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Fraggles 01-14-2007 05:59 PM

Swim bladder or severe constipation?
Marley is my older betta, a little past two years old and a few months.

I had been gone for a month during Christmas vacation. I knew that it would be a bad idea to leave Marley behind, so I packed him up and brought him with me. I had a 2 gallon bowl at home to keep him in.

He got a 20% water change every two days, and then a complete water change every Saturday. He was happy, and even felt like building me multiple bubble nests.

Now I get him home and he's gone listless on me. He's not a very active fish to begin with (hence the name Bob Marley), so I didn't notice it right away. However I decided to switch tanks with him and Devin Townsend since Devin is a very aggressive, young fish, and Marley prefers to be in more cozy places.

While I was cleaning the tanks, I noticed Marley wasn't swimming around. He would try to rise and then drop like a rock in his little tank-cleaning cup.

Now I'm wondering if somehow his swim bladder was injured on the way home, or during the short time he got severely constipated back at home. There was a weekend I was away from home, visiting the other family. I had left instructions for my darling Mother, but they must have not been clear enough because Marley got really over fed. A good fast and a shelled green pea later, he was good to go. Perhaps that did some damage?

His belly is swollen, but not as bad as it was that day I feld him a green pea. He has been fasting since last Wednesday, so I'm a tad confused. I can't seem to find my water test kit, so I think that may hve stayed at home. Either way, the tanks were cleaned out with vinegar and scalding water when I returned from break. His scales aren't sticking out either. However his color has seemed to dim.

I'll feel really bad if Marley goes like this on me. He was a rescue from a martini glass. It was apparantly trendy at the time.

Lupin 01-14-2007 06:08 PM

Hi Patty.:)

I'd say it's swim bladder defect. Unfortunately, it can happen. I have posted this reply along with the others'.:)

Here are the following factors you may have look out:
1. Congenitally deformed bladder
2. Cancer or tuberculosis in organs adjacent to the swim bladder
3. Constipation
4. Poor nutrition
5. Chilling or rapid fluctuations in temperature
6. Serious parasitic infestation
7. Serious bacterial infestation
Make sure your temperature is stable and feed your fish with live food to ensure it is getting enough roughage

Here's one by Dawn.:)


Originally Posted by bettababy
This doesn't sound like a case for meds. What it sounds like is possibly swim bladder problem and/or neurological problems. Unfortunately, it happens. There are many causes, such as water quality, sodium chloride overdose, physical trauma, temperature jumps, and various others. It sounds to me as if the fish is too far gone to save, and is probably suffering. My personal advice would be to examine the other fish, if any, and if nobody else is showing any of those same symptoms, be humane, but put the fish down and end its suffering. I would also advise trying to eliminate causes in water quality and incompatible tank mates that may be present, but posting test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and size of tank, how long it has been set up, what and how much you're feeding (how often, too), if you've done water exchanges, and how many, how much water, and a list of all the other fish in the tank... and how many of each, live plants or fake, everything you can think to tell us will help.

There's not much you can do unfortunately except end his misery via euthanization. Clove oil will work.:)

Sorry to hear about Marley.:blueworry:

Fraggles 01-14-2007 06:21 PM

That's news I was hoping I wouldn't get. :(

As for their diets, I rotate between betta bites, betta flakes, and dried blood worm.

They get 2 pellets, or a few flakes, or one worm in the morning, followed by the same at night. I figure they're kinda like preventing colic in horses.

For the water, I need to replace the kit that got left four hours away. I can't believe I was silly enough to leave that behind in my haste to pack.

Both of them have their own tanks. Devin in the 10 gallon, and Marley in the 5 gallon.

Lupin 01-14-2007 06:30 PM

Edit: Pls try to monitor him and keep us updated if there is any improvement.:) For the moment, try to feed him green peas and hope for the best that he'll recover. Marley seems old already and who knows how old he was when you got him.:)

Fraggles 01-14-2007 06:33 PM

Well, I guess him going like this is better than going from dropsy in a martini glass.

At least I still have Devin, which I guess is the bright side.

Thanks for the help. :)

Lupin 01-14-2007 06:36 PM

Dropsy is worse than swim bladder in my opinion.:blueworry: Bulging eyes is quite painful.:blueshake: Try to monitor him for a few days and keep us updated if he's improving. If he seems getting worse, euthanize him to end his sufferings.:)

Fraggles 01-14-2007 06:50 PM

I accidentally nudged the desk, and he gave me a sudden burst of life and spat up a few bits of *something*.

Upon closer inspection on a magnifying lens, the roomies and I realize it's thread. As in sewing thread. Orange sewing thread.

How the heck did he do that? :shock: He could have mistaken pieces of it as worms and eaten a few.

Edit: I noticed a bit of red thread in Devin's tank, and he tried to eat it but promptly gave it back. I removed it so he couldn't try that again.

Lupin 01-14-2007 06:54 PM

:shock2: How's Marley?:) That's great.:love: He seems improving.:thumbsup: Glad you remove the thread before Devin tries to swallow it. Your relatives may have accidentally drop threads in their tanks.

Fraggles 01-14-2007 10:12 PM

Marley is only getting worse. His breathing is far slower, and shallow. We thought he was dead for a short while, but you can see his gills moving slightly.

I don't think making him keep on going through the night is humane. I do have some oil with me.

Poor baby.

Lupin 01-14-2007 10:35 PM

It would mean euthanizing him if he won't make it.:blueworry:

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