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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Betta is looking slightly bloated... I have started keeping fish again after a few years out and have seen dropsy before.

Is this what he has the start of from the images?

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 30litres
Does it have a filter? Yes, Fluval U1
Does it have a heater? Yes.
What temperature is your tank? 26c
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Filter has aerator.
Does your Betta have tank mates? 5 pygmy corys, nerite snails.

Food:
What food brand do you use? JBL, King British
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Flakes and pellets and frozen.
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? Once per day.
How much? What he can eat in 2mins.

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Twice Weekly
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Water.
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? API Stress Coat

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5-10ppm
pH: 7.0
Hardness (GH): na
Alkalinity (KH): na
Tested using master test kit.
Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? Yesterday
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Plumper round the stomach area
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Slightly irratable
Is your Betta still eating? Didn't yesterday. Going to try frozen daphnia today
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? White spot when I bought him
How long have you owned your Betta? 4months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Whitespot when purchased.
 

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The second photo is blurry but I don't see pine coning. Don't feed him for a couple of days and try to get him to flare two or three times per day. If he's constipated this should get things moving.

If the above works, feed him two or three small meals per day instead of one big one. I would not let him eat all he can in two minutes as he may be overeating.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The second photo is blurry but I don't see pine coning. Don't feed him for a couple of days and try to get him to flare two or three times per day. If he's constipated this should get things moving.

If the above works, feed him two or three small meals per day instead of one big one. I would not let him eat all he can in two minutes as he may be overeating.
Thanks. I haven't fed him now for three days and he still doesn't seem interested in food... He is alert, although lethargic as he spends most of the day hanging on the side of the filter. I have been giving him twice daily salt baths to try and move along anything that is going on, he is just the same as the other day. Not any bigger, not any smaller.
He won't flare. I've tried it but he is not intro.

Any other advice or ideas?
 

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Are you using Aquarium salt, or Epsom for the dips? If it's AQ salt, then I'm sorry to say it won't help much. AQ salt is good for external problems like torn fins, but doesn't help for internal problems and can actually make bloating worse.

Epsom salt is a mild laxative, and also draws fluid out to reduce swelling. If you have a "hospital tank" you can set your betta up in I would give him a bath of 1 teaspoon per gallon and leave him in it for a day. That should hopefully be enough time for his system to get moving again. If you don't have a suitable container for him to spend the day in, then I'd do a stronger amount for a shorter period- 1 Tablespoon per gallon, for an hour or two. (If my math is right that's just about 1g per liter for the bath, and 3.5g/l for the dip)

I feel that leaving a betta in Epsom for longer helps it work better, which is why I prefer baths over dips. It's also a smaller amount which reduces stress on the betta because it's gentler. But since my guess is your betta is just constipated and feeling unwell because of it, a shorter dip may be all he needs for relief.

If you have been using Epson this entire time, I'd still suggest trying a longer period of a full day in it, since it can't hurt and may get things moving.
 

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Are you using Aquarium salt, or Epsom for the dips? If it's AQ salt, then I'm sorry to say it won't help much. AQ salt is good for external problems like torn fins, but doesn't help for internal problems and can actually make bloating worse.

Epsom salt is a mild laxative, and also draws fluid out to reduce swelling. If you have a "hospital tank" you can set your betta up in I would give him a bath of 1 teaspoon per gallon and leave him in it for a day. That should hopefully be enough time for his system to get moving again. If you don't have a suitable container for him to spend the day in, then I'd do a stronger amount for a shorter period- 1 Tablespoon per gallon, for an hour or two. (If my math is right that's just about 1g per liter for the bath, and 3.5g/l for the dip)

I feel that leaving a betta in Epsom for longer helps it work better, which is why I prefer baths over dips. It's also a smaller amount which reduces stress on the betta because it's gentler. But since my guess is your betta is just constipated and feeling unwell because of it, a shorter dip may be all he needs for relief.

If you have been using Epson this entire time, I'd still suggest trying a longer period of a full day in it, since it can't hurt and may get things moving.
I've been using AQ salt🙈 I have went and purchased some epsom salt now... I do not have a hospital tank and was doing the dip in a bucket with another as a recovery bucket with less salt...
whilst i am in no way questioning your advice here but an hour or two? Most guides for Epsom salt baths are 10-15mins? I wouldn't want to do it for an hour or two and harm him.

Thanks for the advice, I really hope I can get him back to normal...
 

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No worries, it's always good to be skeptical of advice!

Most sources are basing the short time in Epsom off their experiences with AQ salt. AQ salt is much harsher on bettas (and any freshwater fish) and should be limited to a few minutes at a time, while Epsom is pretty mild, even at a relatively high concentration. If you only feel comfortable leaving your betta in for a few minutes, or if he shows any signs of distress, absolutely take him out sooner. But I've used 1 Tbs/gal for my own fish over a few hours and never seen a problem, which is why I'm willing to suggest it.

You can also start with a lower concentration, and add the rest of the Epsom in slowly to raise it up. That would further reduce stress, and you can also use it as an estimate of how much your betta can handle if they start to freak out at any particular dose- just remember how much you added before their distress, and don't go over that for next time.


Also, if you have a spare heater, a bucket is perfectly fine as a "hospital tank". As long as it's about 1/2g or larger (Err, 2 liters?) then it should be alright for an overnight stay. I personally use a plastic storage box since it holds about a gallon but is light enough to float in the main tank (So I can make use of the tank's heater).

Good luck!
 

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Aquarium Salt dips, as I have always been advised to use used them, should be for no more than eight minutes @ 1 Tbs per gallon. Any longer and a a fish's skin can be severely burned. I have not found anyone who recommends a more lengthy dip for Aquarium Salt.

Epsom Salt, on the other hand, is milder so a fish can be in the dip at the above ratio for 10-15 minutes.

I would use a clear container so you can monitor your Betta. Make sure the Epsom Salt is plain and not scented or dyed. And make sure to match as close as you can to his tank's temperature.

As an aside, you do not need to use a one gallon treatment tank. You can use a smaller container.
 
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