British Columbia Aquarium Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I've been keeping & breeding bettas for 5 years, and I've never had a problem like this one. Hopefully someone with more sick-fish experience can help me identify the problem...please excuse the long post; I have no pictures, and I wanted to list all the details thoroughly.

Recently (about 2 weeks ago) one of my female bettas started swimming funny - she was kind of on her side, and her tail had a tendency to float to the surface. She looked a bit round in the stomach, so I guessed that it was a constipation problem causing swim bladder issues. I fasted her for 3 days or so, then fed her some small pieces of thawed frozen pea. There was some poop in the bottom of her tank, so I didn't think that the constipation problem would turn out to be too serious. I continued to alternate fasting with feeding small bits of pea for the rest of the first week.

Then she started having increasing difficulty swimming. Each day she got worse, to the point where one night she wasn't able to eat without me patiently holding a piece of pea directly in front of her mouth with a pair of tweezers. She seemed to have no strength at all to swim, and when I scooped her into a plastic cup in order to clean her tank, she didn't try to swim away from me, and even flipped over a couple times from the movement of the water.

I decided to move her to another tank, with an adjustable heater set to 80 degrees F; I've heard that warmer water can help alleviate swim bladder problems. By this point she could barely swim and her tail was no longer floating towards the surface - in fact, now she seemed to be having trouble reaching the surface for air. Instead of placing her directly into the new tank, I placed her into a wide, shallow container that I floated inside the tank, so that she only has to swim 2 inches to reach the surface. I noticed that she was passing the bits of pea through her system within 36 hours; they seemed to be undigested, and weren't mixed with any other "normal" poop. I started to worry that she would starve without something more substantial to eat, so I've been feeding her one tiny piece of regular food (1 white worm, or 1 pre-soaked betta bio-gold pellet) every other day. Her condition is getting worse and worse each day.

For the last 3 days, she has been doing a weird spinning thing when she tries to swim. Instead of moving forward, she just flips over and over again, with her nose down and her tail angled towards the surface (she looks like a spinning top). And I've noticed a small lump, about the size of the head of a pin, developing on one side of her body at the base of her tail (right before the cadual fin begins). She still looks somewhat bloated, but she is pooping about once daily. As far as I can tell, her poop looks normal. Her gills look a bit inflamed.

Today she's stopped doing the spinning-top thing, but she is laying on the bottom of the container with her body curved into a semicircle - sometimes upside-down.

I'm really concerned about my poor girl, she's only about a year old and I really want to do everything I can to save her. I'm worried that she might be in pain, but I really don't want to euthanize her unless I have no other options. I suspect that this is more than constipation. Could it be a bacterial infection? She has not been given any meds yet. Tomorrow I'm thinking of trying some Tetracycline to see if it helps, but I'm wide open to other peoples' opinions.

Thank you for reading my long post, and for any suggestions you can give to me! Here is some tank/water information:

Original Tank: 2.5 gallons, housed by herself with no other tankmates, weekly 100% water changes with a partial water change in between, new water is treated with conditioner and aquarium salt (1 tsp/2.5 gal.), water is not filtered but is heated with a non-adjustable heater that keeps the temp around 76-77, pH is 7.0.
Second Tank: small container floating in a 5 gal. tank, housed by herself with no other tankmates, daily 100% water changes, new water is taken from the clean 5 gallon tank that the container floats in and is treated with the same stuff as the first tank, water is not filtered but is heated with an adjustable heater set at 80 degrees, pH is 7.0.

Also: Right now I have about 10 adult bettas and many betta fry. They are all given similar water and tank treatments, and I've had no other sicknesses for a long time. I think that rules out a problem with my water supply or with the substances I use to treat the water.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
474 Posts
I'm not an expert, but from what I understand swim bladder disease isn't an actual disease so much as a catch-all like "Consumption" used to be the name for every kind of wasting disease for humans.

The symptoms sound pretty bad TBH, but if she's still eating then there's still a slight chance. If I were you I would email the folks at wetwebmedia.com with a list of the symptoms, and see what they have to say... I've read of some pretty 'hopeless' cases on their Faq that ended up getting better with medicated food and such.

Good luck with your female

George
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,817 Posts
this happened to my females. sounds like she is eggbound. when they breed the males wrap themselves around the female in such a way that it kind of pushes the eggs out. usually non layed eggs dissolve back into their system. when this doesn't happen they get egg bound thus the bloated constipated swimming problems. sorry to hear. other may chime in but this is my experience
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top