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Old 06-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #1 
mropbox
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Unhappy Should I euthanize my fish? :(

Mike Fin lives in a 1-gallon bowl with a silk-and-plastic plant and some rocks, which I rinsed and refilled with dechlorinated tap water about once every three days. I've had him for about 1.5 years; no idea how old he was before that because I got him from a sorority benefit sale.

About 10 days ago, he started showing signs of popeye (eye started to swell a bit) and had a white cottony patch growing near his mouth. He'd been lethargic for a few days before that, but since I've never had a fish before, I didn't read it as a sign of illness and just assumed he was tired.

I read up on the Internet, decided it was probably a water quality issue (small bowl), changed the water right away, and started treating the water with Melafix for the fungus at 1/2 tsp per 10 gallons of water once a day. I also did 100% water changes daily.

The popeye subsided after two days, but the white patch by his mouth remained and got bigger, covering most of the top of his mouth like a mustache. Yesterday, as Mike Fin was aiming for a piece of food, he somehow bumped the fungus on his mouth, and his entire top lip fell off.

As far as I can tell, he can no longer eat food because his mouth no longer closes. I watched him try and fail to grab a pellet about four times when I fed him tonight. :(

Now he's lethargic and just kind of floats around, either hanging out at the bottom of the bowl or on the plant. Sometimes he struggles up to the surface of the water and gasps at the air, but even when there are food pellets he usually doesn't even go in their direction.

I don't want Mike Fin to starve to death. Is it too late? What can I do?
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:43 PM   #2 
Taeanna
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Are you able to post a picture of his facial region? it will let us assess feeding options and treating methods you can look into if we know precisely what the damage is.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:55 PM   #3 
mropbox
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I tried to get a good photo. He doesn't like the light very much.

http://imgur.com/LYzDTTA
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:10 PM   #4 
Taeanna
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aww poor precious!

Right now you are right, this comes down to wether or not your boy is able to ingest food. Without the abilty to make a seal with his mouth he cant rely on his usual suck and grab method of catching his food.
I recommend feeding him tiny bits of food, even a tiny pellet may need to be crushed up even further- then soak them in tank water for several minutes so he wont need to chew and offer them to him on the end of a toothpick. This will seem awkward for him at first but keep at it, angle the food gently towards his mouth and wait. Many owners feed fish treats in a very similar way when training them so he should wrap his head around the technique in no time (even if it takes him a few days he should be okay, bettas can go for well over a week without eating at a pinch) he will likely try to chew at first so if you see the food spit back up dont fret, he needs to learn to swallow the tiny food crumbs whole and this is very messy for a fish.

If he is able to get some food into his system this way then he may be able to regrow his lip at least a little. It may never look quite right again but it is possible to grow at least enough of a lip ridge to be able to eat properly again.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #5 
BlueLacee
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+1

Don't euthanize him unless he is suffering, truly suffering and not enjoying life.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:33 PM   #6 
FishieLover12
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awwww poor guy
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