Strange Behavoir in Obviously sick Bala

Jan

Member
For the past four days it would seem that our bala was going to die. About 4 days ago I noticed our oldest bala (about 4 inches long) swimming upside down and vertical looking like it was going to die. We were sure that by morning he would be gone. The next morning we were surprised to see him still swimming but still swimming upside down and vertical.

All parameters of the tank are perfect in our 55 gallon tank. We are going on day 5 and he is still hanging on but it seems cruel. Has anyone heard of this or seen anything like it? Or have any ideas/suggestions for me. Thank you
 

susitna-flower

Member
Is he in with other fish? My two balas constantly "play", which consists of the larger one chasing the smaller around the tank, this kind of activity can cause bruising to the swim bladder which would account for what you described. If he doesn't die, they can recover as the bruise heals.

I might point out here that a 55 gallon tank is too small for balas. At 4" it is time to start thinking of a larger tank, as they will be much happier and healthier with room to grow. As soon as I moved mine to a 125 gal tank, they calmed down, and really started a growth spurt. Balas can get to 13"!
 
  • Thread Starter

Jan

Member
Thank you for your response. I have one other bala and a red-tail and a swordtail. I am thinking about getting a 125 gal as well, I just don't want to do it if they are both going to die on me. The only other problem is that he is not eating at all as he does not seem to have the strength. Every once is a while he will eat but not enough for his size. I really hope that he does survive but he seems to get weaker and weaker everyday. Did you fish just lay at the bottom of the tank at times?
 

susitna-flower

Member
My balas have not ever actually hurt each other, I was just saying that CAN happen, and it could hurt his swim bladder. This would also account for lack of appitite. The other cause of swimm bladder problems is constipation.

I want to give you hope, but by the same token, it sounds like your fish is in serious shape. If he does pass on, just remember balas love to be in a group of 2 or 3, so that larger tank should still be a consideration. Then you will have enough room for other fish that inhabit other areas of the tank.

I wish you the best of luck.
 
  • Thread Starter

Jan

Member
Thank you very much. Yeah, I think that he is in pretty serious shape. I just wish that there was something that I could do for him.

The fact that he has lived this long would tell me that it is not a contagious disease. I have not quarantined him is this a fair assumption?
 
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Jan

Member
I lost my bala today, he sure hung in there for a long time. He was not well though so it is a good thing. I read in another post about white poop, this indicates a problem for sure? If they are pooping white what needs to be done? Thanx
 

COBettaCouple

Member
:'( I'm sorry that you lost your Bala. White/clear poop usually indicates internal parasites but sometimes it results from diet. What food(s) do you feed the fish in that tank? Do you have any parasite clear tablets or other anti-parasitic meds?
 
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Jan

Member
I feed them Tropical Premium Flakes and Complete microgranules (alternating). I actually did not even realize that there was a problem before reading that the color was not right, so I have not tried any meds at all. I am pretty sure that they have had this color for a very long time now.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
you have other fish consistently pooping white/clear in that tank? I can't say 100% for sure, but it does sound very much like treating with meds would be in order.

Jan said:
I feed them Tropical Premium Flakes and Complete microgranules (alternating). I actually did not even realize that there was a problem before reading that the color was not right, so I have not tried any meds at all. I am pretty sure that they have had this color for a very long time now.
 
  • Thread Starter

Jan

Member
What if I do treat them and everything is normal? Will treating them make things worse?
 

jsalemi

Member
Jan said:
What if I do treat them and everything is normal? Will treating them make things worse?
Depends on the meds. Some (mostly the organic ones), the fish won't even notice. Others can stress the fish if used too much.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
The Parasite Clear tablets aren't overly harsh and would probably be the treatment to use at this point. I wouldn't treat the fish if they're pooping normal though.

Jan said:
What if I do treat them and everything is normal? Will treating them make things worse?
 
  • Thread Starter

Jan

Member
Thank you very much for the information.
 

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