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Swim Bladder

860 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  peacock

My poor little Benz is having a hard time swimming :(

What size is your tank? 3 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 76
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? Omega One Pellets and Aqueon Beta food
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 pellets a day

How often do you perform a water change? two times a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% and 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime and Almond leaves

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? A few months ago he got a cyst on his fin but it fell off and then he had one growing on his head. It was like a white tumor. I also noticed his scales were getting very pale and white. His behavior was the same and I read that you can't do much with tumors. Lately though I noticed his appearance has changed significantly. His fins have begun to deteriorate
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He has very bad swim bladder which is most likely not from eating. I stopped feeding him for a few days to see if it would get better but nope. He lays on his side on the bottom of the tank a lot and can hardly swim :( I know for swim bladder its mostly due to constipation but I don't think that is the case for him

When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week ago

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I am giving him a salt bath with aquarium salt because of his fin deteriorating. I just started it today

Does your fish have any history of being ill? No he has been really healthy

How old is your fish (approximately)? I have had him for about 2.5 years so he is getting a little old. I hate to see him like this though because it breaks my hear. Is there anything else I can do for him. I have put him in a cup while I treat him which hopefull will help him have access to breathing a lot easier.
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Got a picture of him? Are you SURE it has to do with the swim bladder? Swim bladder *usually* makes them float up to the top like a balloon in water. Check him from the top (bird's eye view) and see if his scales are sticking out, like a pinecone. If so, it's dropsy... Which is NOT a disease, but a symptom of something wrong inside.

His fins could also be getting chewed.. stress can do this. I have seen some unhappy sick fish and they do it - it's like us trying to release stress via bad habits.

Constipation can still exist without food - if they haven't pooped out their last meal, there is nothing new to help push it out. Otherwise, if the scales are NOT raised, it can also be fluid build up that can lead to dropsy.

I'm sorry you are going through this. If you feel in the end, that he is suffering way too much...You may have to call the final decision of whether or not to keep him around. You can let him pass by himself, or if he really is suffering... There are gentle and peaceful ways to have him go.
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How is he doing today Karebear?

Swim Bladder Disease can be also sinking as opposed to floating but this sounds more like he's becoming lethargic due to some other infection. We definitely need some pictures and if you can, video's help too so we can see how he's acting.
Yes, if you can attach or post photos that would great.

yes, swim bladder can also cause them to sink. They will either sink like a stone or float like a balloon.
I said usually. But my bet is more on an infection.
I agree as well although there's possibilities for other things which I can't confirm until I see pictures.
Hey everyone,

thank you for your concerns. He is doing the same. Very lethargic. but he still has some spunk to him and is still eating really well. I took a video and you will see that he is still cute little benz, but he has a hard time swimming and when he sinks to the bottom starts to fall over as you will see in the video. The video also shows how his scales have become very pale white. I don't think its cotton because its not really fuzzy and it looks more like his scales have just become white.

I hate diagnosing for dropsy because I can never tell if I am seeing the scales protrude or if they actually are. He may have it though I think I might have seen a beginning stage of scales protruding.

I was wondering then cause I know it says the EPsom salt is good for beginning stages of dropsy, but I already started him on aquarium salt and don't want to stress him out by changining it. ANy advice is useful
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It's not swim bladder, he's just really tired and has to use a lot of energy to get up. Those bumps are either cysts or pigment buildups, they look more like a pigment buildup to me though. Does it look like something is trying to push out from under the scales or is it sitting on top of the scales?
The top one is def. a cyst that pushed out from under the scales. The rest looks just like the scales have turned white more than something sitting on top of the scales.

It really does look like his time is nearing :*( and its just sad because bettas are so strong and so willing to fight for their life but I really don't want him to be suffering. How can I make him more comfortable. I put him in a cup to make it much easier for him to breathe and I am doing daily water changes of that with IAL
Yeah, keeping him in a cup is good, or you can put him in his tank and lower the water level and keep a leaf or ornament there so he can rest at the surface and breathe easier.

I do believe the one on his head (not the cyst one) is a pigment buildup, this can happen with dragon scales, the scales just build on top of each other because they have no place left to go. You can try an antibiotic instead of aquarium salt since it will be a little more effective, it could also hurt him though since he is weak; his immune system may not be able to handle it well but I believe it's worth a try. He's still got life in him, he may be tired but he still wants to live. I only euthanize a fish when they completely give up and are practically listless, otherwise I keep fighting along side them to hopefully give them a second chance. When the fish wants to fight to live, they usually can with the help of the proper medication/care.

Unfortunately there's nothing we can do about a cyst as these fish are too small, you would damage him further if it was attempted to be removed.
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what would be a good antibiotic to use?
I like KanaPlex, it's usually gentle on the system but still very effective. Issue is, most places you have to order it online so it doesn't come until a few days. You can try Maracyn II though since that can be found in most pet stores.
Okay so if I am able to get some antibiotics, how should I acclimate him. Should I acclimate him back to normal water without salt, and then apply the medicine. I don't want to stress him out anymore than he needs to be stressed out.
Sorry for the late reply, yes you can do that.
I am in agreement with with Lil. I also think it is old age making itself apparent. If you have had him for two and a half years, you can be reasonably certain that he was already around 3 to 6 months when you got him.
Yeah I can tell he really wants to live though. Half the time he is swimming around the cup anxious to get out. Other times I will catch him laying on his side on the bottom of the cup but as soon as he sees me he perks back up and starts swimming. Poor little guy. At least he is still eating which gives him more energy to continue living
So I went to the store and bought some of Maracyn II. The people at the petstore are so silly. I was explaining the situation, mostly because they guy asked, and he basically told me that bettas are really inactive fish that mostly lay around the bottom of the tank. (HAHA yeah right) I have a plakat, he is a crazy nut that never stops swimming.

Anyway, after trying to sell me bettafix, he finally pointed me to MAracyn II.

So I have the medication but not completely sure how to treat him with it. The box says that I should add 2 packets per 10 gallons the first day and repeat for the 2-5th day adding 1 packet per 10 gallon. Doesn't this seem a little excessive?

I only have a 3 gallon tank so I def. don't want to overdose him, especially because his immune system may be weak. I have a 30 litter plastic container which is about 8 gallons. I can probably use that but can anyone give me some advice, should I follow the directions or does someone know a better way to treat with Maracyn?
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Oh geeze, reasons I dislike most petstore people :roll:

As for the Maracyn, you can empty one full packet into a CUP of water, each cup has approximately 48 teaspoons in it which means for dosing a 1 gallon tank you would use 4.8 teaspoons, for a three gallon you would use 14.4 teaspoons for one dosing. This way you can dosing fairly accurately and follow the instructions.
So I did Maracyn II for five days but he seems to be about the same. I think I have to discontinue the antibiotics now or can I continue adding them. It says its supposed to be a five day treatment
You can go another round if he seems to be responding well to it, if he isn't then try something else or just stop all together if you don't feel comfortable. It's up to you on which course you take since you know how he looks and has looked in the past.
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