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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm very concerned about one of my bettas, Skittles. Yesterday morning, I noticed that he appeared very bloated. He was floating at the top of his tank lying almost completely on his side and unable to swim down.

After doing some research, I decided that Skittles was probably overfed. I discovered that my mom fed him on a day that he was supposed to be fasting, and figured that was the culprit. I decided that I would try the epsom salt remedy and fast him for 2 - 3 days. I also decided to do a 100% water change just in case it was more of a bacterial issue.

Well, this is where it starts to get weird. I put Skittles in his cup to clean his tank and left the room to do the water change. When I returned, he was sitting in his cup, perfectly fine. Bloating was gone and he was swimming normally. That led me to think that the tank could be the issue, but the water in his cup was the same water from his tank... So I'm not sure?

So anyways, I returned him to his tank (after acclimating him to it of course), and he seemed fine. I watched him throughout the evening and woke up during the night periodically to check on him. He was able to swim normally and I didn't notice any issues. I woke up this morning, and there he is...floating at the top of his tank, all bloated again. Does anyone know what could be causing this? He is fine for a period of time, and then suddenly he's back to being bloated. I'm very confused by all of this.

If anyone could help, I'd appreciate it very much. I'm going to fill out the info. on the sticky right now.

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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
What size is your tank? 2 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 75 degrees F
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
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Pellets and 1 freeze dried blood worm a week
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3 pellets daily. On the day that he gets the blood worm, he eats nothing else. He is fasted 1 day a week.

How often do you perform a water change? Twice weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? one 50% and one 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

I feel horrible saying this, but no, I haven't tested the water. I have a test kit from Petsmart but I'm currently snowed in. I feel totally unprepared. :-(

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: N/A
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Appears very bloated, floating on his side
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Unable to swim down, still active
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 24 hours ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 5 minutes in 1 gallon tank with 1 tsp. epsom salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure. He was purchased from Petsmart about a week and a half ago.

· Registered
495 Posts
If you want to treat him with Epsom salt, you must leave him in there the entire time. Change water and redose every 24 hours, for a period of 10-14 days.

My unsubstantiated theory is that if he is recovering from SB issue be it injury or infection or something else, regular deep tank will only aggravate the problem as he would want to try to swim downward. So it seemed that the 5 min dip in the ES had worked a bit for him to find his osmotic balance, so I would suggest to repeat ES treatment by leaving him in it this time.

Good luck! :)

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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ah ok, I was under the impression that the ES was a temporary treatment and that he should be returned to his regular tank. The bloating has gone down tremendously, but he is still floating at the top and is very unbalanced.

I'll return him to the smaller 1 gallon and repeat the salt treatment...Leaving him in there this time of course! Thanks tremendously for the help.
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