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Jul 5, 2020
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My betta (half a year old) is staying at the bottom of the tank and not going up to feed. I've seen him try to swim a few times and he can, but only for a few seconds before he quickly returns back to the ground. I think he can't keep his balance? He seems to move a bit sideways when he rests and floats around

I did a water test and the water has some hardness and some alkalinity, but I've already put in liquid to fix the alkalinity part. Other than that its clean, no ammonia or anything. I have a filter that works fine and there has been no problems in the past, but I've done a 25% water change just in case. My only guess is he has constipation? He seems to breathe a little faster than usual, but still pretty average. I can't see any signs of sickness, either.
Any guesses? I'm pretty sure its constipation so I'm mostly looking for confirmation at this point.
Fish don't get constipated, it's a human/ mammal issue caused by lack of fibre and water.

What are the cream coloured ball things in the tank?

Wipe the inside of the glass with a clean fish sponge.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. Wash filter media/ materials in a bucket of tank water and re-use them.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week or two. Then do it once a week after that.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Add some salt.
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

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