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Old 03-19-2015, 01:36 PM   #1
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Swim Bladder Disorder in Betta - what to do, please?

My betta has swim bladder disorder and I'm trying to figure out if it's an internal infection, or if it's because of over-feeding, or both. Please help!

I discovered him with the swim bladder visible yesterday's night - I was working all day so didn't check on him. In the early morning, I fed him 3 "Betta Bio-Gold" pellets and he finished all three, but I did notice it took him more than 1 minute to complete. The day before, I didn't feed him. The day before that, my partner accidentally fed him 4 freeze dried bloodworms. And that was why the day after, I didn't feed him anything. Below are my attempts to give a little more details about my betta:

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.). = Answer: Elephant Betta. Swim Bladder Disorder. He's listless, not eating since yesterday. He's mostly staying float to the surface, with one side propped up and I notice his gill is not moving as much, but flare out and dark red.

2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values. = Answer: Ammonia = 0, Nitrites = 0, Nitrates = 0, pH = 7.6, high pH = doesn't register at 7.4.

3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up? = Answer: Tank is 3 gallons with a heater on and the water temperature is below 80. This tank has been set up since last July.

4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known. = Answer: No filtration. I've been trying to cycle a 10 gallon tank for him (doing fishless cycle, and that hasn't been going well since Nitrite hasn't registered at 0)

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? = Answer: Just this betta

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time? = Answer: I did 80% water change last night and vacuum the gravel. I do this every 6 days. I notice there were white, soft, gel - like floating particles when I vacuum the tank. I've never seen that before.

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them? = Answer: I have him since last July.

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? = Answer: No.

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? = Answer: I feed him "Betta Bio-Gold" everyday, then every other day, I feed him freeze dried bloodworms, but if I do, I don't feed him "Bio-Gold". I feed him 3-4 pellets of "Bio-Gold" once a day, and usually 1 freeze dried bloodworms. My feeding schedule is once/ day, either early in the morning, or at night.

Last night, I dipped my betta in a treated one-gallon bowl with 1 Tbsp. of Epsom Salt for 15 minutes. Then put him into the reviving one gallon bowl with 1/4 of Epsom salt water and the rest with treated water for another 3 minutes. Then I put him back into the 3-gallons tank (his home). He didn't response with much stress with the Epsom salt dipping, but he's definitely not feeling well.

I've also tried to feed him the pea, but he did not want to eat anything.

Should I treat him with antibiotic? Should I continue to give him the Epsom salt bath today and tomorrow for a total of 3 days?
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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#2 and #6: if you don't have a filter and do once weekly water changes in a 3 gallon then there is no way ammonia nitrate and nitrite are all at 0.

Can't help much with the condition.

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Old 03-19-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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Hi- So I've just re-tested the tank water, where he's in right now and you were right, the Nitrate was at/ around 5 ppm. But, Ammonia and Nitrite did register at 0 for me.

But, this was because I had a large water change done last night. I forgot to test the tank prior to doing the water change.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:10 PM   #4
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Yeah that sounds right after the PWC. I had issues with swim bladder in a beta and never could determine the cause. Sadly it didn't clear up. Hope your situation works out better.

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