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Old 01-25-2010, 10:41 PM   #1 
laurelc
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mystery sickness or old age?

I've had my betta Mitch for about 2.5 years, and for the past 2 months or so he hasn't been as active as he used to be. He is red and his body and fins are not as bright as they used to be. His fins also seem to be turning clear, and are torn on the ends. I know that he got his tail stuck on the plant in his tank, which caused some of the tearing. I tried a different plant but it seems like no matter what I put in he gets stuck on it. I don't want to leave him without a plant completely, because he likes to sit in it near the top near his warm light. About a month ago he had "cottony" white tufts growing off him, which would go away if I changed the water and put aquarium salt in, but when his fins started looking clearer and clearer and coming apart I thought it might be fin rot, so I tried Betta Fix, which did not seem to do much, and then antibiotics that the local pet store recommended, which also does not seem to have done anything. The cottony stuff hasn't come back for a while, but the fins don't look any better. Now I am wondering if he is just getting old. How do old bettas act? I've also wondered if he might have velvet, because he has yellow/gold "sparkles" on his body and fins, but he has always had those, although maybe more now. He still eats, but seems to have a harder time swimming than he used to. Anyway, I don't know what else to do to help him, or if there even is anything I can do.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:06 PM   #2 
HopeInHeart
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Hello! Glad to see you're concerned about your betta.

How big a tank is he in? Is it heated? Having your tank at about 80 degrees is optimal in my opinion. It helps them feel good and brings out their colors, and I've also heard it can help to keep disease down.

Trying a silk plant would be an option so that it doesn't tear his fins. It sounds like perhaps his white cotton stuff could have been coloumnaris (sp?)--I don't know much about it perhaps somebody else will answer you.

You said he's having a harder time swimming. Is his belly really big? What do you feed him? Sometimes if they're bloated it can cause swim bladder trouble, and bloating can be caused by feeding him freeze-dried food or pellets that haven't been rehydrated.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:43 PM   #3 
laurelc
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He is in a 2 gallon tank, with a light on top which warms the water during the day while it is on. I'm in southern california so he probably does get a bit colder than ideal, but not as cold as if he were in an unheated tank elsewhere. I think I'll get one of those little heaters so the temperature is more consistent, a silk plant, and new food and see if any of those help. His water also keeps getting cloudy really fast, like in 2-3 days after changing it which is another mystery, it never did that before. Clean water does not seem to make him any happier, and it seems like he can't see well, he misses his food when trying to eat it : (
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