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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help if you can! My crowntail betta is not able to stay afloat, he sinks to the bottom and only lays on his side. He tries so hard to swim but it's very difficult. He hasn't lost his appetite what so ever. Hopefully that's a good sign. I've tried a couple of things which are listed below. I don't want to keep trying a million different things I've found on the internet but I also don't want the poor lil guy to suffer. Please help if you can. The condition sounds like it may be Swim Bladder Disorder (SBD)? If you need a picture or a video of him just let me know.
What size is your tank? 3 gallon. I've put him in a shallow 10 litter to help him come up for air while he's sick.

What temperature is your tank? 78 degrees, although I'm heading out to get a heater that I can adjust, the one I have doesn't adjust and seems to fluctuate too much.

Does your tank have a filter? Not the temporary one. The 3 gallon did have one.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No

Is your tank heated? Yes

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None, never.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets.

How often do you feed your betta fish? Everyday, 4-5 pellets.


How often do you perform a water change? Every 2-3 weeks.

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% Complete water change.

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Tetra BettaSafe conditioner and Aquarium Salt.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I've never tested my water. I have had him for 2 years and honestly thought it didn't pertain to betta fish.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His appearance doesn't look so different, maybe just not so vibrant.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Doesn't do anything but lay on his side or his back tail sideways.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 2 weeks ago.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I was told by Petco to use Bettafix which I did the first time. It didn't seem to work, although I went ahead and put him back in his original tank and it was like magic he was back to normal. About a week later he was doing the same thing...not being able to stay afloat, sinking and laying on his side. So I've put him back into the 10 litter container and tried the Bettafix again for about 5 days and it didn't do anything. Now I have fasted him for three day and then fed him the blanched pea, it's been 2 days since I've fed him the pea and he still hasn't poopied!

Does your fish have any history of being ill? None since I bought him 2 years ago.

How old is your fish? Approximately 2 years.

1,121 Posts
Maybe try an epsom salt bath, I think it's 1tsp/Gal, that should clear it up, also daily water changes and fast him

10,962 Posts
Sadly it sounds more like he is aging out along with long term water quality issue and long term sodium chloride use that compromised longevity.....

Sadly not a lot can be done, however, I would recommend Epsom salt (not aquarium salt) 2-3tsp/gal and tannins-either IAL or dried Oak leaf in his small QT container
Premix the Epsom salt and tannin in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water to use for 50% daily water change-keeping the water level low and cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help...
Good luck....
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