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swim bladder?

1014 Views 13 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  sharon
:roll:sushi, my first Betta of 18 months, has changed behaviour, he started staying on the bottom more and appeared to struggle to reach the top for feeding before sinking back again, I checked water, ok, so sign of any disease,temp ok, nothing new in the tank, in a 4 gal on his own, I thought that perhaps it was just his time, so I did a tiny water change, and added a little general tonic, just to make him feel better, reduced the water level so he didn't have to swim too far to feed, because I have another large tank with lots of fish I didn't think it looked like swim bladder, he was swimming normally, just sinking back down, but just in case, I fasted him a day or two ,with my other fish I would have tried the"pea lax" but someone said Betta's haven't the digestive system to cope with it, then suddenly, he seemed to perk up a little, although hes still not right, the guy in the LFS told me that they have ups and downs and the thing to do was put in 2 females to pep him up, now he is is a 4 gall tank , when I ran that in this forum, it was a definite no no, which I had doubts about anyhow but sushi is my first Betta and I love him, I suspect it may turn out to be a swim bladder type problem, any ideas
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Hi there,
It could be an issue with the swim bladder, whether it's just simply malfunctioning or could be caused by an infection. Does he have very heavy finnage? The general guideline is to treat SBD is to use Epsom salt. You can get this in grocery store or phamarcies. Only unscented and uncolored kind.
Dissolve 1 tsp of ES in 1 gal of preconditioned water. Leave betta in there for 24 hours. Repeat this treatment for 10-14 days. If after couple days, not showing any improvement, then need to up the dosage to 2tsp/gal or 3tsp/gal (max). If you have a smaller tank, it makes water changes easy. Just float this smaller hospital container in his 4 gal tank to keep the same temperature as I bet it must be cold in Manchester now.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Earth has you covered, only thing I would add is when "leave betta in there for 24hrs, repeat treatment" you will want to do a 100% water change, adding in new water with new Epsom each time. (Just clarifying :) )

Normally takes 8-10 days for SBD to clear up.

Good luck!
swim bladder

so, could I put 4 tsp into the 4 gall tank, leave 24hr then do a 100% water change? then replace with 4 gall treated water and repeat if needed? ps it is very cold in manchester!!!!!!
so, could I put 4 tsp into the 4 gall tank, leave 24hr then do a 100% water change? then replace with 4 gall treated water and repeat if needed? ps it is very cold in manchester!!!!!!
Yes you could :) it's a bit more work for you. If you get a small container and put the ES solution in there and then float it in the 4 gal tank to maintain temperature, it is just easier to change the solution every day for the next 10 days or so. But do what works for you. Ooops....forgot to stress it's not "repeat as needed", it's MUST repeat :) for the next 10-14 days (I think part of it is that the fish gets super clean fresh water every day)

Stay warm! I will send some warm weather your way :-D
day 6 guys and although its early days, he seems to be recovering, he is more active and seems to be swimming more rather than sinking to the bottom, I know it can still go pear shaped but I,m more optimistic than I was, Il continue the treatment until day 14
Yay....good news! Right...usually they don't recover overnight, so time and patience and continued treatment is what they need :)

Good luck and keep us posted! Would love to see photos of your little guy once he is well. :)
he took a little bloodworm this morning, not going to the bottom at all now,I have raised the water level back up, he seems to have no problem withit, I think I must have noticed his illness very early,thanks guys, without your advice I think he would have gone, the thing is now to look at what caused it, having gone through it from A to B , I suspect 2 things, a) water quality, I was doing a 15% -20% water change weekly as there's a filter, and I always tested ,am changing that to a 50% one on Mondays and nearly 100% on Fridays,is that better? or (and more likely I think)overfeeding,I feed him every other day but I bet too much!He was always begging for food, I am going to try twice a day but only a tiny bit , I think he was constipated which would have led to swim bladder very quickly, will post pic as soon as I can, I know from experience that pet shops often give wrong advice, good job I ran it through here first, I wouldn't have taken a lot of persuasion to add 2 more fish!!
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Sounds like he is on the mend! Your new water change schedule sounds like a good plan too. What type of food/brand are you using now? Haha I know..they are always acting like they are starving even though they eat well. If I am home all day, I feed them 4 times a day, a pellet (Hikari baby) each time so they have a chance to digest. They always do their cutesy dance, flare a bit, showing off and hoping to get a morsel from you. :-D

Oh beware....before you know have lots of fish tanks lining up on your table lol But it's a good kind of addiction ;-)

I feed Hikari tropical micro pellets at the moment but may switch to another food next time, only the last one was like dust in the tank and a little fresh food when I have it, I would love another but my husband has put a ban on them,I have a huge 399 liter tank with blood parrots, blue congos and corries, I have kept many fish over the years, and rarely use additives or medicines as I prefer a more natural method of treatment, I think many problems come from poor water quality but this is my first betta and I,m beginning to appreciate that my knowledge of their care is limited, I am in fact a moderator on another fish site and can offer advice on cichlids, but the care of this little one is completely different, from water changes(I did a fishless cycle on my other tank) and do a 15% water change weekly, to feeding, in fact, I lost my first by completely misreading the dosage on a medicine and killing it ,just shows, after all these years I can still make mistakes, he is in a bio orb(I,v reduced the water bubble , do I need it? which I know isn't the best but its the only one that fits in the space,I read through posts every day to try to gain knowledge, he is a responsive little guy,it does sound as if he is getting better,
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Wow...did I read it right? You have a 400 liter tank? No wonder your hubby bans you from having more fish lol I am a diver, so I enjoy seeing fishes in the "aquarium" nature has to offer and I can't imagine taking care of a 100 gal tank!

OFL, our super moderator here is also a natural aquarist. I like reading her advice and suggestions and also learn something new from the members here everyday :) I don't think you need the water bubble, it's nice to have but not necessary. I know, these little guys are so resilient with interesting personalities and all gorgeous! If I could have my ways, I would have a houseful of them, but my hubby said enough is enough :-D (Not sure why he is giving his opinion, since I am the one who takes care of them all lol)

I have posted a picture of sushi somewhere on the site!!! today, he is so much better, there is also a pic of my 399liter tank here too , would adding ES on a regular basis help to stop it reoccuring?
Once he has been through the 10-14 days treatment for the SB/buoyancy issue and has recovered from the problem, I would not keep him in on a regular basis even though ES can be used long term and I know some do. From my personal experience, if the betta is prone to have SB issues, ideally it should be in a shallower and wider container.

Good luck to you and Sushi :)

for everyone who gave advice or is looking in, I have posted a pic of sushi now he appears better, I really thought I was going to lose him, we are back to sharing coffeee time again(tank is next to the kettle)thanks again everyone
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