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Old 03-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #1 
mdl249
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Question Betta Sinking and Lethargic

Hello,

I have a Half moon pale red and white betta fish. I bought him about a year and a half ago.

A couple of days ago, I noticed he was unable to swim to the top of his tank. He would try very hard, as he knew it was feeding time, but could only get about half way, and then he would sink, bottom end first. I assumed this to be Swim Bladder Disease, but was confused because I hadn't fed him in a few days, and everything I read said that SWD was from overfeeding. I did a full water change (I do this every week or so) and I didn't feed him for two days, and he has gotten worse. He lies on the bottom of the tank, almost not moving at all. I lowered the tank water in effort to help him get to the top to breathe, but he just lays there. I tried a pea, but he simply ignored it.

He is a pale almost see through white/red normally, so its difficult to tell if there are any color changes-it does look like he is swollen though

His Conditions:

Water- Aged, conditioned and pH is altered to 7.3 because our tap water is slightly basic, 1/2 tsp aquarium salt every water change

Food- Either flakes or blood worms, doesnt eat pellets-every other day or so

Temp: Tank has a heater that keeps the tank at 76 degrees

What can I do? I saw another thread that had a similar problem, about floating the container in his tank to create humidity, and to put Epsom salt in with him? Can I use aquarium salt instead?

Thanks
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:11 PM   #2 
Pataflafla
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Aquarium salt often exacerbates swim bladder and bloating issues. You want epsom salt if he's having difficulty swimming. Also, never use them together.

Switch him over to epsom salt at 1 tsp/gal and do 100% daily water changes.

Aquarium salt is also not needed full time and can actually cause more harm than good in the long run. While it can keep infection at bay, it also produces kidney issues later in life.

I would also slowly bring him to whatever the pH your water is normally at. Bettas are surprising hardy and can adapt to most any pH and hardness. You'll want to do this over the course of a few weeks if you do it at all.

Changing pH is risky since you could be off just slightly and it can cause major problems. The best is to just have them adapt to what your pH is straight from your source.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:18 PM   #3 
mdl249
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What type of epsom salt should I get? Any type from the local drug store or something specific? And how long do I do the daily water changes for? And should I always use the espom salt instead of aquarium salt?

What if the tap water we have is almost 2 points in the basic range? Is that too much? And how do I know if the tap water is more consistent than myself?

Thank you so much for responding!
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #4 
Pataflafla
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Any epsom salt so long as there are no colors or scents to it. The box usually says Epsom salt "Magnesium Sulfide". It can also be written out as (MgSO47H2O). Should be able to find it cheap at a general store.

As far as the tap water being 2 points off basic, that should be fine. I don't know the pH of my water, but I do know that it is incredibly hard (Calcium deposits on every faucet). The only issue I have is that my crown tails don't have straight rays because of it (They're sensitive to hard water).

Your water source shouldn't be swinging wildly out of balance as that's usually monitored by your water provider. I never test the pH of the tap that I use, and I never experience negative side effects.

It's good to know the usual pH should your betta display pH shock so you know how far it is off, but straight from the tap is easiest for water changes as well as general health.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:31 PM   #5 
mdl249
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Thank you so much for your thorough response! I feel as though there is so much to know about fish, that its hard to know the best for them!

I will get some epsom salt tonight, and do the daily water changes. But you didnt mention how many days I should do this for-until he seems better? And should I put epsom salt in every water change as I have done with the aquarium salt in the past?

Thank you again!
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:47 AM   #6 
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Put in epsom salt for every day you do a 100% water change while treating.

Salt isn't something they need to have regularly since they don't like brackish (Salty) water.

As far as how long to use it, try using for 7 days. Up to 14 days at a treatment does before it gets a little risky for long term health.
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