My betta is sick 99% sure - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-03-2008, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
My betta is sick 99% sure

My betta is about 2 years old and has always been a gold fish bowl with rocks on bottom. I let his water get dirtier than normal I noticed he is turning what looks like flips and sitting at the top of the tank turning flips so I changed is water and conditioned it but he is still doing these weird flip like things and hanging out at the top of the bowl he usually stays in the middle of the bowl and does come up to be feed but otherwise spends most of time in the middle of the bowl my room temp is always 77 degrees. Help My father died and now it would just hurt my 4 yr old even more if his betta diesh
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-03-2008, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
Adding to this

I now have notice he is listful at the top of the tank on his side or almost upside down but when I approach him he swims weird like he can't swim right it is like he is turning over and over instead of just a scoot or jet he is turning over and over like a tumbler.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-04-2008, 08:12 AM
Maybe he has swim baldder disease. This can be caused by overfeeding. You mentioned that you went away and had someone else feed him. Maybe they overfed. Try not feeding him for several days and see if that helps.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-04-2008, 09:43 AM
does he look bloated?
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-04-2008, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
He is not bloated he justy hangs out at the top of the bowl and when I come near he tries to swim away but turns and flips it is like he has no equillibreuim
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-04-2008, 04:22 PM
Swim Bladder Disorder Information and Symptoms

Swim Bladder Disorder is an extremely common betta ailment, and it typically looks worse than it actually is. I know, you're probably sitting there watching your poor betta flop around, struggling valiantly to make it to the top for air, and basically looking nothing like his usual graceful self, and thinking to yourself, "This is it, I'm going to lose him." Let me make you feel a little better before I get into all the details - Swim bladder problems are not contagious, they don't seem to be painful, they are generally easy to treat, and they are usually not even close to fatal. Feel better? Good, let's get on to the fun stuff.

Symptoms can include:

Either floats uncontrollably to the top of the tank, or sinks to the bottom.
Seems to struggle greatly while swimming, and often will swim at an unusual angle.
May or may not have a "kinked" spine, often in the shape of an "S" when viewed from above.
May lie around, barely moving except when a mad dash is made to the surface for air.
May or may not have a swollen belly, often caused by constipation

Swim Bladder Disorder Treatment

Swim Bladder Disorder can be caused by several things, and it's best to try to figure out the cause of the problem because the cause will determine what treatment you will want to use. As always, I recommend isolating the ill betta for treatment if you have him/her in a community tank. While Swim Bladder Disorder isn't contagious, isolating the betta will make monitoring and treating the condition much easier on you (and will give the sick betta much needed "quiet time" to recover). If your betta is having a hard time getting to the surface for air, it is often a good idea to lower the water level to make things easier on him. Just remember if you do this that you have much less water volume than before and water changes must be increased to keep him in good health. Below is a list of things that can cause Swim Bladder Disorder, in order from most common to rarest.

Constipation - Constipation is the number one cause of Swim Bladder Disorder in otherwise healthy bettas. If your betta is showing symptoms of Swim Bladder Disorder, I always suggest treating the betta as if he has constipation first, because they usually do (click on the underlined "constipation" for treatment information).

Overfeeding - If your betta is displaying symptoms of Swim Bladder Disorder immediately after feedings, and the symptoms tend to go away after a few hours, you are probably overfeeding. It is helpful to remember that bettas only have stomachs approximately the size of one eye, so try to feed smaller meals several times a day instead of one giant meal once a day. That is the treatment for Swim Bladder Disorder caused by overfeeding in a nutshell, not too hard, eh?

Injury - Sometimes bettas who have recently been through a traumatic experience (being dropped on the floor, being in a physical fight with another betta, etc) may display Swim Bladder Disorder symptoms. In these cases, many times there is permanent damage to the swim bladder. Unfortunately this means that there is no real cure for the disorder if it is caused by injury, but you can manage the illness. Often bettas permanent swim bladder problems can live normal, healthy lives if accomodations are made - such as keeping the water level lower than normal to allow for easier access to air, or providing large-leaved plants near the water surface to make a "lounging" spot where launching off for air is more doable for the betta. Swim bladder problems are not painful and are generally not fatal in the case of injury, so these guys have a wonderful prognosis in general.

Birth Defects - This is one of those rare and yet common causes. If you are a betta breeder, it is extremely common to get some fry with congenital swim bladder problems. If you are someone that "collects" bettas from petstores, it would be extremely rare to find a betta whose swim bladder problems are caused by birth defects as usually wholesalers that supply the bettas will destroy fish with birth defects before they ever make it to the store. As in the case of injury, birth defects are really not curable but they can be managed so that the bettas can live normal, happy lives...if less graceful lives than non-damaged bettas.

Bacterial Infections - While I have never personally seen a case of Swim Bladder Disorder caused by a bacterial infection, some fishkeepers that I respect very much have, and so I will list this as a possible cause of swim bladder problems if nothing else seems to fit. I have always heard that swim bladder problems caused by bacterial infections are incredibly difficult to treat, which makes me wonder if they are not caused by something else altogether...just my random musings. If you are convinced your betta's swim bladder problems are caused by bacterial infection (or are sure that none of the other things i've listed above could be causing it), you may want to start treatment with a good broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Kanacyn (Kanamycin sulfate), Spectrogram (Kanamycin sulfate and Nitrofurazone), Tetracycline, or Furan 2 (Nitrofurazone). Again, I have not ever witnessed a bacterial swim bladder infection, so these medications may or may not work and I would exhaust all other possibilities before treating with these medications.

Swim Bladder Disorder Prevention

Almost anyone who keeps bettas will have to deal with a swim bladder problem or two in their betta-keeping career. It is one of the top three betta ailments along with finrot and constipation. That being said, there are a few things you can do to reduce your betta's chances of contracting Swim Bladder Disorder in the future.

Swim Bladder Disorder is almost always caused by overfeeding or constipation. Remember that a betta's stomach is only about as big as his eye, and feed small meals several times a day instead of one large meal. Remember to feed bettas with nutritionally sound foods and don't go overboard on fatty foods such as bloodworms to avoid constipation.

Water quality is extremely important to keeping healthy bettas, tank maintenance is key.

Check out this info I took from an article on the web about Swim Bladder in Betta Fish...Hope this helps.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-04-2008, 05:08 PM
Thank you, JMeenen, for the info on swimbladder disorder. I have a betta that was given to me last December that my cousin was going to flush. The fish wasn't being taken care of properly, lived in filthy water and he displayed symptoms of swimbladder disorder after I had him for about a week. Before I got him, his bowl had been knocked over by my cousin's cat and he was on the floor for who knows how long. I thought the swimbladder disorder symptoms were like some sort of a post traumatic stress disorder.Thanks to your info, I now know that the trauma he experienced had something to do with it.

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post #8 of 8 Old 08-04-2008, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
Thanks for all your help I am not sure if that is it or not he is hanging out almost at the top of his bowl and if I approach he does these weird movements. I bought him a new bowl with new rocks & went ahead and got him that betta water which is probably a waste of $$$ but his old bowl just would not come clean anymore and the rocks just always were smelly. I know bacteria can be a good thing but I am telling you my fish is really acting weird. He seemed almost normal for about 5 minutes when I put him in the new bowl then he started acting strange again
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