Betta Fish Bent Body

Christopher Huynh
  • #1
Hello everyone,

I apologize in advanced if this is a repeated topic.

I noticed my Betta, Chelsea, with a bent body after I fed her in the morning and returned home that night about 10 hours later.

It’s been over a week, I’ve fasted her, given her peas (which she won’t eat), and also just gave her an Epsom salt bath last night.

I’ve attached pictures that I could take to best show her condition. I removed her from her 5 gallon tank into a smaller bowl that I got the moss in so she can breathe easier.

Any help or recommendations would be greatly appreciated
 

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Repolie
  • #2
Oh that's a crazy bent spine. Had she always been bent like that? Can she swim? Does she float or sink? Is she bloated? Can you get a side picture?
 
Christopher Huynh
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Yes, see attached . She sinks, looks bloated but I’ve done all of the above and she hasn’t passed any stools since the Epsom salt bath yesterday.
 

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Iverg1
  • #4
Has she always been like that?
 
Christopher Huynh
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
No, she was perfectly fine when I got her. This was a very sudden incident (from morning to night )
 
Repolie
  • #6
She has swim bladder disorder and it's very common for the fishes with it to develope a very curved "s" shaped spine. Since she can't swim up, it's a negative buoyancy disorder. What do you feed her (pellets, flakes, freezed dried, or frozen)? How much of it did you feed her? Did you soak any dry foods? Are you still feeding her? What are her current bowl parameters? And it's been over a week since this happened? Float her bowl in the 5 gallon tank to keep her warm at 78-82°F
 
Christopher Huynh
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I fed her pellets, before I left I put in about 5 (usually 1 or 2 float down to the bottom), did not soak any (new to this).

Have not fed her in almost a week now. She hasn’t ate of the peas I’ve tried to give her.

Current bowl parameters are attached.
 

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Repolie
  • #8
And she hasn't pooped at all since it started?
 
Christopher Huynh
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
She hasn’t gotten smaller since I’ve noticed it which is about a week now. The bowl I am keeping her in is clean for last two days
 
Repolie
  • #10
That's the problem with feeding that much and not soaking them. 5 is too much without soaking them, they expand in the betta's stomach causing them to be constipated and unable to pass stool. You can try feeding a very small amount of daphnia, but I'm concerned with already how big she is.
 
Christopher Huynh
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thank you for the recommendation, I will pick some up for her.
 
AJ34
  • #12
For my bigger fish I feed two pellets in morning and either two pellets or another food at night. I think the key is small spaced out portions for digestion. Sometimes it’s just the few pellets in the morning and an occasional fast day. Hope your betta gets better!
 
Repolie
  • #13
Oh and if you're interested in more information about it, here's a link: What Is Swim Bladder Disease And How Is It Treated? — Chewy
 
Preciousgaby40023
  • #14
Hi guys, so I need help I went to my sisters house yesterday and when I came home I found my betta in the same spot that he was when I left so I checked on him and he was alive but he is bent,( he got stuck between the decor and the gravel)I put him in a cup and I put him back in the tank so he can get to the top to breath and I set the temperature at 80f
Is there anything I can do? I feel so bad for him
 

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peachsonas
  • #15
Hi guys, so I need help I went to my sisters house yesterday and when I came home I found my betta in the same spot that he was when I left so I checked on him and he was alive but he is bent,( he got stuck between the decor and the gravel)I put him in a cup and I put him back in the tank so he can get to the top to breath and I set the temperature at 80f
Is there anything I can do? I feel so bad for him
I don’t know about anything to correct how he’s bent but I’d move the decorations in the tank so he can’t wedge himself in there like that again
 
JLAquatics
  • #16
I had this same situation also with one of my minnows a while back when she got stuck in he hole of a large shell. Never added shells to tanks since. Here are a few things to consider to help the little guy get back to health.

1. Depending on how long he was stuck in the décor, it may take a week or two for his spine to fully correct itself. My minnow took about this long and she would swim in circles but still ate and acted normal other than the irregular swimming patterns. She made a fully recovery btw.
2. To add on to one, make sure your boy is still eating and not lethargic. We do not want your Betta to be experiencing signs of illness from stress and such. As long as he still acts normal otherwise and looks healthy, the spine should straighten out very quickly.
3. Maintaining clean water will aid greatly in healing. Depending on how large his main tank is, change the water twice weekly to keep the parameters pristine until he recovers. I fully believe that providing fresh clean water is the best medicine for any fish.
4. Consider adding different decorations to the tank or change it up like peachsonas suggested. Bettas are naturally curious fish and they will certainly explore rough decorations and decorations with holes. That is why it is imperative to have everything easily accessible with no tight spaces, your Betta will certainly find them before you realize.

I wish you and your fish the best, and keep us updated on his recovery.
-JLAquatics
 
Preciousgaby40023
  • #17
I think he was there probably like 4-5 hours. He is not eating, and only swims to the top to breathe That’s the decoration where he got stuck
 

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JLAquatics
  • #18
I think he was there probably like 4-5 hours. He is not eating, and only swims to the top to breathe That’s the decoration where he got stuck
With a little bit of luck and plenty of water changes he should still be fine IMO. I'd aim to keep the tank as stable as possible and extra water changes to keep the water very fresh for the little guy. I still think he will recover after a while, he may not eat for the first day or so but after looking at other cases elsewhere this is also relatively common.

Also keep an eye out for any change to his body which may be a fungal or bacterial infection but if water changes are kept up on this will be unlikely (but still possible) to occur.
 
Preciousgaby40023
  • #19
With a little bit of luck and plenty of water changes he should still be fine IMO. I'd aim to keep the tank as stable as possible and extra water changes to keep the water very fresh for the little guy. I still think he will recover after a while, he may not eat for the first day or so but after looking at other cases elsewhere this is also relatively common.

Also keep an eye out for any change to his body which may be a fungal or bacterial infection.
Thank you for the advice, I’m going to do a water change rn. I’m going to petco later is there something I can buy to help him heal?
 
JLAquatics
  • #20
If you do not have any live plants in your tank, dosing a little bit of aquarium salt can help your Betta build a healthy slime coat and be a little more resistant to further infection. It will not prevent infection by any means but will definitely help him heal quicker. However, aquarium salt should not be used or dosed on a daily basis, only when it is necessary and your fish is showing signs of distress.
 
Preciousgaby40023
  • #21
If you do not have any live plants in your tank, dosing a little bit of aquarium salt can help your Betta build a healthy slime coat and be a little more resistant to further infection. It will not prevent infection by any means but will definitely help him heal quicker. However, aquarium salt should not be used or dosed on a daily basis, only when it is necessary and your fish is showing signs of distress.
I have like 1 or 2 live plants but I can take them out, and how much salt should I put in the tank. Do you think stress coat might help a little bit?
 
JLAquatics
  • #22
I don't think stress coat would hurt. I have never used it before myself, but it supposedly also helps replenish the slime coat from stressed fish and is a water conditioner as well. However, I wouldn't add a whole ton of things to the tank. Personally, I would do the salt and clean water but the stress coat and clean water combo may also work well.

The salt I am referring to is special Aquarium Salt, not just standard table salt from your grocery store. They will likely have some AQ salt at your local Petco and if you have more hardy species of live plants maybe dosing half of what the instructions on the package say only while your Betta is distressed.

Finally, I will repeat once more that clean water is the single best thing you can provide for your fish to get him back to health. These other suggestions I made are just to aid his recovery, but if he is living in dirty uncycled water these products will not do much, just keep that in mind as well.
 
Preciousgaby40023
  • #23
I don't think stress coat would hurt. I have never used it before myself, but it supposedly also helps replenish the slime coat from stressed fish and is a water conditioner as well. However, I wouldn't add a whole ton of things to the tank. Personally, I would do the salt and clean water but the stress coat and clean water combo may also work well.

The salt I am referring to is special Aquarium Salt, not just standard table salt from your grocery store. They will likely have some AQ salt at your local Petco and if you have more hardy species of live plants maybe dosing half of what the instructions on the package say only while your Betta is distressed.

Finally, I will repeat once more that clean water is the single best thing you can provide for your fish to get him back to health. These other suggestions I made are just to aid his recovery, but if he is living in dirty uncycled water these products will not do much, just keep that in mind as well.
Update: he’s not that bent anymore but he’s not moving much and he’s not eating
 

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peachsonas
  • #24
Update: he’s not that bent anymore but he’s not moving much and he’s not eating
Oh no! Is he swimming on his side like that?
 
Preciousgaby40023
  • #25
Oh no! Is he swimming on his side like that?
No he’s not he tries to like jump to breath but other than than he doesn’t swim
 
Rose of Sharon
  • #26
No he’s not he tries to like jump to breath but other than than he doesn’t swim
You may want to lower the water level so he doesn't struggle so much to breathe. I am sorry that this is happening. I hate to put it out there, but if he has an internal injury, it may not get any better. I would just encourage you to keep doing what has already been suggested, and give him some more time. Bettas can go a while without food. But it would be a very good sign if he were to start eating again.

I hope he gets better!!! He is a pretty little boy!
 
Danny002
  • #27
I'm curious about the water flow through the container he is in. From the pictures, I can't see any holes or slots that would allow water to move freely through the sides of the container. If you don't have any way for the water to circulate through there, I would definitely create one asap. Without water from the overall tank moving through there, he's basically just in the cup. So anything you put in or take out of the tank water won't make a difference, and the nitrogenous compounds in the cup will exponentially increase. If there is some type of vent feel free to disregard this, I just couldn't see one in the pictures and wanted to make sure your efforts aren't in vain!
 

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