Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Pearl2011 10-18-2012 10:18 PM

Swim Bladder
My betta that I've had for about 1.25 years has swim bladder. Aside from peas is there anything I can do for her? She looks so pathetic just lying on the bottom of the tank and then shell spazz out when she has to get to the surface. Her fins are fine, her eyes are bright and she is not bloated. My worry is her being picked on by the other bettas.

Anything I can do?

thekoimaiden 10-19-2012 04:21 PM

All fish have a swim bladder. What it sounds like is that your female betta has a nonfunctioning one. This happens from time to time in the man-made fishes like bettas and goldfish.

Her getting picked on is a valid worry in a sorority tank. I would remove her from that aquarium and give her a separate tank. You'll want something shallow or heavily planted with lots of leaves close to the surface. This is so she doesn't have to make those mad dashes to the surface for air. A swim bladder disorder certainly isn't a death sentence for a fish, but you do have to take some extra measures to make sure she is comfortable.

Pearl2011 10-20-2012 02:06 PM

Ruby has been ignoring her, so far so good :)
She seemes more active today and I havent seem her do any mad dashes. My only other tank is a 3.5 gallon that I'm trying to get plants to grow in, and it is a bit disgusting right now. And I don't have a filter for it so i get this nasty film on top. There are some plant that she can rest on in the 10 gallon, but there not in her territory. She spends a lot of time in and near her vase I got for X Mas last year.
Will it start to function soon? She looks so sad. On the postive side: Its the only time she has ever been sick with a newbie who left her in a 1 gallon for 3 weeks when she was on vacation 3 days after she got her :)

thekoimaiden 10-20-2012 09:03 PM

Sadly, her swim bladder will probably not start to function again. I could go into the technical details, but it seems that one of the mechanisms isn't working anymore. There really is no way to know which one or if may start to work again.

If she's doing fine in the sorority now, I would just leave her there. It's not worth the stress of moving her. But if you see anyone pick on her, that's when it's time to find her a different home. Fish with damaged swim bladders can live perfectly normal lives.

Pearl2011 10-20-2012 09:55 PM

She seems to be breathing pretty heavy. Do you know how many times a minute it should be?? I know adult humans are 72 times a minute so should she be about 100? I know smaller animals have a quicker heart rate but does that apply to breathing?
Would AQ salt help? Got some for my B Day today so I dont have to borrow from my freind. Her quote: Since you keep ''borrowing'' my salt, I thought you could use some.
Melafix wont help, so no point in using that. I'm thinking of getting her a breeder box for her to go in so she can get some food at feeding time. I'll try hand feeding her.

thekoimaiden 10-20-2012 11:55 PM

I have no clue how many times a minute a betta should move her gills. If it looks heavy compared to the other females then there could be something wrong. But it could also be from having to swim to the top for air instead of being able to use her swim bladder. I have a male betta who seems to have loss the use of his swim bladder and I often see him breathing heavily from having to pull his fins around.

AQ salt won't do any good here. The swim bladder is a complex organ that relies on gas exchange to maintain neutral buoyancy. Making it harder for the fish to maintain equilibrium will not repair what ever is wrong with her swim bladder.

A breeder net is a great idea. She could still stay in the tank, but won't be in direct competition with the other females. Get a large one and put some fake plants in there for cover.

Pearl2011 10-21-2012 07:55 PM

Woke up this morning and checked the tank about an hour later and she had died :( She clearly handt died long ago because her colour hadn't started to fade. There was black on the edge of her gills so I'm guessing there was some thing wrong there. And my B Day was yesterday, not a good sign for this year? *sarcastic voice* I think ill change the gravel over to sand this Thursday so I can put some plants in. All the other look just fine, put ill change the water anyway.

thekoimaiden 10-21-2012 11:35 PM

I'm terribly sorry to hear that, Pearl. It's no fun losing a pet and even worse around your birthday. I wish I didn't know how that feels. Doing a water change sounds like a good idea to help the other girls even if nothing appears wrong. And I hope it stays that way.

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