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Old 02-20-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Is this really constipation?

Hey there everyone!
Recently I have decided to upgrade my bettas tank from a 2.5 to a 5.5 gallon. And I have almost all the supplies for it! (Just waiting for the filter to show up in the mail.)

However, about a week ago I noticed that my fish seemed a little bloated in his abdomen? But I truly can't tell if it's just his tummy or if he has some kind of constipation.

This is what he looks like:
http://oi48.tinypic.com/502q8x.jpg
http://oi49.tinypic.com/wa3q8h.jpg

I've been fasting him for about 6 days-he was fed about one pellet 3 days ago but has since then has been fed nothing-and is currently in a bare bottom tank to monitor his waste. I have sought advice from another forum and I've been told to continue fasting him but I've had absolutely no luck.
He's had a history of getting constipated once or twice in the past, but after a day of fasting he would go back to normal with no trouble. But the thing is, previously he would either float at the top of his tank or the sink at the bottom. And this time he has had no symptoms of that. His swimming is fine and he continues to flare and get excited when someone is near his tank - usually because he expects food.

I have been feeding him nothing but freeze dried blood worms, but I'm planning on purchasing some New Life Spectrum pellets as soon as I can and give him a proper diet.

Ugh, sorry if this seemed like rambling. I'm just a little stressed about the situation right now because I recently lost my other betta. And I really want the one I have left to be healthy enough to be in his new tank when I can finally set it up.

Any help or advice would be amazing.

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Old 02-21-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
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Anything would be helpful....
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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Hi! Can you possibly post a side view pic of him? How do your water parameters look? If you look at him top down, do his scales appear rough or lifted? Is he pooping at all? Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:01 PM   #4
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Hey there~
I've posted a side view in the original post above. (It's the second link)
Ammonia has been building up fairly quickly but I imagine that's because the tank currently has no filter, so I have been doing 100% water changes every two days and 50-75% changes inbetween depending on how high it is that day.
His scales aren't raised at all and the bloated area is only around his stomach, so he looks completely normal when looked at from above. He has been in a bare bottom tank for 8 days now with no luck of any waste that I can find. But like I said, other than this he has been happy as a clam-save for the frustration that I keep checking his water and opening his tank and not giving him food-and swimming completely normal.

I've heard that epsom salt can help the situation but I am incredibly tight on money right now and can't go out to purchase some, which is why I was relying on the fasting to begin with.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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Do your best to keep the ammonia under control because this is likely not helping the situation. Do you have some peas or spinach? A plain cooked pea deshelled & smooshed or some bits of torn cooked spinach once a day may help. I honestly would toss the dried worms. Anything freeze dried will expand as it absorbs moisture and this may be contributing to his issues. Epsom salt baths once a day may help as well because they are a natural laxative. Most drugstores/chain stores/grocery stores carry small boxes for @$1. Keep us posted!
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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I've been trying to the best of my ability to keep the ammonia to about .25 ppm or less every day, but the ammonia builds up really quickly with no filter. So I am doing water changes basically every day to ensure it doesn't get too high and put too much strain on him. Whenever I do 100% changes I make sure to cup him and then acclimate him properly so I'm trying to put as little stress on him as I can possible.
And yeah, I was unaware of how bad the freeze dried stuff is and only plan on giving it to him every once in a while as a treat. (Making sure to soak it beforehand in some tank water.) The rest of the time he'll be getting NLS pellets and a day of fasting. I've been trying really hard to improve his quality of life because I had no idea how ill informed I was on their care. :C
I'll definitely look around and try to find some epsom salt and spinach and/or peas as well! I feel bad because he hasn't properly eaten for almost a week now and I can tell he really wants food when someone is near his tank. So I get the feeling he'll take it pretty easily. Would it be alright to use frozen spinach or should I buy a bag of fresh stuff and boil it down instead? And could you direct me to some instructions for a salt bath?

Thanks so much for the help, this forum is much friendlier than the other places I've been looking at and it's really nice to not be berated for the hard work I'm putting in to help him. I'll report back when I've given him a salt bath and some spinach!

(Sorry for writing so much I just want to make his situation as clear as possible...)
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:42 AM   #7
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Frozen spinach/peas are fine! You can just take out a little bit of what you need and keep the rest in the freezer for future use. You will still need to cook them in the micro or some water on the stove so they are very soft.

For a bath, prepare some water (temp match to his tank & condition). Add 1 level tsp/gallon of epsom salt. Use a kitchen measuring spoon if possible. Make sure the salt is completely dissolved before adding him. Watch him very closely. If he seems very stressed or starts to roll/flip over, remove him immediately back to his tank. Otherwise, a 10-15min bath should be sufficient. Notice if he poops while in the bath or after he is returned to his tank. He may not at this point because he has not eaten in quite awhile. You can do a bath 1x a day or less frequently (as needed). Hopefully, once he eats a bit of veggies, you should start seeing some green poop.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:52 AM   #8
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So I spent the night at a friends last night and came home and could tell that Sirius (my fish in question) had ammonia levels that were way too high in his tank just by his depleted color. I did almost a full water change save for about 25% and rushed out of the house because I knew I had to get to the post office before it closed to get his filter.
The thing is I come home and he's at the bottom of the tank still looking pale in color and red in the gills. I checked his ammonia levels and it was still fairly high so I immediately did another water change. I've noticed that he has to rush to the top of the tank to get air and then bubbles are released from his gills right after and I'm really worried that in my rush to do his water change and get his filter I might have hurt him in some way.
I have him floating in his original cup in the tank right now because I know he needs access to the surface, but I'm really worried I wounded his labirynth organ in some way with how quickly I poured the water in or he just has ammonia problems.

Ugh, I messed up.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:41 AM   #9
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After some research I've realized it was the ammonia levels. Because I was gone overnight and wasn't there to watch him/the water.
The air is literally rolling out of his gills and I can tell that he's suffering. At this point I'm trying to decide if I should wait and see if the clean water will help or if he is too far gone and I should just euthanize him.

I think the most ironic thing is that he lived in a bowl for almost 2 years and was fine but as soon as I try to improve his quality of life it gets worse.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:12 AM   #10
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Does anyone have any suggestion on what I can do other than what I have stated above? Or would it just be best to let him pass through the clove oil method?
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #11
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I would not give up yet!!! Keep his water healthy and hope for the best! Have you tried offering him any pea or spinach yet?
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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Have you tested your tap water to see if it has ammonia? You can use Epsom salts make sure it doesn't have any perfumes or anything, I use 1 tsp per gallon. Put it in a glass to dissolve completely add 1/2 to the tank wait 30 minutes to an hour then add the rest. This will help with swelling & usually works as a laxative. Did you say his current tank is heated? If not that can be a problem, they like their water 78-80F. As previously stated don't give up on him just yet. Are you using a good water conditioner such as Prime?
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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I did offer him some spinach and he wouldn't even go near it.

Like I said earlier I don't have the money to buy any epsom salt. (At least I'm pretty sure I did I may be mixing forums.) And I don't have Prime conditioner either. I will buy some as soon as I can though.
His tank is normally heated yes, but with doing the consecutive water changes to remove all the ammonia the temp seems to have dropped. (Was apparently doing that wrong, but I will remedy that now....if he lives that long.)

This thread on the other site gives a good idea of what is going on and saves me the frustration typing it all out again. Euthanize?

I'm sorry if this seems snappy in any way, I stayed up all night trying to find a way to help him and I'm literally at my wits end right now, tying that in with exhaustion I might sound a little rude.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #14
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The biggest factor now is that I don't know if he can live without a functioning labyrinth organ, and if he can what his quality of life will be like. A lot of people are not addressing this question when I bring it up and focus on the heat which I'm working on. Even if my water perams are perfect I don't know how well he'll function with his organ being wounded.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasdio View Post
The biggest factor now is that I don't know if he can live without a functioning labyrinth organ, and if he can what his quality of life will be like. A lot of people are not addressing this question when I bring it up and focus on the heat which I'm working on. Even if my water perams are perfect I don't know how well he'll function with his organ being wounded.
I'm sorry I don't see anything about his labyrinth on this thread. What makes you think there's a problem with his labyrinth? Sorry if I missed here.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #16
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Ah no, I linked to another thread where I had a better outline of his situation.

Right now I have him in a 2.5 gallon with half the water gone because he's having problems swimming and getting to the surface that about 76 degrees. (I'm slowly bumping it so I don't cause him more strain.) I also have a towel draped over the tank to keep the air above it humid and warm.
As for the fish itself, he's still pale in color and has bubbles roll out of his gills when he goes to the surface for air. I'm also pretty positive he has inflamed gills so he's breathing pretty heavily when he's under water.

If you want a more thorough read of what's been going on click the link I have posted above. c:
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:02 AM   #17
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I'm on that one as well & read through it. You're getting good advice, unfortunately its a bit of a guessing game since fish don't talk. Hoping for the best for him.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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Thanks I appreciate it. c:

I've come to the conclusion that I'll be keeping him in this tank for a few days-maybe less-and see if he improves at all. If he continues to stay like he is, or in any way declines in health I'll be making the decision to euthanize. Like I said in the other forum I don't want the rest of his life to just be sitting in the bottom of a tank being motionless, but we'll see where it goes from here.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:47 AM   #19
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I understand that. I've had to make that decision before myelf, its not easy but sometimes its for the best.
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