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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
about a month ago, i switched my betta to flake food because i forgot to bring back his pellets from college. since then, he's had swim bladder issues for exactly a month now. the tank params are fine, and he switches between a 2.5 gal and a 5.5 gal between college/home breaks, both tanks are heavily planted, heated, filtered. his stomach was really round and seemingly filled with air at first, so i tried fasting him multiple times. that didn't work, so i tried feeding him some thawed pea. tried the pea 3 times, it looked like it was working and he was taking enormous bowel movements each time but then he'd go right back to being overly bouyant and floating on his side. then i tried medicating for possible underlying diseases, so i fed him hex shield (kills internal parasites) and dosed bettafix (kills bacterial infections.) again, he seemed to be doing better from the treatment, then went back to being really bouyant and having trouble swimming down. i also dosed epsom salt, and aquarium salt, neither worked for long term. picture a completely normal looking betta that's exhibiting symptoms of SBD anyway.

at this point i don't know what i can do for him anymore. he gets SBD for literally no reason now. two days ago he was swimming around great, had no issues with bouyancy, and his stomach was completely lean and normal. then yesterday he was struggling to swim downwards and pretty much floated on his side all day, and i didn't even feed him or do anything that may have caused it. the SBD seems to just come and go as it pleases. he's not even bloated right now but he's still way too bouyant and is either floating on his side or propping himself under the java fern. i looked all over for help, but it doesn't look like anyone has had this much trouble curing constipation before.

i also notice a lot of times he'll flex his gills and air bubbles will come out. he's very gassy. i'm wondering when it's time to just give up :(
 

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Is it possible you could try to feed him every other day and switch back to pellets? If you feed him every other day and not on the weekends (which is what I do for my bettas) it give their stomachs time to process food, since mine expecially GORGE themselves until they are throwing up their food! It also takes longer for fish to process dense foods as well, I hoe I helped a little!
 

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Also, is he haveing trouble swimming and breathing from the surface?? I also think that this might just be constpation, it should clear semi soon if you really chase after how it started in the first place so you can avoid it in the future.
 

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Also do you mind sharing a couple pictures if you can?? lol I just keep on posting ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hey, really thankful for your reply. nobody else seemed to be able to reach out when i posted this elsewhere either, so it's great that you are. feeding every other day is definitely a good idea, if i ever saw any signs of lasting recovery. i've been fasting the crap out of him and only feeding him medicated/laxative foods when i do decide to feed him, so i don't think spacing out the feeding and skipping days will do much.

he definitely doesn't have trouble breathing or reaching the surface since he spends the majority of the time floating on it! lol. i think it's also just constipation too, since i remember distinctly that this only started happening after switching him from pellets to flakes. i will post pictures momentarily. mind you, he looks completely normal but don't be fooled!
 

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Keep fasting, you can flare him out if he'll flare a few minutes each day which should help things move through. You can also dose with unscented Epsom salt at 1 tsp/gallon, this will draw any fluid out and will hopefully help him pass whatever is blocked up. When he feels better I'd stick to pellets. Omega One and New Life Spectrum pellets are great and you can feed every day without fasting as they aren't full of fillers. Though depending on the fish sometimes feeding every day may not be good. (Had one that if he was fed every day he had buoyancy issues). The problem with most commercial foods, pellets or flakes, is they are full of fillers which bettas can't digest easily so they get bound up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
http://imgur.com/a/DJzUj

don't be fooled, he looks really normal here. he is capable of hovering in place as seen here, but i think it takes him a lot of effort.

http://imgur.com/a/6EnF6

you can see here he's really not fat at all, and actually kind of slimmed out presumably due to all the fasting

http://imgur.com/a/kpl6v

this one's a bit blurrier, but this is basically what he does all day when he's not struggling.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Keep fasting, you can flare him out if he'll flare a few minutes each day which should help things move through. You can also dose with unscented Epsom salt at 1 tsp/gallon, this will draw any fluid out and will hopefully help him pass whatever is blocked up. When he feels better I'd stick to pellets. Omega One and New Life Spectrum pellets are great and you can feed every day without fasting as they aren't full of fillers. Though depending on the fish sometimes feeding every day may not be good. (Had one that if he was fed every day he had buoyancy issues). The problem with most commercial foods, pellets or flakes, is they are full of fillers which bettas can't digest easily so they get bound up.
i turned off the room lights but kept his tank light on, which got him to crap. the thing is he's not fat whatsoever, if you look at the images you'll be surprised. i feel so bad for him. i just saw him trying to swim downwards and he got so frustrated he started spazzing out and swimming downwards as hard as he can, kicking dirt and plant matter everywhere. i don't get what's wrong with him. its not bloat, i'll tell you that. i'm worried because i tried everything you recommended already. if you read my entire post you'll see i tried just about everything other than daphnia. but if every other laxative didn't work, i don't see how this could. i'm worried i'm gonna have to put him down over such a dumb reason
 

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Hmmmm, looking at his pictures his appearances has nothing wrong, but what you describe is another story, I agree that you should probably try to find a food w/o fillers. Again, it works for me when one of my other bettas kept on getting constipation bc I fed him every day and his food was as good as it could get, so I just started a new schedule for him. What is your regular feed schedule? How much do you feed him for every meal, it should only be as much as they can eat in 2-3 minutes, and the pellets should only be about the size of his eyes.
 

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I wouldn't agree with putting him down quite yet, he seems to be coping fine, you should give another try editing putting that idea on the table.
 

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What temp is your water? If it's to cold his metabolism can slow down, making it harder for him to get the food through his digestive track
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The temp is always at 80. Also do you have any examples of non filler food I could give him? I notice him gulping air a lot from the surface which worsens the buoyancy, but then he burps out the air bubbles later. He's always either gulping or releasing air, which makes me think he's just doing it to himself
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i used to feed him abt 2 pellets 2 times per day, and he was doing fine. it was only when i switched to bettamin flakes that his stomach started acting up. i'd usually feed every day when he was healthy, but after his stomach got messed up i've barely been feeding him at all, and when i do its only laxatives. i just took a cab to two pet stores and neither one had daphnia... wasted $20 on fares. my betta and my bank account are taking a similar level of abuse lol
 
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