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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to who can help me!

My name is Jaymi and I have a red betta name SAM. I've had him for about 4 months now. The last 2 months he's shown signs of swim badder. His tummy was swollen and he was like a cork; unable to sink. But just last night, he's the complete opposite. He cannot swim to the top. He tries but finds it difficult and get's tired very quickly.

He was housed in a 3.5 tank but because he was so difficult for him to swim to the bottom or anywhere, I put him in a hospital tank. I've used the conventional treating method to cure swim badder by using Epson salt and water conditioner each cleaning. I clean/change is water everyday because he's now in a gallon tank. I make sure the water is perfect and the temperature is right.

Poop issue: When I first notice the "swim badder" he wasn't able to poop so I also thought he was "constipated" Then I added Epson Salt to the water and he pooped better. However, this has also changed. He passes often now and dark in color. But recently (4 days now), it's also been white and stringy. I've read this is signs of an infection. So I called a local fish store and they told me to use Betafix. So I have the last 4 days.

I've seen the list below to help determine his condition. So I've filled it out. I'd appreciate it anyone can help me. It seems weird that for 2- 2.5 months he was a "cork" and now he can't even swim to the top of the his bowl. Please help me diagnose Sam. I want him to get better.

What size is your tank? 1 gallon (shallow hospital tank)
What temperature is your tank? 80 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? yes, 80 degrees
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? no mates.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? frozen blood worms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1x day/ size of his eye (6x a week - I fast him 1 day a week)


How often do you perform a water change? daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Epson Salt and water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? no


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He's a red betta. He seems to be pale red and grayish around his belly.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He was perfect when I received him. He made bubbled nest and very active. 2.5 months ago I found him floating and unable to swim properly. His belly seemed enlarged, he didn't poop and he seemed curved. He would only swim/turn in one direction. Now he poops, still swim with difficulty, still eats like a pig but just yesterday (Feb. 15th, 2012) he sinks. He doesn't float now and can't swim to the top very well. He's the complete opposite!
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2.5 months ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, daily water changes. Began using Epson Salt and have moved to Betafix just a 4 days ago because I saw white stringy poop.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I know of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have no clue. I purchased it from a guy selling plants. He had SAM in a Peace Lily vase. So I rescued him.

· Registered
5,712 Posts
It sounds as if he may be having issues with internal parasites if his waste is white and stringy.. sometimes it can be other things, but lets try out that treatment..
Clinical signs of parasitic disease in fish can be vague. A sick fish may be seen swimming along, it may swim more slowly, it may swim on its side, the gills may move more rapidly, the fins may be clamped or be droopy, and it may be losing weight. The fish may have white spots on the skin or gills or it may rub against tank plants, ornaments or gravel. Some fish may have the appearance of a bloated abdomen. And a white, stringy waste..

Stop the Bettafix- it's not ideal, and has caused some issues with bettas labyrinth organ. It's a watered down Melafix, which is potentially harmful to bettas. It's one of those medications where it's a high risk to use, but sometimes it works..

2 teaspoons of Epsom Salt (dissolve before adding it in with him) per gallon, also API General Cure or Jungle Parasite Clear- follow directions of it.
You can try the Jungle’s Anti-Parasite Pellets with a medication, but some bettas do not like the taste of them.

In his home tank, clean out the gravel real well- if it's a large tank (over 5 gallons and cycled) just use a siphon on it for the next few days.. if it's a smaller tank (under 5 gallons) then take it apart and clean it out real well- to make sure you remove the eggs/larvae if there are any in there.

Good luck with him, and don't worry about him being in Epsom so much- it's gentle and safe for them to be in indefinitely, so during treatment he will be fine in it.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, thank you! thank you! I feel relieved. I'll pick up the suggested medications and tomorrow and start treatment.

This site is awesome and truly appreciate for the quick response to my post Myates. Thank you again!
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