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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone!
I am new to this thread so please be patient with me ;; I stumbled upon this website due to the current condition my betta fish is in. I've been researching around and found this little betta fish community because I ran out of options, I hope you guys can help me out here! I have discovered that bloating is a really common issue for betta fish owners.
Since I am new, I am very much inexperienced with taking care of one of these little guys. I had a betta fish in the past but I was very young and did not know how to properly care for one and it died within a few months due to dropsy. :serious:
I now have another betta fish who I have named Lord Gustav. I have spent quite a lot of time to provide my sweet princey-poo a good home. I am quite low on budget so he currently lives in a 2 gallon bowl with no heater and filter. And before you say anything else, he was quite accustomed to the living space, the energetic little guy made lots of bubbly frothy bubbles daily. :grin2: He's also super playful and loves to circle around and under ornamentations and pick on my marimo moss ball, so I know he's happy. Although, I would like the best for my Gussy, so I am saving up for at least a 5 gallon tank for him (but that doesn't seem to be contributing to the issue right now imo. What do you guys think???)
He's had a slight bloat when I first got him, but now its getting worse!

-I have fed him the brand AQUEON BETTA FOOD PELLETS, and I am not sure if this is what is making him bloat. Used the method of soaking the pellets in for 10 minutes. I used to give him 6-8 pellets. Now I feed him 3-4 pellets a day now. DID NOT WORK!

-Also used the EPSOM salt method. Did this for every water change.

-I make sure to keep his bowl from overheating since it's been really hot these days (by using a thermometer) so I place a fan above the bowl. The water temperature is around 75-80f and never goes under or over.

-I always use filtered water when I change his water (I changed 30% of it) and I also use betta fish water conditioner just in case.

I'm very new at this so any pointers would be very much appreciated... My Gussy is making me grow white hairs 8( :crying:
THANK YOU!
 

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is it even on both sides of the fish or is it just the one spot?


The one spot is making think it's a tumor or a cyst and if that's the case, there is noting you can do for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the form!

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2.5 GALLONS
Does it have a filter? NO
Does it have a heater? NO
What temperature is your tank? 75-80 F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? NO
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? NO

Food:
What food brand do you use? AQUEON BETTA FOOD
Do you feed flakes or pellets? PELLETS
Freeze-dried? NO
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 3-4 TIMES A DAY

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? ONCE EVERY 2 WEEKS
What percentage of water did you change? 30%-50%
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? VACUUM
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? TOPFIN 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: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness (GH): N/A
Alkalinity (KH): N/A

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? FIRST DAY THERE WAS A SLIGHT BUMP
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? THE BUMP IS PROGRESSIVELY GETTING LARGER
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? SAME ENERGETIC BEHAVIOR
Is your Betta still eating? YES
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? EPSON SALT MIX, USED A VERY SMALL AMOUNT (LESS THAN A TEASPOON)
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? N/A
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? YES, HE HAS BEEN IN MY CARE FOR A MONTH.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reply Falcon,
It seems to me that it is just one small lump under his body (where his stomach is). I assumed it was because I have been feeding him a bit too much when I first got him so I reduced the amount of food pellets but his tummy doesn't seem to be going down. I actually went to a pet store and asked and one of the workers told me it's probably constipation. He is pooping well enough though.
 

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What color is the poop?


is it white and stringy or a nice solid brown color?


you said 3 to 4 times a day, how many pellets per day?

If he's been pooping since you noticed this, you can rule out constipation and discontinue with the espom salt. It' s not doing him any good and you don't continue espom salt for more then ten days.


what's in the espom salt mix?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Falcon,

The color of his poo is a dull white-ish brown and it is not solid, but more crushed up(kinda like flakes). Could I mistaking this for something else? And to be sure, should I get rid of the ornaments/pebbles for while? Since it isn't really solid brown or stringy, I'm assuming it is probably bacteria build up under the pebbles.

As for the food, I actually meant was 3-4 pellets a day, sorry! If it is constipation, do you think I should change the brand of food? If so, what kind of food brand would you recommend?

The epsom salt is pure and does not have anything else in it. I give him a water change every once in 2 weeks and that is when I mix the water with epsom salt.

You have asked about the location so I have attached a photo of Gustav from the top view.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hi ReticentTeacup!

I have heard that doing a 100% water change can shock your betta fish and that a frequent water change can be unhealthy as it needs some of the bacteria. Does that only apply to fish living in 2 gallon bowls and under?
 

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100% water changes are fine and will not affect the bacteria as long as you dose the water properly with water conditioner. And try to match the water temp closely.

He just looks bloated. You say he is pooping fine?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice, ReticentTeacup. I will definitely try it out.
I am actually not quite sure as it is my first time in a long while since I took care of a fish. I might be mistaking the bacteria for poo since it is not really brown or solid/stringy and rather it is white-ish and flakey. Should I take out all the pebbles for a while to make sure he is pooping properly for now?
 

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When I had Monet in a 2.5 gal tank I did 25% water changes every 2 to 3 days. If I let it go for 4 days the ammonia and nitrite levels would rise above 25ppm which means the levels were getting toxic for him. Doing 100% water changes is stressful for the fish. It means that the water parameters change quickly, and the fish must be handled, both of which are stressful. I only do 100% changes if I'm medicating the fish, or if I'm completely redoing the tank, I'd not be comfortable doing them multiple times a week, and would at most do 50% changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hiya Rainbo!

Thank you for the advice. What kind of tank size is best recommended for a single betta fish, and if a large tank, how many times would I have to do water changes?
I haven't had my water tested so I do not know the exact water parameters. I will get the water tested today though, so what would be the ideal numbers to have your fish in?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Do you think the ammonia and nitrate levels are what is causing my fish to bloat? Would you recommend that I do frequent water changes for now until his bloating has stopped?
 

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Falcon,

The color of his poo is a dull white-ish brown and it is not solid, but more crushed up(kinda like flakes). Could I mistaking this for something else? And to be sure, should I get rid of the ornaments/pebbles for while? Since it isn't really solid brown or stringy, I'm assuming it is probably bacteria build up under the pebbles.

As for the food, I actually meant was 3-4 pellets a day, sorry! If it is constipation, do you think I should change the brand of food? If so, what kind of food brand would you recommend?

The epsom salt is pure and does not have anything else in it. I give him a water change every once in 2 weeks and that is when I mix the water with epsom salt.

You have asked about the location so I have attached a photo of Gustav from the top view.

If you are suspecting constipation or bloat Epsom salts need to be done every day. Get a quarantine (QT) tank or container. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of plain, unscented, epsom salt in a gallon of water. Pour the epsom salt water into the QT tank and add the betta. Leave the betta in the tank until symptoms resolve. If it takes longer then a day you're going to have to do 100% water changes replacing the water with fresh epsom salt water every day. Stop the treatment after 10 days.

While you are doing the Epsom Salt baths you can also try fasting the betta and see if that helps. Betta can easily go up to a week without food.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow! Such useful detailed information, thanks a bunch. Is a QT tank usually empty with no ornamentations/pebbles?
 

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Hiya Rainbo!

Thank you for the advice. What kind of tank size is best recommended for a single betta fish, and if a large tank, how many times would I have to do water changes?
I haven't had my water tested so I do not know the exact water parameters. I will get the water tested today though, so what would be the ideal numbers to have your fish in?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Do you think the ammonia and nitrate levels are what is causing my fish to bloat? Would you recommend that I do frequent water changes for now until his bloating has stopped?
A 2.5 gal tank is fine for a betta so long as the owner is keeping up with the water changes, but the larger the tank the better it is and the easier it is when it comes to water changes. Like I said in an uncycled 2.5 you need to be doing water changes every 2 to 3 days, while if you had an uncycled 5 gal you'd be doing water changes 2x a week. With an uncycled tank you need to keep an eye on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and test the water before doing a water change so you know if the levels are rising if they are rising then you need to do a water change and may have to start doing them more frequently depending on if the levels keep rising.

If you are trying to cycle the tank you'd be doing the water test and when the ammonia and nitrite hold steady at 0 ppm, and the nitrate around 5 ppm your tank is cycled and you can start doing 25% water changes once a week. To cycle the tank you'll need some type of filter. http://www.bettafish.com/30-betta-fish-care/507585-cycling-two-sentence-tutorial.html

The ideal parameters in a tank are 0 ppm ammonia and nitrite and around 5 nitrate.
 

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Wow! Such useful detailed information, thanks a bunch. Is a QT tank usually empty with no ornamentations/pebbles?
My personal preference depends on how long I'm going to leave the fish in the container. If it's a longer time like with the epsom salt I usually put a silk plant in the tank to help my betta feel safe. I just add one and don't put any substrate in the tank since I want to be able to carefully monitor him.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rainbo,

So I expanded my tank size to an 8 gallon and added a filter that runs quite well. Before I added him in, I conditioned the water (2.5ml per gallon) and then added epsom salt (1/2 teaspoon). Poured in the old water into the tank and mixed it with the new. I got rid of the substrate but added a few things in there, an anubias plant and marimo. I will be monitoring him closely and will be uploading in a week.
 

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