Sideways Betta?

gabyjaspan
  • #1
I just got this Betta and he’s sideways (alive, active and swimming). He tries to right himself but always lists back over to floating on his side. I got bettafix and I got him a nice big 3.5 gal tank just for him. I think a good home will do him good, but how do y’all think I should approach his sideways problem?

Side note: I think I'm gonna name him Tipsy!
 
Repolie
  • #2
Sounds like he has swim bladder disorder. Don't use Bettafix! It's a controversial medication for bettas because it contains tea tree oil which covers the surface of the water and coats the betta's labyrinth organ. Can you show a picture of him to us? Is the tank heated? Is it filtered? Is it cycled? Do you know the parameters? What do you feed him? How much do you feed him?
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Sounds like he has swim bladder disorder. Don't use Bettafix! It's a controversial medication for bettas because it contains tea tree oil which covers the surface of the water and coats the betta's labyrinth organ. Can you show a picture of him to us? Is the tank heated? Is it filtered? Is it cycled? Do you know the parameters? What do you feed him? How much do you feed him?

Oh no! Okay, should I do an emergency water change?? I’ll go and take a pic. It is filtered, heated, I haven’t fed him I literally just brought him home.
 
LexiNicoleAKAFishAddict
  • #4
Oh no! Okay, should I do an emergency water change?? I’ll go and take a pic. It is filtered, heated, I haven’t fed him I literally just brought him home.
I use BettaFix on my bettas (mine got injured and it cured his infection he had) I would just do a water change if you see film forming on the surface of the water but if you have a filter going it should be fine. No need to stress the fish with a water change. This issue does sound like swim bladder disorder, BettaFix is more for external problems I would say and not internal issues such as swim bladder ones.
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I use BettaFix on my bettas (mine got injured and it cured his infection he had) I would just do a water change if you see film forming on the surface of the water but if you have a filter going it should be fine. No need to stress the fish with a water change. This issue does sound like swim bladder disorder, BettaFix is more for external problems I would say and not internal issues such as swim bladder ones.

Yeah for sure it seems like swim bladder. The filter is very weak but I’ll watch for a film. I’m gonna try to give him half a pea tomorrow, he’s bloated towards the back on both sides. It’s not his spine cause it’s on both, so I’m guessing he’s blocked up. He’s trying to swim but he keeps bloating back up, and he goes behind the filter where the slimness of the gap props him up. Here he is just a few minutes ago:
3185752d3b9f329e97de1031d0b2e673.jpg
c75ed2a4028a9e4440bf6740b696b6bc.jpg
 
Rtessy
  • #6
Swim bladder disorder is most often caused by constipation. Unless you just got him, try fasting for 2 days then feeding small parts of a blanched deshelled pea.
Steps to avoid swim bladder include presoaking pellets and feeding some roughage, such as daphnia, which are a better choice than peas for bettas.
If you don't presoak the pellets, I'm not going to blame you, I don't either lol. It may be good to start doing now, since your guy is going to be more likely to get it again after this
Edit: Do you know your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings? That'll help a lot.
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #7
Bettafix doesn't do anything for swim bladder, it treats bacterial infections that lead to fin rot. Swim bladder issues are generally caused by overfeeding. Does his stomach look fat or bloated?
 
Repolie
  • #8
The bumps on his back is the swim bladder. You can see them mostly on long finned bettas and it's normal. Does his stomach area look bloated? Have you seen poop yet?
 
StrippedDinosaur
  • #9
If he is bloated, then +1 from me for feeding him a blanched pea. That’s how I cured my betta when she got bloated due to being over fed by the fish sitter
 
tragikmuse
  • #10
I am wondering about this too. My mother found a lovely betta at the pet store and despite it being side lying, which I figured was a swim bladder issue, she just had to have it and wants to save it. I have never had this issue since I have primarily kept butterfly koi in a pond until recently when I got on a betta kick.

Anyhow, we purchased a 1.5 gallon tank and a 5.5 gallon tank for this little guy. the 1.5 gallon tank is sparse but I figured it was small enough to use as a hospital tank and once we get him right, we will move to the 5.5 gallon. I used water from a cycled aquarium and a cycled filter to set up the tank and thus far reading have been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates. His little tank is pretty sparse other than a heater which is kept at 80 and a cup I put in for a little cave. I didnt put any substrate in it so I could see if he pottied since I suspected he might be constipated despite the absence of the huge bulges you see in pics of constipated betta. I have fasted him for 2.5 days and done an epsom salt dip but thus far have noticed no improvement.

He basically floats on teh surface but if you startle him (like removing him for a dip) he swims downward then floats back up to the top on his side. I'm starting to wonder if the SBD is bacterial in nature but I have no idea how to tell. Everything I have read doesn't really give a clear way to make the distinction between constipation and bacteria. I'm going to the store to get daphnia tomorrow to see if I can get him to eat. I would also like to know what medicine I should get him in case it doesn't improve. How long should I wait to see if he rights himself before administering meds? Can anyone recommend a good medication? I have some betta revive but I don't know how effective that is.
 
Repolie
  • #11
I am wondering about this too. My mother found a lovely betta at the pet store and despite it being side lying, which I figured was a swim bladder issue, she just had to have it and wants to save it. I have never had this issue since I have primarily kept butterfly koi in a pond until recently when I got on a betta kick.

Anyhow, we purchased a 1.5 gallon tank and a 5.5 gallon tank for this little guy. the 1.5 gallon tank is sparse but I figured it was small enough to use as a hospital tank and once we get him right, we will move to the 5.5 gallon. I used water from a cycled aquarium and a cycled filter to set up the tank and thus far reading have been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates. His little tank is pretty sparse other than a heater which is kept at 80 and a cup I put in for a little cave. I didnt put any substrate in it so I could see if he pottied since I suspected he might be constipated despite the absence of the huge bulges you see in pics of constipated betta. I have fasted him for 2.5 days and done an epsom salt dip but thus far have noticed no improvement.

He basically floats on teh surface but if you startle him (like removing him for a dip) he swims downward then floats back up to the top on his side. I'm starting to wonder if the SBD is bacterial in nature but I have no idea how to tell. Everything I have read doesn't really give a clear way to make the distinction between constipation and bacteria. I'm going to the store to get daphnia tomorrow to see if I can get him to eat. I would also like to know what medicine I should get him in case it doesn't improve. How long should I wait to see if he rights himself before administering meds? Can anyone recommend a good medication? I have some betta revive but I don't know how effective that is.
You should start your own thread because this is someone else's and it can be messy and confusing trying to solve 2 different people's problem in one thread.
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Swim bladder disorder is most often caused by constipation. Unless you just got him, try fasting for 2 days then feeding small parts of a blanched deshelled pea.
Steps to avoid swim bladder include presoaking pellets and feeding some roughage, such as daphnia, which are a better choice than peas for bettas.
If you don't presoak the pellets, I'm not going to blame you, I don't either lol. It may be good to start doing now, since your guy is going to be more likely to get it again after this
Edit: Do you know your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings? That'll help a lot.

He doesn’t look too bloated in the stomach area, but his swim bladder does seem swollen. I just got him a couple hours ago. Should I still fast him? I’ll give him a pea tomorrow if not. Peas saved my baby boy George, who was totally blocked up and nearly died! I’ve never heard of presoaking pellets, but maybe! He hasn’t gotten it again since then but with this new case he might need it. The readings should be at 0 considering it’s a fresh tank, I did however put some cycled media into the filter from my other tank to give it a kickstart
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Bettafix doesn't do anything for swim bladder, it treats bacterial infections that lead to fin rot. Swim bladder issues are generally caused by overfeeding. Does his stomach look fat or bloated?

He’s got fin rot too, so should I leave the bettafix in there too? I’m gonna try the pea method again, worked like a charm for my other SBD Betta

I was trying to quote all of y’all in one post but it won’t let me on my phone!
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
The bumps on his back is the swim bladder. You can see them mostly on long finned bettas and it's normal. Does his stomach area look bloated? Have you seen poop yet?

No poop yet, only a couple hours in his new home. Are they usually so pronounced? They look like they’re inflated. Will constipation cause them to swell?
 
Rtessy
  • #15
He doesn’t look too bloated in the stomach area, but his swim bladder does seem swollen. I just got him a couple hours ago. Should I still fast him? I’ll give him a pea tomorrow if not. Peas saved my baby boy George, who was totally blocked up and nearly died! I’ve never heard of presoaking pellets, but maybe! He hasn’t gotten it again since then but with this new case he might need it. The readings should be at 0 considering it’s a fresh tank, I did however put some cycled media into the filter from my other tank to give it a kickstart
In that case, don't fast him, feed him today once or twice as they actually don't feed them in the little cups. Start the fast tomorrow, good luck!
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
I am wondering about this too. My mother found a lovely betta at the pet store and despite it being side lying, which I figured was a swim bladder issue, she just had to have it and wants to save it. I have never had this issue since I have primarily kept butterfly koi in a pond until recently when I got on a betta kick.

Anyhow, we purchased a 1.5 gallon tank and a 5.5 gallon tank for this little guy. the 1.5 gallon tank is sparse but I figured it was small enough to use as a hospital tank and once we get him right, we will move to the 5.5 gallon. I used water from a cycled aquarium and a cycled filter to set up the tank and thus far reading have been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates. His little tank is pretty sparse other than a heater which is kept at 80 and a cup I put in for a little cave. I didnt put any substrate in it so I could see if he pottied since I suspected he might be constipated despite the absence of the huge bulges you see in pics of constipated betta. I have fasted him for 2.5 days and done an epsom salt dip but thus far have noticed no improvement.

He basically floats on teh surface but if you startle him (like removing him for a dip) he swims downward then floats back up to the top on his side. I'm starting to wonder if the SBD is bacterial in nature but I have no idea how to tell. Everything I have read doesn't really give a clear way to make the distinction between constipation and bacteria. I'm going to the store to get daphnia tomorrow to see if I can get him to eat. I would also like to know what medicine I should get him in case it doesn't improve. How long should I wait to see if he rights himself before administering meds? Can anyone recommend a good medication? I have some betta revive but I don't know how effective that is.

Try feeding him a half of a peeled, boiled pea! I just threw a pea in a bowl of water, tossed that in the microwave for two minutes, cut it up real small and fed him after 2 days of fasting. He pooped, and by the end of that week he had righted himself!
 
Repolie
  • #17
Yes constipation is visible and makes them look bloated. Search up some pictures for reference. Feed him and see if he poops, if he poops. It's not a constipation related problem.
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
In that case, don't fast him, feed him today once or twice as they actually don't feed them in the little cups. Start the fast tomorrow, good luck!

Thank you!! I’ll let you know if he eats. There were pellets in the cup I got him in, uneaten. This petsmart apparently treats them, does water changes and feeds them! I was very impressed!
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Yes constipation is visible and makes them look bloated. Search up some pictures for reference. Feed him and see if he poops, if he poops. It's not a constipation related problem.

In the stomach area I’ve seen, but he looks bloated toward his tail where the swim bladder is, popping out a lot like it’s inflated
 
Rtessy
  • #20
Thank you!! I’ll let you know if he eats. There were pellets in the cup I got him in, uneaten. This petsmart apparently treats them, does water changes and feeds them! I was very impressed!
Oh that's wonderful! If he doesn't eat, don't feed tomorrow and try a pea the next day. May take him a bit to realize it's food.
If it is constipation, which is very likely, not eating may be the best for him, and if he was taken care of he was likely fed.
Yeah, I can't even look at the bettas at my local PetSmart, they have about 20, and maybe 4 are alive each time I go. I mean, they leave them sitting out, dead, entirely fungused over, for days! Petco is a bit better, they can keep them alive a few weeks, but the PetSmart barely has any live fish, the dead always outweigh the living, no matter the type of fish.
Haha, sorry for the rant.
 
Repolie
  • #21
Does it look like the picture I attached? Some bettas have more protruding swim bladders than others. Other than that, I'm too lost on the bulging part and watch out for poop.
 

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gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Oh that's wonderful! If he doesn't eat, don't feed tomorrow and try a pea the next day. May take him a bit to realize it's food.
If it is constipation, which is very likely, not eating may be the best for him, and if he was taken care of he was likely fed.
Yeah, I can't even look at the bettas at my local PetSmart, they have about 20, and maybe 4 are alive each time I go. I mean, they leave them sitting out, dead, entirely fungused over, for days! Petco is a bit better, they can keep them alive a few weeks, but the PetSmart barely has any live fish, the dead always outweigh the living, no matter the type of fish.
Haha, sorry for the rant.

Normally that’s what I would expect from them too! This is a very very nice store though, I got my bearded dragon from there a few years ago and it’s been nice for years The manager there is stellar, told me all about how they treat the sick ones they check for every day! My local Petco is a good place to find cool bettas, if they’re alive Much worse there in this case. I’ll try a pea tomorrow and I’ll post a pic updating! I’m just glad he doesn’t sink, his tank is pretty big and tall so floating means he can breathe
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Does it look like the picture I attached? Some bettas have more protruding swim bladders than others. Other than that, I'm too lost on the bulging part and watch out for poop.

Yes, it looks like that! I guess I just feel like it’s inflated cause he floats like a balloon ‍♀️
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Okay so this morning, he is doing the same. I’m glad he made it through the night! Fasting him today, tomorrow he gets a pea
 
Iverg1
  • #25
for swim bladder you should fast for three days then after you fasted him feed him a pea and if he doesn't get any better treat with unscented pure epsom salt but only do this as a last resort (sorry I know eveyone told the OP to do this but to me it sounded like everyone was talking about petco and parimeters I just wanted to give it to OP straight)
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
for swim bladder you should fast for three days then after you fasted him feed him a pea and if he doesn't get any better treat with unscented pure epsom salt but only do this as a last resort (sorry I know eveyone told the OP to do this but to me it sounded like everyone was talking about petco and parimeters I just wanted to give it to OP straight)

You’re good! Thank you Idk since he was fed but didn’t appear to be eating how long I should really fast him. Maybe I’ll fast him until tomorrow night (it’d be two days/day and a half) then give him a pea. The bettafix will fix the fin rot hopefully too
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Okay so here he is now, he’s getting better at propping himself up
9acfbd502aea2881d9ff33723b8c900e.jpg but I still think his swim bladder is like very very inflated... thoughts?
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Hi, y’all! I know I have a thread about my sideways betta already but now there’s a new issue. He absolutely refuses to eat. I can’t feed him peas very easily because they sink and he can’t swim down to get them, so I tried getting tweezers and literally bringing them right to his mouth. Nothing was eaten and it’s been 2 days at home with no food. I don’t know when the last time he ate was, because there was a ton of uneaten food in his cup when I got him. How do I get him to eat?
 
FishFor2018
  • #29
either dip his food into garlic or feed him live food.
1. Is the tank cycled?
2. How many gallons?
3. What do you feed him?
4. Any Tank mates?
5. How long have you had him?
6. Is the tank heated and if so what temperature?
7. dose the tank have a filter?
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
either dip his food into garlic or feed him live food.
1. Is the tank cycled?
2. How many gallons?
3. What do you feed him?
4. Any Tank mates?
5. How long have you had him?
6. Is the tank heated and if so what temperature?
7. dose the tank have a filter?

What live food?
1.) no but it’s constantly being refreshed, new tank
2.) 3.5
3.) I’ve been fasting him since I got him two days ago, tried to feed him pea to get him to poop, he’s bloated
4.) No
5.) 2 days
6.) Yes, 78-80 F
7.) Yes
 
FishFor2018
  • #31
What live food?
1.) no but it’s constantly being refreshed, new tank
2.) 3.5
3.) I’ve been fasting him since I got him two days ago, tried to feed him pea to get him to poop, he’s bloated
4.) No
5.) 2 days
6.) Yes, 78-80 F
7.) Yes
baby brine shrimp, blood worms, and black worms would be the best choice. I recommend you upgrade his tank to 5+ gallons. what are the water parameters?
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
baby brine shrimp, blood worms, and black worms would be the best choice. I recommend you upgrade his tank to 5+ gallons. what are the water parameters?

Water parameters everything is at zero, would the live food cure his SBD? He can’t stay upright and can’t stay down.
 
FishFor2018
  • #33
Water parameters everything is at zero, would the live food cure his SBD? He can’t stay upright and can’t stay down.
Oh okay, I didn't know he had SBD. what do you mean by everything is zero? for SBD a 3.5 gallon tank is okay but just while he is sick, if you can only fill the tank halfway up is the heater and filter can't have that low of a water level then just leave it. the betta shouldn't be allowed to eat for 4 days and on the 5th day give him a pea. after he has recovered from SBD add a pinch of aquarium salt to the tank for the water change when you do it (only once)
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
Oh okay, I didn't know he had SBD. what do you mean by everything is zero? for SBD a 3.5 gallon tank is okay but just while he is sick, if you can only fill the tank halfway up is the heater and filter can't have that low of a water level then just leave it. the betta shouldn't be allowed to eat for 4 days and on the 5th day give him a pea. after he has recovered from SBD add a pinch of aquarium salt to the tank for the water change when you do it (only once)

Right. Here’s the thing: I’ve been fasting him for 2.5 days now, today being the .5, and I tried to feed him peas last night and today. He’s absolutely terrified of me, and swims away as soon as I try to feed him. when I got him, there was a bunch of uneaten pellet looking stuff at the bottom of his cup, so I’m assuming he hasnt eaten in a while. How long can they go before they starve? This little guy is on strike.
 
FishFor2018
  • #35
Right. Here’s the thing: I’ve been fasting him for 2.5 days now, today being the .5, and I tried to feed him peas last night and today. He’s absolutely terrified of me, and swims away as soon as I try to feed him. when I got him, there was a bunch of uneaten pellet looking stuff at the bottom of his cup, so I’m assuming he hasnt eaten in a while. How long can they go before they starve? This little guy is on strike.
they can go 2 weeks without eating. don't feed him for 1.5 more days and on the 5th day give him a pea and then on the 6th day return to normal feeding.
 
sinned4g63
  • #36
Mine was a very picky eater when I first got him, didn't eat anything for a week and the pellets he did try he just spit them out and totally forgot it existed. I eventually got some live blackworms from my LFS (after trying 3 kinds of pellets) and he went to town on those while I weened him over to Bug Bites with the occasional pea every Saturday evening. I found that sticking it on your finger tip and touching the water surface made it really easy for him to grab if the pea stuck, if it fell I used a turkey baster to suck it back up and by that point he was chasing it again. Give them enough time to fast and they will eat I'm sure. I fed some zucchinI to my shrimp and foolishly left the seeds in.. very foolish as my betta took a liking to it as well and tried some. He was so bloated I was worried he got a seed so I fasted for 2 weeks and resorted to an epsom salt bath when he wasn't going to the bathroom. He should be fine, but don't push it past that. Frozen daphnia is a really good natural laxative for them too if he likes it. My domestic has never had it and doesn't know its food yet.
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
Mine was a very picky eater when I first got him, didn't eat anything for a week and the pellets he did try he just spit them out and totally forgot it existed. I eventually got some live blackworms from my LFS (after trying 3 kinds of pellets) and he went to town on those while I weened him over to Bug Bites with the occasional pea every Saturday evening. I found that sticking it on your finger tip and touching the water surface made it really easy for him to grab if the pea stuck, if it fell I used a turkey baster to suck it back up and by that point he was chasing it again. Give them enough time to fast and they will eat I'm sure. I fed some zucchinI to my shrimp and foolishly left the seeds in.. very foolish as my betta took a liking to it as well and tried some. He was so bloated I was worried he got a seed so I fasted for 2 weeks and resorted to an epsom salt bath when he wasn't going to the bathroom. He should be fine, but don't push it past that. Frozen daphnia is a really good natural laxative for them too if he likes it. My domestic has never had it and doesn't know its food yet.

Thank you so much!! I’ve been siphoning it up with a pipette, and sticking it to my finger (my other Betta loves that) and he either freezes or swims away. I guess I’ll keep trying to give him the pea every day and if he doesn’t eat wait til the next day. He’s gotta eat eventually!
 
sinned4g63
  • #38
Thank you so much!! I’ve been siphoning it up with a pipette, and sticking it to my finger (my other Betta loves that) and he either freezes or swims away. I guess I’ll keep trying to give him the pea every day and if he doesn’t eat wait til the next day. He’s gotta eat eventually!
One would hope. He could also still be stressed if he is in a busy area with people walking by or excess noise. Just be patient and keep offering him food and removing what he misses. Just to clarify on the pea, I know all I've mentioned is "feeding him a pea". You do not want to offer him the entire thing, it should be frozen (not from a can!) and blanched. Cut it into quarters and cut the tip of one of those quarters. The piece you offer him should be no bigger then his eyeball.
 
gabyjaspan
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
One would hope. He could also still be stressed if he is in a busy area with people walking by or excess noise. Just be patient and keep offering him food and removing what he misses. Just to clarify on the pea, I know all I've mentioned is "feeding him a pea". You do not want to offer him the entire thing, it should be frozen (not from a can!) and blanched. Cut it into quarters and cut the tip of one of those quarters. The piece you offer him should be no bigger then his eyeball.

That’s how I’ve been preparing/serving the pea
 
sinned4g63
  • #40
That’s how I’ve been preparing/serving the pea
Ok I wasn't sure if I was confusing using general terms Haha I'd be pretty surprised if a betta sucked down an entire pea.
 

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