British Columbia Aquariums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I posted something like this awhile back, when my first betta started having swim bladder issues. Didn't seem to be too much info out there about it...

Anyhow, I'll post what's currently going, see if anyone has any thoughts.

My female betta, Rosemary, has a birth defect where one of her pectoral fins is about half size. It hasn't really affected her swimming before, but about a month (or maybe as much as 2 months) ago she started swimming like her tail was too heavy. To be honest, I kind of have just brushed it off, when maybe I should have a been a bit more concerned. I sort of just chalked it up to perhaps another birth defect.

But the thing that's started to concern me in this last week is that Mango, whom Rosey shares her (divided) tank with, has started to show some early signs of having a bit of trouble with his swim bladder too. Not like he's sinking or anything, but he's flapping his tail a bit more than usual.

So just when I decided to give some sort of antibiotics a try, I find the store doesn't have any in. :rolleyes:
I know usually SBD is caused by some other illness, which is why I thought it wouldn't hurt to try a round of antibiotics.

They haven't got much else for symptoms, except Rosey is a bit less active than she used to be. She mostly just rests on the bottom. She does still come up when I'm hanging around the tank.

Tank is a 10g, split down the middle.
Temp is already a bit on the warm side (82F), looking at getting a smaller heater today.
Filter is an Aqueon Quietflow 10. Used to be on Rosey's side, switched it to Mango's side about a month ago. Thinking of adding a piece of foam or something to further reduce the flow...

If anyone has any thoughts, think antibiotic or some other treatment might work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
My betta got swim bladder disease and I tried using medication made for internal diseases. By the time I was able to find something and medicate I think it was too late. I killed off the bacteria but what ever caused the swim bladder was not affected. He was stuck at the top all bloated and unable to right himself up. I though either let him be or surgery. I don't have the money for that so I let him be. A couple of months later he was at the bottom of the tank not moving, and I freaked and ran to my tank to see how bad he looks. Well I scared him off the bottom shot up to the top looking for food. his right gill looks immobile but other than that he is happy blowing bubbles for his nest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Well is is SBD or is it Constipation?

The first step is to stop feeding. Watch to see if he poops. If he does and he clears him self out and his swiming goes back to normal then it isn't SBD. SBD isn't contagious...

To help him clear himself out you can use a litte epson salt. It's like a lacative for fish.

Dosage for Epsome salt

If you are working with a smaller tank, measure out 1/8 of a teaspoon of Epsom salt. And divide it up into 5 equal parts. Dissolve one part per gallon of water. It does seem very little but it goes a long way. More is not better, however. For your ten gallon just use a 1/4 teaspoon. A little goes a long way. Don't go overboard with it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well, neither of them are bloated, but I could try fasting them both for a couple of days, then maybe some pea or something. Hard to tell if she's pooping, with the gravel, but with my weekly water changes lots of gunk always gets sucked up ;)

Thanks for the tip on the Epsom salt Scholz. When my old betta got sick, I gave him short soaks in a bit of Epsom (couldn't put it in that tank since he was in a community), but I think it wouldn't hurt to try a bit of salt in the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Epsom Salt and Salt are two different things. Don't use both of them at the same time. Salt helps with things like velvet, and fin rot be helping the fish build up it's slim coat. Epson Salt can help with Dropsy and Bloat and Constipation....


Good luck!

Lets us know how it goes. If that doesn't work then we'll start treating the SBD...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I know the difference. Sorry, I was just too lazy to type "Epsom" the last time :p

For any kind of salt, does it make a difference if there's carbon in the filter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
I would pull the carbon.... I don't think it does.... but carbon when it get's old can cause alot of other problems.... phosphates through the roof.....etc....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Hey I hope things are going better with the bettas! I agree with Scholz that fasting a couples of days is definitely a good idea for now. How much and what type of food were you feeding them? If it is SBD it's often a combination of quantity of food and too much dry food which swells in the gut if not soaked prior to feeding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Well is is SBD or is it Constipation?

The first step is to stop feeding. Watch to see if he poops. If he does and he clears him self out and his swiming goes back to normal then it isn't SBD. SBD isn't contagious...

To help him clear himself out you can use a litte epson salt. It's like a lacative for fish.

Dosage for Epsome salt

If you are working with a smaller tank, measure out 1/8 of a teaspoon of Epsom salt. And divide it up into 5 equal parts. Dissolve one part per gallon of water. It does seem very little but it goes a long way. More is not better, however. For your ten gallon just use a 1/4 teaspoon. A little goes a long way. Don't go overboard with it!
I second this opinion! I've seen it referenced on a lot of sites. Just don't mix it with any other aquarium salt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
What do I feed them... Heh heh... They're probably the most spoiled bettas.
I've got 4 jars of food I alternate through.

Petcetera brand betta food (2-3 pellets per day)
Attison's betta food (3-4 pellets per day)
NLS community food (I think the .7mm one?) (2-4 pellets per day)- about once a week
Freeze dried blood worms once a week. (A pinch per serving, maybe 2-3 worms total)

I usually fast them once every two weeks, and when I think of it I give them a bit of pea :p

I change the carbon about once a month (doing a WC today and will change the carbon today too...) This will just be day 2 of fasting, so haven't tried pea or epbson salt yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
How has the fasting come along? Any improvements in mobility?

Yes your betta is very lucky to have a variety of foods :) Your fasting and pea feeding are also spot on! I noticed that all your foods are dry, which means they must be soaked prior to feeding, including the blood worms unless you want to risk constipation. Are you doing this? If I were to change anything in the diet, I would personally drop one of the pellet foods and substitute it with frozen bloodworms. I alternate between home raised bloodworms and wingless fruit flies, frozen bloodworms, Hikari bio gold pellets, freeze dried bloodworms, and hagen's betta flakes.

Have you noticed that your bettas are making any droppings? Any swelling around the stomach area for bloating/blockage? Abnormally pale colour?

Let us know!

p.s. out of curiosity, what are you using the carbon for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
They've only had one day of fasting, haven't really noticed any difference yet.

Yes, all the foods are dry. I've tried soaking it for a while, at least for my male, Mango, but he's got a wonky mouth, and can't get it in his mouth when it's too big. And Rosey's a pretty small gal.
Never thought of soaking the bloodworms though, that's a great idea! Thanks!

The reason I've got so many foods right now, is I got the NLS as a sample, so I thought I'd throw it in my rotation. I'm getting low on the Petcetera one though, so once that's gone I'll just work on the NLS and Attison's.
I've thought about the flakes, but a couple of my guys are picky about flakes, and they usually just make a mess.

Haven't actually seen them poop, but they're always eating, and there's debris when I clean the tank. They aren't swollen looking at all, and their colours are just as bright as ever :)

I adjusted the filter on Mango's side... I thought it might have been tossing him around a bit too much, since he's been acting a bit off since I switched the filter to his side. He's a plakat, so he doesn't have the sail-like fins, but he's a little guy, so he still gets tossed around a bit. Now it's got a much softer flow.

On the carbon, it's really more habit than anything I guess. I figure it helps gets the little impurities out of the the water, and I've always had nice, clean looking and smelling water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Oh yeah, I got a new heater, and it's keeping the water at a lovely 78*, but should I boost it back up a little bit? 80*ish?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
They almost always suggest boosting up temp up to 80 ish for sick fish, so go for it!

In terms of the activated carbon, my understanding is that it is not necessary unless you want to get rid of medication or heavy metals or tannins/ excessive organics. The old debate is that it removes too many trace elements and micronutrients vital for optimal fish health and osmotic regulation. It's not recommended recommended for planted tanks (unless i have the facts backwards) because it strips a lot of the macro nutrients from the water.

What is the hardness of your water? Do you add any electrolyte products to your tank? I'm not sure about the Okanagan, but Vancouver city tap water is considered too soft for good osmotic regulation in fish (lacking in calcium and magnesium). I would definitely look into this as part of your fish treatment :)

Here is a link about it in case you haven't already read it up!http://www.bcaquaria.com/forum/showthread.php?t=715
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Interesting... Might try the tanks without carbon next time...

Found this about Kelowna's water hardness on the city website:
How hard is the water provided by the City of Kelowna Water Utility?

The water contains 100-120 mg/L or 5-7 gpg (grains per gallon) of total hardness. Both calcium and magnesium are measured for total hardness. Water is considered soft at 60 mg/L, hard at 200 mg/L and unacceptable at 500 mg/L.
I guess that would make the water about medium? I've never actually measured it myself.

I don't add anything, but do you think I should be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
I think your water hardness is fairly ideal for your bettas and many fish. Vancouver's water is very soft in comparison! I don't think you need to add anything to your water.

General Hardness Table
0 to 4 dH 0 to 70 ppm - Very Soft
4 to 8 dH 70 to 140 ppm - Soft
8 to 12 dH 140 to 210 ppm - Medium Hard
12 to 18 dH 210 to 320 ppm - Fairly Hard
18 to 30 dH 320 to 530 ppm - Hard
Higher - Very Hard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Good to know, thanks BettaGuy

5 days seems so long, and I'm such a sucker for those fishy faces :p Haven't added the epsom salt yet. Will do that today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
5 day's isn't long at all.... any well fed fish can go that long without eating easy! Durring breeding a male will go up to 7 days without eating, working 24/7 and be fine...
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top