I think something is wrong with Phlox

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Phloxface

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Maybe I'm just being paranoid but for the past week he's been acting funny. I thought at first he was just trying to be cute but now I'm not so sure. When I approach the tank he swims to the front and "sits" on the bottom, curving his tail sideways and facing upwards, kind of like the way a dog sits. He wiggles around like that and plays with me but tends to stay on the bottom, sometimes almost lying down sideways. He is able to swim to the top for feeding and seems to swim normally except for this weird behaviour. I am wondering if he could have swim bladder disease or be constipated. I think I'm going to feed only peas for two days and see if it helps. His tail is looking ragged again from him dragging it around on the bottom all the time. I just can't tell if he's doing this to get attention or something is really wrong.
 

LZ Floyd

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Hi Phloxface,

Does Phlox seem to be trying to scratch him- or herself?  That's a symptom of a few problems that may require meds.  That the tail is starting to show some wear seems like something that might call for a bit of medical assistance, too.  I hope it's something the pea treat will help eliminate, but with all the fin rot cases going around, his tail is something to keep an eye on.  Do you have a magnifying glass for closer inspection?  If not, I got one from Radio Shack that has a light built into it that works pretty well for close-ups.  If you get one from them, get spare bulbs, too, they don't last too long and it will save a trip/time for doing a replacement.

Good luck with Phlox, we wish your Betta the best.

Mike
 
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Phloxface

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No, he's not scratching himself. His belly looks really bloated. I think it's constipation. I tried feeding him peas this morning but he kept missing them like his aim is all off. He tried picking them up off the bottom of the tank but it seemed hard for him. He is having trouble balancing. I think the constipation is affecting his swim bladder. He was only doing this a little for the past few days but this morning he seems really bad. He wiggles to the top for air and then sinks to the bottom and lies on his side. I just hope I can get some peas into him to straighten him out. My poor little guy. He gets peas regularly and he still has this problem. I may have to start giving him pea every second day.
 

LZ Floyd

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GB had the "aim is off" problem a while back.  He would do the same thing, chase the pea chunks to the tank floor and stare at them because he's not built for eating from the floor of the tank.  Eventually, I was able to cut a few pieces small enough to hang in the water long enough for him to get.  (I went through a few trials leaving a number of chunks on the gravel before I was able to get something small enough for him to nab.)

It does sound like a constipation or swim bladder problem.  How that developed, I wouldn't have a clue.  Hopefully, he'll get enough vegetation in him to help clear the problem up, though.

Mike
 
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Phloxface

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He seems to have eaten all the pieces that fell to the bottom. I left them in for a while to see if he'd grab a piece or two. When I looked half an hour later he had gobbled up everything! I hope it's not going to be too much. His belly is enormous! He looks like he will explode! I'm not feeding him again today. Hopefully he will have a poo soon and his belly size will go down.
 

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I hope that that is all it is. I thought Royell was constipted at first too that first day I noticed his belly was getting big and I saw that he was having trouble pooping, so I figured it was constipation. I didn't feed him any dinner that night and no b'fast the next morning . That morning he was belly was even bigger and that's when I was starting to wonder if he had dropsy. I couldn'tunderstand that if he wasn't eating why his belly was growing more and more. Then that night when I decided to put him in the hosp. tank I was studying him and sureenogh his scales were starting raise. That pretty much clinched it for me that he had Dropsy. I hope for your sake that it is just constipation, but please keep a close eye on him and if his belly seems to be getting fatter and he hasn't eaten anything take precaution with him. I don't mean to scare you, but I thought the same thing you thought and now I don't know if Royell is even going to survive because I didn't catch it in the very beginning stages of it. Natalie :-\
 
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Phloxface

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Yes, the thought crossed my mind. It terrifies me!  I examined him from the top with a magnifying glass. His scales aren't raised but he looks REALLY bloated! He's been constipated before and this tends to happen repeatedly so I'm hoping after all the pea he ate this morning he'll poop and feel better. Last time he pooped within 12 hours and felt better.
The poor guy seems so uncomfortable right now. He keeps moving from one spot to another to rest. He's found that sitting between his pillars of his greek temple ornament helps keep him from tipping over so much. He tries to sit on his plant but keeps falling off. He's still swimming, quite fast and going to the top for air so he's still got some energy. He just seems in pain and uncomfortable. I wish I could help him more but all I can do is wait and see if the pea will help.

I really hope Royell survives. I just hate it when any of our babies are sick!
 

nmwierman1977

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I hope Phlox feels better soon. I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers. natalie
 

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I know you are a great Betta mommy so I almost hate to ask questions. I hope you do not get offended but I thought I would throw a couple of things out.

Sara ate some gravel but mine was that fine stuff that was basically big sand and it made it seem that she had constipation or swimbladder problems until it became obvious that the black gravel could be seen through her white hide. Are you using regular gravel or the sandy type stuff?

Then is there a way that he could have his temperature raised a couple more degrees. I know you keep your babies warm, but if they have a constipation problem, warmth will make their digestive systems speed up with the increase in their metabolism in the warmer water. If he is up to 82 he could go to 83 or so and maybe that will help him go a little easier.

Otherwise there is an Epsom Salts bath of 1/4 tsp of epsom salts per gallon of water. (dissolve in a small amount of aquarium water and add to the tank or put him in a quarantine container and treat the water in there. Increasing the temperature of the water will help to relieve the constipation) Epsom Salts are a magnesium sulfate not sodium based so they do not act like aquarium salt or other salts. They do not dehydrate or upset the osmotic balance of the tank or fish in the tank. You can put epsom salts in the tank it is just a little bit of a chore to remove them. This is a laxative for fish as a next resort after the pea treat.

I really hope that Phlox is okay. It does seem that the Betta Board is having a horrible time lately.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Phlox has the same white gravel he always had. It's really big and he couldn't get it in his mouth. His temp is at 83. I will try the Epsom Salt if he's not better by morning. He's slightly less bloated this evening, but still quite big and still sinking to the bottom. He's swimming vigorously when he does swim, the constipation wiggle. He ate nearly 3/4 of a pea this morning. I'm not feeding him any more today. That much pea should do the trick soon I hope. I have to go to work tonight and I'll be worrying about him all night. Hopefully when I get back in the morning he'll be better. We have a big winter storm heading this way tonight so I'll have to worry about the power going out too. That would be a death sentence for all my fish. The temp here is -15C
 
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Phloxface

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When I got home this morning Phlox zoomed to the top to greet me but when he stopped wiggling he sunk to the bottom again. His belly is still swollen but looks a bit smaller. I can't tell if he's had a poo yet or not since I didn't catch him doing it. He's getting pea again for breakfast, though not as much as he gobbled up yesterday. He'll continue to get peas until he can stop sinking and his belly is back to normal. He's pretty plugged up but I think he'll be alright. It's just going to take some time.

I'm wondering if I should cut a large sheet of filter floss and soak it and put it on the bottom of the tank were he lies so he won't be dragging around on the gravel? It would give him a nice soft carpet. What do you think?
 
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Phloxface

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He still hasn't improved. He's not getting worse, but not better either.  He's trying to cling to a plant to avoid lying on the gravel. I feel so bad for him. I don't even know exactly how long he's been constipated. He's been acting funny for at least a week or two but I thought he was just being goofy. He does that a lot. Does anyone know how long a Betta can be constipated before they die?  I'm so worried about him. I want to try the Epsom salt bath but I read somewhere that one person did this and killed her Betta. She may have put too much salt in but it scares me. Everything I've read says it's stressful and should be used as a last resort. I just wish I knew if this situation IS a last resort thing. For all I know he may have a tumor or some sort of infection. I wish I knew for sure. 
 

LZ Floyd

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That our Bettas can't tell us what's wrong with them makes it very frustrating when trying to find the right treatment. It's not a bad sign, though, that Phlox isn't getting worse.

I haven't a clue about the Epsom salts other than that Rose keeps some in her Betta first-aid kit.

As far as the constipation, I wonder if it would help to bump the temp up a degree or two???

Anyway, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and Phlox.

Mike
 

chickadee

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The laxative dose for a betta is 1/4 teaspoon dissolved in a small amount of water and put in 1 gallon of water or the equivalent (1 teaspoon dissolved in 4 gallons of water) Make sure the water is at least 83 degrees and if it is EPSOM salts NOT aquarium or any of the other types of salt he can stay in there all day. Epsom salts are different as they are magnesium based and do not upset their body chemistry the way a sodium based salt can do for a freshwater fish. If you think the problem is pure bloat, then go with the aquarium salt as you will want to have his fluid level reduced but if it is constipation that will make it worse. Dehydrating him when he is constipated could kill him that is why you need to use epsom salts first and give them a try.

Hope this helps.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Okay, I'll pick up some Epsom salt tomorrow morning when I get home from work. I'm off work after that until Mon night so I'll be able to take care of Phlox more closely. His tummy is smaller so he may have pooped a little and although he still sinks, he seems to be able to balance a little better. Yesterday he couldn't even stay upright. He was lying on his side and couldn't stay on the plant. Now he's staying upright and has found a way to wedge himself between some leaves so he's right at the top and can breathe easier.

It's hard to sleep knowing one of my babies is sick. 
 

chickadee

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I know this last couple of weeks with everyone's babies being so sick, I have had that problem too.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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I put Phlox in the epsom salt bath today. I used 1/4 teaspoon for 1 gallon. He was in for about 8 minutes and suddenly looked pale and wobbly. He started going belly up!  I was afraid it was killing him! I quickly put him back in his tank. He looks terrible and can barely swim. I just don't know what is wrong with him. Maybe it is a bacterial infection. His belly is not that big anymore but still a little fat. He just looks like he's in so much pain. I am wondering if I should start him on Maracyn 2. I'm afraid he is going to die.
 

LZ Floyd

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Wow that's bad about the Epsom salts bath.  Good thing you were monitoring the whole thing to pull Phlox out.

As far as starting Phlox on the Maracyn 2, idk.  Do you think it's a bacteria-related swim bladder disorder, constipation, combination, or something else?  Don't know if it would help, but it might be worth a try to raise the temp to 84.

Hang in there Phlox, we're pulling for you.

Mike
 

chickadee

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https://www.fishyfarmacy.com/fish_diseases

Have you tried searching his symptoms here. A lot of the stuff we have been running into is talked about under the categories given.

I would try Triple Sulfa according to the symptoms you have suggested.

I am so glad you were there for him when he had that adverse reaction to the Epsom Salts bath. He sounds like he had a hypersensitivity to it and could not handle it. It does not usually affect them so severely that they have symptoms. I am so sorry he went through that. I do hope he will be okay.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Yes I visited that site already and I also thought about trying the triple sulfa.  His belly looks normal now and he doesn't look constipated but he is swimming worse than ever. He tips over and lays on his side and barely can make it to the top for air.
I won't be trying the epsom salt again. He must be one of the few bettas who can't tolerate it. Thank God I didn't follow the directions given on most of the fish sites out there. They say to use one tablespoon of epsom salt per gallon of water! I used only 1/4 teaspoon. I think one tablespoon would have killed him. One forum I saw there was a woman who tried the one tablespoon and it killed her betta in about one minute. I'm really worried about him. He looks so pathetic. I'm getting the meds and a heater and filter for the hospital tank in the morning.
 
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