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Discussion Starter #1
About a month ago my betta, Bob, got really fat, mostly on his left side. I did some research and the most likely thing seemed like he had a swollen swim bladder from feeding him too much. Dropsy didn't seem likely since he was still very active, swimming around, trying to fight his own reflection, and getting mad at me when I put my face up against the glass.

I stopped feeding him daily and within a week his belly had gone back down, although not entirely. Everything seemed okay until a week and a half ago when I came out one morning and he was all bloated again. I knew it wasn't overfeeding this time (I feed him a tiny bit twice a week) so I went the dropsy route and bought antibiotics.

He's been on the antibiotics for a week now and although he hasn't gotten worse, he hasn't gotten better. He's still a brat so he's not acting sick. Still swims around and gives me major attitude whenever I peer through the glass. He's also started blowing large bubbles on the top of the water. He's always made bubble nests of tiny little bubbles in the corners of the tank before this.

The antibiotics I have him on is Mardel Maracyn Two, which is supposed to treat septicemia, bacterial fin and tail rot, dropsy, popeye, and gill disease.

Any idea on what's wrong with him? And if so, what I can do? I change his water about every 3 weeks. Should I be changing it more often? And if so, half water or full tank?
 

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you need to do weekly water changes. What do you currently feed your fish?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
you need to do weekly water changes. What do you currently feed your fish?
It's called Omega One.

Don't know if it's relevant, but I also use spring water in his tank. When I first got him I tried using those water purifying drops (for tap water) and almost killed him. So now I only use spring water. Usually Crystal Geyser but if I can't get that, he seems to like the Walgreens brand alright.
 

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the picture shows marine fish, and states marine pellets, But bettas are tropical fish (freshwater) we don't get those pellets here in oz. I know others on the forum use and recommend omega one so hopefully someone else will advise if they are the right ones. I use the Betta NLS (natural life spectrum) pellets specially formulated for bettas you can get them in the states too. I would also suggest mixing up his feeding routine with a frozen tropical mix (not freeze dried) you will get this from a freezer probably stored by the fish section. Also do you pre soak your pellets before feeding?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the picture shows marine fish, and states marine pellets, But bettas are tropical fish (freshwater) we don't get those pellets here in oz. I know others on the forum use and recommend omega one so hopefully someone else will advise if they are the right ones. I use the Betta NLS (natural life spectrum) pellets specially formulated for bettas you can get them in the states too. I would also suggest mixing up his feeding routine with a frozen tropical mix (not freeze dried) you will get this from a freezer probably stored by the fish section. Also do you pre soak your pellets before feeding?
I just bought these coz my friend put them in my hand when I first bought my betta (that's what he fed his). I'll try the NLS stuff. I don't soak the pellets. I just toss a few in. Is that bad?
 

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yes very, they expand in liquid so if not presoked they expand in the gut taking his moisture out of the gut, and will cause constipation and likely why he is bloated, you must pre soak pellets for about 5 minutes and then they are ok to feed, you will see how they expand, oh the nls pellets I said natural it is actually new here is a image to give you a idea of what you are looking for
 

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yes very, they expand in liquid so if not presoked they expand in the gut taking his moisture out of the gut, and will cause constipation and likely why he is bloated, you must pre soak pellets for about 5 minutes and then they are ok to feed, you will see how they expand, oh the nls pellets I said natural it is actually new here is a image to give you a idea of what you are looking for
Thank you so much for your help! I'll definitely start doing that.
 

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His belly hasn't gone down yet! He's mostly stopped eating. I think he might sneak a pellet when I'm not looking. I've started him on peas and epsom salt to see if he's constipated. But his belly is starting to get lopsided, and it's so big it's making his spine curve. Can bettas get tumors?
 

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Sorry to hear about your sick little guy!

First of all- let me just second what's already been said; your friend advised the wrong food. There is an Omega food made for bettas, called Betta Buffet, but the one you have is for marine, or saltwater, fish. I actually use it for my own clownfish. So that may have caused some intestinal upset or constipation, which I believe can cause the curved spine. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!) The NLS pellets will hopefully help.

Also, the use of peas in bettas is controversial. A better option, if you're able to get a hold of some, is some fresh or frozen daphnia to treat for constipation. Daphnia acts as a natural laxative. I just recently bought some frozen daphnia at my local Petsmart, so if you live near a Petsmart, hopefully they'll have some. I think it was about $7 for the daphnia, which will last forever, as he won't eat much at a time, and the NLS pellets are about $7, I think. The jar is pretty large, though, so it should also last much of his lifetime.

Epsom salts are also good for constipation at 1-2 teaspoons per gallon. I'm not sure if it's safe to do both the epsom salts and the daphnia (or peas) at the same time, though- too many laxatives can dehydrate him. Maybe someone else has further insight?

Good luck with your little guy! Keep us updated!
 

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Sorry to hear about your sick little guy!

First of all- let me just second what's already been said; your friend advised the wrong food. There is an Omega food made for bettas, called Betta Buffet, but the one you have is for marine, or saltwater, fish. I actually use it for my own clownfish. So that may have caused some intestinal upset or constipation, which I believe can cause the curved spine. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong!) The NLS pellets will hopefully help.

Also, the use of peas in bettas is controversial. A better option, if you're able to get a hold of some, is some fresh or frozen daphnia to treat for constipation. Daphnia acts as a natural laxative. I just recently bought some frozen daphnia at my local Petsmart, so if you live near a Petsmart, hopefully they'll have some. I think it was about $7 for the daphnia, which will last forever, as he won't eat much at a time, and the NLS pellets are about $7, I think. The jar is pretty large, though, so it should also last much of his lifetime.

Epsom salts are also good for constipation at 1-2 teaspoons per gallon. I'm not sure if it's safe to do both the epsom salts and the daphnia (or peas) at the same time, though- too many laxatives can dehydrate him. Maybe someone else has further insight?

Good luck with your little guy! Keep us updated!
+1 to the pea comments. I don't understand, I've seen more and more people using it lately and I'm not sure where they are hearing it.

All peas do is add fiber, they are not a laxative. To add fiber use frozen brine shrimp.
 

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When I was concerned about my clownfish's behavior when he was new (he was sleeping funny. Turns out that's just how he sleeps! I've always had bettas and puffers, so the "clowny" behavior of clownfish threw me off!) I was worried about his swim bladder. I was told to give him peas, too, which I didn't know at the time was controversial. When I described his behavior, no one else knew what he was doing either, by the way; don't make assumptions about clownfish based on your knowledge of other fish! Clownfish are CRAZY!!! lol Thankfully, he didn't eat any peas, and he's doing perfectly fine now. I'm not sure where the pea thing started, either, but I heard it several times with my little clown.
 

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When I was concerned about my clownfish's behavior when he was new (he was sleeping funny. Turns out that's just how he sleeps! I've always had bettas and puffers, so the "clowny" behavior of clownfish threw me off!) I was worried about his swim bladder. I was told to give him peas, too, which I didn't know at the time was controversial. When I described his behavior, no one else knew what he was doing either, by the way; don't make assumptions about clownfish based on your knowledge of other fish! Clownfish are CRAZY!!! lol Thankfully, he didn't eat any peas, and he's doing perfectly fine now. I'm not sure where the pea thing started, either, but I heard it several times with my little clown.
That's so weird. I mean... I wonder who was the first person to feed a fish pea? I wouldn't think to do that. Just like I wouldn't try to feed my cat a carrot. Granted, dogs can be vegetarians, So... maybe someone figured carnivorous/insectivorus fish could too.

Oh and to answer the question, YES, you can use daphnia and ES together.
 

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Sorry to hear he has not improved, did you manage to try him on frozen food?
Have you checked your water conditions recently? (Ammonia and Nitrite) water quality can cause issues.
The other thing I am thinking there is a betta disease (cant remember the name) that causes a bloated gut, starving does nothing for it, and as far as I know it is incurable, I hope this isn't the case with your guy, but he doesn't sound to good. If you haven't tried him on frozen foods I would really give that ago, pellets don't always agree with all bettas.
Fingers crossed for him. I always look closely at a bettas belly if I am looking for a new fish, I would rather buy the one with a skinny tummy that needs a feed, than one that looks like he has a big gut, the pet stores don't feed them that well.
 

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+1 to the pea comments. I don't understand, I've seen more and more people using it lately and I'm not sure where they are hearing it.

All peas do is add fiber, they are not a laxative. To add fiber use frozen brine shrimp.
What's a good way to feed him the daphnia? I just bought some today.
 

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Sorry to hear he has not improved, did you manage to try him on frozen food?
Have you checked your water conditions recently? (Ammonia and Nitrite) water quality can cause issues.
The other thing I am thinking there is a betta disease (cant remember the name) that causes a bloated gut, starving does nothing for it, and as far as I know it is incurable, I hope this isn't the case with your guy, but he doesn't sound to good. If you haven't tried him on frozen foods I would really give that ago, pellets don't always agree with all bettas.
Fingers crossed for him. I always look closely at a bettas belly if I am looking for a new fish, I would rather buy the one with a skinny tummy that needs a feed, than one that looks like he has a big gut, the pet stores don't feed them that well.
I don't think that's it. He's had it for a while but he was pretty skinny when I bought him and was skinny for the first year I had him. It was only after his 1 year anniversary here that he started to get fat like this.
 

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did you get him new pellets, and have you tried him on frozen food?
is the daphnia you got Frozen?
if it is frozen get a small cup, drop of tank water, cut a bit of the frozen food cube off and defrost in the cup, it will separate. I find the best way is to use a pair of tweezers to drop individual pieces in one at a time when he is ready for the next bit. That way you get no uneaten food polluting the water. if freeze dried I would bin it, that will add to his problems, but again it must be pre soaked.
 

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did you get him new pellets, and have you tried him on frozen food?
is the daphnia you got Frozen?
if it is frozen get a small cup, drop of tank water, cut a bit of the frozen food cube off and defrost in the cup, it will separate. I find the best way is to use a pair of tweezers to drop individual pieces in one at a time when he is ready for the next bit. That way you get no uneaten food polluting the water. if freeze dried I would bin it, that will add to his problems, but again it must be pre soaked.
I got him the pellets you recommended and I've been pre-soaking them. Haven't tried frozen food yet. I got the frozen daphnia so I'll definitely try separating it. Today when I got home I just dropped a whole cube in and let him swim around in it for about an hour. He's stopped eating for the most part so I was kind of hoping he'd accidentally ingest some. ^^;

He's getting fatter and I'm really starting to get worried. He's twice the size he used to be and his chubs is starting to bulge around his bottom fin. He doesn't swim around as much as he used to but I think it's mostly because he's so fat. He's still got spirit in him whenever he sees my face against the glass.

I'm hoping the daphnia works! I'm crossing my fingers that I'm just going to wake up one morning to find he pooped it all out.
 

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that would be wonderful, but I think at this stage there might not be much more you can do for him. I would be expecting him to pass on soon, if he was my fish. But you do hear complete turn a round's so lets hope he still can pick up. Keep us posted on his progress, but feel reassured you are doing all you can.
 

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that would be wonderful, but I think at this stage there might not be much more you can do for him. I would be expecting him to pass on soon, if he was my fish. But you do hear complete turn a round's so lets hope he still can pick up. Keep us posted on his progress, but feel reassured you are doing all you can.
Thank you so much for all your help through this! I'm kind of half expecting him to pass on, too. I'm afraid his chubs is going to make one of his internal organs burst or something. At this point, if he does go to fish heaven, I'll know I did absolutely everything in my power to save him. I'll still be devastated but that'll at least be some consolation, I guess. He's a fighter, though! I have faith in him!...mostly.

I'll definitely let you know what happens.
 

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I do feel for you, I know some people say it's only fish, but we all still want to do the best for them. I personally feel bettas have such personality for a tiny fish that it is impossible not to feel attached to them.
 
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