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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I've tried for 2 months pouring over forums and discussions trying to figure out how to save my fish -Pi- from whatever he is suffering from and hoping that if I make my own thread with his specific problems I will be able to save my pour baby.
I've had Pi for about 3 years from Petco. 2 months ago I realized that my fish was starting to bloat a little bit. I got scared and started reading posts and stuff to figure out why he was bloating. I thought that he was just being overfed by my grandma who was taking care of my fish while I was away so decided to feed him less than his usual amount which is five pellets a day. However he has become much worse, looking like a small puffer fish his top half of his body.
So after learning about dropsy, I tried adding aquarium salts to his water and since I could not find a syringe, I saw a post saying that they tried poking their fish with a needle instead of using a syringe to get his liquids out. I asked my nurse friend to do the procedure and all went well. The first few days he started to look better, less puffy, but after a week he started swelling again. I don't think it's dropsy because he is not pine-coning. Also he's eating perfectly well, swimming just fine, and he's still flaring at the other fish around him. ((He is in his own bowl, about twice the size of the dual tanks from Petco)). I thought he would die after 15 days but since he's been alive for two months after, I'm hoping he has something else that is curable. I've done the poking procedure every two weeks when he looks like he's about to burst and so far it's helped slightly...
Also I tried the whole pea thing in hopes he was just constipated but there is poop in his bowl when I change his water every two weeks, so... I'm lost T.T plz someone help me, it is much appreciated, I don't want my little baby to die =[
 

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Do you have any pictures? Please fill this out as best you can, it will help us help you.


Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Housing
What size is your tank? i dont know the exact size but its about twice the size of those that you get at Petco, the dual tanks, its a square about 4*4*5.
What temperature is your tank? the tank stays about 75 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?no
Is your tank heated? only in the winter
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? betta bio-gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? 5 pellets once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? about once every two weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 90%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra Bettasafe and since recently API aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
i have not
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? his upper body is swollen to twice the size of his head
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? his behavior has not changed one bit
When did you start noticing the symptoms? about two months ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? i tried the home remedy in which i poke him with a small sterilized needle (you cant see the puncture hole at all) and he slightly deflates only for a few days
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no
How old is your fish (approximately)? i've had him for 3 years from Petco so i assume adding the the couple of months that he's taken to grow up.. so about 3.4?

and i have no idea how to add pictures here ><
 

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His tank is 4 inches x 4 inches x 5 inches? That would make his tank less than half a gallon. A tank that small needs to have 100% water change daily.

To add pictures, upload a picture onto a site like photobucket.com or imgur.com and then post the URL link here.
 

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Congratulations on having Pi for 3 years! You've obviously been doing something right.....

As Shannonpwn mentioned, I would increase the water changes. This will help remove bacteria, wastes and toxins from the water.

I would also stop using aquarium salt. Aquarium salt helps external issues, such as infected wounds. It will not help with bloating, and may actually be the cause (or one of the causes) that he's currently retaining fluid and bloating.

Aquarium salt contains sodium chloride. This causes fluid retention. It also places stress on the kidneys, which must work overtime to eliminate this fluid.

Instead of aquarium salt, I would switch to Epsom salt.

Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate. It has a laxative/fluid reducing effect (in both people and fish.) The Epsom salt should help eliminate the fluid buildup and bloating.

There are many ways to do a water change and acclimate (reintroduce) your fish back into the tank. Here is one variation:
  1. Note the temperature of the water. (Use a thermometer.)
  2. Fill a 1 gallon jug or container with water at the SAME temperature as his current tank water.
    Be sure to add the correct amount of water conditioner.
    Stir in 1 teaspoon Epsom salt. Make sure the salt is completely dissolved.
  3. Using a plastic cup, scoop him, along with some of his water, into the cup.
  4. Clean out the tank. Refill with the Epsom salt treated water.
  5. Float his cup in the tank for about 15 min. (Longer is OK.)
  6. Add a SMALL amount of NEW water to the cup. (Several tablespoons, or about 1.5 ounces.)
  7. Let his cup float for about 10 min. (Longer is OK.)
  8. Repeat the above two steps until about an hour has passed. (Longer is OK.)
  9. If the cup starts to fill too much, remove a SMALL amount of water from the cup. Discard it.
  10. Gently release him into the tank.

Epsom salt is available at supermarkets and pharmacies. (But not petstores.) Look for magnesium sulfate, with NO dyes, perfumes or additives. It's not expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
http://i1296.photobucket.com/albums/ag10/krnangel/20130905_002356_zpse38f150d.jpg
http://i1296.photobucket.com/albums/ag10/krnangel/20130905_002415_zps183cf187.jpg

Here are pictures of how he is, The aquarium salts i think I need because I've been poking holes in him >< Is it possible to use both types of salts or would that be too much for him?
When I clean his water i take him out with a cup, let him swim in a small bowl with his old water, clean the tank and then when its time to put him back in I use a small plastic cup and let the waters match the same temperature (i do use a thermometer) and usually let it stay there for about thirty minutes. I will try to use the steps you gave me and should I do it weekly?
 

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His water changes should be daily, not weekly. In less than a half gallon of water, ammonia will build up very quickly from his excrement and any uneaten food, which can cause ammonia poisoning/ammonia burns.
 

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He looks like he has Swim Bladder. Doing Epson salt baths should help, fasting for a week won't hurt either. Bettas don't get hungry like you and I do and so a week without eating won't be a problem..

Also, never feed you fish a pea! Peas can do more harm than good, Bettas can't digest peas and what actually happens is the pea pushes its way through the digestive tract and shoves everything, forcefully, out of the body. Sometimes if they are blocked too much it can rip their intestines up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
icic, thank you very much everyone! I will try cleaning his bowl daily, using epson salt and fasting for a week. Is there an approximate time in which he should start looking better? And will he not be too stressed with a daily water change?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Regretfully to say, Pi passed away last night. He looked like he was getting better after the epsom salt baths but when i woke up he was at the bottom lifeless. ='[ But thank you everyone for your advice
 
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