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Betta Swimming at top of water


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#1 goodsoldier

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:10 PM

i just recently moved my betta from a 2 gallon tank to a 10. i have it heated, and conditioned the water and let it cycle for three days before i introduced him to the tank. he was a little lacking in color when in his old tank, but now he is a full vibrant red... the only difference is the fact that he can't seem to swim down... he's always right at the surface. i was wondering if this means there's something wrong with his swim bladder. i don't have a filter in the tank.... just a bubble rod to keep the water aerated(sp). it's just to keep the water moving about, as i have read that bettas don't like a lot of current in the water. anyway, please reply as i would like to get him swimming again, elsewhere in the tank that is.

also, what are some suggestions of smaller fish that will get along with male bettas in the same tank? i know it's got to be a little lonely in 10 gallons all by himself. thanks again.

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#2 riogal_11

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:47 PM

Definitely sounds like it could be swimbladder, but are you sure that's just not like his favorite place in his new tank? Does he try hard to swim down, and can't. Or does he look comfortable? As for the compatibility question, you'll have to wait for someone else to comment on that. There is so many differing opinions on that, that I've chosen to stay out of that from now on. I don't wanna give someone advice, only to get their betta attacked, or their betta attack something else I said should be ok to put in the tank.

#3 jollysue

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:47 PM

I read your post before. But I couldn't think of anything but water quality. I'm new to bettas. I know they will hang at the top for air. That's all I can think of. Can you check the water quality or make a water change?

Is he building a nest?

Edited by jollysue, 14 September 2005 - 10:49 PM.


#4 goodsoldier

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:56 PM

it appears that when he tries to swim down he floats back to the top... as in it look laborsome for him to go deeper into the water... he doesn't appear to be building a nest, and if that's his favorite part of the tank, then he must REALLY like it, ha.

#5 Durbkat

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:59 PM

How much do you feed him and how much? And some compatible fish are corys and sometimes large neon tetras might work. Try fasting him for a day or two.

Edited by Durbkat, 14 September 2005 - 11:05 PM.


#6 jollysue

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 10:59 PM

Sorry, goodsoldier, Someone more knowledgeable than me will have to help. Haven't dealt with that one>>knock on wood.

#7 Andie

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:07 PM

By the sounds of it, it's his swim bladder; same thing happened to one of my first bettas, because nobody told me that greedy bettas gobble too much food, because they don't know any better! Fast him for a day or two and he should pop back to normal, then reduce his food intake a bit.

#8 Durbkat

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:08 PM

How much do you feed him and how much? And some compatible fish are corys and sometimes large neon tetras might work. Try fasting him for a day or two.

View Post

Just go by what I said and you can't go wrong.

#9 jollysue

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:14 PM

I think you're talking about constipation. If the swim bladder is damaged it can't be fixed is what I've been told.

Hopefully the little guy just need to poop. Some pea, daphnia, fasting.

#10 Andie

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:27 AM

Actually, overfeeding is the most common cause of swim bladder disorder. There are other possibilities, but it's best to rule out overfeeding first. :) Feeding the betta too much causes the stomach to become too large, making it press against the swim bladder organ so the betta cannot manipulate it properly. Yes, swim bladder disorder can also be a symptom of constipation, since the blockage can have much the same effect on the organ, but constipation in and of itself will not cause the fish to act this way until the blockage affects the swim bladder, which is the organ that permits the fish to float or sink in the water (stoppered swim bladder=no air escaping, meaning fish is forced to float).

If the floating is the only symptom, Jill, try the fast. Should work just fine :nod:

ETA: A comprehensive article on SBD can be found here. You'll know best if your betta fits the symptoms or not. Best of luck! :thumbs:

Edited again to add: jollysue, although it is less likely, SBD can also be caused by damage to the organ itself by rough handling of some kind, and in that case is not always curable, which may be why you were told that. Real SBD, though, is more of a temporary condition than a disease, and should with any luck be completely fixable :)

Edited by Andie, 15 September 2005 - 12:43 AM.


#11 jollysue

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:30 AM

Thanks. I still don't understand being told that they won't recover from swim bladder desease?

#12 riogal_11

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:49 AM

Good explanation Andie. Swimbladder is sometimes not curable, I lost a fish to it once, and there was really nothing you could do, it was already so far gone. But yeah, in this case I'd say just fasting should work. Give him a couple days, and keep us updated. Goodluck

#13 jollysue

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 12:51 AM

Thanks, folks

#14 SRC

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 01:06 AM

SBD doesn't normally kill a fish. A fish can live a long life with an incurable Swim Bladder.

Some may die due to illness due to stress, but you can lessen the stress by lowering the water and providing a plant for which they can "rest" when they need to. Alot of fish are needlessly euthanized due to a bad swim bladder, because the owner believes that they are suffering.

The fish who have damaged Swim Bladders are generally the ones who never recover from it.

The ones who get SBD form over eating generally recover after a period of fasting, which allows the stomach to go down and let the swim bladder move back into it's normal position.
SBD caused from over eating happens because the stomach is over inflated from the excessive food, and it squeezes/moves the swim bladder out of it's normal position..causing the fish to become "out of balance" thus not allowing it to swim properly.

#15 DaSauce89

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 03:42 AM

I have proof of that

My Angel (Betta) Has a minor case of SBD but she acts so nomraly and flares at all the girls and eats like a pig LOL

she spents most if not all her time on the bottom near her castle.......she either comes up for air.......to eat ( Which is funny cuz she stays in front of the tank n wehn she sees me past she goes up and is like....aww false alarm) Or when another female invadse her space she goes crazy flaring LOL


she can swim up perfectly....its when she comes down that is hard.....she comes down like a feather.......

Other than that she is the coolest betta I've own

Moral of my post.......... Have hope a betta with SBD can live a cool healthy and perfect life :)

#16 JoLtNbolt

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:19 PM

any updates on your fish?




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