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Betta sick??

611 Views 12 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Overprotective Fish Lover
Hi, I woke up yesterday morning to find that my Betta's eye was swollen and that his body was slightly bloated. He's resting a lot on his hammock and plant a lot, and occasionally on the bottom. Every couple minutes he frantically gulps air swimming up rapidly from the bottom or takes a huge gulp if he's floating on decor. He made it through last night and he ate yesterday morning just fine (I haven't fed him today yet.) Can someone please help me? �� I'm really worried about him I hardly slept last night. I did a large water change Monday night and the next day I found him like this... His breathing is very heavy as well. Today I'm going to pick up some Epson salt to help his eye but I'm not sure what else to do? I'm pretty sure it's not dropsy because his scales aren't raised and his color hasn't dulled very much. Also he's swimming very stressfully and rigorously every few minutes, but he's not lopsided. Could this just be constipation? Help? �� Thank you so much!
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Could you please fill out this form so we can best help your fish? Also pictures would be awesome too. I'm sorry your fish is ill. :(
Swollen eyes, mild bloating, and lethargy are often signs of early dropsy. It could be another infection - I'm certainly not an expert - but that's what I would guess. Water changes every 2 weeks in an unfiltered 2 gallon is too few...I'd probably recommend twice a week. My best guess would be that he acquired an infection because of high ammonia levels at some point. Did you ever test the parameters right before a water change?

Epsom salts are a good start for bloating and swelling of the eyes. You can add a dose to his tank, I think. But I'd recommend doing daily baths instead for 15-20 minutes at 1 tsp per gal. Make sure you predissolve first and acclimate carefully. While he's in the bath, you can do daily 100% water changes too.

Someone with more experience may be able to recommend an appropriate medication, but I'm not capable. I hope that he recovers. :(
I wouldn't probably give a pea, it doesn't sound like constipation and if it were, there are a lot of safer and more effective treatments. Sometimes peas DO work great for constipation, but I've also heard some scary stories about peas doing damage to fish's digestive tracts.

ES is safe and good for constipation too, so for now I wouldn't worry about other constipation treatments. If he seems like he's struggling to reach the surface for air, you might want to lower the water level to make it easier for him. I've also heard that sick fish find it less stressful if their tank is dark, so you can wrap a towel around the tank if you wanted (it won't help him recover but it might make him more comfortable).

I wish I could help more. I know that for bacterial Dropsy, people here often recommend Kanaplex or Maracyn I and II, but those are pretty heavy-duty and I can't judge if his symptoms are clear enough. Here's a good sticky on Betta disease treatment; you might want to look at dropsy and bacterial infections as those seem to fit the symptoms best.
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No problem, I'm happy to help! It's great that he's showing signs of improvement. Keep me posted! :)
Yep, I'm pretty sure you should wait a few days after finishing an ES treatment before beginning an AQ salt one. I think that's just to get it out of their system; the two are definitely not compatible (I wish though).

Bettafix is an extremely controversial product. Some people say that it's incredible, others say that their betta died from it. I heard someone here on the forum say it's great for finrot if you've got sufficient surface agitation, because if you don't, the tea tree oil builds up on the surface and gets into their labrynth organ when they go up to breathe. I'm not sure if Bettafix would be helpful for healing inflamed gills or not...I think melaleuca is good for external healing in fish so maybe.

Bettafix/melafix/primafix products are DEFINITELY dangerous when overdosed, so if it were me, I'd (a): make sure that the filter current agitates the ENTIRE SURFACE of the water, and (b): underdose, maybe even halving the suggested amount.

Since his bloating has gotten better so rapidly, I'm pretty sure that my guess of early dropsy was wrong. I'm thinking now that it's probably some form of ammonia poisoning, or maybe a bacterial infection. The best thing you can do right now is probably large daily water changes, to keep all of the parameters perfectly in check. The ammonia neutralizer might help too.

I hope this is useful. Keep in mind that most of the stuff I'm telling you is based off of research, not experience. I wish someone who has been keeping fish for longer would come on here and lend a hand, but until then, I guess it's just me. :p
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I'm so happy to hear that Jumbo's doing better! I'm sorry that your other fish passed though. :(

I honestly have no idea whatsoever about cysts and tumours. I've never even researched them (which is incredible; you don't know how much time I've spent cross-referencing websites for fish info). Sorry, but I can't help at all with that one.

Hard to tell with the other fish. Struggling to swim and panting is a late symptom of pretty much every fish disease known to man, so without pics, it's difficult to know. Unfortunately, bettas often don't show identifiable symptoms until it's much too late, or sometimes not at all. I'm sorry for your loss. I know what it's like to lose a fish you love.

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