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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I left my 5 gallon planted betta tank in my dorm for the break and when I came back he was bloated, pale, and isn’t moving all that much. When i left he was a little bloated but not this much. Before I left I cleaned the tank and dropped in one of those 7 day pellets.
 

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The 7 day pellet is what has caused this, when going away for less then 14 days it is better to feed them well before you go, do a 25% water change so the tank is clean. No food in = no poop out and this does not hurt your betta. feed him when you return and do a water change and he will be fine. If it goes more than 14 days then I would try and find some you can trust to feed him once a week. These vacation feeders are not intended for betta. I don't care what they say. Betta will keep feeding as long as there is food in the tank. I would for now suggest fasting him for a few days and see if the bloating goes down. then only feed him once every two or three days until the bloating is gone.
 

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First and before I forget...if this is the same boy in the "Algae" thread, he was changing colors.

Dealing with the immediate issue: What are you feeding? If "whole fish meal" or some sort of "whole" fish is not the first ingredient, switch food. I currently feed NorthFin Betta Bits and, in the past, have feed New Life Spectrum. Avoid freeze dried.

Is he pooping? Get some frozen or live Daphnia as they are natural laxatives. You can also try getting him to flare at least three times per day for a couple of minutes to get things moving along.

Do not feed him anything until the bloating is gone. It will not hurt him to go without.

Also, please copy and paste linked form in a new message. It has the most pertinent information. It also helps us eliminate any other underlying problems.

Normally, we ask the form be requested before answering but you know exactly when and why so this case is a bit different.

https://www.bettafish.com/99-betta-fish-diseases-emergencies/612810-please-read-before-posting-fill-out-form-so-we-can-best-help-your-betta.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Housing: How many gallons is your tank?
5
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? 2 Amano shrimp
Food: What food brand do you use? Do you feed flakes or pellets? betta biogold pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 2x a day, 4 pellets
Maintenance: Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? every 1-1.5 weeks
What percentage of water did you change? 40-50%
What is the source of your water? Sink
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Aqua safe plus
Water Parameters: I already changed the water and my local fish store is closed
Hardness (GH): Quite high

Symptoms and Treatment: When did you first notice the symptoms? Some bloating before I left for holiday, massive bloating when I returned. Mostly just sits on leaves and floating log.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Bloating in front of stomach. How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Difficulty swimming in current, floats and seems to wobble in water. Is your Betta still eating? Very much so
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Methayane Blue, one full dose earlier today
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? none
How long have you owned your Betta?
15 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
No
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is the same guy! Good eye. I fed him earlier today, and then panicked and treated him with methalane blue because I thought it might be dropsy. I’ll be sure not to use the 7 day things again.

I’m not sure if he is pooping, I honestly never really saw him poop before he had issues, but I’ll be sure to pay more attention.
How long should I fast him to (hopefully)
fix the constipation?
 

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I would fast him until the bloating goes down...even if this takes a week or more. Oh, and the best way to see Dropsy is to look from above. With raised scales they will look like a pine cone. If he's not pine coning we're ahead of the game. And so you don't feel alone, I don't think I've seen my Betta poop more than 10 times in 52 years. Now, Goldfish, oh! my heavens! ;-)

I would switch to NortFin Betta Bits or New Life Spectrum; whichever your store carries. If they don't, you have time to order. I get mine from here and am extremely pleased with their service:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NorthFin-Fish-Food-Betta-Bits-Sold-By-Super-Cichlids/222853093362?epid=1241200459&hash=item33e31457f2:m:mkpIJHhYmttd7o4Dd4VXK5A

The other thing you can do is add Epsom Salts...they are a mild muscle relaxant. You can treat in-tank at one teaspoon per five gallons. Completely dissolved unscented ES in a cup of hot water. Add conditioner and pour into tank. Do a two-gallon change 2x weekly and add a bit under 1/2 teaspoon to the return water. You want to make sure you keep the concentration the same and do not increase.

There is also an Epsom Salt "dip" as described here:
Salt Baths - Betta Splendid
 

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I will always take Russell's advice, this is some of the best and most experienced advice on this forum. I defer to Russell when ever there is this type of post.
 

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No quid pro quo here. :) But, I forgot to mention I agree with OD59 that not feeding is better than risking any sort of feeding system; even ones that come in blocks and slowly dissolve.

Just as an aside for anyone reading as I understand that many can't bear the thought of not feeding their fish while gone, Fishlabs suggests testing the blocks before we leave to see if the fish find them palatable. If the fish eat them the blocks can destroy water quality.
 

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@Candyhearts4u

I looked up the ingredients of Hikari Betta Bio Gold and believe that could be the initial cause of the bloat. While it's possible the use of the feeder may have contributed as he continued to eat when he needed to fast it could not have been the cause.

Please keep us updated on how he's doing and when he is better I recommend switch to one of the foods mentioned in Post #7.

IngredientsBioGold.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update:I have not fed him for a week and the bloat is looking the same. His scales are now pineconing, just a bit, and he mostly just lays on the bottom of the tank, or on leaves and things. I have a supply of meds and things, including some clove oil. I’m wondering if I may just have to put him down.
 

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So sorry for all this pain and heartache you're going through. I'd say give him some more time, but I completely understand your concern.
 
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