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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 6 gallon bookshelf aquarium up and running for almost a year now.

I do a water change once a week and the occupants of the aquarium are one betta fish and four fresh water snails.

Everything was going smoothly until yesterday, when Jor was at the bottom of the tank almost on his side. He would come up for air and then would go back down and rest. I thought maybe he was just dozing, as I keep the light in my bedroom dim at night.

I wake up this morning to find him resting on a silk plant. I went to feed him and he swam up, but just took a gulp of air and went back down, but this time to the bottom, again resting on his side.

I immediately remember reading about swimmers bladder.

I did a partial water change and isolated him in the plastic container he came in, and put that in the aquarium, so he wouldn't struggle to make his way to the top.

This is where I get confused: I've read to feed him a thawed, shelled, frozen pea piece after a couple of casting days. I've also read that doing this can easily cause more digestive issues and shouldn't be done at all.

Any advice on that?

On top of this issue, I noticed he has a good size hole on his bottom fin, smack in the middle of it, so I added aquarium salt in hopes it will heal him. (I've gone through fin rot with him, but it was just the edges, but he healed up with the salt added in after a few weeks.) is this the route I should take again with him?

Also, should I give my aquarium a good cleaning? I siphon the junk on the bottom, when doing the water changes, but I know a ton of stuff is left over. I know some of it needs to stay, but I'm just not to sure on what to do.

I love my betta and don't want him to get worse.

Thanks for any and all advice!
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Blanched peas (I'd lightly blanch and peel the pea to make it softer and easier to digest than feeding raw) can help if he is constipated. Constipation is one possible cause for swim bladder issues, as all the stoppage/swelling can push up against the swim bladder.

Dosing a little Epsom salt can also help, as it is a natural laxitive (epsom salt is entirely different from aquarium salt).

I do not think moving him into a cup was a good move- he needs to be kept in warm water (high 70s to low 80s F) and his water as clean as possible, and the volume of water in a cup is not enough to dilute his waste.

I'd move him back into his tank, BUT first do a big water change (at least 75%) to make sure his water quality in that tank is good, and then take the water level down to maybe 4-6" in the tank to help him be closer to the surface. (Be careful not make sure your heater stays submersed to the correct level.)

If he doesn't look significantly better in the next day or two, or takes a turn for the worse, I'd try an antibiotic. Bacterial infections are another common cause of swim bladder problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
His cup is floating with him inside at the top of the tank. The heater is at a steady 82 degrees. Did that big water change on Sunday. I'll let him out and see how he does for today.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Glad to hear he's doing better already!

For a recovery that quick, to me that sounds like he was constipated- is there any poop in the bottom of his cup, and if so, what does it look like? (Not trying to be too gross or graphic here- but this could help rule out other potential problems that might reoccur/still be an issue.)

What is his diet? What brand, kind (flake, pellet, frozen, etc), and how often are you feeding him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In bed right now, but yes he did poop. It was a dark string, but not long.

I have small pellets that came highly recommended, because the normal size pellets were to big for him. I feed him before I leave for work and then a little after 6pm or so.

He's swimming so much better now.

The fin rot is baffling. I took water readings and everything is perfect, but I'm wondering if the water temp is to high for him at 84 degrees.

Added aquarium salt for him, but it's right in the middle of the fin, it looks like a solid fin with an awkward shaped hole in it.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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84F is a little on the high side. 78-82F is usually the "ideal" range, so I'd bring your heater down a bit.

He may have just ripped his fin somehow.

You don't need to feed him 2x a day, and I personally would make sure that he has lots of insects in his diet rather than relying solely on a pellet food (which can lead to constipation). Live food is always best, but frozen are good, too. Bloodworms usually go over great. Not saying not to feed the pellet, just to go easy with it and make sure it's not the only food he's getting.

Domesticated bettas are prone to overeating- with both constipation and obesity as common subsequent health issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went to Petsmart and bought the Marineland all-in-one remedy.

Used it as instructed and lowered the heat to 81 degrees.

Ran the full course, but it hasn't improved the situation at all. Matter of fact, it has gotten worse as the tear now has white at the top and looks like it might be eating into his body.

I've now got onto aqaurium salt in hopes that it will help.

My betta is now flaring at the snails that have been in the tank with him for a good six months.

I'm starting to panic, because I don't think he's going to last to much longer!
 

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You need an actual antibiotic, try something like maracyn or seachem kanaplex(my fav). also you only need to feed your betta once a day, you could even skip a day once a week, it helps them clear out their system. Variety is also a great idea. Heck i rarely feed my fish the same thing in one week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Unfortunately, I can't get to the pet store (no car) and at this point I'm lost on the whole thing. I put him in his old 2.5 tank and with some AQ salt.

I don't think he's going to make it.

I've had him for almost a year and this is how it's going to end.

I've read so many contradictions over what to do, including cleaning out the entire aquarium and starting from scratch. I don't know if I can go through that whole thing again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just feel badly at this point. I had to move him out of his 6.6 gallon tank to a 2.5 with less water, because he was acting weird and struggling to reach the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update: My Betta us quarantined in his 2.5 gallon tanks until Wednesday with a med to repair fin rot. I can honestly say he looks better. I know that the fin can grow back, but the main concern was the white stuff that looked like it was attacking his body.

I'm thankful to say that the white stuff is gone and he's acting normal.

I took the time today to really clean the inside of his tank, but left the substrate mostly intact. I hope this helps the situatation, as he goes back into the 6.6 gallon on Wednesday.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Glad he's doing better! Make sure you watch his water parameters really carefully; all the meds and cleaning have probably disrupted the tanks' cycles. I'd probabably check the ammonia and nitrites daily for the next week or two and do water changes if either reach 0.25 ppm.
 
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