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Old 08-26-2006, 05:20 PM   #1
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Do bettas ever recover from bloat ?

after feeding my bettas this morning I noticed that one of them is SEVERLY bloated - it looks so painful to me - like his little tummy wants to pop. Its only his tummy (right above the ventral fins, between the pectoral fins, just behind his gills) that is bloated.
He's acting normally, swimming around and even blowing a bubble or two, and he's still begging for food.
I fed him about 1/4 of a pea a few hours ago after noticing the bloat. Normally they all get peas every Sunday.
I feed hikari betta pellets that I soak in tank water for a couple of minutes before feeding.

How long should I wait to see if the bloating goes down before trying Epsom Salts ? I've read quite a few posts on bettas with bloat and it seems that most (if not all) of them died - so I'm concerned about any change of recovery Has anyone ever had a betta recover from bloat ? - please let me know

Thanks !
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:51 PM   #2
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Awww...sorry to hear this. I have never had a betta recover from dropsy, when the scales stick out like a pine cone. I had a betta once who had a mild bloat. He did recover with peas and the epsom salt treatment, but the bloat wasn't as severe as yours is.

I would try the epsom salts now. Start off with 1/8 teaspoon per gallon and add another 1/8 teaspoon in about 6 hours, for a total of 1/4 teaspoon per gallon. They can get used to the salt gradually this way, but since you increase the dose relatively quickly, they can get the benefit of the treatment sooner. I would do daily water changes and remember to add back the amount of salt that you took out.

It's good that you soak the food pellets in tank water before feeding - that's what I do too. This practice should reduce the possibility of bloat. Try to feed peas today, if you haven't already - and then fast him for two or three days.

Another thing to try, after fasting - Do you have any antibiotics? There are many causes of bloat, but it could be from some kind of infection. You could try to feed him some medicated food. I have taken a few teaspoons of tank water, mixed in a bit of Seachem Kanaplex (an antibiotic in powder form), soaked some freeze-dried bloodworms in this mix, and fed them to the betta. I don't know if any other brand of antibiotic in powder form can be fed. Jungle makes an antibiotic food in pellet form that my bettas have eaten also. You will have to soak this pellet for a few minutes as it's quite hard. You may have to use a little paring knife to cut it into a smaller piece too. Good luck - I hope your betta recovers.
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Old 08-27-2006, 04:30 PM   #3
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Thanks - he doesn't have dropsy, he's just really bloated in the belly. He ate another 1/4 of a pea today and he's really active. It LOOKS like it hurts, but he's acting normally.

I have the Jungle anti-bacterial food on hand, so if the extra pea and the epsom salt doesn't work then I'll try soaking some of that in a couple of days.

Poor guy - I feel so bad for him .... and for ME - I hate seeing any of my animals sick, it just breaks my heart to pieces.

How long do I leave him in the epsom salts ?
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:38 AM   #4
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Well, I fed him some peas two days in a row and then fasted him for 3 days - no luck, his tummy is still bloated. Yesterday I started feeding the Jungle Anti-Bacterial food (which he thankfully ate). Gave him more this morning and will feed small portions twice a day.

And the BGA is back in that tank !! I'm thinking of just using the Maracyn route to take care of the BGA. I believe its just one dose that I need but I"ll have to look it up again.

My poor Bubbles His tummy looks awful but he's still so active and hungry ....
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Old 09-01-2006, 11:53 AM   #5
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Did you try him with the epsom salts?
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
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I'm adding the Epsom salts today - I figured one stress at a time so my first plan of attack was the peas and fast. He's in his own tank now and the 10G (with the 3 other guys) is undergoing a 5 day blackout for the BGA.

Thinking back - I think the bloated betta may have ingested some floating BGA - maybe its my imagination or just bad memory - but I seem to remember him nibbling at something .... UGH, I'm having a real senior moment here (at the ripe old age of 44 !!).

I just spent about an hour reading about Cyanobacteria - pretty interesting stuff. Certain species do release toxins, but since I don't know which exact species we find in our aquariums I couldn't do a very specific search. Did find out however that spirulina is a species of cyanobacteria and that most of the oxygen on the earth is the result of cyanobacteria photosynthesis (given there are so many species of cyano and not all are unwanted). I couldn't find ANYTHING at all about what could happen if its injested

So now I have 3 guys in blackout, 1 merrily in the kitchen (as always) and 1 in the QT tank - I only QT'd the new guppies for 6 days so that I could empty the tank for the betta.
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:34 PM   #7
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Hi Joann - sorry to not answer -

The longest I have left my betta in the epsom salts (with daily water changes and salt replenishment) is 5 days. On the afternoon of the 5th day, I did a 25% water change with fresh water, no salt. I did two more water changes to acclimate him back to fresh water - on the morning of the 6th day and the evening of the 6th day. Then the betta went back into his tank, flared at me, and started making a bubble nest! I hope your betta recovers that well also!

I have caught my one betta eating the white scum off the heater suction cup but it didn't hurt him. I was worried at first, but it didn't seem to affect him.

There are many, many species of cyanobacteria (some smell worse than others!) Did you do a google search? When I did, the right side of the screen said "Cyanobacteria - Find what you want on Ebay". LOL!

Spirulina is often found in herbivore fish foods. I got a jar of spirulina flakes for my hopefully soon-to-come tetras!
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:17 AM   #8
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Hi, thanks for the responses. I put him in the epsom salts yesterday at noon. I've fed him one (presoaked) antibacterial pellet twice yesterday and once this morning. He's still real bloated but he's obviously hungry and he's still very active.

oh BOY did I google cyanobacteria - read alot of articles. Some talked about toxicity of some species but were mostly related to lake outbreaks - I couldn't find anything about toxicity in an aquarium. But I learned alot about the stuff - none of it very relevant but all quite interesting.

I'm hoping Bubbles pulls through. He was the first betta to ever build me a bubble nest (hence his name - he was unnamed and simply called "Red" before that).

I'll start diluting the salt on Tuesday night, which would put me at the 5 day mark - thanks for the timeline guide.

I really wish I knew what caused the bloat - I was presoaking his food, feeding peas once a week .... seemed I was doing the things I was supposed to do to prevent it. If it wasn't the BGA then the only thing I can think of is "bad luck"
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:40 AM   #9
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I hope he recovers, keep us updated. I'm sure it's not your fault, it sounds as though you were doing everything exactly as was needed.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:57 AM   #10
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Its not looking good - he has the pinecone look, so I guess its officially turned to dropsy now. I'll keep in the salts as planned and continue to feed the antibacterial food until that time. I'll then come back to ask for my "next steps" if there are any.
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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