Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I work at a pet store that sells Bettas. We're a small store with a staff of 6 and I am the only one who takes care of them. They live in chain pet store plastic tubs that are much too small for them, and I treat their water with the store's brand conditioner and bio-boost, and throw a small pinch of aquarium salt in too. I have never taken care of a fish before I started working at this job, but no one else takes care of them and I don't want them to be neglected, so I'm trying to learn as best I can. I have a new, seemingly happy and healthy betta at home.

At least two weeks ago, one of the fish came off the truck constipated. We have no idea how long he was like that before we received him, but he's been in the store at least two weeks. I read as much as I could find on how to treat this, have been fasting him for several days and then feeding him pea, but he's only gotten more bloated. He doesn't seem to be suffering. He's still swimming around and acting like a normal fish, but he just won't poop. Is there anything else I can do to help him before he just bursts?
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
You'd need to see if you could take him home and treat him there.

To get him to have a chance he's going to need warm, clean, water. The temperature of the water should be 78 to 81 degrees and that will likely mean getting him into a tank that you can put a heater in. Then feed him daphnia either frozen or freeze dried that has been soaked in a bit of aquarium water. I'd also give him an epsom salt bath. That should be 1 TEAspoon of epsom salt, dissolved in a gallon of water. Leave him in the epsom salt water 24/7 until he poos. You are going to need to do a 100% water change, once a day, while he's in the bath, replacing the old epsom salt water with fresh. Do not use the epsom salt bath for more then 10 days.

If you are feeding him pellets or freeze dried food I'd recommend soaking it for a few minutes before feeding it to him. That will help prevent future problems as both can cause bloat if they are not soaked before being fed.

Thanks for trying to help him!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I'll see if I can take him home. I still have an old tank my own betta used to live in before I ungraded her that he can live in. It's so sad going into work every day and seeing no change in him :(
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,727 Posts
That's not constipation, it looks to be a fluid filled cyst.
For now, the treatment is the same, clean water and epsom salt treatment. It will either go down on it's own or may require further treatment depending on the cause.
Do you notice any other symptoms on him outside of the lump?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,895 Posts
I've seen these in several of my past fish. Invariably it always ended with the death of the fish, in spite of the use of Epsom salts and other treatments. I don't believe it's the result of constipation, as when I performed a necropsy on one of the affected fish, it simply appeared to be the result of a build-up of either fluid or air (it was difficult to tell as it deflated as soon as it was punctured).

Based purely on personal experience, I'd recommend euthanasia. If it's been two weeks and there's been no improvement, I imagine his chances of recovery are slim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Honestly I'd been worried it was something more as well. Like I said I'm very new to betta care and I don't have anyone but the internet to help me figure this out. I can't take him home without buying him, and while I would happily do that I don't have the money or space for a whole new setup for one sick fish. All I would have to put him in is a 1/2 gallon that I got for my own fish's first two weeks with me (before I knew how small that actually was and upgraded her), and it has no heater or filter on it.

He has no other symptoms, and if not for the lump I'd say he'd even be the happiest, healthiest fish we have at the moment. He swims around inquisitively, comes right up to me when I go see him (but he's only really in contact with me since he's in the "sick bay" away from customer eyes), and eats everything he's given in a timely manner. He's very rarely lying on the bottom, and isn't at all acting like he's suffering or in any pain. I changed and salted his water today, and I don't have a problem with popping into work every day to change him, since I've done it before for other sick fish. I'll attach some pictures I took of him during the water change today so you can see his current status.

If you think he is for sure a goner, I might buy him anyway if for no other reason than to let him die somewhere nicer than a plastic tub. Taking such close care of him for so long, I've gotten quite attached to him.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I adopted him today and put him in my Betta's old tank and stored him out of sight from each other. I'll keep an eye on him and do the daily water changes. I did catch him pooping today, so I'm now convinced it's a cyst and not constipation. Any advice for the treatment? I don't want to euthanize him while he doesn't appear to be in any pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,801 Posts
You can try an Epsom salt method. Dissolve one teaspoon Epsom Salt (no fragrance, just plain one) per gallon of water. Leave him in there for 24/7, daily 100% water change. No more than 10 days.
I'm not sure if it would help him though. LittleBettaFish is a fish breeder and very knowledgeable. I value her opinions...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Same thing has happened to one of my fish and I also don't know what it is! From looking at others comment it seems like a cyst, but I don't know for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I went into a House of Tropicals store today and spoke to their Betta expert, and he told me to medicate him with MetroPlex. Anyone concur with that? I'm not even sure it's a cyst, it doesn't seem to match any pictures I'm finding of them.

I know it's setting myself up for grief naming an animal that is probably terminal, but I've named him Atlas, for the great blue sphere of weight he carries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
So i've been looking at pictures of bloated bettas and some of them appear to be like Atlas? I mean i'm not a fish expert but the spot of enlargement seems to be in the same spot as the pictures. Sorry I can't help too much. Maybe try epsom salt like others said above? If that doesn't work then we could rule out the idea of constipation and bloating. Hope Atlas gets better! <3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I treated his water with the MetroPlex today (and he did NOT appreciate being moved to his old cup for the full water change, by the way), and I'm picking up some Epsom salt tomorrow. I am truly baffled by him. I've seen him pooping, so he's probably not constipated. He's swimming straight and fine, so it's probably not swim bladder. He doesn't match any pictures of cysts or tumors. I've ruled out dropsy since he's not pineconing and seeing as it's been upwards of three weeks now I think dropsy would've killed him by now. Adding the fact that he's not acting like he's sick and I am at a loss for what he could actually have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Literally the same thing has been happening to my fish! I'm trying epsom salt but I don't know if thats gonna work. Maybe our fish have the same thing? We'll have to figure out what this is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I gave him an Epsom salt bath today. Just the bath, not adding it to his tank. He handled it better than I thought he would, but I did have one scare where I thought he was passing out. He was very stressed out afterwards and after all the moving him and treating him, he's probably bloated with concentrated fish rage at this point. I'm hoping the salt bath helps him. His bloat is so large now it's bending his spine backwards at an uncomfortable looking angle. He's still sticking near the top of the water in his tank, and he's only ever gone lower than the halfway mark when I put him back in and he hides from me out of fear I'll take him out again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I tried doing the salt bath and it wasn't really helping. If you don't feel comfortable adding the salt to his tank right away, try it in little amounts. Instead of the full teaspoon. My other fish was bloated and always used to stay at the top as well. If you have a betta leaf that will help them be able to stay at the top easily. I was scared of passing out too, but I just watched her carefully and it didn't seem to affect her. It's your betta and your free to do whatever you want. That's just what helped with mine. :) I'll tell you how Pompeii's week long salt added tank stay goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,095 Posts
Well it's very nice what you are doing for the bettas and for this sick guy in particular. I'm sorry but this doesn't look good. It looks like fluid which you can probably see if you shine a light behind him. I took my fish to the vet to get "expressed". There are videos online but I just couldn't do it. It helped the fish but he ended up filling up with fluid again a few weeks later and quickly dropsied and died. (SIP CLYDE).

He lasted for quite a while with his big belly and he was enjoying life every minute up until that last day. From first bloat to his passing was 4 months.

Here is my thread with some good info in it and pics of Clyde...looks very similar to Atlas' situation.

http://www.bettafish.com/99-betta-fish-diseases-emergencies/670594-dropsy-energy-levels.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thank you cakes488. I know Altas is likely terminal, but like you I feel like I have to keep trying and not give up until he does. He hasn't started pineconing, I check diligently for that every day. I treat his water with MetroPlex, but I didn't like the guy who sold it to me and am seeking second opinions (The first thing he did was stop me after I said beta and said very pretentiously "Actually, it's Bet-ta. Correct your pronunciation first before you ask questions." and looked at the pictures for maybe two seconds). I don't know where I would find these other medications and I don't have very much money to throw around, I basically live paycheck to paycheck. I have Epsom salt and I gave him a bath in his old plastic tub from work with 1/4 tsp mixed in (I estimate it's like a 1/4 gallon tub) for fifteen minutes. I don't know how frequently I should be doing these baths, but I'm kinda scared to mix the salt in his tank water after hearing that the salt is stressful and uncomfortable and that you need a revive tank handy in case they pass out so they don't die. I feel like I'm gonna accidentally kill him with my inexperience, but he's gonna die anyway if I don't try. Like your situation, I feel like I'm way more stressed than poor Atlas is. Did Clyde's bloat get big enough to bend his spine back? Atlas has to bend back to adjust to his size and his ventral fins haven't moved like...ever.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
Thank you cakes488. I know Altas is likely terminal, but like you I feel like I have to keep trying and not give up until he does. He hasn't started pineconing, I check diligently for that every day. I treat his water with MetroPlex, but I didn't like the guy who sold it to me and am seeking second opinions (The first thing he did was stop me after I said beta and said very pretentiously "Actually, it's Bet-ta. Correct your pronunciation first before you ask questions." and looked at the pictures for maybe two seconds). I don't know where I would find these other medications and I don't have very much money to throw around, I basically live paycheck to paycheck. I have Epsom salt and I gave him a bath in his old plastic tub from work with 1/4 tsp mixed in (I estimate it's like a 1/4 gallon tub) for fifteen minutes. I don't know how frequently I should be doing these baths, but I'm kinda scared to mix the salt in his tank water after hearing that the salt is stressful and uncomfortable and that you need a revive tank handy in case they pass out so they don't die. I feel like I'm gonna accidentally kill him with my inexperience, but he's gonna die anyway if I don't try. Like your situation, I feel like I'm way more stressed than poor Atlas is. Did Clyde's bloat get big enough to bend his spine back? Atlas has to bend back to adjust to his size and his ventral fins haven't moved like...ever.

Because every store near me that sells fish stuff only sell very limited medicine for fish, I get my fish medicine on line. When I order for my dog, or order something for one of my tanks, I generally will also throw in 1 of the medicine, usually just one medicine every 2 months unless I need something to treat a specific illness. So far I've gotten methylene blue, prazipro, kanaplex, and API General Cure, that way. I usually can get it a lot cheaper on line then I can at a pet store if I can even find it there.

I do not do Epsom Salt, or Aquarium Salt dips, which is what you are describing, those are the ones that you need the revive tank for, and for me that's just more then I want to put my poor fish thorough. I use baths which use a lot less salt and you leave the fish in the bath for 24 hours then do a 100% water change replacing the old salt water with fresh. Use the baths no more then 10 days. The amount is 1 tsp salt per gallon of water. What I do is rotate between two hospital containers so I don't have to keep netting my fish to remove him. I float the container in the main tank so that the betta stays warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
So I just add the salt to his tank and leave it there for 24 hours? And that's fine for him? When I change the water do I put in new salt as well and keep him in fresh salt water for 10 days or until there's a change? Is it Epsom salt or a different kind?
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top