Swim Bladder Issues With Betta Fish

Haasio

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Today is the day before a week of vacation from school and I noticed my science teacher’s betta has been lying on his side. The science teacher said that he also hasn’t been eating very much, and let me take him home with me so I could watch him over the break.

I’m setting up a 3 gal hospital tank, with an air pump, heater, and daily water changes. When he lays, he shifts every so often. His fins look alright, and his breathing isn’t too labored.

I have pictures of him in the classroom tank attached. He moves, but he still swims sideways.

Is there any advice for treatment? I have API general cure on hand, and I may try a weak dose in case the swim bladder issue is bacteria related, but the primary method I think I’m going to use is frequent water changes.
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it seems he also may have minor fin rot, but that isn't the primary concern at the moment.
 

DutchAquarium

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that betta doesn't look good at all. i would begin adding garlic to the food which will boost his immune system. A swim bladder issue could be due to a bacterial infection and later resulting in dropsy. Begin treating with a bacterial medication and i would job on the fin rot problem right away. Make sure it's in clean water also which will help prevent the fin rot. Indian almond leaves and herbal medications will help with fin rot also. I would also remove the betta from the current aquarium and put in a shallower bowel. this will be less stressful for the betta to swim up and grab air.
 

jess3434

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Is he clamping his fins? And what are you guys doing for the week away from school? Are you taking him?
 
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Haasio

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@DutchAquarium , gotcha. I took him home with me and set him in the 3 gal hospital tank. I'm going to be doing daily 50% water changes, and I'll start feeding him the garlic juiced blanched peas I have.

@jess3434 , his fins were clamped earlier, though now that he's in the bigger tank, they're spread out more. He even flared at me a few minutes ago. I took him home with me and set up the 3 gal hospital tank. Here are some update photos, the first was taken while acclimating him, and the other two when he was in the hospital tank. The water has been treated very mildly with API General cure in case it is bacterial.
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There also appear to be weird lumps on his abdomen towards his tail.
 

Minerva77

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This looks almost exactly like what my betta has/is going through right now. Unfortunately, now my betta has dropsy, and I don't foresee him surviving much longer.
Your betta is still active, so that's good. It took mine months until he became incredibly lethargic, so I think you've got him early. I would recommend doing exactly what was mentioned above, but also add epsom salt baths. Make sure it is pure Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) with no additives.
 

DutchAquarium

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do not add epsom salt to the aquarium. Bettas have a very weak tolerbility to salt in the aquarium. only at a last resort would i recommend a salt dip "not a bath" even. The swelling could be a bacterial infection affecting the swim bladder. Dropsy is a secondary infection resulting from a bacterial infection. treat for a bacterial.
 
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Haasio

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Alrighty. I'll look into bacterial treatments.

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in the meantime, I managed to get him to eat. He's been eating pellets all his life, so it wasn't a shocker that he turned down flakes. He swallowed, and then spat out the pellets i had, including the garlic juiced ones. He even turned down bloodworms. However, I tried sashimi-grade salmon, but only flecks of it, maybe enough to fit on the tip of a chopstick, and he took those with gusto. Salmon seems rather fatty, but he hasn't eaten for a while, so it was worth the shot. Tomorrow, I'll try soaking some of his pellets in the salmon-juice and see if he'll take those.
 
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Haasio

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Update: he bubblenested. He’s also taking salmon flavored flakes now, so it’ll be easier to wean him back onto pellets.
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jess3434

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Good to hear! He might feel a little more comfortable with some plants, I know it's for quarantine but he might be happier.
 
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