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Old 03-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #1 
freeflow246
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Exclamation Help with SBD

I was out of the country for 10 days and left my bettas in the care of my brother. I told him how to change the water, how much to feed them, and how often.

I came home to a large clump of freeze-dried worms in each tank. Sushi had a pretty full stomach but apart from that was fine. Jalen, on the other hand, obviously had a case of SBD and kept sinking to the bottom.

I promptly cleaned both tanks and started fasting Jalen. After three days, I fed him a cooked pea (I had seen on several other sites that this was the thing to do, and just now I saw on here that I shouldn't do that. Hopefully he'll be fine.)

I got home last Monday, and gave him the pea on Saturday. I have not seen him pass any stool, and Jalen has now had SBD for a week. I'm beginning to wonder if constipation is not the cause of his SBD. Any tips? I can tell he's completely miserable.

Oh, and why are peas not recommended?

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 g
What temperature is your tank? 72 F
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 currently
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and frozen bloodworms; brother fed them freeze-dried bloodworms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day with fasting on Sunday. Not sure how often my brother fed them.

Maintenance
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? 1 50% change and 1 100% change
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? n/a

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Torn fins from struggling to the surface.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Doesn't move apart from coming up for air.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I got home last Monday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I did a water change and lowered the water level to just a few inches. I also fasted him for a little more than three days (since I got home late Monday) and gave him a pea.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:39 PM   #2 
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You're going to want to start him on an epsom salt treatment.
If you don't have any you can get some from practically any drugstore for cheap, make sure to get non-scented with no added coloring ect, just plain old Epsom Salts

Treatment is 1tsp per gallon, make sure to predissolve it in the water first, you will have to do daily 100% water changes with this where you re-dose the epsom salts each time. Make sure the water is of the same temp, treatment should last about 10 days and you may want to bump up the dosage to 2tsps/gal after the first 2-3 days.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:04 PM   #3 
freeflow246
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Thank you! Just wondering, what does epsom salt do?
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #4 
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Oh, and should I keep fasting him?
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #5 
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Epsom salts is the general treatment for SBD/buoyancy issues, it should help clear out his system/get him to poo it out, continue to fast him for now and once he starts looking better/pooping you can start offering him small amounts of food again but for now stick with the fast during the treatment
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:04 PM   #6 
freeflow246
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Thank you! Going to pick up some epsom salt now. Oh, and one last question. Why does the sticky on this site say not to feed a betta with SBD peas when most other sites do?
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #7 
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I'm not sure but someone else will probably come along with the proper answer to that. My best guess is it's harder for them to digest than many think and can end up adding to the problem whether it helps with the SBD or not, it's a vegetable and Bettas are carnivores so it probably doesn't sit well with their systems. Kind of like a constipated person taking a quadrouple dose of laxitives, yeah, you're gonna poo like crazy, but you're not going to feel good doing it or afterwards, but that's just my guess lol

Last edited by peachesxo; 03-05-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #8 
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Haha makes sense. Thank you so much for your help! :)
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:22 PM   #9 
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Alright, so on the third day of epsom salt treatments, there's one little poo in his tank. Still bottom sliding. So I'm assuming constipation isn't the cause, then. Darn. :/

Should I continue the epsom salt treatments? What could be giving him SBD?
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:58 PM   #10 
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have patience, he could be slowly pooin, a lil here and there but it might not be cleared yet. I hope he gets better soon :(
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