Sick Betta

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by NicoleRose451, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. NicoleRose451New MemberMember

    Hi, this is my first post on here so I'm sorry if I don't do something right. My friend recently got a betta fish from Walmart (I know, I know, I had no say in the matter). He bought it because it was pitifully sick looking and near dead; he hoped that I could help him fix it's problem since I own 3 happy bettas and many other fish. It had been sick from the moment he chose it out. I set him up with a basic 10 gallon aquarium, cycled and ready, and the fish is much happier. It is set at 80 degrees. Ammonia at 0, Nitrite is at 0, and pH=6.5.
    The fish exhibits the classic signs of Swim Bladder Disorder, such as resting sideways, not being able to reach the bottom of his tank, and generally having buoyancy issues. The odd thing is that his stomach is not visibly distended in any way. His swim bladder is curved out in the s-shape, though. His colors seem to be vivid and his tail and fins are both normal. We embarked on a 4-day fast followed by the feeding of a pea. It's been two days and the poor little guy has been getting slightly better but he has passed no feces. He seems to be more active and is extremely feisty and ate the pea gladly, but he's still obviously struggling. My friend is devastated and afraid to lose him. I've never encountered this problem with ANY of my bettas so I'm a bit in the dark, though I've done heavy research.
    If anyone has advice for me, I would truly appreciate it :( My friend and I are both desperate to save the little guy.

    Summary: My friend's betta fish is exhibiting signs of swim bladder disorder and constipation except swelling of the stomach. The fast/pea treatment did nothing.

  2. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to the forum :)

    Would it be possible to post a picture? We'll be able to give you better advice if we can see him!

  3. NicoleRose451New MemberMember

    Yes, sorry about that! This is the most recent picture. Sorry it's not the best quality. I've since moved him to a smaller quarantine tank as he was sinking in the 10 gallon :( Poor little trooper.

  4. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Hard to tell from this photo but is his spine warped too? Do his scales seem to be sticking out from his body (pineconing)? Might be helpful to get a shot from above too!
  5. NicoleRose451New MemberMember

    Here you go.

    He definitely doesn't have dropsy. No pineconing or lack of energy at all. He simply cannot poop or swim properly. Doesn't seem to me as if his spine is particularly warped, hard to tell though.
  6. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    If he's eating and active, I wouldn't worry just yet. What are you feeding him as a regular diet? Any treats? Frozen/live foods? Do you have gravel in his 10 gallon tank as well? I'm wondering if he has been pooping and you've missed it because it's fallen into the gravel.

    It's just possible that he actually has a deformed swim bladder and that there's really nothing wrong with him that you can help. I had a betta like this. If you can, provide nice resting spots near the surface for him (a stem of Pothos partially submerged is perfect) and teach him to associate your fingers or a pair of tweezers with food. Should be easy to do! He'll soon learn to look where your fingers/tweezers are and you can hand feed him to make sure the food doesn't get out of his reach;)
  7. NicoleRose451New MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply, that's really helpful. There was gravel in the 10 gallon but it's black so it shouldn't have been hard to tell if he was pooping. My friend has only had him for a week and we've been continually doing the fast/pea treatment. The poor guy is obviously hungry, but I'm scared to feed him regularly as he hasn't been passing anything at all and I don't want to compress his swim bladder more if he IS constipated. I'm a bit ignorant to this subject as all my bettas have been perfectly healthy.

    I will soon have no choice but to feed him pre-soaked pellets and hope he doesn't die, because he's obviously borderline starving. I'm guessing a Walmart employee/customer handled him too roughly, damaging his swim bladder. But it doesn't explain the lack of pooping :/ I think I will tell my friend to feed the little guy two pre-soaked betta pellets and hope for the best.
    Good news is that when I was helping my friend feed the betta a pea, he was already comfortable with my hand completely and ate from my fingers. Yay! I hope it's just that. He has such a nice, friendly, curious personality.
  8. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I would start feeding him normal betta foods. Just a little! Maybe 2 or 3 pellets a day to start.

    I wasn't thinking of the colour of the gravel but the spaces between;) It's amazing how much poop can hide in there!

    It may not have been rough handling that caused the problem, if that is the problem. It can be congenital and nobody's fault really.
  9. NicoleRose451New MemberMember

    Thanks! Quick update-after feeding he was much more active! swimming better, etc.
    Bad news: this morning my friend's little brother decided to "feed his fish" by dumping about 15 pellets into his tank. :/ So now he's extremely bloated as he ate many pellets before my friend found out and scooped them all out. Hoping he'll be ok..........
  10. Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

  11. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Oh no:( I would just let him work the food through his system and fast him for a day or so.
  12. NicoleRose451New MemberMember

    Update: We found poop in his tank. The little guy is feeling a lot better visibly, swimming a bit easier, not floating on his side. He's even building a bubble nest :D

    Never been happier to say "He pooped!!!". I think he'll be ok. Thank you all for your help, especially Aquaphobia.
  13. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Yay! Happy to hear he's on the mend:)

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