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Swim bladder issue, not constipated

982 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  liam2317
What size is your tank? 2 Gal hospital - 4.5 Gal home tank
What temperature is your tank? 26C / 79F
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? Pond Snails

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold Pellets - Some live mosquito larva in the summers
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily, aprox. 8 pellets each feeding, they are small pellets.


How often do you perform a water change? Usually weekly but have been doing 75% daily changes since he went in the hospital tank
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Home tank: 30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime Water Conditioner and Flourish Excel

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

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: not tested recently but never been an issue
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No - does not appear bloated or otherwise different
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes - Always at the bottom of the tank or resting on something. Not able to float at surface anymore. Lethargic and less responsive. Still eating well and pooping well, does not seem constipated.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No but he was already in the hospital tank.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Was already in the hospital tank being treated for an open wound on his face which seems mostly healed up at this point.
How old is your fish (approximately)? At least 2 years.

Our fish Raffi has been in his hospital tank for nearly two weeks now. He went in due to an open sore on his face which was not going away. We treated him for 9 days with aquarium salt in the hospital tank doing religious daily water changes. The good news is that his sore is just about completely gone! After the salt treatment was done we decided to leave him in the hospital tank a little while longer to heal completely as we were worried he may have got the sore originally from trying to force his way between rocks or plants in his home tank.

Over the last couple days however we noticed that he is staying at the bottom of the tank and does not seem to have the same ability to float that he used to. This lead us to believe he has a swim bladder issue. He does not appear to be bloated and does not seem constipated as there is fresh poop to vacuum up every day with the water change. His poop does not appear to be white or stringy, it looks normal. It does seem to be harder to get his attention lately but once he catches on that it's feeding time h
e still seems to have a normal appetite.

Most recommend treating this with epsom salts however he just finished a 9 day aquarium salt bath and we are worried that more salt would be bad. Another common option is fasting but he seems to be pooping fine. Should we try that anyway?

Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Did you buy Raffi at a pet store or off of a breeder directly? It's an unfortunate side effect of store-bought bettas in that their life span is only a couple of years maximum. I dunno about how old age would ultimately effect him, but honestly it sounds like he's just getting older and closer to the end of a healthy lifespan. You might try lowering the water level so he doesn't have as far to swim to get to the surface but that's my two cents.

I don't think the epsom salts will help, unfortunately, because as you said he's not bloated or constipated, is pooping, and eats well enough and the salts are there to help with those issues. Again, my opinion, but another member might have something else to say.

Edit: Just thought of it, but he could also be recovering from the wound still and thus resting more often/lethargic as you've pointed out. Just another idea but I'm moving more towards old age as an option.
Everything is always a possibility, considering. Perhaps the injury wiped him out and combined with age? Who knows. Perhaps getting one of the older members here(Lil, vivian, or Taeanna) would help, since they know a lot more than I. Unless things change drastically, I would wait on meds and just try and keep him as happy as possible.
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