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Old 02-03-2012, 06:43 PM   #1 
Sly13Cat
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My Betta Just Keeps Floating!

So, my (male) Betta Bob was hanging at the bottom of his .5 gallon tank with no heater or anything but with a water changes every week or two and 2 Zebra Danios. I put his in a 10 gallon heated, filtered, aerated tank that I haven't cleaned in two months but have been meaning to clean (In the past week I've cleaned it about 5 times and it's looking way cleaner. By the way, I always remove him before cleaning the tank. He was checking out the tank and after a hour or so, until he started to float to the top. So i fasted him for a day or two, then fed him a pea. I put him in a cup and then put my finger in front of it a few times because I know that sometimes when I put him in his cup to clean his tank, he poops. But this time it didn't work so I put him back in the tank and he hid under a fake plant and for that day it seemed like his problem was fixed. He was acting normal and everything. So in the evening I feed them some flakes. Before I went to sleep, he started floating again. So on Wednesday, I put him back in his own tank. But he's still floating and I feel sad for him. I was thinking about giving him a Epsom salt treatment and wanted to know how.

Here is some pics of him about a hour ago...
(This is how he rests now)



(This is him trying to swim down and maintain his balance)


(This is him swimming at the bottom away from me but he's really using that side fin)
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #2 
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Sorry, I meant he was alone in the .5 gallon tank and there was 2 Zebra danios in the 10 gallon tank.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:48 AM   #3 
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Hi there,
If you put him back into his .5 gal original tank, does he still have this swimming problem?

To start on Epsom salt, dissolve 1 tsp/gal of unscented plain ES, and add your usual conditioner. Pour half of it into your .5 gal tank and add him. Repeat water change with ES solution daily for 14 days.

In my personal experience, a tall deep tank will aggravate their swim bladder problem if they are starting to or already has a problem with it. So ideally you want them in a shallow but wide tank.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:37 AM   #4 
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Smile Bob feeling better...

So I just woke up and found him at the bottom of his .5 gallon tank resting (that he's been in for the past few days). And since last night he seems to be able to regulate his swim bladder again. I'm very happy to see him resting on the bottom which means he's finally getting some rest. But he still hasn't pooped yet (for about 7+ days now). A few days ago when he seemed to be able to regulate his swim badder I fed him that evening and at night he began floating again. So what do I do this time?
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:45 AM   #5 
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That's good news! Don't move him back to his tank yet until this issue is completely resolved. Again, to help with his constipation, you should administer the Epsom Salt solution treatment. This will help him to pass his stool easier. You will read some people recommend pea in other forums, but we generally don't recommend that for our bettas here. If you can get your hands on frozen daphnia or brine shrimp, that would be awesome. You might also want to consider changing him to pellet form as well. Your photos are rather dark, but I don't see any severe sign of bloating. So I suggest just fast him for 2 more days while keeping him in epsom salt treatment for 10 days.

Good luck an keep us posted!
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:55 AM   #6 
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Just two more questions

so just now Bob rose to the to so get some air and samk back down to reast again. So for the ES treatment, 1 tsp/gallon. How long does he soak in it, do i do 100% water changes and will really old (3 or so yrar ES work, or should I buy some newer salt.

Also, can I ask, can I divide my 8-10 gallon (I'm not sure) once bob gets better 2 or 3 ways to get another male betta. And should the 2 danios stay together on one side?
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:23 AM   #7 
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Yes, for the ES treatment, these are the steps in your case:
1) 0.5 tsp of ES, dissolve in 0.5 gal of preconditioned water tank
2) put Bob in tank and let him be for the next 24 hours
3) repeat the ES solution mixture as above every day for the next 10 days or so

Hopefully you should see him poop in a day or two. If your ES is still sealed, it should be ok. But because they are not expensive, I think it's best to buy new ones if it's been laying about.

Yes, quite a lot of people do divide a 10 gal tank 2 or 3 ways for the male bettas to share. The danios can probably stay together on one side. But I will let someone who has multiple species in their tank to help you with this.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:12 AM   #8 
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You have been given great advice, but have a question..

Had he started floating after a water change?

One thing you must be careful of, is when you go a long time (2+ weeks) without a water change, then you do a large water change you can very easily cause the fish to go into osmotic shock.. you have to do weekly water changes on all tanks, and the smaller they are, the more frequent.

For half gallons (which I would recommend getting at least a gallon to safely heat as these are tropical fish), 1-2 50% and 1 100% water change per week is needed to keep them healthy and have a chance at a full life span.. cold water, not enough water changes in time will shorten their life spans and lower their immunity.

For the 10 gallon, weekly change of 30-50% with gravel vacuuming is needed.. I wouldn't do anymore for a week as doing too many is detrimental to the cycle.


I wouldn't divide it by 3 if you have danios.. I would divide by half if that.. Danios are very active, need a school of 5+, grow minimum of 2 inches.. to give them only a couple gallons isn't ideal, nor proper for the species. The only thing I would recommend is, if it is an actual 10 gallon, put a divider at 3 gallons- give a single betta the 3 gallons and give the danios the 7 gallons. Granted, there should be more danios- but they need space, and bettas and danios tend not to do well together, so don't want to put too many right next to the betta to stress him out from their movements. If you really want more bettas, then I would suggest rehoming the two danios and then dividing the tank by 2/3.

Just remember to keep up on the weekly water changes.. going months without one is very dangerous. Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:46 AM   #9 
Sly13Cat
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Okay now, I'm giving them (The Danios) weekly water changes (50-75%) now with my gravel cleaner. Their water is a lot cleaner but now I don't know what to do with them. I got them from my sister with the tank (it wasn't really my choice) and now I want to sell them but don't where. So far the Betta's doing fine he's able to rest and float at will but he;s still constipated. Now I will be taking way better care of them making sure I measure their feeding, cleaning every week and everything else. I'm still kind of a rookie.

Last edited by Sly13Cat; 02-04-2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:04 AM   #10 
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Smile Bob, Constipation and my new Crowntail

So he still hasn't pooped and i fed him a pellet and a small flake. I placed him 2 inches away from my new Crowntail, Blaze. They love to flare at each other then swim away and continue with thier lives.
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