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did you ever use unscented Epsom salt for your betta? my VT can hold a bit of moisture in his body. he has SBD from day one but I let him go with inadequate Epsom salt:ratio by accident recently while trying to find the right amount. this is what happens when there isn't enough Epsom salt for betta that hold more liquids than most. I went right back to 2tsp ES salt per 1g of water. within 12 hours his belly was normal. Epsom salt is also a soft cure for swim bladder disease. you can find Epsom salt in pharmacies though don't put any scented Epsom salts in a fish tank. frozen Daphnia or baby brine shrimp also can be fed to deal with constipation.

can you please post a pic of your fish?

this link might be interesting though im not sure if it'll pertain to your fish. 3rd last post
http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=400634
 

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sorry for the double post, 2o minute time limit passed during edit

to continue on
you could start with 1tsp Epsom salt to 1g of water and see if the belly goes down. if it does then that's how much you need. if not add some more Epsom salt. I wouldn't surpass 3tsp for emergencies but its best to find the minimum amount be it 1tsp for some ppl or somewhere around 2tsp for mine.

Epsom salt is not to be confused with table salt or aquarium salt. table salt has no place in aquariums, AQ salt is more for finrot. ES salt is for SBD or constiptation. think of the salt you add in the bath tub or to soak your feet in ie Magnesium Sulphate.

popping the bubble will only create an open wound and its not advisable imo.

a pic from my vt's other side, disregard the inflamed gills, I took too long between water changes at that time.
 

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I highly suggest you get some Epsom salt, you can go with 1tsp per 1g to see if that gets his belly back to normal. then you see if he can handle 1tsp later on after he gets back to normal. Epsom salt helps to get rid of some body fluids in the fish.

you can judge the minimal dosage by how long the belly goes back to normal. if it takes a few days 4 days??? and it doesn't go back to normal then I suggest you add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per 1g to his tank. ive yet to go and check the minimum mine needs but I don't think mine will handle anything less than 1.5tsp. even 1.75tsp sounds more realistic in my case. though my next 100wc i'll add only 1.75tsp/1g.

my fish probably should have a bit less Epsom salt than 2tsp, his body is rather big but thin tail muscles.

if his belly comes back to normal add a bit less salt for your next 100WC or 20%wc if you can accurately judge how much ES salt is present. in my case his belly was clear on the bttom third and more body colour opaque on the upper areas. I was just as baffled as you were though I don't like using any sort of ____fix medicine. I just knew that it was possible it was SBD as I got him knowing he may have continual SBD issues for his life.

barring different colour body for our bettas, the pic of your betta is extremely familiar/similar to mine.

a quote from user Littlebluefishlets in my SBD thread
I would try some metronidazole & praziquantel, such as API General Cure. This can help with parasites and anaerobic bacterial conditions. It's also a relatively mild treatment, so it doesn't put a lot of stress on the body.
in my case ive yet to try that as the Epsom salt seems to have done the trick.
 

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ouch, that is a big bubble. What is the air contained in?
I doubt it, probably excess water. ES salt did wonders to remove my VT's bubble.

@jessiesgill: wow and I thought my VT had a bad bubble. that betta in the link had one that's even worse.
 
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