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What size is your tank? 3L.
What temperature is your tank? Room temp.
Does your tank have a filter? No - only ever had problems with filters.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Heat light.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food (pellets).
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 times a day - ~4 pellets.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1-2 times a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Epsom salt, ammonia reduction. Use pre-bottled betta water because I live in New Orleans and the water is nasty for fish here.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Not significantly. Spine looks bent but that might just be his tail sinking.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lying on the top of the tank on his side. Swimming in circles trying to swim down but floats back up. Looks like his stomach is bloated - looks like SBD.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This morning.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Epsom salt - stop feeding.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? YES!!!!
How old is your fish (approximately)? ~4 months.

Okay, so my poor Leopold has had a seriously sick history. I feel so horrible and I have done everything I can to try to help him feel better. Leo had a really bad case of ammonia poisoning for about 3 weeks when we first got him in September. We were using New Orleans water (which was a huge issue), and the filter on his tank would suck his uneaten food (because he didn't eat for the first week or so that we had him, but as new owners, we just kept feeding him little bits of food) into the filter and filter the water through the old food. This filled the water up with toxins. We tried cleaning the tank, but had so many problems that we decided to get rid of it all together. We put him in a smaller tank and changed the water more often, used pre-bottled betta water, used salt and water treatments, and fed on a better basis. We also tested for ammonia often, and Leo greatly improved, although will probably never recover fully because the burns to his gills were so bad :(. Since this incident though, he's been doing really well. He loves his mirror, dances for us often, and is very friendly and playful when we approach the tank. I think he may have gone deaf as he responds to vibrations and not sounds, but other than that, has been great. I left him with a friend for 2 weeks when I had to come home and leave school down here. I asked her to change his water, gave her a bottle, and let her know about his food history and regiment. As a typical college student, my friend thought it would be no big deal to do nothing but feed him around 20-30 pellets 2 times daily and never change the water in his 1L vacation bowl!!!!!!! When she told me the water was dirty and to come pick him up, I couldn't believe how bad it was. I assumed the water was cloudy, not BROWN and COMPLETELY OPAQUE!!! Plus, it smelled like a dead body. Leo was on his side at the top, barely moving. I felt horrible, and immediately got him into a brand new 3L tank with new toys, plants, etc. He went into the new tank completely grey with NO COLOR after the traumatizing experience. After 2 days, he was even better than before - very bright, active, dancing, and eating again. This morning, he was laying on his side on his leaf at the very top of the bowl. I tried to get him to move and every time he did, he floated right back to the top. He keeps trying to swim down and it doesn't work. His bladder looks very swollen as well. It sounds like typical SBD, I know, but it's been 5 days since I got him back from his trauma vacation... I'm just worried it could be something else. I can attach pictures if necessary. Could it be TB? His spine looks slightly bent, but that may just be because of his floating. I have put salt in the tank and stopped feeding him, and will try the pea trick tomorrow, I just wanted to ask you guys if, based on his history, this could be something different.
 

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The biggest problems I'm seeing are not heated and not enough water changes. That's about half a US gallon, I believe. You'd need two 50% and one 100% in a week in that size. Room temp is hard on fish. You can never be sure it's stable in the tank. You should pick up an adjustable heater and a thermometer. Bettas should be kept between 76-80 F (21-26C).

How long have you been adding epsom salt? That's only good short term, about 10 days. Anything longer and it's probably harmful.

Peas are generally up for debate. A lot of people are against them with bettas, saying it does more harm than good. Peas are usually a goldfish remedy.

Definitely attach some pictures and results of a water test as well. Pictures that are clear and in good light from different angles will help the people that are better with diseases get a good idea of what's going on.
 

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you would actually be needed to change the water every day in a .5 gallon tank. That are not suitable homes for any animal so you must upgrade to a 2.5 gallon tank. You can get away with a 1.5 gallon but i do not recommend it.

Actually using Epsom Salt is totally fine long term. Aquarium Salt is the one you can only use for 10 days. Epsom Salt is much milder. The longest i've had epsom salt in a dosage of 1 teaspoon per gallon in a tank was a month. However, my girl's tank has a dosage of about 1/4 teaspoon per gallon or less all the time since she has chronic SBD problems.

never feed peas as Kithy said above. They can damage the digestive system.

SBD takes a long time to cure and some fish are more prone to it than others. You need to get better food. I recommend switching to New Life Spectrum small fish formula (.5mm pellets). If you cannot find those then use Omega One Marine Micro Pellets. The pellets you are using are high in fillers. fillers leading to bloating. You can also feed Frozen (not freeze dried) daphnia as a laxative.
 

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