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My betta ate / swallowed sand

Discussion in 'Betta Splendens' started by Chloe07, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Hi, my betta had SBD problem. So I had to fast him few days, then he was very hungry.
    His SBD didn't go away, got better after fasting but the constipation didn't get better. I tried pea and made it worse, then feed him frozen daphnia, but I'm not seeing healthy round poop for few weeks now.
    I've been feeding him Probiotix new life spectrum pellet (soaked in tank water for at least 10min) because it has probiotic which may help constipation. But the food amount is reduced than before.
    Yesterday, I saw him eating the sand. I saw him eating at least 3 pieces of sand. He just completely swallowed.
    The tank is bare bottom, there was sand in small pots to hold the live plants. so I replaced them with small aquarium rocks. His belly is still little bloated and sunken as shown in the pictures. Is this ok?
    I'm worried if this is SBD caused by parasite? I think I tried everything to cure the constipation. the temp is 79~80 degree. He is swimming little better after reducing the water.
    and what it worries me is the sand that he swallowed, maybe he ate more when I wasn't watching him.
    I saw some people wrote about betta getting confused with pellet and eating sand when he is hungry and eventually killed the fish.
    Will the sand come out with feces? or is there anything I can do?
    and today he has red color at the tip of his tail, is this something like fin rot or stress mark?
     

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    When you say SBD I assume you are talking about swim bladder disease/ disorder?

    Most fish don't have problems with their swim bladder. If a fish sinks to the bottom and struggles to swim up, but sinks again as soon as they stop swimming, that is a problem with the swim bladder.

    If a fish floats to the surface and struggles to swim down, and floats up as soon as it stops swimming, that can be a swim bladder problem or the fish has swallowed air and is floating due to air in its intestine.

    If a fish has swallowed air, the best thing to do is stop feeding it dry floating foods and use frozen (but defrosted) or live foods for a couple of weeks. These foods don't have air in and will help push the air through the fish's digestive tract (stomach and intestine), and the air bubbles will come out of its butt (fish farts). When the air bubbles come out, the fish will be able to swim normally again.

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    Sand will also be expelled from his butt, so just feed him well to get the food flowing through him, and the sand will come out over the next 24 hours.

    If you have a bare bottom tank, fish can see their reflection and will see dirt or sand and think it is food and sometimes eat it. Having a thin layer of brown gravel over the bottom will usually fix this problem.

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    The red edge to his tail just looks like colouration. However, you should monitor it over the next few weeks. If the tail starts to dissolve, then it is a bacterial infection. However, do not treat it at this stage. Just monitor it and if it gets worse, post pictures of it and we can talk about medications.
    In the mean time, wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge and do a 75% water change each day for a couple of weeks.
     
  3. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Hello Colin, thank you for your information.
    Yes, he is floating, having hard time swimming down. Yesterday he was mostly at the bottom of the tank, he was sinking down instead of floating, so I reduced the water to like 5 inches. I fed him little, then he floats again.
    Currently he can kind of swim down but float without his intention.
    Good thing is he just pooped, round one as regular size but the color is light greenish. Also, I found bunch of sand near the poop so I think its excreted as you said. It was much more thank I expected. He is still floating, little bloated belly and sunken body.
    I have frozen bloodworm, frozen brine shrimp and frozen daphnia. But in somehow, he gets more lethargic after eating frozen food. Of course, I defrost in tank water and wash few more times in tank water before feeding him. Making sure is not cold and I feed him very small amount only. I sometimes cut the blood worm to make him easy to swallow. Please let me know if I'm missing any step in feeding frozen food.
    He is all by himself in the tank with some live plants, and yesterday I found the ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 10ppm. Couldn't understand this because I was doing partial WC like 3 times a week, and the food was minimal. Then I found out one of the plant specie was dying off. The leaves fell almost all off so I took it out to investigate and the root was all melted and rotten inside the sand smelling bad. I think it was creating dirty water and ammonia. I did large water change yesterday and today. I will do everyday for now as you suggested. My floating plant (amazon frogbit) is also melting and having some holes, could this be because of lack of light? I left the light off to minimize his stress. Other plant like amazon sword, water onion, vallisneria are fine.
    I will try some frozen food now, thank you!
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Floating plants like light so if the light has been off, they could upset the plant.

    When you feed frozen bloodworms, you can cut the head off the bloodworm and throw it away. Then you can feed more to the fish. The head is the smooth round end and is the only part that can't be digested by fish. Removing the head will prevent the fish having any intestinal problems from eating the food.
     
  5. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Oh that is good tip to know, I will try it. Thank you so much!
     
  6. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Hello Colin, could you please take a look at his tail? The red patch is gone and there is like some fungus instead.
    Im going to do big water change daily buy worried if warer change and glass class are enough. My fish is very sensitive with meds, should I add little bit of aquarium salt or not yet.
    Thank you for your help.
     

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  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Water changes won't get rid of fungus once it's on the fish. You can try salt and if there's no improvement after a couple of days with salt, you will need an anti-fungal medication.

    You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 2 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water.

    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 but the higher dose rate will affect some plants. The lower dose rate will not affect plants.

    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.
     
  8. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Hello Colin, the aquarium salt is to kill the fungus, but I heard aquarium salt is not recommended for SBD. Epson salt is to he used for SBD, so Im worried if his SBD might get worse after using aquarium salt.
    Also, since he is sensitive could I use like half dose?
    I'm very worried about him, thank you for your help.
     
  9. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate will increase the general hardness of the water but won't do anything to fungus.

    Sodium Chloride (rock salt) is required to treat fungus.

    Fungus will kill the fish if not treated and needs to be dealt with asap.

    Your fish might not have any problems with its swim bladder. If fish swallow air, it will sit in their intestine and cause the fish to float up when it stops swimming. This continues until the air comes out the fish's butt (fish farts). If you stop feeding dry floating food for a couple of days the fish usually swim normally because they don't ingest air.
     
  10. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Hello Colin, his condition is not getting better. Im increasing the aquarium salt slowly so that he doesnt get shocked.
    I don't know why he has fungal infectin in his tail all of the sudden. Could it be from the rotten plant? He had little bit of fungus on upper eyelids for a while, could it be from it?
    Currently he is laying at the bottom of the tank. He is moving around little and eats very well. Responds to food and finger.
    What could be the red mark that appeared again im his tail? I did some research amd Im afraid if ots mycobacteria. He is having mycobacteria's symptoms which are red marks, bulgy eyes, curved body, smaller body etc. Or are these symptoms with any other fungal infection?
    I'm planning to have the med he needs to use it when its needed. I have seachem kenaplex (Kanamycin Sulfate at 32%), it says treats fungal and bacterial diseases. I also have Api general cure (Metronidazole&praziquantel) for parasites.
    Or should I buy fugus med like Tetra Fugus guard or Api fungus cure?
    And when I decide to use medication, should I do water change to reduce the salinity in tank or should I add the med keeping the salinity level?
    Sorry for so many questions.
     

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  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    It's not Mycobacteria (TB).

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    The fish has a minor bacterial infection in the tail (the red part, which is rotting away). This is allowing fungus to get into the damaged tissue.

    Fungus and bacteria are in all aquariums and only affect fish if they are sick, run down or injured. It's the same as us, people have bacteria, yeast, viruses and fungus all over our bodies but we only get infections if we damage the skin and allow these organisms to get into the wounds.

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    Kanamycin is an anti-biotic and does not treat fungus. SeaChem is full of crap and has misleading information on their website. I contacted them about this a while back because their website says it treats fungus and bacteria. It doesn't treat fungus.

    Metronidazole is another anti-biotic and won't do anything to fungus.

    Praziquantel only treats tapeworm and gill flukes.

    Anti-biotics only kill bacteria and should only be used on known bacterial infections that have not responded to normal fish medications. Improper use or mis-use of anti-biotics can cause drug resistant bacteria that can kill people, animals, birds and fish.

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    Get a broad spectrum fish medication that treats fungus, bacteria and protozoan infections. Most of the more common broad spectrum fish medications contain Malachite Green, Methylene Blue and Formaldehyde/ Formalin. Some contain Acriflavine instead of or in addition to these.

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    Before you treat the tank, do the following things.
    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.
    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

    Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will adsorb the medication and stop it working.

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

    Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in.
    Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water.

    Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

    You can use salt and medications at the same time. If you're going to use salt, add the full dose otherwise the fish could die before you get the salt levels high enough to do anything.
     
  12. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Try adding some Indian Almond leaves or Alder cones. They are a natural leaf found in betta natural habitats and have a slight anti-bacterial and anti/fungal substance. I use both the tannins from the leaves/cones and the natural leaf/cone itself. My bettas are happy and look better than they ever have. Their tails were fraying but now look great!
     
  13. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Hello Colin, my LSF has Kordon Methylen Blue and PetSmart has API Fungus cure which contains Acriflavine. I'm researching which one to choose.
    Do you recommend to use full dose of salt asap because my fish's case is serious? or low dose of salt harms the fish like low dose of antibiotic?
    I'm going out to buy the med and airstone, thank you for your help.
     
  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Use the full dose of salt straight away.

    Bacteria and fungus don't get exposed to salt on any regular basis and generally don't develop a resistance to it.
     
  15. Chloe07

    Chloe07 Fish Fanatic

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    Thank you I have IAL, I will consider to use it with the med.
     

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