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Bloated, Sinking Betta, Tried Lots


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Hello all and thanks for reading,

We went out of town and had a fish sitter.  When we got back the tank water was probably 20% low and kind of dirty with food bits stuck to the walls, etc, and our betta was bloated with a long stringy poop (greyish).  he also showed some fin rot but we treated him for that recently before our trip and couldn't tell if it had gotten worse or not.  Betta had good, normal energy and buoyancy, just bloated.  He tends to eat the corys' food; so we fasted him.  2, 3 days and no change in bloat.  fed him some daphnia for fiber and he passed some stools - still stringy but slightly more brown.

We've had him quarantined since.  (around 5 days) We've done one round with maracyn and almost completed a round of para cleanse.  Still bloated and now lower energy and sinks slowly and does some gulping while spending most of his time sitting at the bottom. 

He is currently at 80 degrees, at water change this morning: less than .25 ppm ammonia, maybe 2ppm nitrite, ~10ppm nitrate.  pH is consistently ~8 for our water.

He is in a two gallon tank and I've been doing daily water changes of 25-50% depending on how high ammonia, etc has gotten.  the meds say to hold off on the water changes but I feel the nitrite and ammonia are what are impacting his low energy the most - he becomes significantly more active when the water is changed.  when I tried following the meds directions, after two days he looked dead and would flop still at the bottom in weird positions (many times with his face right in the sand/stones on the bottom) gulping.

We have a sponge filter/air stone in the tank.

But his bloat has not changed a bit.  haven't seen any stringy poops since the Meds, though.  and once he "wakes" and realizes he can eat, he enthusiastically comes to the surface, but then goes back down, sits at the bottom, gulping.

I am ordering some maracyn 2 and expel-p to also try.

Also, with water changes, I condition with Prime and have been adding 1 tsp salt per gallon vs the normal ~.5 tsp.

Any insights are appreciated.  Thank you!

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Any ammonia or nitrite are extremely toxic that could be causing the symptoms your seeing I wouldn't treat with more medication what I would do is get your ammonia and nitrite to zero with daily 50% water water changes and add a double dose of prime to help detoxify any ammonia or nitrite and i would do Epsom salt baths  1 table spoon for 1 gallon for no more than 15 minutes as epsom salt acts as a muscle relaxant to help with bloating 

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