We have a sick betta fish and we're not sure what to do. It's been going on for about 2 weeks now, he started to lay at

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Customer: We have a sick betta fish and we're not sure what to do
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the betta fish's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: It's been going on for about 2 weeks now, he started to lay at the bottom of the tank so we googled and came up with swim fish bladder so we put him in a smaller tank and after about 3 days we put a quarter of a pea in the tank to try to help with digestion per a YouTube video but he is still at the bottom of the small tank laying on his side mostly band isn't interested in swimming to the top or eating
JA: How has the betta fish's appetite been? Any changes in his stool?
Customer: He hasn't had any release of stool
JA: Could he have eaten something unusual?
Customer: We have live and fake plants in his tank along with gravel and miss balls
JA: And what's the betta fish's name and age?
Customer: Moss sorry
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** he's approximately a year old
Answered by Terri in 51 mins 2 years ago
20+ years of experience

48,370 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

can you post a pic so I can see his condition?

Customer attachment 7/31/2020 2:47:16 PM
Customer attachment 7/31/2020 2:48:18 PM

thank you, ***** ***** me 15 minutes to type answer



Lethargy can be a sign of a few things and they are:

1) unfavorable water conditions

2) old age which for a betta would be anything 2+ years

3) disease

What I recommend be done is change 30% of the water in the tank using dechlorinated water that is the same temperature as the water already in the tank.

Verify that the water temperature is at the proper level for bettas which is 80f/26c degrees if not then slowly adjust it until it reaches the proper temperature.

Begin to treat the fish with a medicine called Betta Fix which can be found at most major pet stores. Follow the directions on the product label for usage/dosage instructions.


The symptom you describe can be an indication that the fish is suffering from problems with it's swim bladder, an advanced case. The name of the disorder is called Swim Bladder Disease.

The swim bladder is an organ that fish have that when functioning properly enables them to swim up and down at will. It also enables the fish to maintain it's buoyancy.

When the swim bladder becomes blocked, infected or too full of air it ceases to do it's job thus the fish's inability to swim or swim properly. Many fish, because of their odd shape are highly suceptible to swim bladder problems

If the fish is being fed dry flake food then this could definitely cause a problem as dry food tends to expand in a fish's stomach thereby causing problems for some fish and as many species of fish tend to gulp their food this would even add to their susceptability to swim bladder problems.

The recommended treatment plan is to fast the fish for 2-3 days and then begin to feed the fish canned peas or parboiled frozen peas without the husk as you have been doing. Usually it's best to crush the peas before feeding and feed 1-2 peas a day depending on the size of the fish. The pea diet should be fed in between 2 days of fasting the fish. So in essence feed the pea diet for 2 days then fast the fish for 2 days etc etc. Do this routine for 2 weeks.

It also helps to lower the water level if possible between 25-50% as this puts less water pressure on the fish thereby making it a little easier to swim.

In addition to the pea diet it would be a good idea to treat the fish with an anti-bacterial medicine such as Maracyn 2 as the pea diet alone will sometimes not be enough as you have seen.

The excess intake of air is a primary cause of swim bladder problems which is why it's also better to soak flake food prior to feeding as mentioned earlier many fish tend to gulp their food when eating.

TRY Daphnia if he won't eat the pea.

So try the fast,dapgnia or the pea diet and Maracyn 2 but keep in mind that sbd can be a stubborn and sometimes impossible ailment to cure.

It's truly one of the pestering problems that fish keepers encounter all too frequently.

I have listed below a link which will give you a view of Maracyn 2.


I hope this information has been helpful. I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me (bottom of the page if using the app). A 5-star rating is appreciated as top notch answers are my focus. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply so that I may help until you’ve received the assistance you need. Until you issue a rating, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating at no further charge on this thread.Kind regards,Terri
Thank you very much!

it is my pleasure to help such a caring person

Please be so kind as to rate my answer so I am credited by the site....,I will still be here for you at no additional charge.

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