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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girl, Scarlet Flame, has been with me since February 2022. She was purchased as a baby girl, she was small, from Petsmart.
She has always been in a sorority.
I did noticed about the first or second week that she had a round round tummy... she looked "pregnant"... of'course now I know female bettas don't get pregnant! I had her with her sorority (4 more betta, same size, age as her) in a 10 gallon tank, up until a few weeks ago, I moved her, along with the rest of her sisters in a 36 gallon tank. I already had one female betta there and I added 2 more.
While at the 10 gallon, I lost one of the girls, her tummy.... exploded... I never figured out what happened, but they all looked kind of swollen and I did believe I noticed scales pointing outwards... Right away I treated them for dropsy.
The rest of the girls got their figure back; yet she never lost her curves.
I have also tried to treat her for constipation and had her on a diet.
No matter what I do, she remains the same size.
Her appetite, her behavior and her looks (scales, fin, mouth, where she hangs out, how active she is, interested in her surroundings, seems happy and healthy) don't give me any reason to be worried.
But... her tummy is extreme. And I worry. Any suggestions? I though about treating her for endoparasites. But before I do anything I wanted to ask your opinion.
Water Plant Underwater Organism Aquatic plant
Water Plant Underwater Organism Aquatic plant
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Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 36gl
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Yes. A sorority of Bettas, 7 of them. Four catfish, 1 pleco, three mickey mouse patties, 3 Malaysian Snails, 3 Nerite Snails and 12 neon tetra.

Food:
What food brand do you use? Seachem, Fluval
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Both
Freeze-dried? Yes, bloodworms and Shrimp brine. 2x week
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Twice per day. 2-3 pellets or a little bit of flakes (either or) 2xweek once a day with bloodworms and shrimp brine and 1 day fasting

Maintenance:
Before
your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week, sometimes twice per week, Still a "new" (3-4 months) establishment and I have been adding creatures slowly.
What percentage of water did you change? Last time I changed 50% every other day for a week, as I had some unrelated to this case deaths.
What is the source of your water? Tap with Stress Coat
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? I vacuum once every two weeks and as needed.
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Prime as needed.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite:0 ppm
Nitrate:5.0 ppm
pH:6.4
Hardness (GH):Unknown
Alkalinity (KH): Unknown

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? The first week I got her, 6 months ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? She may have gotten a bit more swollen but not by much
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? She hasn't
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? I did treat them for Dropsy, about four months ago.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 6 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No
 

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SIP Flash, you beautiful boy!!!
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Hi,

So sorry that you poor little girl is having so much trouble!

Just curious - what did you treat the girls with for dropsy? Epsom salt baths? Antibiotics?

It is important to be sure before treating your bettas with antibiotics, as they can sometimes cause organ failure.

Do you soak the pellets and flakes before feeding? That would help prevent constipation.

Have you tried fasting her, and if so, for how long? If you haven't, fasting her for 2 to 3 days might help a bit.

Your betta could be egg bound. Sometimes females can become egg bound if they are fed too much. They do not necessarily have to be exposed to a male for this to happen. Your description of the female that had the exploding tummy sounds like she was egg bound as well.

I would recommend that you stop feeding the freeze dried blood worms. They tend to cause a lot of constipation.

Feeding frozen daphnia will help all of your bettas. It is a great food all together as it is a natural laxative for bettas, and will help any egg bound female to release the eggs. Normally they should be able to absorb them, but sometimes, they just don't, and need a little help.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

So sorry that you poor little girl is having so much trouble!

Just curious - what did you treat the girls with for dropsy? Epsom salt baths? Antibiotics?

It is important to be sure before treating your bettas with antibiotics, as they can sometimes cause organ failure.

Do you soak the pellets and flakes before feeding? That would help prevent constipation.

Have you tried fasting her, and if so, for how long? If you haven't, fasting her for 2 to 3 days might help a bit.

Your betta could be egg bound. Sometimes females can become egg bound if they are fed too much. They do not necessarily have to be exposed to a male for this to happen. Your description of the female that had the exploding tummy sounds like she was egg bound as well.

I would recommend that you stop feeding the freeze dried blood worms. They tend to cause a lot of constipation.

Feeding frozen daphnia will help all of your bettas. It is a great food all together as it is a natural laxative for bettas, and will help any egg bound female to release the eggs. Normally they should be able to absorb them, but sometimes, they just don't, and need a little help.

Hope this helps!
Thank you so much for replying!

I do have a veterinarian who I often seek advice, especially before I offer antibiotics. he recommended to treat them with Kanaplex (seachem) along with focus as they were eating just fine. I also did use aquarium salt.

I have tried fasting for two days and I have also tried feeding green peas, which she loves!

I had no idea that they can become egg bound! I will do start feeding frozen daphnia and I will stop giving bloodworms for a while. Do I substitute all for with frozen daphnia? BTW I do soak the pellets; yet I have not been soaking the flakes...

Thank you, I will do :)
 

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SIP Flash, you beautiful boy!!!
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You are very welcome! I have lost my share of bettas, and I know how upsetting that can be. :(

I would feed the frozen daphnia now to see if that helps, and hereafter, at least two to three times a week to keep things moving. Frozen foods are really good, so if you can get them, you can also try frozen baby brine shrimp or mysis shrimp. Frozen blood worms are good for a treat. You can still use the pellets if they are good, high protein, low filler pellets. You can give a little frozen every day for one feeding, and maybe high protein pellets for the 2nd feeding of the day.

I am not 100% sure if she is egg bound, or if that is a bacterial infection. If she is egg bound, then hopefully the frozen daphnia might help. Normally they either pass the eggs, or absorb them. In worse case situations, they can die, like the betta that you mentioned.

If it is a bacterial infection, then once it gets to a certain point, the fish may not be able to come back from it. When they are bloated, and start to retain fluid, it often means that they have organ failure. Once the organs fail, there is no bringing them back, unfortunately. Bettas are so over bred now, that they are sometimes genetically weak, and things that would not normally affect them end up doing them in.

If you treated with kanaplex, and you don't see any change, then maybe the daphnia might help. You can do another round of the kanaplex. The usual treatment for bacterial infections include kanaplex, or some other type of antibiotic that treats gram negative bacteria (kanaplex, maracyn 2, or api fin and body cure for example), or a broad spectrum antibiotic if you are not sure what's up (maracyn, polyguard, em erythromycin), along with epsom salt baths to help with the bloat(unscented, no additives, pure epsom salt).

I would remove her from the main tank, and put her in a hospital setting so that you can dose her more carefully, and so the other tank mates will not be affected by the meds. If you have an extra small heater and maybe an air stone, that would be perfect. Some people use plastic totes for a hospital tank. I have a 2 gallon glass cookie jar that I have used. Whatever you have on hand that would be suitable would be great, as long as it is clean. You can put in some Indian almond leaves and maybe a betta hammock, and that should ease her stress. It would also be easier to do small frequent water changes.

I know this is a lot. Truthfully, diagnosing internal issues can be tricky. I do hope that the daphnia works!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are very welcome! I have lost my share of bettas, and I know how upsetting that can be. :(

I would feed the frozen daphnia now to see if that helps, and hereafter, at least two to three times a week to keep things moving. Frozen foods are really good, so if you can get them, you can also try frozen baby brine shrimp or mysis shrimp. Frozen blood worms are good for a treat. You can still use the pellets if they are good, high protein, low filler pellets. You can give a little frozen every day for one feeding, and maybe high protein pellets for the 2nd feeding of the day.

I am not 100% sure if she is egg bound, or if that is a bacterial infection. If she is egg bound, then hopefully the frozen daphnia might help. Normally they either pass the eggs, or absorb them. In worse case situations, they can die, like the betta that you mentioned.

If it is a bacterial infection, then once it gets to a certain point, the fish may not be able to come back from it. When they are bloated, and start to retain fluid, it often means that they have organ failure. Once the organs fail, there is no bringing them back, unfortunately. Bettas are so over bred now, that they are sometimes genetically weak, and things that would not normally affect them end up doing them in.

If you treated with kanaplex, and you don't see any change, then maybe the daphnia might help. You can do another round of the kanaplex. The usual treatment for bacterial infections include kanaplex, or some other type of antibiotic that treats gram negative bacteria (kanaplex, maracyn 2, or api fin and body cure for example), or a broad spectrum antibiotic if you are not sure what's up (maracyn, polyguard, em erythromycin), along with epsom salt baths to help with the bloat(unscented, no additives, pure epsom salt).

I would remove her from the main tank, and put her in a hospital setting so that you can dose her more carefully, and so the other tank mates will not be affected by the meds. If you have an extra small heater and maybe an air stone, that would be perfect. Some people use plastic totes for a hospital tank. I have a 2 gallon glass cookie jar that I have used. Whatever you have on hand that would be suitable would be great, as long as it is clean. You can put in some Indian almond leaves and maybe a betta hammock, and that should ease her stress. It would also be easier to do small frequent water changes.

I know this is a lot. Truthfully, diagnosing internal issues can be tricky. I do hope that the daphnia works!!!!
Hi!
So, I did get some daphnia, sadly I didn't find frozen (I went to two places); yet I do know a place they do sell it. I am planning on going there this weekend. I did find some Daphnia by Hikari Bio Pure. I got this and I will give her some.

I also have mystery snail babies that I am taking care!!! They are adorable!
 
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