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Discussion Starter #1
My betta who is a adult has been bloated for the past 2 weeks. He doesn’t have pineconing scales or having trouble swimming or loss of appetite. So I was thinking he is just constapted, so I fasted him for 2 days Gave him a pea kept repeating nothing was happpening. Then I tired dahpnia and that worked! He started pooping but it was white and stringy but he also hadn’t pooped in days so I didn’t think anything of it. The next day he stomach was still bloated but now he was pooping regularly it was the colour of the pellets I was feeding him but still stringy and hanging from him. So then I kept researching and I gave him epsoms salt bath. I’ve done a few and nothing, he’s still bloated but pooping. I’m so confused and I have nothing else to do. Please if there is anything help me.
NOTE: he is still acting the way he normally is swimming around and still greedy for food I’have no idea what’s going on with him

NOTE: I have also found worms in his tanks but there the little skinny ones that don’t affect them. And I’ve been trying to get rid of them.
NOTE: I’ve already considered that it could be a tumour but since the stomach is equal on both sides I don’t think it is.

water parameters:
PH: 7
No2 nitrite: o
No3 nitrite (ppm mg/L) : about a 20
housing:
5gal
Heater to 80F
Water parameters are good
Planted tank
Living by himslef

food:
Every 2 weeks he gets some type of frozen food I rotate between Mysis,daphnia and bloodworms
Every other day he gets 3 soaked aqueon pellets
And I’ll fast him once every week

Water changes
I usually do them once every week to 2 week

And about 50% or more

filter
The tank I have has a built in filter and I’m using a sponge as it’s filter

Note: tank looks dirty but I promise that is just algae on the glass and will be getting cleaned tomorrow
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I'm sorry your betta isn't feeling well! Even though you seem to have listed most of the information we ask for, please put your answers directly into this form, thanks.

(Using the form makes sure we know where all the information is located in your post so we are not wasting time searching for info)

Also, looks like your attachments aren't working. Can you try to upload them again, please? Just clicking the little "picture" icon on the bottom of the post box should allow you to add them directly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 5 gallons
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 77-80F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? solo

Food:
What food brand do you use? aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? pellets
Freeze-dried? used to
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
frozen food twice a week and other days he gets 3 soaked pellets and once a week i fast

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? about 1 every 2 weeks
What percentage of water did you change? 50-70%
What is the source of your water? my sink
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? i use the API tap water conditioner

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: (my strips don't have ammonia as an option)
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:0
pH:7
Hardness (GH):30
Alkalinity (KH): 40

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? about 3 weeks ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? he stomach bloated severely
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? no
Is your Betta still eating? yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? i fasted him for a few days. didnt work. i have been doing epsoms salt baths, also didn't work
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? no
How long have you owned your Betta? about 7 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? no
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Thanks for filling out the form!

Have you been able to see his poop lately? From the looks of it he's quite skinny where he isn't bloated, which leads me to believe he has internal parasites. If his poo is white or clear-ish, or if it's somewhat pale but stringy like it's hard to break off, that would be a pretty definite sign of parasites.

You can put him in a cup floating in the main tank for a few hours if it's hard to find his poo in the tank. Also, flaring at their reflection will encourage bettas to poop- odd, yet true! So you can show him a mirror for a few minutes as well to help things along.


Another possibility is he may have an internal bacterial infection, however since he isn't lethargic or showing signs of other symptoms like swim bladder problems, I consider that to be less likely. If you shine a flashlight from behind him and his belly looks "hollow" like a balloon with light shining through it, however, that is a sign of bacterial infection instead of parasites.


For right now, whichever it is I'd encourage you to add Epsom directly to his tank, rather than doing a short "dip". Use 1/2 teaspoon per gallon, at that level it is a gentle laxative and may help him clear his system out after a few hours to days of swimming around in it. You can increase the dose to a full teaspoon if need be, and can keep it in his tank for about ten days.


If it is parasites, the best medicine I know of for them is PraziPro, however General Cure also uses the same ingredient and may be easier to get. Other parasite medicines would be better than nothing if they are all you can get. Take out any activated carbon in your filter (If it's more than a month old you can leave it since it's already "used up") and then dose according to the package's instructions.

You can use these medicines alongside Epsom if you would like, since the Epsom may help move the parasites out physically while the medicine kills them off. You can also soak his food in a cup of tank water with an extra bit of medicine before feeding, to make sure it's getting to his insides quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
His poop does hang from him but it is the same colour as his pellets I’m giving him. At first it was white but that was when he wasent pooping and then over a few days it went back to the brownish colour. But yes it does hang from him. But his stomach does look a little hollow I’m some light like a ballon.
 

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Ah, I missed that in the original post. I would consider that to be a sign of parasites for sure. A single time of pooping white can be just an upset stomach like if switched to a new food, but more than that, especially since it continues to be stringy and with how bloated he's looking, points to parasites in my opinion.

I'd still encourage you to check his stomach with a flashlight just in case the cause is bacterial, but I'd be comfortable starting an anti-parasite medicine based on what you've told me.

I am not sure what medicines are available where you are, but most anti-parasite medicines should still be helpful here if you can't get PraziPro or General Cure. If you aren't sure, please let me know what medicines you do have access to and I can help you decide between them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe I have the general cure available to me. Is it the one by API??
And if I were to use this and he doesn’t have parasites will it affect him??
 

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Yes, General Cure is made by API. I believe it's usually packaged to dose 10g at a time, so make sure you adjust the dose to the size of your own tank.

The good news of General Cure is that it actually has both an anti-parasite medicine and and antibiotic, so it may still help even if the cause was bacterial instead of parasites. Most of the time I do prefer single-ingredient medicines, but in cases like this where it's not 100% obvious what the cause is, a blended medicine can actually be a good choice.

If your betta has something else wrong, like a blockage or internal tumor, then General Cure (or another anti-parasite medicine) should not harm him. Medicines can always be stressful on fish so I don't encourage them to be used "just because", but I don't think this will do him any more harm than just leaving him alone.


And of course if you are not convinced then I highly encourage you to seek other opinions! Just because I think it's probably parasites doesn't mean it is, and another fishkeeper may have a totally different view of his illness than I do. It doesn't sound like he is on death's door (he's still active & eating, doesn't have a hard time swimming, etc), so you can absolutely wait a couple of days to see if you get more advice, or if anything changes, before making a decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for you’re help!! I think I’m going to give general cure a shot and see what happens. But thanks again!!
I just have one more question when I give him the medicine can I keep the filter running and I just take out the carbon or should I just shut it off completely... thanks!
 

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Hmmmm good question! The meds shouldn’t harm the plants but salt will. Sorry I’m not sure if you are adding salt or not so just throwing that out there in case. Parasites oh my, it’s my understanding (through research, I’ve never had to treat internal parasites) that medications won’t effect Internal parasites when they are inside the fish, it’s the eggs that get pooped out and hatch in the water that you can kill before they re infect the fish. Treating for parasites should always be followed up with another treatment to make sure you kill them all during their lifecycle. I would definitely google internal parasites in fish and get a good understanding of the lifecycle so you can be sure it’s gone for good or you might have the same problem two weeks down the road. Also keep an eye on your aquarium cycle as antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria.
so gravel... depends on you. Parasite eggs in the gravel... you’ll just have to do a good bottom vacuum to make sure you get them all.
 

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Leave the filter running, since you will still want the water to get cleaned and don't want to lose your cycle. If the carbon you have in it is older than a month, you can leave it in as well since it will already be "used up" and won't affect the medicine.

Leave everything else in the tank. I don't think there's anything in the medicine which will hurt live plants, and the gravel needs to be treated as well to make sure the parasites are completely eradicated. You can remove the plants if you are worried, but they'll need to stay in a separate container at least a week after you finish the treatment to make sure no stragglers survive on them.

X skully X is correct in that many external parasites are only vulnerable in specific stages of their life (typically when free-swimming, before attaching to the betta) however internal parasites are able to be killed at any stage with the medicine that is in General Cure (Praziquantel).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I’m thinking he may just have an bacterial problem considering his poop isn’t white but it’s more the same colour of his pellets I’m feeding him. Hopefully that’s the case rather than internal parasites
 

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here is an article about internal parasites that lists the names of medications you may be able to find in you part of the world.it also goes into detail about round worms (nematodes) and how roundworm can be misdiagnosed when it could be a bacterial infection.


i sincerely hope everything turns out ok
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have found little white worms in the tank once but they say that you wouldn’t be able to see the worms if there were parasites I then cleaned the tank really well and I believe I got all of them. I also looked up alternatives to general cure but I’m not exaclty sure what’s wrong with him, whether it’s internal parasites or a bacterial problem and there is no medicine that does both so I would either have to get a medicine for internal parasites or bacterial which is where things get quite difficult...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
hi! I have a few questions regarding aquarium salt... when I add in the salt should my filter be off or should I just take out the carbon?? And I’ve read a few things saying you can keep plants in, what’s you’re opinion on that?
 

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I would not add Aquarium salt. AQ salt is useful for mild external problems like fin rot, but actually encourages bloating and isn't effective for internal conditions. I am hoping you meant to say Epsom salt, which reduces bloating and acts as a laxative to help a betta's digestive system move. For your betta I would suggest using Epsom at about 1 teaspoon per gallon of water.

However in general any salt should have the filter left on, and they are not removed via carbon so there is not need to mess with your filter at all. Most plants can tolerate low levels of AQ salt, and Epsom is actually added as a fertilizer in some cases so it should be just fine.


My gut feeling on your betta is still that this is a parasite infection. However, in cases where it's not clear there's no real tests we can do as home fishkeepers, so you will need to just pick a course of treatment and then stick to it, even if it doesn't seem to work at first. Starting a medicine and then stopping halfway through is never a good idea. If your betta doesn't improve after one type of treatment, finish the full course and then switch to trying another. The exception is if the treatment seems to make him deathly ill- in that case, it's better to stop it early.


For parasites, anything which says it will treat them externally will still help even for internal parasites. You may be able to get something with copper as the main ingredient (like CopperSafe, Cupramine, or Copper-Aid); another common ingredient is Malachite Green (like Rid-Ich, Malachite Green, or Paraguard); however any medicine which says it treats parasites will be helpful.

If you can't get anything, I have heard that Garlic can be fed to help with parasites. Ideally you would crush a fresh clove and soak his regular food in the juice, but you can also feed him a small (pellet-sized or less) piece of the garlic itself once a day if he'll eat it (Cook it first to make it soft; thirty seconds in the microwave should be fine). Garlic Guard is a product which you can buy to achieve the same thing, if you prefer not to crush up fresh garlic daily.


If you feel like it's not parasites but is a bacterial infection, the cause is most likely what's referred to as a gram-negative bacteria. The best medicines for those type of infections are Kanamycin (Most commonly sold as Kanaplex), and Nitrofurazone (Furan 2), however you may not be able to get them where you are. More broad-spectrum are Triple Sulfa, and the other "-mycin" medicines like Neomycin & Erythromycin, which will not be as strong but are better than nothing. As a last resort, Methelyne Blue which is regarded as a dye rather than a true antibiotic may be available to you, and wouldn't be worse than nothing.

If you have any medicine available to you but not the ones I just listed, post here with the name(s) and we can help you decide which is the best option.


If you can't get any antibiotics/anti-parasite meds at all, the best thing to do is simply give your betta warm clean water and good food. I would change 25-50% of his water twice a week from now on to make sure his water is as clean and healthy as it can be.

You can add in Epsom salts at 1 teaspoon per gallon to help his bloating go down and keep his digestive system moving, regardless of whether it is parasites or bacteria. Make sure to add it back in after every water change, and give him a couple day's break from it after about ten days of use.

India Almond Leaves or Rooibos Tea (pure, no additives) can be added to the tank and may help slightly to support his immune system, since they have mild antiseptic properties.



Also, any worm you see in the bottom of your tank is most likely a "detritus worm" which is completely harmless and even helpful! But if you see a lot of them it means there's a lot of "gunk" at the bottom of your tank (since that's what they eat) and it may be helpful to reduce feedings, and vacuum the gravel better during water changes. The kind of parasites that infect a betta are typically too small to see without a magnifying glass when they are in the "free floating" stage outside of the fish's body.
 
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