Help please, fish bloated & pale

fishlover1990

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 6.5 G
How long has the tank been running? approx 2 months
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What is the water temperature? constant 78
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 male betta

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? 1 time a week
How much of the water do you change? 50-75%
What do you use to treat your water? Tetra aquasafe for bettas
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? just the water

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? I used tetra safestart for the cycle
What do you use to test the water? currently nothing I ran out of strips and havent been able to get more at the exact moment
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 2 times a day
How much do you feed your fish? 2-3 pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? aqueon color enhancing pellets
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 2 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 2 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? lethargic, swollen stomach, swimming with nose down
Have you started any treatment for the illness? no
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? no
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? very lathargic, pale belly, he swims with his head down and body up like his head weighs a ton

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
2 days ago I noticed my fish was getting a bit of a belly on him which is my fault I skipped his morning feeding as I was traveling back home from a few hours away and than tried to double up on his night time feeding which I now know was incredibly bad and dumb seeing as how his stomach is not big enough, When I got home he was normal and active and happy to see me and be fed as usual but about a hour after that I noticed his stomach was getting bigger and he was acting very lethargic. My first thought was swim bladder which it could still potentially be so I set up my little 1 gallon hospital tank which is bare and I moved him over into it so I could monitor him. I was planning on doing the 3 day fast than give him a pea. My issue is this morning I came in to check on him and now along with a swollen stomach his stomach also appears very pale. This is day 2 of his 3 day fast and he has still not pooped yet. I am concerned because I don't know if he's just constipated and I should keep waiting or if he could have dropsy, I have never seen or had a fish with dropsy so I'm not sure. I'm still hoping it's just constipation since I overfed him and he hasn't popped in 2 days. His scales don't seem to be affected at the moment so that is promising, I just automatically assumed I messed up and he got swim bladder but now its not getting better and im not sure it's getting worse but it feels that way. His hospital tank does have a filter and its at about 79-80 to help speed up digestion but it hasn't worked as of yet. Should I be worried it's dropsy or is this classic constipation?
His stomach is pretty bloated so I'm just worried it's not constipation and its fluid retention which would be a sign of dropsy an probably to late to save him at this point but at the same time he hasn't pooped yet so I'm not sure what to do for the little guy.
 

Rose of Sharon

Can you give him an epsom salt bath? It acts as a natural laxative. Mix 1 tablespoon of non-scented, plain epsom salts with 1 gallon of water. Make sure the temp of the bath is the same temp as his water.

If he reacts badly when you put him in, take him out right away, and put him back in his hospital tank. If he suddenly poops almost right away, take him out of the bath and put him back in his hospital tank.

If there is an adverse reaction, leave him in the bath for about 15 minutes, and then return him to the hospital tank. You can do this twice a day.

This will help draw the stored fluids out and help him pass whatever is clogging him up.

You can also feed him daphnia, which is another natural laxative.

Also, you might want to get an API master test kit to test your tank water. If you have something going on there, or your tank isn't completely cycled, it will cause all manner of fish health issues.

I also recommend that you invest in some Seachem Prime water conditioner. It actually can make high ammonia and nitrites not toxic to the fish. (Just in case that is an issue). Once you test your water and you find out what your parameters are in your tank, you will know if you will need to start doing more frequent water changes until everything settles down.
 
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fishlover1990

Can you give him an epsom salt bath? It acts as a natural laxative. Mix 1 tablespoon of non-scented, plain epsom salts with 1 gallon of water. Make sure the temp of the bath is the same temp as his water.

If he reacts badly when you put him in, take him out right away, and put him back in his hospital tank. If he suddenly poops almost right away, take him out of the bath and put him back in his hospital tank.

If there is an adverse reaction, leave him in the bath for about 15 minutes, and then return him to the hospital tank. You can do this twice a day.

This will help draw the stored fluids out and help him pass whatever is clogging him up.

You can also feed him daphnia, which is another natural laxative.

I have not tried that but I will go to the store and get some Epsom salt right now and give it a try. This is my first fish so I am not very knowledgeable about everything just yet. I will say this today he has been on the bottom of his tank head down like it weighs a million pounds and his body floating right above him. His stomach looks bigger than it did yesterday/last night I think. He is hiding behind the thermometer and won't come out as well as. Could this still just be constipation/swim bladder or are we moving into more dropsy like symptoms?
 
Upvote 0

fishlover1990

Can you give him an epsom salt bath? It acts as a natural laxative. Mix 1 tablespoon of non-scented, plain epsom salts with 1 gallon of water. Make sure the temp of the bath is the same temp as his water.

If he reacts badly when you put him in, take him out right away, and put him back in his hospital tank. If he suddenly poops almost right away, take him out of the bath and put him back in his hospital tank.

If there is an adverse reaction, leave him in the bath for about 15 minutes, and then return him to the hospital tank. You can do this twice a day.

This will help draw the stored fluids out and help him pass whatever is clogging him up.

You can also feed him daphnia, which is another natural laxative.

Also, you might want to get an API master test kit to test your tank water. If you have something going on there, or your tank isn't completely cycled, it will cause all manner of fish health issues.

I also recommend that you invest in some Seachem Prime water conditioner. It actually can make high ammonia and nitrites not toxic to the fish. (Just in case that is an issue). Once you test your water and you find out what your parameters are in your tank, you will know if you will need to start doing more frequent water changes until everything settles down.
So I gave him a epsom bath today and he tolerated it but he did not poop, I will go get some daphina tomorrow and try that he is getting bigger it looks like which is scary. I also bought some test strips and tested my old tank water (he is in a separate hospital tank with different water) and its roughly (it's test strips and the colors are hard to read) 0.05 nitrate/0 nitrite/hardness 75/alkalinity 170-180/ph seems to be about 7.5-7.8 the ph levels scare me cause I know that's outside his ideal range and more on the side of saltwater or at least brackish so I need to get some ph balance to remedy that. I currently use tetra aqua safe conditioner so if seachem is better I would be willing to pick up a bottle of that.
 
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Rose of Sharon

So I gave him a epsom bath today and he tolerated it but he did not poop, I will go get some daphina tomorrow and try that he is getting bigger it looks like which is scary. I also bought some test strips and tested my old tank water (he is in a separate hospital tank with different water) and its roughly (it's test strips and the colors are hard to read) 0.05 nitrate/0 nitrite/hardness 75/alkalinity 170-180/ph seems to be about 7.5-7.8 the ph levels scare me cause I know that's outside his ideal range and more on the side of saltwater or at least brackish so I need to get some ph balance to remedy that. I currently use tetra aqua safe conditioner so if seachem is better I would be willing to pick up a bottle of that.
If that is the ph level that he is used to, then I wouldn't do anything to it. You can do more harm than good by trying to quickly raise or lower ph.

Bettas can tolerate a pretty big ph range, but the key is to keeping it constant. If it is constantly at a 7.8, then that is fine. It's when you introduce substances to move it that can put fish into shock, which will cause death.

If you want to lower the ph just a tad, then Indian almond leaves will do that, and help the betta. The tannins are very good for them, and decrease stress and have small anitbacterial and antifungal properties.

I am sorry that the epsom salt bath did not work. You can try giving him 2 a day, as long as it isn't stressing him out. And I have always found that the daphnia will work, if it is constipation.

Seachem Prime is the best water conditioner, in my opinion. It does more than condition the water, so I recommend it over any other.

Can you post some pictures? If you can, make sure that you get a view from above him, and some side views, and a good shot of his tummy.

I would also do some small daily water changes to keep his water absolutely pristine. Small changes are really easy to do.

Please keep us updated!

I do hope he pulls out of this!
 
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fishlover1990

Thank you everyone for your help and input sadly when I came home from my doctors appointment I found out my little guy didn't make it. I feel absolutely terrible knowing he was probably in pain and suffering. I do believe it was dropsy from my own research as well as others input. Thank you for everyone's help. I tried everything I could to save him but I think it was just to late when I noticed he was ill. :(
 
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Rose of Sharon

I am so sorry for your loss!!!!
You did the best that you could, and I am sure you gave him a good life!
I have gone through this a few times, so I know what you are going through!
 
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