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Fish/Very sick betta and very confused owner


His fin rot (under control)
His fin rot (under con  

Hi there!
My little betta, Ozias Thelonius, has been quite sick this past week. He is constipated and has been having issues with his swim bladder because he pops up like a cork once he swims to the bottom of his tank. Not only that but he has been experiencing fin rot the last couple of days,, something I got under control with aquarium salts and some fun medication, but I think the aquarium salts are making him more bloated. He won't eat the frozen peas (one even landed on his face and he just sat there with it) and I'm worried he will starve to death. He is on his 5th day of salt treatments for the fin rot, which seemed to have stopped, but I'm worried if I switch to an Epsom salt treatment for the bloating, his rot will come back. He has a lot of energy and loves to flare up, but recently has been sleeping a lot on his lead hammock. I do 100% water transfer with the salt, and I keep his water at 75-78 degrees. I've been babying him all weekend and I don't want him to die.. What should I do?

Hi Lou

For the constipation, don't feed your Betta for 2-3 days. He will be fine without food for up to 3 days and this will allow him to clean himself out naturally. If after 3 days, he is still constipated, try the pea treatment again. Make sure you remove the outer shell of the pea, and feed him portions about the size of his eye. Then fast him for another day and he should be fine.

For the fin rot, continue the salt treatment, but make sure you are not using too much salt. I use 1 tbsp. per 10 gallons of water. You can also try some medications that are readily available at any fish store. These include Pimafix, which I successfully use for most fish illnesses. Others are Jungle Fungus Eliminator and Tetracycline, but I would try the Pimafix first.

To avoid constipation in Bettas, feed him a healthy diet such as Tetramin Tropical Flakes which I feed to all of my fish. Do NOT feed a Betta pellets. Pellets expand when they get wet and cause constipation and blockage before the fish has a chance to digest them. Also feed your Betta small amounts, about the size of his eye, as his eyeball is similar to the size of his stomach.

Keep the water clean and make sure his tank is large enough. A Betta needs at least a 5 gallon heated and filtered tank with a cover as Bettas often like to jump. I keep my Betta tanks a little warm, 80-82.

Hope this helps, good luck1



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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with fish and aquariums

HSG 2010-2011 prof

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