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Old 01-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #1 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Rock N Roll's saga continues - need advice please!

Please read below and help...I don't know what else to do for this poor fish. Every morning he seems fine and is swimming around lively, then by late afternoon/early evening I am having to tap on the tank to make sure he's even still alive. My plan when I put him back in the Epsom 4 days ago was to fast him for 5 days. He pooped on Day 2 but hasn't pooped since and to be honest I'm not sure he has anything left in him to void, I am more hoping that the fasting will give his insides a break but he just doesn't seem to be improving. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? What else can I do for him??? Thanks in advance!

What size is your tank? 2.5G (but currently in 0.5G QT tank floating in this larger tank)
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? No
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

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Micro Pellets; occasionally frozen daphnia
How often do you feed your betta fish? currently fasting, but when well was feeding 2x/day

How often do you perform a water change? Currently daily (in QT tank); typically 2x/wk
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Currently 100% (in QT tank); typically 50/100
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat; also currently 3 tsp/G Epsom salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No If so, what are the following parameters?


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Most of the time his appearance is normal but he sometimes develops a "kink" in his body so that he looks curved or s-shaped
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Each morning, his behavior is completely normal. By late afternoon or early evening he starts to look like he has a bad case of SBD - he is overly buoyant and can't stay down from the surface, he tips over onto his side, and he sometimes struggles to swim. Then by morning he is acting normal again.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 3-4 weeks ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. I did Epsom 1 tsp/G initially for about a week, then was advised here to increase to 3 tsp/G, which I did for 14 days. In the midst of this, he jumped out of the cup while I was changing the water and spent about 20 second flailing around on the kitchen counter but seemed to recover ok from that. At the end of the 14 days, he seemed to be doing better so I tapered down the Epsom over the course of 3-4 more days and then acclimated him to his home tank with no Epsom and within hours he got worse again. He has now been back in 3 tsp/G Epsom and fasting for the past 4 days.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He had a prior episode of SBD in mid-October that resolved after 10 days in 1 tsp/G epsom and fasting.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure, I got him about 6 months ago.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Ah, my betta Tai went through constipation, I was actually to the point of euthinizing him, but now he poops, he's just fat. If you've heard of the pea trick, DON'T DO IT! Bettas were ment to be carnivores. Have you tried making him flare? Bettas are more likely to poop if they flare because of the stress. Wow, your story is very similar to mine. I just kept him in epsom salt and got him to flare then one day he just pooped regularily. It may take a little time. To avoid it, were you soaking his pellets in water before giving it to him?
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #3 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
The fact that his symptoms come and go is very strange to me but otherwise, he sounds like he might possibly have an internal bacterial infection. Try to find a product called Seachem Kanaplex; you may have to order it online ( does have it) because it is pretty hard to find instore. This is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective at treating internal bacterial infections, particularly when administered via medicated food.

If you don't want to order online, then try to pick up the Maracyn I and II combo and treat him with that. Continue with 1 tsp of epsom salt the entire time. It won't hurt him to be in epsom salt for a long time so it's best to keep him in that and see if it does anything for his system.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:39 PM   #4 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Ok, thanks, I will give it a try. My local pet store surprised me by carrying frozen daphnia so I will call tomorrow to see if by any chance they have Seachem Kanaplex; otherwise I will see how long the shipping will take from Amazon because I am guessing I should start treating him sooner vs later. I know I can get Maracyn I&II from a Petsmart about 20 min away from here so worst-case scenario I should be able to pick those up tomorrow. I really hope he gets better...

Oh, and one more question - should I continue with 100% daily water changes for now? I keep reading here that fresh, clean water is one of the best things that can help a fish so I'm guessing I should...but I will read the instructions on the medicine when I get it.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:57 AM   #5 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Since his tank is a half gallon QT, I would continue with the 100% water changes. Once he gets back home in his 2.5g, you can resume his regular water change schedule.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:23 AM   #6 
Join Date: Oct 2011
I called a local aquarium store and they typically carry Seachem Kanaplex but are out of stock until Thursday. They suggested I use something called Betta Revive instead, but I seem to remember reading negative things about that here? I guess my best bet is to wait until Thursday and get the Kanaplex. The aquarium store guy did mention that for such a small tank (he is now in a .5 G QT) it may be challenging to properly dose some of the medications that are typically used in larger tanks - any thoughts about this? Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:31 AM   #7 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Betta Revive is a mix of meds that are typically for external parasites/fungus. Methlyene Blue and Malachite Green won't really do anything for a bacterial problem. Don't use BettaFix if you can help it, that's the one that can cause damage to bettas.

With Kanaplex, I believe it can be dosed using the 2 jug method. Get 2 jugs that can hold at least a gallon. Put 5 cups of dechlorinated water in one jug and add a spoonful (1 dosage of Kanaplex; it comes with the spoon). Mix well. Fill the other jug up with dechlorinated water. Now pour 1/2 cup of the medicated water into the 1 gallon jug and mix. You can now use this jug to fill Rock N' Roll's .5 gallon container. You can save the medicated water for a day or so to use for water changes. After that, toss and make up a new batch.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #8 
Join Date: Oct 2011
ok, that sounds doable. Hopefully he can hang in there until Thursday. I don't think I'll get the meds any quicker than that ordering online so I might as well wait for the LFS to get them. Or would the Maracyn I/II be an acceptable substitute - that I know I can get locally today.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:39 PM   #9 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
IMO/ sounds like he has a deformed swim bladder-from either being injured, genetic related or poor/improper rearing at the fish farm and due to this he will always have chronic buoyancy issues...usually they can still live a somewhat normal life but often changes will be needed to meet his special needs...

Most likely the reason behind the behavior change in the PM-is due to him being tired from all the energy he has to use to swim in the first place-compounded by poor nutrition.....It take a great deal of energy for him to swim and without good nutrition...well.....he can't help himself without proper nutrition......

Be careful fasting too long-poor nutrition in general can cause other problems and then you can risk build up of normal internal parasites and this combination can cause other issues especially since he is already in a compromised state...

You also have to be careful with over treating-this can make the Betta toxic-this can cause more problems in the long well as mask signs/symptoms...etc.....

If he is otherwise acting okay-willing to eat, responsive to you, swimming etc....other than the buoyancy issue and being more lethargic in the afternoon/evening-this can be due to him being tired because it take so much energy to swim and along with the poor nutrition...things are starting to snow-ball in a way....

This is what I would do......
I would get his 2.5gal ready-properly acclimate him to the temp/chemistry-no filter/water movement, half full with water-unless he can still swim well enough to get himself back to the top-then fill all the way up, use Epsom salt 1tsp/gal long term, temp 77-78F, cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ, water changes 50% twice a week with 100% every 2 weeks, add live plants or large leaf type silk plants that are at the surface for him to rest/support himself on, tannins if you have some and feed him good quality diet in small amounts 2-3 times a day that have been laced in fresh crushed garlic juice-offer live foods if you have access-either newborn gut loaded fry, daphnia,-(gut load with leafy greens, spirulina, algae and fresh crushed garlic) and mosquito larva are a great food item for this species.....Exercise daily to twice daily by using a mirror or have him chase the food around attached to a tooth pick or something, live food he will have to chase anyway.....Give him mid-day rest periods by turning off the lights, cover the tank etc to reduce external stimuli.....

Last edited by Oldfishlady; 01-23-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:50 PM   #10 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Thanks so much! Yes, he is still responsive (he perks up and swims around whenever anyone give him attention) and still eating (I started feeding him again today, wondering if maybe lack of food was part of the problem so I'm glad you said that because now I will continue feeding him!) and when he is able to swim around he does.

His issue seems to be more not being able to stay down vs. trouble getting to the top so I'm thinking it will be ok to fill the tank all the way. He has a big leafy silk plant already that he does sometimes use to rest on, so that will be perfect for him I think.

Should I wait until his current round of 3 tsp/G Epsom treatment is over before I start the plan as you've outlined below? I started on the 19th so this would now be day 5 I think, with 5-9 more days to go. Or should I just start tapering him down to 1 tsp/G over the next couple of days in the QT tank before I put him back in the 2.5G?
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