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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel terrible! I think I may have really messed up. I got a new betta about 3 months ago and added a snail shortly after. He kept going after the snail, so I just added the snail in with my other betta and snail. This week I had the bright idea of feeding the two snails a chunk of an algae wafer because the tank was unusually clean. I noticed a couple hours later that Pory, my other betta, was HUGE and still eating algae wafer remnants. Now he is floating at the top of his tank and is starting to pinecone. I just watched him to see if the bloating would go down before treating him, but I am now just dosing with epsom salt. Poor guy has never been sick for the 2 years I have had him and now this. He is in a 2.5 gallon tank, with a heater, no filter and usually is fed pellets and bloodworms but is being fasted now. He has been in this set-up since I got him. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Can you post a picture of him.
Right now, he's probably just bloated from scarfing up all of that food. Healthy bettas don't really have an off switch when it comes to food. Just keep doing what you're doing, keep his water clean and treat him with epsom salt (1tsp/gallon). He should start feeling better once he's had a bowel movement.

As for the pine-coning, odds are that's just his scales raising from him being overly round.
 

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I'd also check your water parameters, just to make sure you don't have an ammonia spike due to extra food decaying in there, etc.

Hope he feels better soon.
 

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He's umm, wow, huge, lol, but he's got good color and as long as he's still active and fins intact he should be fine. No more food for him for a few days and keep treating him with Epsom salt.

Also, as Aukwork mentioned, you can check your water parameters to make sure nothing else is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He looks worse to me this morning. His pineconing is more severe and his gills are pushed out more. His fins are still moving around even though he just primarily floats. His color is the same. Just his bloating is not going down at all, and he looks bigger to me. I couldn't get a picture this morning before leaving for work.
 

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Hi! I am new here, and I hope that if my advice is incorrect, someone will jump in and correct me. As I understand it, the epsom salt should help him with the bloating, and it should also be a laxative. Have you tried to feed him part of a blanched frozen pea to help him go to the bathroom? Also, have you removed the algae wafer from his tank? (I assume you have, but if not, I'd get it out of there so he can't keep nomming on it)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have not tried a pea. I'm not really fond of this idea. I did try some frozen daphnia, but he is not interested in eating at all. I have to say that all of my hope is just about gone on this one. He looks worse every time that I look at him. All I am doing is the epsom salt and water changes.
 

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Don't use the pea. Try raising temperature if possible and separating him into a bare bottom tank, or use a breeder box. This will help you monitor his intake and bowel movement. The higher temperature(max 82-84) should help his metabolism and get him moving. His pineconing doesn't look to be all over. If it is localized to his stomach he'll be fine. It's just from his skin being stretched tight. If he's active, try getting him to flare. They tend to poop when they do. If he's not, lower the water level so he can go up for air easier.

As an alternative for feeding snails, try a blanched cucumber slice or a tiny bit of a frozen thawed herbivore block. That way you can feed them and avoid him gorging himself c:

Don't worry about the lack of wanting daphnia. Most of my boys won't touch it. Now throw a block in the community tank and it disappears immediately.
 

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Ditto on not using the pea. Your boy is a carnivore who is already bloated on vegetable materials that are not digestible in his system.

Any updates on how he's doing this evening?
 

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Oh, I'm so sorry.

He does indeed look like the prognosis is grave.

I personally would consider euthanasia with a fish of mine who looked that bad, but hopefully someone more expert will chime in and have some good words for you.
 

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It does look like he's starting to lose some color. Is he getting lethargic and do you see any swelling in his eyes, is his stomach grey? Can you get a picture from the side?

I would double up on the Epsom Salt dosage (2/tsp per gallon) and do you know if you can get Kanaplex or another antibiotic? I'm not sold on it being dropsy as it looks to be localized to his stomach, but we could also be dealing with a bacterial infection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pory died yesterday evening... I really don't think there was anything else I could do for him. I learned a lesson the hard way concerning algae wafers. I should have known better really. He was gone within one hour from my last post on here. I feel pretty awful about the whole thing...
 

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Pory died yesterday evening... I really don't think there was anything else I could do for him. I learned a lesson the hard way concerning algae wafers. I should have known better really. He was gone within one hour from my last post on here. I feel pretty awful about the whole thing...
I'm so sorry.

I thought he had that "Buh-bye, closed for business" look, but you hate to crush someone's hope, and I was sincerely pulling for a miracle for your little dude.

We have all made mistakes, and some of them have ended sadly. Try to be easy on yourself. You can use this story to help and warn others--a good way of honoring your little fish guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I really appreciate all of the advice and encouragement! I am cleaning his tank out now and trying to decide if I should get another betta or not. I currently have two others. I may just keep it as a little snail tank.
 
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