betta swimming with head up

miawyatt

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Hi. My female betta has lately started having trouble "seeing" or getting to her food. Today, I found her at the bottom of the tank and she seemed to have difficulty getting up to the surface....it looks like she's struggling to swim normally. Her head is up and her tail is down. She has never been sick...I tested her water and it's fine...do you know what I could try to do to help her? I've had bettas with other problems, but none that started out like this. Thanks!!! Mia
 

Gwenz

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Could she be constipated? ??? Try feeding her a piece of pea, no bigger than half the size of her eye.

Soory, I'm not sure what else to suggest right now. :-\

Try it, and let us know how she is.

Hope she gets better.

Gwenz
 
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miawyatt

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The water is good. I had introduced brine shrimp to her diet recently, so maybe it is Swim Bladder Disorder due to some constipation. I'm feeding her only daphnia now, but may try fasting her completely if it doesn't get better.
 
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miawyatt

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We've had her about 5 months, but since we got her at Petco, there's no way of knowing how old she is. It doesn't seem like old age to me...she's not really slowing down. It's just that her body is curving in a downward direction....with a curved spine. She's mentally bright and alert.
 
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miawyatt

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Re: betta swimming with head up and struggling to reach surface

After reducing her food to almost nothing for 3 days, she is even worse. She is really fighting to get to the surface, but most of the time is resting on the aquarium gravel. She is looking right at me, and I feel so bad because I don't know how to help her. I took some of her water out so she wouldn't have as far to swim....took out her filter and added Melafix...and turned on her light for warmth. Other than that, I can't think of what to do. I'll try fasting her another day, but I thought that SBD cleared up a lot faster than this. Rose, if you're there, can you think of anything else this might be? Thanks for your help now and in the past, Mia
 

sasha

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Hi i know this id not recommended for bettas but it worked for me ,when my female betta had cotton mouth (i know its not the same as your ) basically i took her out of the tank and into a jug with a minimal amount of water(so she could reach the surface for air as bettas need  surface air) treated her for cotton mouth for a week in the jug she recovered and is now happy in the tank, i believe you should get her out of deep water so she can breath at least and hopefully you will see an improvement
P.s its worth trying something thats different than to see her get stressed
its up to you if you want to try this method as it is YOUR fish and not mine ,,,, Good luck
 
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miawyatt

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Thanks....that is a pretty good idea. I'm not sure which stress is worse though...being put in a hospital tank or struggling in her big tank. At least in the small tank, I can assure that she's starting with totally clean water. Thanks.
 
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miawyatt

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I'm glad it worked out. I took your advice and put her in the hospital. She's resting on the bottom a lot, but at least doesn't have far to go for air. I'm crossing my fingers. I've had a run of bad luck with bettas after my first one lived for a couple years. It's ironic that the more experience I have with them, the shorter their little lifespans have become. Ugh...Oh well...maybe it hasn't been my fault..just bad luck.
 
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miawyatt

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Even after a day in the shallow hospital tank, she appears to be worse.....just lying on the bottom, barely moving. With great effort, she can fight to the surface, but then doesn't actually breathe! It's so distressing. I want to help her up. I could take out more water, but I'm not sure if that would help much. She appears to have little strength left. Could this really be just from constipation/SBD? It looks like she's dying to me. I hate this. Mia
 
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miawyatt

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Thanks. I put one of her plants in the water, so if she can get herself on top of one of the leaves, she can support herself near the surface. I wanted to help her to the surface myself, but realized that would only be a temporary fix, as I obviously can't be with her 24-7. She must be getting some air, even though whenever she's not moving, it looks as if she's seconds from dying. Ugh..this is awful.
 
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miawyatt

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??? Does anyone know the normal progression of swim bladder disorder? I would think that a few days of fasting should have made her better instead of worse. She appears almost dead until she tries to get to the surface...then she practically falls to the bottom of her shallow little tank...like she has no strength at all. I just wish I knew what to do for her. I'm repeating myself hoping that someone will come up with an answer.
 

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What type of gravel do you have? The reason I am asking is that I recently went to EcoComplete which is quite fine and just yesterday Sara, my white female Betta died from a bowel obstruction that sounds exactly like what you are talking about and she had eaten some of the gravel. The reason I know this is because I could see the black gravel right through her white little scaled hide. She more or less became so swollen up due to the plugged bowel that she turned into a marble with a tail. I am so afraid if your little one is so bad that her spine is starting to bend that she is Very Clogged up with something. I do not believe peas or fasting will do it and I am not sure but you could try to do an epsom salts bath. One level teaspoon (measuring spoon) of epsom salts in 4 gallons of warm water. It needs to be at 82-84 degrees as cool water will keep it from working. It will not have the best chance of working but it is kind of a last resort.

I will have to admit I had shopped for the clove oil and the vodka but could not find any clove oil and she took matters into her own hands, so to speak, and died before I had to end her suffering. I am so sorry, but if the epsom salts do not work, I do not know any other remedies.

Rose
 
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miawyatt

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I just tried the pea trick, and she was not responsive at all...except to spin around like a top. Her gravel is fairly large and I doubt she could eat it...plus, she doesn't appear swollen. If she's still alive tomorrow I might try the epsom salt bath, but I don't want to stress her anymore just to make myself feel better about trying everything. I put a warm wrap around her for tonite and will see if she makes it until the morning. This has all been so discouraging. She was a good little fish.
 
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miawyatt

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Blanca is still alive, but her breathing has slowed down a lot. I'm debating on 3 courses of action....doing nothing but keeping her in clean, shallow, warm water.....trying a warm, epsom salt bath....or euthanasia. I think we are going to let nature take its course rather than do something drastic. The salt bath would stress her too much and I just can't get out of my head the fact that SBD is not supposed to be fatal.
 
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miawyatt

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I just wanted to let you know that my little girl died tonite. I tried giving her a warm, 15 minute epsom salt bath as a last resort. She did perk up a little bit during the bath, but immediately tired out. She died about an hour later. I was going to euthanize her soon anyway, as she clearly wasn't getting better with the standard treatments for swim bladder disorder. I have to assume that something else was compounding the problem and contributing to her rapid decline.
 

chickadee

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I am so terribly sorry. I know the pain of losing a little one and if there is anything I can do please let me know. It is too bad that our little friends do seem to be prone to these types of problems and they do not seem to be able to let us know when they need our attention.

I know she got the very best of care and the most love you had to give her and you can take comfort in the fact that she would have had a much worse life without you. She lived and loved and entertained you and I am sure she will be missed and perhaps you will consider at a later date taking in another little one in her memory.

If you feel you can, please do feel free to post a memorial to her in our memorial section. We can all pay a moment of farewell to her there. Again, I am so dreadfully sorry and I wish I could help. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can.

Rose
:'(
 
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miawyatt

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Thank you Rose. I appreciate the comforting words. I will probably wait a few weeks and start over with another betta. I think Blanca did have a good life, even if it was cut short. I will post a memorial to her as you suggested. Good night.
 
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