Does Pineconing always mean swim bladder?

  • #1
This girl looked fine yesterday, this morning even. She hasn't been herself for the past couple of days though. She's been very calm and not interacting with me at all. She wasn't very hungry very hungry this morning and I can't get her to eat at all tonight. I tried with peas but not even a nibble. Her water is testing good but it's a tad on the cloudy side. The only thing that's changed is that I have started adding Vita-Chem and fish protector to her water changes. I usually change about 1/4 to 1/3 of the water every few days. I also use Prime but have been using that for a while now. She looks very uncomfortable and is breathing very heavily. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures but her gills look as swollen as the rest of her. Right now I have her back in the cup I got her in, floating in her tank. I figured that way she would stay warm and it would be easy for her to reach the surface. Should I leave her in there or let her out back into the tank? Do you guys have any opinions on what this could be or any suggestions on something I can do to make her more comfortable?

  • #3
No pineconing hardly ever means swimbladder disorder. It usually is a symptom of dropsy. (kidney failure) This is a very serious and unfortunately usually fatal disorder. The only treatment that I know of that works is a drug called Tetracycline HCL or MaracynII will work I have heard. She will need to be kept in very clean water with no carbon in the filter while she is medicated and she should be isolated from the other fish while medicated. It is not a contagious condition as far as is known but you do not want to medicate fish who are not ill. It may disturb your cycle or kill any live plants you have as Tetracycline is hard on the cycle and some live plants, but it is one of the few drugs known to work on Dropsy.

I do hope that she will be okay but she is a very seriously ill little lady.

Give her good food and good water conditions and the medications and she will have the best chance.

We do wish the best for both of you.

  • #4
That definitely means Dropsy, which is a very fatal disease. I hope your fish is able to survive it. The things you need to do is isolate your fish, keep it's water VERY clean, and pray. That's about it, there is no known cure for dropsy.
  • #5
Oh, poor thing, good luck with her.
  • #6
poor baby *sniffs*
  • #7
How is she today?
  • #8
How sad.......I sure hope she makes it.....What do you have her in?
  • #9
Dropsy doesn't have a cure as it's not a disease, but a symptom so you have to treat the cause of the dropsy.

It can be caused by infection, parasites or tumors. Given how fast she got it, tumors aren't the cause and it's 50/50 on infection or parasites as the cause. The meds that Rose mentioned or Kanamyacin (aka Kanaplex) at 1/2 strength would be the best treatment. I usually wouldn't recommend mixing too many meds, but I'd also consider parasite clear or clout.

Super clean water along with: Fish Protector, Vita-Chem and Garlic Guard can also help. The Fish Protector also helps sooth & calm her. You can be sure that adding those to her water didn't cause this. I hope that she pulls through. About 5% do, so we hope & pray she's in that group.
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  • #10
Thanks everyone for the information, though not what I wanted to hear. She seems to be doing a lot better. When I first noticed the bloating I put her back in the cup she came in and floated it in her tank. Sunday (the day after my original post) I added a tiny bit of Epsom Salt to the water. It didn't seem to help at all. Sunday night she wanted out of the cup so I let her back into the tank. She seemed to be feeling better in that she was more active but still doing a lot of resting and not eating. Last night she was hungry and ate 8 Betta pro pellets. She ate again this morning, her bloating has gone down quite a bit. She's just a tiny bit chunkier than normal. She's been a pretty big girl since I got her. Even the pineconing seems to have gone down some and her coloring is coming back. She's still not quite herself though. She runs when I put my finger at the side of the tank which is really unusual. She's in an area where I spend a lot of time right next to her and am always interacting with her. She is yawning quite a bit and now has these little black lines on her body that weren't there before. Any idea what that might be? Damage from the swelling maybe? I'll post some new pics in a few. Her breating is still on the heavy side and her gills look pretty bad, very red.

The garlic guard, I have some but am not sure how to use it. Do I add it directly to the tank or add it in with her food?
  • #11
Poor girl has really been through it, hasn't she?

8 pellets at once seem like quite a bit, I only give my betta 3.

Have you checked your water parameters? Heavy breathing and red gills can be a sign of ammonia poisoning.

The lines could be stress lines, I'm not sure though, are they horizontal?

I'm pretty sure Garlic guard can be added directly to the water or you can soak her food in it.
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  • #12
Here are some pictures. She wasn't very cooperative today. I put her in the cup to take the pics and boy was she mad. I won't be doing that again as I'm sure the stress isn't good. Becasue she was moving around so much these pictures didn't come out as good as the ones I took the other day. I'm hoping you can make out the little spots she has on her body. Some of them are black and some are a light brown. Can you tell that the bloating and pineconing have gone down?

8 pellets at once seem like quite a bit, I only give my betta 3.

Uh oh, I must be seriously over feeding. I always give them 8. Even the meals that I feed frozen bloodworm's or frozen brine shrimp, I supplement with 2 or 3 pellets.
  • #13
My Pepperment gets 6 Bio-gold pellets a day with frozen bloodworm or frozen brine shrimp swapped for one pellet
2 pellets for breakfast...1 pellet and 2 brine shrimp for lunch...2 bloodworm for supper
or 2 pellets X 3=6 total for the day.
  • #14
Yeah, I should have been a bit more clear...Prissy get 3 in the morning and 3 at night, usually a few blood worms in between. Once a week she gets 3 bits of pea.
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  • #15
Thanks everyone for the help so far. I have a couple of questions I was hoping you guys might be able to help with.

After reading about dropsy, how harsh the meds are and the low success rate, I decided against doing treatment. I just didn't want to put her through the additional discomfort for no reason. Now that she's stronger and better able to handle the meds, I am wondering if I should treat her or just leave her be.

Tonight, her swelling and pine coning are virtually gone, even better than this morning and she is almost back to her old self. I still have a couple of concerns though.

Her gills are still very red. For the most part, she's had a problem with red gills since I got her. I even posted about it in the past. They seem redder to me now though. Her ammonia is fine and has been for a while so I don't think this is the cause.

The black lines I mentioned earlier, I thought they were all new. They aren't. In the post I made about her red gills, there is a picture and she had some then. She has a few new ones. The one she has on her mouth is new and the ones she did have have gotten a little bit longer even since Saturdays pictures. At least I think they have, I'm double guessing almost everything at this point.

Anyway, I'm wondering if these two things might be related to whatever caused the Dropsy. Does anyone have any ideas on this? If I could figure out what caused the Dropsy, I would better know what to treat her for or if I even should. Any suggestions you guys have would be greatly appreciated.
  • #16
They may be small blood spots or something like that. I would treat for a broad spectrum infection as I do not think it is dropsy at all. Dropsy does not go away so easily as this. It sounds more like a case of serious overfeeding and overstuffing and perhaps extreme constipation and bloating. She needed to be fasted and fed less and given peas and cut back on the food and given food more appropriate to her size. She should not be getting more than 3 Atison's pellets 3 times a day or 2 Bio-gold pellets twice a day depending on which type you feed her. She is getting too much food for her size and the food needs to be soaked for 5 minutes in garlic juice or Garlic Guard before you give it to her so it will not get her plugged up. She can have bloodworms but they should be soaked also and no more than 3 per meal. She is not a large betta and she will overeat if you let her. (not pellets and bloodworms only one or the other)

I would give her a straight 5 day course of Maracyn2 for the possibility of Septecemia (whole body infection) and then replace the carbon in the filter and remove the meds from the tank with it and keep her in super clean conditions and feed her less and give her pea treats at least 2 times a week from now on to prevent constipation. She is going to be forever prone to constipation due to this problem. This is going to work out with care I just have that feeling. She has spunk and is not feeling sick and that is a good sign.

  • #17
I'm glad that she is feeling better
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  • #18
Thanks so much Rose for all the advice, which I will take. It's going to be hard to do and none of the fish are going to be happy about having their food amount cut almost in half but, it has to be done. I definitely don't want this to happen again.

You know, it just amazes me that these companies who make products specifically for Betta's can give such bad information. Originally I purchased Attison's Betta Pellets which said to feed up to 7 pellets twice per day. I quickly switched to the Betta Pro and that bottle said to feed as much as Betta will consume in two minutes. From the reading I had done, I knew this not to be true. All my bettas would have eaten a lot more than 8 pellets in 2 minutes and look the damage 8 did, it almost cost one of my girls her life.

I'm going to pick up the Maricyn 2 locally today and start treating with that. I also want to order a few meds to have on hand just in case. Do you have any suggestions for what I should order? I have 5 bettas now so want to be prepared for future illnesses.
  • #19
I'm glad to see that she's doing better. Rose has you set on what to do next and I find the best thing to do with the feeding instructions on fish food is ignore them. Generally, a fish should eat about the amount of food equal to the size of an eye (the size of their stomach).
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  • #20
This girl passed away a little while ago. She was fine last night but wouldn't eat and quite lethargic again this morning. I've only had her for 2 months. It's very sad for me, she was my favorite girl. I just wish I knew what her problem was.
  • #21
Sometimes betta just aren't healthy when we get them. Sorry about your betta girl
  • #22
I'm so sorry you lost her.
  • #23
My sympathies to you. I know you tried all you could to save her. We are here if you need us.

  • #24
I'm sorry that you lost her. We lost our little KairI last night the same way.
  • #25
Oh no!! Dave you lost Kairi! I am so sorry.... our little vampire betta is gone! I cannot begin to tell you how sorry that I am she is gone. The betta board will not be the same without her. We are all so sorry to hear it. I told the boys and they and I are all devastated. Please tell Stacy that we are all sending our symypathies to you both and to the other bettas you have. They must all be very upset.

We all are missing her.


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