thanks again Sena and Indyfish - you two seem to be giving parallel advice - experienced minds think alike! will go with the Epsom. Re light belly, frankly I don't recall that being normal/abnormal. if suspected internal infection, would treating with an antibiotic be ill advised until I give him some time to see if he comes around on his own? Btw, re fin clamping the water is at 79/80deg so don't think it's cold? Glad to see you think its just clamping. Just concerned I'm going to run out of runway with him not eating, but we'll see if your suggestions there help. Someone else told me they've never seen a fish recover from a swim bladder issue but I'm hoping they're wrong! will keep you updated.
Never seen a fish recover from swim bladder?? I've healed I think it's...4 bettas with swimmer bladder disease. One was a real long 2 month fight, with medication breaks, then back on the meds to pump that problem out. And he's a healthy little bumb now.
If it is an internal problem, depends if it is parasite or something else. I've got Maracyn 2 (trying to find Maracyn to go with it), and Furan 2, for internal/external problems. I also have Jungle fizz tabs for parasites (external/internal). so it really depends what it is
I'd say try the epsom salt, and see if you can get him to eat. If he doesn't start eating by wendesday morning, then I would put him on either Maracyn or API General Cure. Both will cure an internal infection. The temperature you have him at is perfect. The person who gave you the info on swim bladder disease is wrong, many fish will recover from it and some fish will even live with it for years. I had a male veiltail that lived to nearly four years old, and he had chronic swim bladder issues. The best way to keep a fish that's prone to SBD from having trouble is to feed them small meals (two to three pellets or the equivalent in other foods) once every morning. Don't feed at night, their digestive systems slow down in the evenings.
thx Sena and indyfish - your responses are amazingly parallel - experienced minds think alike! Re pale belly, honestly I can't recall if that is normal/abnormal. If suspected internal infection, would it be harmful at this point to proactively treat him with an antibiotic? i couldn't find any Epsom so it will have to wait until tomorrow - i did however, change his water out tonight to remove the aquarium salt - so he's in plain, conditioned water now. Sena glad to hear you think looks like clamped fins vs. rot or something else. Although when I change water and let him loose briefly in "big" tank, he still sinks to bottom - or makes a frantic effort to get on top of the upper heater suction cup (near the surface). Will try garlic soaked pellets tomorrow too - does their sense of "smell" enhance their appetite? will have to search to find local store with live brine shrimp - I'm in Wilmington DE area not too many good dedicated aquatic stores around here anymore - mainly mom/pop pet stores or big chains (Petco, etc.) and I work full time during week so subject to eve store hours! If still swim bladder issue, someone else told me that they've never seen a fish recover from that. Also, certainly not wishing my little buddy in here but if/when I need to get a new one, if not from a local aquatic store (got this one from a fish store in Neward DE - Delaware Premium Aquatics), then where? online?
Like the feeding advice indyfish - and the day of fasting concept. He was a pig in the beginning - so i'm certain I overfed him after all I've read. Saw one post that said some would eat themselves to death if given the chance.
Re the "never seen one recover from swim bladder" comment? the "expert" at Petco - the same one who sold me the Bettafix/Pimafix and told me to dose him up on it - that it couldn't hurt. SIGH. Am now educating myself with help of knowledgeable people like you - unfortunately slowly at his expense!
What you're describing could just be constipation but to be honest he doesn't look bloated to me.. actually on the skinny side.. Epsom salts are a good idea, but I'm concerned it may not be enough. What do his poops look like? I'd leave the bottom bare awhile until you have this figured out so you can see how often he is going and what they look like.
A one gallon is hard to keep ammonia down. You need a 100% water change every 2-3 days max but even then based on my experience he will live in ammonia. You could try 50% followed by 100% alternating or maybe even two 50%s followed by 100%. It depends on how much waste he is producing. At this point I imagine ammonia is not building up very quickly. Stress from water changes is due to fluctuations in water parameters.. mainly ph and temp since you are using same water source. To fix ph shifts age the water a minimum of 24 hours. To fix temp you can age in a second bowl with its own heater or use a little room heater to heat the water up right before using (use bowl thermometer and stop heater about 2 degrees below where you want and then wait for the water to stabilize). If you make sure the ph and temp remain stable when you change the water, and you don't let the ammonia build, it should not be stressful for you fish.
Well, I think it used to be the case - was fat/eating like a hog and then the swim bladder symptoms started - he ate for about a week after that and then stopped. He hasn't eaten anything since 01/14 - except for the 1/2 boiled pea I gave him on 01/18 - after which he passed two large poops. He will not/has not eaten anything since then, so no poops since then. Also, I constantly test the water - all is normal - ammonia, nitrates/nitrites, pH, hardness. I change the water frequently now - alternating between 50% and 100% every other day at least. I keep all the new change water at 79-81deg. and I have a heater in the Cubus tank which keeps it at 79/80deg consistently. Darkmoon posted that he thought his fins looked like they are recovering from rot since they are stubby/nubby at the ends. Will do the Epsom tomorrow, try the feeding suggestions, and see what we have by Wed. i hope he makes it until his appetite kicks in! I really can't thank everyone enough for trying to help - I know tough via electronics when you can't see fish/routine/set up yourselves!