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Bloating or pineconing? Betta


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I was shocked to see my betta tonight like this.  He wasn't like this last night. 

Is it bloat or is it early stages of pineconing? 

Unfortunately I only noticed this after I dropped the food in.  I'll be fasting him for a few days at least. 

Anything else I should do?     Things I have at my disposal are IAL, stress guard, prime, and very old aquarium salt which I've never used with this fish. 

Temp is about 78. I'm going to try to raise it to 80. 

PH is 7-7.2

Ammonia is about 0.002ppm 

Nitrite is 0

Nitrate is hard for me to tell. 5 to 20ppm. I'm not good with colors. 


KH 40

Gh 180





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 I really hope it isn't what I think it is, I'm not sure he needs to fast if it is, might help him to take food if he's willing. You can try feeding him a pea if it is bloat, but raised scales in my experience is a bad bad sign in Bettas. I regret delaying the treatment for mine when I thought at first he was just constipated, so I'm betting you could try doing both. 

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Not sure if he's the same or worse.   He's still active. 

Edit: ordered kanaplex. Will get it tomorrow. 

I'll be doing a 50% water change in the afternoon and then add the salt.   Add a new IAL incase the old one is too old.   Not sure what caused this.   So I'll try to make things as clean/new as possible without harming beneficial bacteria. 

I can only do any tank maintenance when when my kid is napping. So any feedback until then would be helpful. 



Edited by Gideyon
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The last water change I did (maybe 2 weeks ago) was a bit stressful for him because he kept getting in the way.  

I made a possible bad decision and put it stress guard after that change. I've never used it before. 

Could that have any adverse effects on fish?   It seemed harmless.


Just trying to figure out possible causes.  


Other things I wonder about :   biofilm, old IAL, sulfate build up in substrate, some foreign substance being introduced unknowingly, something growing in the sponge I keep behind the HOB. He likes to sleep right next to it. 

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I'm being overly cautious with the salt.   I did a tad over 2 tbsp in a 10 gallon. 

50% water change. New IAL.  Boiled and put the boiled water in the new water to be added (along with the salt).  Threw out the older one, vacuumed the substrate.  Replaced the polypad.  Increased the temp a little more.  

He's still active but not as active as he usually is.  When I approach the tank he comes up and swims around.  But when I leave, instead of hanging out by the heater or HOB, he rests on the gravel. 

I have an air stone coming in tomorrow to help with oxygenation when treating with kanaplex. 

Question: @Colu, when you say to increase, is that after a water change, or minus the amount you added?   I'll add more tomorrow when I add the kanaplex to the rate you suggested. 



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I've heard kanaplex can be stressful on the kidneys.  After the third dose, how long do I leave it before I remove it?  Or has anyone gone beyond 3 doses? 

I've read that seachem was very conservative with their dosing. 

My betta hasn't improved much.  But he hasn't gotten worse.  I put the 3rd dose today.  Just not sure how long to wait. 

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