10 Gallon Tank Betta floating vertically at the top of the tank

moldy

My male betta fish has been constantly floating at the top of the tank vertically.

my tank is planted with caribsea naturals sand. i dose thrive once a week.

Below i attached the emergency template and photos of my fish.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
10 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
4 months
Does it have a filter?
yes
Does it have a heater?
yes
What is the water temperature?
79 degrees F
What is the entire stocking of this tank?
1 betta
(Please list all fish and inverts.)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
once a week

How much of the water do you change?
about 25% give or take

What do you use to treat your water?
seachem prime

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
i did a fish in cycle

What do you use to test the water?
api master test kit

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: the color appears between 5 ppm and 10 ppm
pH: between 7.6

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
once a day or every other day

How much do you feed your fish?
as much as he will eat in about a minute

What brand of food do you feed your fish?
i feed omega one betta buffet pellets and omega one frozen blood worms as a treat

Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
frozen occasionally but no freeze dried

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
since august 2020

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
3 weeks ago

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
he sits at the top of the tank vertically and just floats there unless hes being fed
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
i have given him an epsom salt bath thinking it may be a swim bladder issue however i saw no improvement

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
no

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
his coloring appear faded
 

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BigManAquatics

I would try fasting for a few days first. I can't tell in the pictures, but often bloat/constipation can cause swim bladder issues. I would try fasting for 3-4 days then maybe try some frozen daphnia for a couple days.
 
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moldy

I would try fasting for a few days first. I can't tell in the pictures, but often bloat/constipation can cause swim bladder issues. I would try fasting for 3-4 days then maybe try some frozen daphnia for a couple days.

Where can i purchase frozen daphnia? It doesn’t appear petco and petsmart carry it based on their website.
 
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BigManAquatics

Where can i purchase frozen daphnia? It doesn’t appear petco and petsmart carry it based on their website.
They don't. If you have any local fish stores in your area they should have.
 
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NearMeBettas

He looks to have swim bladder but hard to tell from the pictures. Do what Betta'sAnonymous said.
 
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moldy

as of this morning, i noticed my betta flaring at his own fins and curling up in an odd way. He is still floating around too. I have started fasting as of yesterday.

I tried attaching a video however it’s not letting me. Any insight would be appreciated
also, i managed to get some better photos of his body so hopefully it will help. Is there anything else i can do besides fasting? he has had 2 epsom salt baths in the past 2 weeks or so and i saw no difference.
 

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Rose of Sharon

Hi,

You can actually give him an epsom salt bath every day, if it doesn't stress him out too much. He might be a bit bloated from looking at his tummy.

Do you have something that you can put near the top of the tank for him to lay on, like one of those plastic betta leaves with the suction cups? Or any other decor that reaches that high? Just in case it takes a few days for him to get better.

I would dim his lights so that maybe that will stop some of the flaring behavior. Make sure that he is getting at least a good 12 hours of lights off time.

I have used freeze dried daphnia since I can't get the frozen kind, either. Hakari makes it. It's not the best, but when it's all that you can get you don't have much of a choice.

Hopefully the fasting and then the daphnia (however you can get it) will fix the issue.
 
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moldy

Hi,

You can actually give him an epsom salt bath every day, if it doesn't stress him out too much. He might be a bit bloated from looking at his tummy.

Do you have something that you can put near the top of the tank for him to lay on, like one of those plastic betta leaves with the suction cups? Or any other decor that reaches that high? Just in case it takes a few days for him to get better.

I would dim his lights so that maybe that will stop some of the flaring behavior. Make sure that he is getting at least a good 12 hours of lights off time.

I have used freeze dried daphnia since I can't get the frozen kind, either. Hakari makes it. It's not the best, but when it's all that you can get you don't have much of a choice.

Hopefully the fasting and then the daphnia (however you can get it) will fix the issue.

I just ordered the freeze dried daphnia and it’s going to come on wednesday. I plan on fasting him until then so hopefully he will be okay.

I pulled a larger anubis from the substrate and left it floating so he can rest on it but he doesn’t seem interested :( His light is already on an 8 on/16 off schedule due to an algae issue so he is getting plenty of time without it on.

Thank you for the help, i hope he pulls through.
 
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moldy

hi again lol. I received the freeze dried daphnia today and after soaking it in tank water for around 10 minutes and then adding it to the tank, my fish won’t eat it. He seems uninterested. What can i do ?
 
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BigManAquatics

Maybe soak it in garlic juice or garlic guard. My bettas usually aren't much interested in the daphnia, either.
 
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Rose of Sharon

I agree with the garlic juice. If that doesn't work, and this is going to sound controversial, try getting one larger piece of daphnia from the container, and try to put that one large piece right in front of him (without soaking it), and see if he goes for it that way. I know that this sounds weird, as most of it is ground up, but if yours is like mine, you will see some larger round pieces. I use a very small spoon to get those out, and feed them to my betta. If you can get it close to the out flow of your filter, so that it moves a little, like it is alive, that might even be better.

I know that this sounds weird, but bettas being carnivores implies that they have it in them to hunt. If it looks alive, he might go for it.

Just a few suggestions....I hope one of them works!!!!
 
Upvote 0

moldy

I agree with the garlic juice. If that doesn't work, and this is going to sound controversial, try getting one larger piece of daphnia from the container, and try to put that one large piece right in front of him (without soaking it), and see if he goes for it that way. I know that this sounds weird, as most of it is ground up, but if yours is like mine, you will see some larger round pieces. I use a very small spoon to get those out, and feed them to my betta. If you can get it close to the out flow of your filter, so that it moves a little, like it is alive, that might even be better.

I know that this sounds weird, but bettas being carnivores implies that they have it in them to hunt. If it looks alive, he might go for it.

Just a few suggestions....I hope one of them works!!!!

i managed to get him to eat a few pieces however i’m not sure which ones were soaked in garlic and which ones were straight from the bottle (i tried both). he really didn’t eat that much. how many pieces does he need to eat to help him?
 
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Rose of Sharon

At this point, any of it will help. I usually try to get my guy to eat 3 or 4 good pieces, and that usually does the trick.

I am so glad that he ate some of it!!!!
 
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moldy

At this point, any of it will help. I usually try to get my guy to eat 3 or 4 good pieces, and that usually does the trick.

I am so glad that he ate some of it!!!!

Hi again :) I just wanted to come back and ask for more help because sadly i haven’t seen an improvement in my fish’s behavior/health. I have fed him the daphnia and he’s eaten the bigger pieces however i see no difference. Do y’all think there’s something else going on? or is there another treatment method i can try?
 
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Rose of Sharon

Is he eating normally now? Is the problem just the floating issue? Do you see evidence that he is pooping?

Have you tried to epsom salt baths?

If he is floating to the top, that means that he has too much air in his swim bladder, and he can't deflate it. The other issue is that he might have an infection of some sort, but that is hard to tell from just the swim bladder issue. Usually infections will have other signs, like total lethargy, a loss of color, a total refusal to eat anything.

Sometimes, it does take a while for swim bladder issues to reslove themselves. Some times they don't get better. I would say at this point to continue with his treatment of epsom salt baths and feeding daphnia with a day or two of fasting every week. I would also do small frequent water changes to make sure that his water is super clean.

If you see any other signs, let us know.

I had a betta who had a swim bladder injury that never healed. His problem was the opposite - he could not swim to the top of the tank and could not stay afloat. I had to lower his water level, kept his water super clean, and feed him very carefully. So I made adjustments to meet his needs as his issue was not going to get better.

Bettas can live full lives with these issues. Again, it all depends on if it is an injury, a chronic issue (which some bettas have because of genetic factors), or just a problem that occured due to a momentary issue with water conditions, over feeding, temp issues, etc.

Also, if you can post some updated pics, that might be helpful.

I know that you are doing your best. Please hang in there!
 
Upvote 0

moldy

Is he eating normally now? Is the problem just the floating issue? Do you see evidence that he is pooping?

Have you tried to epsom salt baths?

If he is floating to the top, that means that he has too much air in his swim bladder, and he can't deflate it. The other issue is that he might have an infection of some sort, but that is hard to tell from just the swim bladder issue. Usually infections will have other signs, like total lethargy, a loss of color, a total refusal to eat anything.

Sometimes, it does take a while for swim bladder issues to reslove themselves. Some times they don't get better. I would say at this point to continue with his treatment of epsom salt baths and feeding daphnia with a day or two of fasting every week. I would also do small frequent water changes to make sure that his water is super clean.

If you see any other signs, let us know.

I had a betta who had a swim bladder injury that never healed. His problem was the opposite - he could not swim to the top of the tank and could not stay afloat. I had to lower his water level, kept his water super clean, and feed him very carefully. So I made adjustments to meet his needs as his issue was not going to get better.

Bettas can live full lives with these issues. Again, it all depends on if it is an injury, a chronic issue (which some bettas have because of genetic factors), or just a problem that occured due to a momentary issue with water conditions, over feeding, temp issues, etc.

Also, if you can post some updated pics, that might be helpful.

I know that you are doing your best. Please hang in there!

hi! i’ve had a lot going on lately so i forgot to reply. I’ve again come for more advice lol. I haven’t seen much improvement and now sadly i have noticed only one side of his abdomen is swollen and he is swimming somewhat wonky.

i have been fasting and feeding the daphnia, frozen brine shrimp and pellets here and there.
 
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Rose of Sharon

Hi,

Can you post some updated pics? Can you get a shot from above?

And have you tried to give him an epsom salt bath?
 
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moldy

Hi,

Can you post some updated pics? Can you get a shot from above?

And have you tried to give him an epsom salt bath?

here are the best pictures i could get. He has had a few epsom salt baths since i noticed something was wrong so i’ll give him another today.
 

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Rose of Sharon

He is such a pretty little boy!!!!

If you water parameters are good (ammonia - 0, nitrite- 0 , nitrate - 5 to 10 ppm's or so), and you think it is just that he was over-fed, then continue with the baths and the fasting and daphnia.

I would try fasting him 2 days in a row (again) to see if that makes the swelling go down (along with the epsom salt baths).

Then after the two days, feed him only daphnia for a day, and see if that helps.

Try to keep an eye on him to see if and when he poops.

I would also recommend that you do small water changes every other day to keep his water pristine.

As long as he is swimming (even though it is arkward) and acting normally, that is a good sign.

If this continues, then either he has a chronic issue, which you will end up dealing with a lot, or he may have some type of bacterial infection.

With the infection, you will see a decline in his eating habits, a loss of color, lethargy, clamped fins, and a decline in over-all health. If that is the case, you may need to give him an antibiotic of some sort. But that is only if he has other symptoms besides the bloat and swimming problem.
 
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moldy

He is such a pretty little boy!!!!

If you water parameters are good (ammonia - 0, nitrite- 0 , nitrate - 5 to 10 ppm's or so), and you think it is just that he was over-fed, then continue with the baths and the fasting and daphnia.

I would try fasting him 2 days in a row (again) to see if that makes the swelling go down (along with the epsom salt baths).

Then after the two days, feed him only daphnia for a day, and see if that helps.

Try to keep an eye on him to see if and when he poops.

I would also recommend that you do small water changes every other day to keep his water pristine.

As long as he is swimming (even though it is arkward) and acting normally, that is a good sign.

If this continues, then either he has a chronic issue, which you will end up dealing with a lot, or he may have some type of bacterial infection.

With the infection, you will see a decline in his eating habits, a loss of color, lethargy, clamped fins, and a decline in over-all health. If that is the case, you may need to give him an antibiotic of some sort. But that is only if he has other symptoms besides the bloat and swimming problem.

thank you for all of your continued help! i feel a little lost dealing with illnesses.

I gave him a salt bath today for about 15 minutes with a recovery bath before returning him to his tank. I plan on giving him another tomorrow night and every day i can after that to see if it helps. I haven’t fed him today and i won’t tomorrow either.

If he does recover, what is a normal amount to feed him? i feed him pellets, frozen brine shrimp, and blood worms (alternating them throughout the week)

i appreciate your help more than you know!
 
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Rose of Sharon

thank you for all of your continued help! i feel a little lost dealing with illnesses.

I gave him a salt bath today for about 15 minutes with a recovery bath before returning him to his tank. I plan on giving him another tomorrow night and every day i can after that to see if it helps. I haven’t fed him today and i won’t tomorrow either.

If he does recover, what is a normal amount to feed him? i feed him pellets, frozen brine shrimp, and blood worms (alternating them throughout the week)

i appreciate your help more than you know!
You are very welcome!

It sounds like you are giving him a varied diet. I unfortunately can't get frozen food very easily, so I have to depend on pellets, flakes and freeze-dried.

I usually feed twice a day, early in the morning and at least 8 to 10 hours later to give time for adequate digestion.

I feed a varied diet, so in the morning, I will feed about 2 larger pellets and maybe 2 small (Omega one being large, and Hakari bio gold baby being small), or 2 small pellets with a pinch of flakes (again, Omega One).

In the evening I will feed daphnia or North Fin small pellets and maybe some Fluval Bug Bites for Bettas mixed in there.

The thing to remember is that all bettas are not the same. And I have read over and over about feeding them as much as they can eat in 2 minutes. If I did that to my bettas, they would be very overweight, as they love, love, love to gobble their food. Some bettas are more active, others not so much. You can always check his tummy to see how distended it is after feeding, too, to help you determine how much to feed.

Hope this helps!
 
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