For about a month and a half now, my fish has had SBD pretty bad. At first this made it difficult for him to get to the surface, so his fins were torn from the strain. I put him through an epsom salt treatment and it didn't do any good. Neither did fasting. Recently, he floats and cannot sink. He has chewed his fins from stress and does nothing but droop in the corner. He will eat when I give him food, though.
I'm assuming at this point that his swim bladder is damaged and will not heal. He was already a sensitive fellow, and he's not dealing well. His tail fin is 1/4 the size it used to be. One of his ventrals is halved.
If there is no further hope for him, I think I should euthanize him. I don't want to just give up, but I don't want him to suffer either. Any advice? If I do decide to euthanize him, how should I?
there are many people who have bettas with chronic swim bladder issues. one of my own would bloat up and float after EVERY water change. i had to feed him every other day, because he'd eat too fast and bloat up and float. you just have to design his tank, around him. have lots of floating plants for him to rest under, plants with long leaves that hand just under the water, stuff like that.
Swim bladder disease isn't fatal but it does make them look pretty pathetic. I would do as Lumieral said and get some plants that will reach the surface - so that he can easily reach the surface or just chill on them. Maybe a betta hammock and the betta log, since the log floats, he can rest in it.
I have his heater in there really close to the surface, and it acts as sort of a platform. He seemed to be doing okay but now he's really listless. Both of my fish have had SBD before, but they've never been this miserable-looking before. If he doesn't perk up in a week I think I might just take Sea Dragon's advice. He's always been a bit sickly, so I'm not looking for a miracle improvement. Just maybe some more activity, like swimming around.
He's lost color, which is hard to see because he's a cellophane, but his few black spots are gray. He's also taken on a yellowish hue. His tail fin has been torn and chewed until it's 1/4 it's original size, he's breathing rapidly, and his other fins are kinda... brittle-looking. His skin also looks a little uneven. Almost like there's something growing on him, but I can't see anything.
EDIT: He also doesn't move apart from getting air or eating.
Last edited by freeflow246; 04-10-2012 at 05:44 PM.
Just a quick update on my fishie. He's doing much better. The SBD is still there but not as 'strong' so to speak. He can control his swimming much easier now. He's now as active and hungry as before, and he actually marbled quite a bit during this whole ordeal.
The only thing is that he's chewed his fins down through the whole thing, so I've got to keep an eye on those open wounds. Apart from that, he's made a great recovery. In the nick of time too; I had gone to the store and bought a bottle of clove oil the day before he made his turn-around.
Wonder what I'm gonna do with this stuff now. At least it smells nice. :)
I'm sorry to hear your poor boy has had some problems but very happy to hear he's doing much better. Just a note: you can keep them in epsom salts on a long-term basis if necessary.
If this happens again, you can lower the water level as much as possible to make it easier for him to reach the surface. What kind of foods do you feed? Check the ingredients and if the first or second ingredient listed is wheat germ or wheat meal, find a different pellet. Bettas can't digest wheat products very well and foods that are heavily wheat-based can contribute to swimming problems.
I feed New Life Spectrum pellets five days a week, frozen bloodworms once a week, and fast one day a week. I had the water level lowered when he was sinking but once he switched to floating I filled it completely since he was content to stay at the surface anyway.
I'm assuming his swim bladder was really damaged by my brother, since epsom salts and fasting didn't help. Only time.