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Still floating

My BP has been 'floating' on top of the water for the last goin on 3 weeks now. She doesnt float sideways or upside down, stays horizontal. She swimms around and has actually managed to get herself into the tree trunk but she cant get situated in it right because she seems to have trouble staying at the bottom. She hasnt ate in a few weeks to my knowledge either. Last night we got her in the net and she allowed me to hold her and i put a shelled pea into her mouth but she just spit it out. If it is swim bladder what can I do? She's 8 years old and i love my fish. Its frustrating to not know whats goin on or what to do. We're running out of options.


Unfortunately there is no known cure for swim bladder disease. You're doing the right thing by trying to feed your fish peas, especially if constipation is the cause fo the disease. You could also try medicated food found at your local pet store. More often than not, though, the fish will eventually stop eating altogether and may starve to death or need to be euthanized. Sorry for you sad situation -- I'll be hoping for the best for you.

I just googled "Swim bladder disease" and "medication for swim bladder disease" And you can go crazy reading all that stuff! They say that swim bladder disease can be genetic, which is not the case for you because your BP was good up until recently, could be constipation or intestinal blockage, which they all recommend peas but if she spits out the peas, it won't work and disease caused by bacteria or virus, in the swim bladder's lining itself or an organ nearby that causes pressure on the swimbladder. Some say it's not treatable and some says it's treatable. Some says that they can live that way happily.

So it's up to you what you want to do, but if this happened to my 11 year old BP, I'd be desparate to treat him. Not eating could be a sign of constipation or internal bacterial disease. What I would do is not take a chance, just in case it's caused by bacterial disease, which will eventually cause his death, treat him with a broad spectrum antibiotic. I would use something that is permeable through the skin, like maracyn 2, since she's not eating. Some of the articles suggested Kanacyn, Spectogram, Tetracycline, or Furan 2. I would not use Tetracycline just because I've used it before and found it didn't work plus it made a mess out of the tank, turned the water brown and foamy. I've not used maracyn and maracyn 2 for at least 10 years but I've had good results. Maracyn 2 is for gram-negative bacteria which is the cause of the majority of disease that affects pet fish. I've used erythromycin with good results but had to repeat the treatment to see results.
OK I'm going on and on but the point is, it is up to you what to do because I am in no way an expert of aquarium keeping. And if I'm giving bad advise, I'd hate to cause your BP to get sicker or even die... I just know what I would do if it happened to my buddy and I would treat him for bacterial infection probably with maracyn2.

I hope this helps.

LAST CHANCE REMEDY NOTHING TO LOSE type "Epson" into the search box, to read how to treat constipation which pretty much sounds like your problem, you may lose your fish anyhow ut i would try it

I've heard of epsom salts dip to cure constipation in fish that won't eat. They do that to goldfish with constipation a lot. Shaz, can fish die of constipation?

Yes, they can! try this link, I use it for my Betta but you can use it basically for most fish, may have to adjust it ,this will stress out your fish so stop feeding anything except pealax(follow the method on the site) and try to get him eating but if you cant I would try the bath(you can treat in a large bucket) - United States ,ps I would "bag" your fish rather than net him, oophs, just read the other post with details of how to give the bath for a parrot, sounds good to me!

I had no idea they can die from constipation... that's horrible to die from not being able to go... I really hope her girl makes it.

Shaz, you helped me out a while ago when my fish was all by himself after loosing his mate and your advice was that maybe he's better off alone but I didn't see that reply and went and got another BP for company. I don't know if you remember? Well, I should have taken your advice and left him alone because the BP I brought home brought infection into my tank that almost killed my buddy twice already. The new BP died and then my buddy caught whatever he had and it was very expensive and was very labor intensive to bring him back!

Oh! I NEVER net my fish! I always bag them because I don't want to damage the fins or scales or scrape away the slime coat.

Anyway thank you for the good advice even though I didn't follow it at the time!

when I joined this site i knew zero about Blood Parrot fish but had had other fish for 40(ISH) years, I learned so much from reading all the posts,I had to upgrade my tank 3 times, i also have a LFS in whom I have a lot of confidence, parrots are unlike most fish, i still made mistakes, I read all advice and picked out that I felt was most appropriate, after all, its your fish and tank!someone posted last week about their rather depressed parrot, and in that case I thought a tank mate would help, its all a learning curve, as for constipation, it,s one of the things that can lead to swim bladder, which is often fatal, that's why its a good idea to feed frozen peas(thawed,shelled and nipped into bite size pieces) once a week,I also fast mine one day a week too(I feel so guilty, all four gang up and stare at me all day)by the way, I was giving the peas to Sushi (my Betta )as well until I was told on the Betta site that this is one fish that you shouldn't do that with, apparently they don't have the digestion needed,but this is something i didn't know , i also killed my first Betta by MISREADING the dose instruction!!!!!I hope her fish recovers too,in her case i wouldtry that Epson salt bath although its better if it will eat the peas so not to stress it out

I'm glad that you're around just in case I need help again! Can't beat 40 years of experience! I'm sure I'm going to need advice in the future, since my BP is getting old and prone to infections.

I also have a betta, they last only 2-3 years but I always get another when the current one passes. I once killed a favorite by misreading the instruction for dechlorinator.. that was a sad and upsetting moment for me knowing I accidentally killed this vibrant healthy guy. I don't think I'm over that one yet, I still feel guilty...
The betta I have now is a floater, he's been floating for about 8 months now. But he's good otherwise, and sometime he stops floating for a bit, but mostly he floats but he figured out a way to live with it.
I think bettas are insectivores, they probably can't digest vegetable materials. But I should be feeding my BP more peas, which I don't do often enough. I think I'll add that to his meal plan once a week, but I don't think I can fast him, I dont' think I'd have the nerve to do that, he loooooves his food so much.

I wonder how how the lady's BP is doing? I think I'll ask about her.

Anyway, I'm rambling! Thanks Shaz for everything and cross-my-finger, that I won't be needing your help with my BP in the future!

trishacarley - any update on your fish? How is she doing now?

her color has gotten deeper, it was very pale the other day, but she has been hiding in the tree trunk more. Still not eating, and still has trouble staying at the bottom of the tank. We have tried everything and am basically waiting on her to make up her mind. She isnt happy and I'm afraid she will end up dying. We are keeping our hopes up but are prepared for the worse. :(

does she have any tankmates? try and make the tank as peaceful as possible for her... maybe a little rest might just get her swiming again... drop a few sinking pellets around her see if that works.

Dim the lights a little.... dont over-do the medication and salt to cause more damange... i am not the expert but I feel a fish knows best for her.....