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Old 04-27-2012, 09:50 AM   #1 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Betta hospice advice...

Last night I was 100% convinced that my son's fish, Rock-N-Roll, was dead. He had been lying motionless at the bottom of the tank for hours, hadn't eaten his dinner, and didn't respond when I tapped on the tank. My husband gave the tank a huge whack and he moved slightly, but I attributed that to vibrations from how hard he hit the tank vs. actual movement. We agreed to wait until morning, though, just in case.

This morning Rock-N-Roll was lying in the exact same spot and didn't respond to about a dozen firm taps, so I told my son that his fish had died and had him come downstairs to say goodbye. He started crying pretty loudly and all of a sudden, Rock-N-Roll perked up and started swimming around a little. I was shocked, especially since I know he hasn't been to the surface since late yesterday afternoon. Well, the "recovery" was short-lived, he has now gone back to lying at the bottom of the tank and didn't eat his breakfast either. He has been struggling for some time with chronic SBD and some other issues and has been kind of deteriorating over the past couple of weeks, so I'm pretty convinced that this is the end for him, but I want to help it happen as gently as possible.

Here is what I've done:
- Lowered water level so he can more easily get to the surface (although he has not been able to do so)
- Put lots of silk plants , some lying sideways, so he has tons of potential places to rest at/near the surface
- Did a 50% water change yesterday with a double dose of Stress Coat and 1 tsp/G Epsom salts (he has been on this long-term for the chronic SBD)
- Keeping the water temp at a steady 80 degrees
- continued offering him food

Right now he is just laying there hiding under one of the silk plant leaves. I had to go to work so there's really nothing else I can do until I get home tonight, and I fully realize that he may not last that long, but just in case, is there anything else I can do to make him more comfortable or ease his passing?

Also, I believe I saw a post somewhere about euthanasia involving baking soda or something along those lines? Can anyone advise me about specifics? He doesn't seem to be actively struggling/suffering but I want to be prepared just in case.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:39 PM   #2 
Join Date: Oct 2011
After reading a bunch of other posts here, I think I've determined that there's really no hope of him recovering from this, and probably nothing much I can do to make him more comfortable. If he's still alive and in a same or worse condition when I get home, I will most likley euthanize him using the temperature shock method described here:

I'll miss the little guy....
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: California
You could also try adding tannins, like driftwood, and Indian almond leaves are even better. They also sell extracts. This calms fish down some, I think it helps a lot in the healing process.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:13 PM   #4 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Unfortunately they can last quite a while without going to the surface when they are dying :( I had one last several days and just before I was going to euthanize him he ended up going. You may want to look into clove oil. It is a natural anesthetic and can either be used alone in very high doses or used to completely anesthetize the fish prior to some other method of euthanasia.

In any event I'm truly sorry for your loss :(
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:50 PM   #5 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Well, now I am totally confused. I came home and the babysitter reported that Rock-N-Roll had been pretty much the same all day, just laying there in the corner on the bottom of the tank, but now all of a sudden he seems to have revived a little. He is swimming short distances, has gone to the surface a couple of times, has made his way around the whole tank, and even ate some dinner. I feel terrible now that I had contemplated euthanizing him. The only thing I can figure might have made a difference is that when I reduced the amount of water in the tank I forgot to adjust the heater accordingly so the tank temp has gradually risen from 80 to 85 over the course of the day today. Is it possible that raising the temp could have led to this recovery? I guess now I will just wait and see what happens...

A practical question: his tank is 2.5G but now there is probably only about 1G of water in there due to my lowering the water level. How often should I be doing water changes - is 2x/week 50/100 still ok, or do I need to do more frequently? Ever since his illness started, he has taken 100% water changes very hard so for now I might actually do 3 50% changes instead for a while because if he is recovering I don't want to cause him a setback - ok to do?
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