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View Full Version : Betta floats like a cork



Kadina
03-02-2009, 06:31 PM
My betta has been acting odd. On Friday morning after I fed him 3 pellets he started hanging out at the surface. I thought nothing of it until I saw him try to swim. He struggled and his fins were going so fast but he only made it halfway to the bottom of the tank before shooting to the top like a cork. After a few hours he seemed fine. He lives at work so over the weekend he was alone and not fed. This morning I fed him his usual 3 pellets and with a half hour he was acting like a cork again. He has been bobbing around the top of the tank and struggling to swim down. His body appears normal, no bloating or spots or visible signs of disease.

I tested his water a few minutes ago:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 20

Its a small 3 gallon tank so I normally do a 50% water change on Mondays and Thursdays. I have not done the water change yet today. I've had him for about 18 months now and I've never seen him act this way before. Any idea what is wrong?

Sharon
03-02-2009, 07:02 PM
It sounds like swim bladder disorder. Sometimes they get constipated which puts pressure on the swim bladder. Sometimes, swim bladder problems can be due to injury. Fast him for five days, and then feed chopped peas. A varied diet is important...flakes, pellets, frozen bloodworms, peas....

Kadina
03-03-2009, 03:48 PM
Would the constipation come and go with his feedings? He is fasted for two days every week, but I will let him go 5 days and see how he does after a feeding. I haven't fed him today and he is swimming normally right now.

Sharon
03-03-2009, 04:26 PM
Would the constipation come and go with his feedings? He is fasted for two days every week, but I will let him go 5 days and see how he does after a feeding. I haven't fed him today and he is swimming normally right now.

That's actually a good sign...Finish the fast and then feed peas. Hope for poop! What are you feeding him as a rule?

Kadina
03-03-2009, 04:34 PM
He gets 3 TopFin betta pellets every morning and then on Friday afternoon before I leave for the weekend he gets a few freeze dried blood worms.

Sharon
03-03-2009, 06:52 PM
I would say his diet is the problem. Try to vary it more, including pellets, flakes, frozen bloodworm, and peas weekly...

Kadina
03-03-2009, 07:11 PM
Will do. I'll bring some different foods in from home, there is a smorgasbord there!

Kadina
03-04-2009, 08:08 PM
He acts like I am killing him!! Every time I open the cabinet above his tank where I keep his food to get something out for work he starts doing his feed me shuffle swim. He is making me feel guilty! Staring at me..staring...staring.

On the plus side, he continues to swim normally and on Friday I'll give him a pea.

Sharon
03-04-2009, 08:40 PM
Stay strong!!! They're really good at begging!:ssmile:

Kadina
03-06-2009, 02:27 PM
Well he ate half a pea this morning and is now bobbing at the top again and having trouble swimming below the surface. I guess I need to fast him longer?

Sharon
03-06-2009, 04:40 PM
I don't think a further fast will make the difference. I would guess that there is pressure on his swim bladder, made worse by a full stomach. Continue feeding the peas, so he poops a lot. Bettas with swim bladder problems can live happy lives, even though they have some difficulty swimming. I had one who happily built nests every day, although he couldn't manouever properly...He ignored many conversations where I advised him that he was in no shape to handle a girlfriend!!!:hmm3grin2orange:

Kadina
03-06-2009, 04:56 PM
Ok, thanks for the help Sharon, I appreciate it. This little guy really makes the long hours writing endless lines of code at work more bearable. I did some more research on my own as well and saw that the TopFin pellets I got at Petsmart are not the best food so I ditched it and got some Hikari Betta Bio Gold for him. I haven't offered it yet, but hopefully he will like the new stuff. I also put a small bag of peas and blood worms in the freezer at work so I can make them a regular part of his diet. Thanks again!

Sharon
03-06-2009, 07:01 PM
It sounds like you're doing a fine job!!! There is a chance that the peas haven't worked yet, and all he needs is a really big poop!!!:ssmile: If he seems uncomfortable to be at the top of the water, reduce the current, so he has more stability. Also he may enjoy a nice silk plant to rest in...

Kadina
03-09-2009, 03:06 PM
I think you were right about the peas not working yet. I came in to work this morning and as usual he was excitedly swimming around waiting for me. It has been and hour since I fed him another pea (and he takes the pieces right from my finger, so cute) and he is still swimming normally. I guess everything is moving along properly now!

I do have a java fern in his tank as well as a small cave. It definitely could use some more though!

Sharon
03-09-2009, 05:25 PM
I'm happy to hear that he is feeling better!!!thumbs2: