View Full Version : swim bladder disease?

06-13-2007, 04:01 AM
So, my betta has been gradually acting weirder and looking worse over the past couple of weeks. At first I thought he was just being eccentric, floating at the top of the bowl on his side, but it's continued, and his color has started to fade. He seems to roll over on his side uncontrollably, and also once or twice has rolled upside down. I was reading about this, and it looks like it might be a case of swim bladder disease, but I'm not sure what to do for it. I've read that it might be because of constipation, so I tried fasting him for 3 days, then gave him part of a green pea. Hasn't helped yet. Besides, I did see some bowel movements recently, anyway. I've adjusted the pH to 7.0, and I've added aquarium salt as well. I heard an epsom salt bath could work, but it seems like it might be a pretty stressful treatment for him. Before attempting it, I wanted to confirm that this is, in fact, swim bladder disease first, and I wanted to find out if there are other treatable causes besides constipation that I should be exploring. Thanks!

06-13-2007, 04:03 AM
what you did for him so far is good. How much do you feed him? how old is he? if youve had him for over a year, it may be his time

06-13-2007, 05:26 PM
He's about 6 months old - or, at least, I got him about 6 months ago, but I don't know when he was born... And I feed him usually once a day, in the evenings. For a long time I was feeding him bloodworms, just 3 or 4. More recently I've been feeding him floating pellets - usually 2-3 once per day. I've heard conflicting things about whether these foods are constipating (then again, like I said, I've continued to see bowel movements, so I don't think he's constipated anyway...). His appetite continues to be good, which I take as a reassuring sign...

06-13-2007, 08:01 PM
What size tank is he in? What are your water parameters? How big is your betta compared to when you got him? It sounds like you are not feeding too much so I don't think it would be constipation especially if you've seen him poop.

I've never seen swim bladder disease but it does kinda sound like it what I've read about it. I can't really think of anything else that would make them roll over and flip from time to time.

Maybe someone else will know for sure.

06-21-2007, 05:21 AM
Sorry I fell off the forum for a bit. So, my betta is continuing about the same - he still seems a bit bloated, his color is still pale, he occasionally rolls over on his side. But I've seen him down on the bottom of the bowl from time to time, and he's building small bubble nests, which I take is a good sign. I've tried feeding him a pea here and there, and I continue to see bowel movements. His belly does look a bit bloated, though. I think it may be swim bladder disease after all. Anyone know how of more definitive treatments, besides the green pea thing?

Also, I heard fasting was good. So, I was thinking I might fast him. But I was wondering: how long can betta go for without eating? I heard somewhere that they can go for a month. I'm actually going out of town for about 10 days, which is just about the limit I'd be willing to be away without changing his water (I'll change it right before I leave, and right when I return). But I thought, if fasting could help his swim bladder issue, could he go an entire 10 days without eating? Or should I find someone to feed him a pellet or two every day?

06-21-2007, 02:18 PM
The pea thing is not really for swim bladder disease. Its for constipation. Still need to know these things:

What size tank is he in? What are your water parameters? How big is your betta compared to when you got him?

It doesn't seem like you'd need to fast him since you're not feeding him too much. But 10 days without a water change if he's in a bowl and in this weakened state might be fatal. I hope he's living in at least a 2g cycled tank.

If he's still bloated but pooping he may have the beginning stages of dropsy.
Swim bladder disease is not cureable as far as I know BTW.

Lady Hobbs
06-21-2007, 02:31 PM
An epsom salt bath is said to help with swim bladder but you can only leave the fish in it for about 5 minutes then remove him. If it doesn't help you may need to do it again.