on how much the brine shrimp would thaw. A little bit wouldn't hurt but if they unthawed completely, I'd be just a tad bit wary. Could you maybe bring a cooler or a styrofoam container that could insulate them a bit?
Micro pellets are a great food for bettas because they're small enough to easily eat. Only catch is they can be easy to overfeed because they're so darn tiny.
Is it just his scales turning white or does he appear to have actual white . . . stuff on him? Slime or mucous or cottony white growths?
Silly me, I didn't think of that! I'll borrow one of my bf's cooler bags on Monday and pick some up :)
What do you think of the pics? Is he going to eventually die from this if he doesn't start digesting properly?
There doesn't seem to be anything on him - it just looks like his scales have turned albino. Which is why I haven't worried about it. It's just that the white areas seem to be getting very slowly larger, but that could just be my imagination... I'm very paranoid about my sick little fishy!
Hmm. I can't see the white spots very well. I wonder if he is changing color? Some bettas do marble. If the spots aren't raised or fuzzy, they may be natural. I'd keep an eye on them but his bloated belly is definitely our first concern.
Well, staying bloated like that certainly won't help extend his lifespan, that's for sure. Poor guy. And you're certain you haven't seen any evidence of parasites? Hmm. Is he still doing the epsom salt treatment? Epsom salts are mild so he can stay in those for as long as necessary. If he doesn't show signs of improvement and he doesn't poop, then we may need to treat him for an internal bacterial infection.
It's too small for a Nerite....they need 5 gallons.........and I would seriously move your fish to a divided 5 gallon or something, because thats way too small. I like to say 2.5 gallons as a minimum, but they NEED at least 1.5 gallons with appropriate water changes for long term health. If I were you, I wouldn't be looking to get more stuff, just upgrading the things you have.
Edit: Sorry, I missed a page. As a precaution, you may want to add Aquarium salt to his water, I'd start with 1 teaspoon per gallon, no more than a week. If you have the water conditioner Stress Coat by API, that would help, too.
I really can't get another tank, at least not for quite a while... In the meantime, I finally found this thing everyone's been posting, so I filled it in
What size is your tank? 3 x approx 2 litres
What temperature is your tank? Think it was about 69 a few weeks ago, but the weather's getting warmer now
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Not yet
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? One betta in each end tank
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Tropical Micro Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day
How often do you perform a water change? Twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% once a week, 100% once a week
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner, water ager, aquarium salts and PH neutraliser block
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I'm waiting for the PH kit to arrive - bought from ebay
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Bloated belly, a bit paler than usual
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not as active as usual (used to be rather hyper)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I started this thread
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Epsom salt dips, the occasional pea, fasting
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of
How old is your fish (approximately)? No idea!