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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!

About two months ago I got a dumbo ear male who, since practically the first week, has been having health issues related to bloat and swim bladder disease. I started feeding him azoo flakes, but stopped after the first episode of bloat, then I gave him pre-soaked bettabit pellets (i know they are garbage but I honestly don't have access to quality food), feeding him 3 pellets a day (1 x breakfast, lunch and dinner) and we were doing fine like that for a while, however, he started letting them drop to the bottom of the tank and I would give him another one thinking he would never find it and the snails would get to it (obviously that didn't happen).

So now he is really bloated, his swim bladder is a mess (he floats on his side and cannot sink down, he tries to hold himself down by jamming himself into the plants and decorations) and I have no idea how to fix it. What I have tried already is fasting him for a couple of days while giving him epsom salt baths, once it seems like he has de-puffed a little I feed him a bit of cooked pea (no access to daphnia) and wait for him to be able to swim again before feeding. It worked the first time but now it is not working at all. He looks really swollen (no raised scales) and keeps floating on his side. I've fasted him for two to three days, changed the water, gave him a bit of pea, gave him epsom salt baths, but it is not working! To the point where I have to cave and feed him a tiny piece of pellet after a while because he looks so weak. I got him frozen tubifex worms but he hasn't been able to be on them properly because I got them once he was already bloated.

I've tried to get him to flare to help him poop but that hasn't worked either and he just looks miserable now. My methods are obviously not being very effective so I wanted to see if anyone here has any other ideas about what I can do for him.

In terms of food, I could get him flightless fruit flies, but I read once that they have a lot of fiber....could it help in this case to help him poop? I am grasping at straws here, as you can see.... please help!

How many gallons is your tank? 5
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? no (it's really hot here right now)
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? ramhorn snails

What food brand do you use? bettabit pellets and tubifex worms
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? no
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 1 pellet 3 times a day

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? 1 x week
What percentage of water did you change? anything from 30 to 70%
What is the source of your water? bottled (can't guarantee quality of tap water)
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? none

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: 0
pH: 8.6
Hardness (GH): n/a
Alkalinity (KH): n/a

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 2 weeks ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? bloated belly, ragged fins
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? lethargic, cannot swim down, flips to the side
Is your Betta still eating? been fasting him but will eat if offered food
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? epsom salt baths, fasting, cooked pea, water changes
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? constant problems with SBD
How long have you owned your Betta? about 2 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? ripped tail fin

Premium Member
2,926 Posts
What type of bottled water are you using? Spring, Distilled, or Purified Drinking water?

What's happening might be related to diet. I have one that cannot eat Omega One pellets because he will bloat a few hours after eating them even though I soak them, my other 3 do just fine on them. He can eat Fluval Bug Bites and frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mysis shrimp without any problems. So I'd try changing up your boys diet, hopefully that's the culprit of the swim bladder. If it's not then it sounds like something is going on internally.

28 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I don't really know what the technical name is but I've been asked about this before and it is not the kind that gets the minerals stripped (I asked my provider after I was asked the same thing with a previous issue).

Yes, I'm trying to switch him over to other things but meanwhile he is really bloated and uncomfortable. If anyone has any tips on reducing the bloat that would be greatly appreciated!
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