Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Irene 06-14-2008 09:46 PM

My betta has a bulge in it's side
My betta recently developed a bulge in it's side, like a bubble ready to burst, which is what I'm afraid of if it gets any bigger. Any ideas as to what this could be? My betta is approx. 2 years old.

bettaboy 06-14-2008 09:52 PM

sounds like a bacterial infection. Try PMing bettababy shes usually pretty good with these things.

okiemavis 06-14-2008 10:01 PM

We're going to need some more information before we can properly diagnose your betta. Could you read the link below and give us the information it asks for?

Also, a photo would be helpful in this situation, if you can get one.

Ariel 06-15-2008 01:14 PM

He could possibly be constipated. you might want to try fedding him some cooked peas (deshelled, of course) and it might help.

JMeenen 06-15-2008 04:55 PM

Uh oh..Happened to one of mine too...Like Bettaboy said Pm Bettababy, you need medication and she will know what to do.

Irene 06-15-2008 07:33 PM

betta with the bulge in it's side
Here are the answers to the questions:
1. I have a triangular 1 gal. tank from Petco.
2. I use tap water dechlorinated with Wardleys Watercare Chlor out and a few drops of Stress coat.
3. I've has this set-up since I've had my fish-approx. 2 yrs.
4. My betta is a loner, having eaten his only roommates when I first got him.
5. I have a plastic plant in the tank, for about 1 year now. The live one turned to mush. I also have natural aqaurium rocks, bean-sized. I learned the hard way- 2 dead bettas, the difference between natural river rocks(for decoration ONLY) and natural aquarium rocks.
6. The temp is room temp, I don't use a thermometer. When I change the water at cleaning I check by touch, not too cold, not too hot.
7. No filter, this tank came only with an air stone, tubing and a light. Petco advise that this would be all I needed.
8. What is a CO2 unit? I'm guessing I don't have one since I don't even know what it is.
9. My aquarium receives natural daylight all day long but it's not sitting directly in the sun. But the room gets lit very well.
10. I last cleaned the aquarium 1 1/2 wks ago. I have noticed that the leaves on my plant have gunk on them already which usually doesn't occur until week 3 when I'm ready to clean it so I know somethings up.
11. I clean the aquarium about once every month, it really doesn't get dirty. Seriously. And I'm constantly looking at his water to make sure it doesn't need it sooner.
12. I feed Betta Bits and blood worms, the worms not so often. I feed once a day in the evening. I thought I was supposed to feed only once a day but after reading your site I'm seeing that I should be doing it 2x's.
13. The lighting is the one that came with the tank but I don't really use it because he starts to puff up and attack his reflection in the glass the second the light goes on. I figured he'd be less stressed and I'm in So. California so it's got natural light pretty much all day long into the evening.
14. The bulge in his side just recently developed about 2 weeks ago, but for sure before the last cleaning. It looks like an air bubble and upon closer inspection with the light on, when he was at the top of the tank I could see the light coming through it so it's definately not solid. It's on his right side, lengthwise from his fin to almost the top fin and widthwise, from the bottom of his body to just past his midline. It doesn't prevent him from swimming to the bottom or staying down there. I'm just concerned for my fish and that this will get bigger, I'm afraid it's going to burst and that wouldn't be good.
15. I didn't know I was supposed to test the water with this type of set-up, at least that's what the Petco people told me.
16. N/A.
17. We got our fish about 2 yrs ago and like all the other bettas he didn't move much, I assume because of the cramped confines of the cup. But he got active once you picked up his cup. At home he's a regular active fish but his demeanor is a bit stressed lately. By the way, his name is Petals.

Irene 06-15-2008 07:37 PM

How do I pm her? I'm new to this site and I'm also a total computer knucklehead so any help is greatly appreciated from both myself and my fish.

okiemavis 06-15-2008 08:21 PM

Well, the first thing you're going to need to do is find out your water parameters. A liquid test kit (not strips!) is the best tool a fish keeper can own. Your local fish store will also probably test your water for free, but make them tell you the EXACT test result numbers, not just that it is 'fine'. Most people running those tests do not know how to interpret them properly.

Many medications can be very dangerous to fish if combined with poor water quality. Ammonia and nitrites build up very quickly in a 1 gallon tank, and are probably contributing to your fish's illness. Unfortunately, Petco employees rarely understand or care what a fish actually needs to be healthy, and instead tell you what they must to make a sale.

Here's a VERY good topic to read up on betta fish health:

I will PM bettababy for you and let her know you would like her help. However, she may not be online right away, so it's good to get a start on the things she'll need to know in the meantime. Also, a photo would be *very* helpful if you can get one.

Flashygrrl 06-15-2008 08:42 PM

With a 1 gallon tank, you really should be cleaning it once or twice a week. Even better, consider getting a 2.5 or bigger tank that you can put a filter on which still needs partial water changes weekly or more but is better for the betta. You'll be advised that probably no med treatment is even possible until you get the water quality into safe ranges and keep them there :(

MisticAllie314 06-15-2008 11:37 PM

It sounded like swim bladder/constipation at first... but normally that makes it very difficult for them to swim towards the bottom or middle w/o obvious discomfort... its kinda like having a lot of gas lol. But sounds to me that your have a very strong betta! Surviving two years in a small home, no heater, no filter... maybe you should upgrade the little guys home to a 2.5, get a small heater and filter... prolly run you like 20 -30 to get both... Your pet is sick... sounds bacterial... so u should upgrade or at least clean the tank more often... even if it looks clean...

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