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Old 09-28-2010, 09:20 PM   #1 
angrybetta
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Please help: Cloudy eyes, fin rot, not eating

Hi, everyone,

My betta is quite old, and in the past 3-4 months his health has declined rapidly. His eyes are cloudy, though he seems to see large/dark/close-up objects. His back fin has rotted away completely and there is a white fleshy mound on his back. He hasn't eaten in almost a week, even when I drop a pellet right in front of his mouth. Increasingly he sinks to the bottom of his tank and lies on his side.

Is there anything I can do for him? Or is he just at the end of his life?


Other info: (I'm sorry I don't have all the information. I had no idea there were so many ways to better monitor my betta! He's mostly just done his own thing for years.)

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? Ranges from 70 to 80 degrees F.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? No, though it sits under a light which warms it.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Almost every day.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once or twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 95%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? "Betta Water Conditioner" and "BettaFix Medication."

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Slightly duller colors, but mostly still brightly colored. Cloudy eyes. Back fin has rotted away.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Listless, doesn't swim around much anymore, rarely extends his frills and gets angry, not eating, can't seem to control fins very well.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About 4 months ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? About 6 years old.


Thank you in advance for any advice!
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:30 PM   #2 
ashleyy
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First things first. Get him a heater. They aren't very cheap but needed. Marineland 25 watt is what I use for my 2.5 gallon.

You NEEEED to change his water more. At least every 3 days. With fin rot probably every other day. When you do this make sure the new water matches the new water's temperature. You'll need a thermometer.

70 degrees is low. 75-86 is preferred. I keep mines at 82-84.

Don't use BettaFix, Even though it says betta, it can be bad for his labyrinth organs.
Do make sure you use proper amounts of water conditioner.

To help his fin rot, Get aquarium salt. I found the same brand (API) at walmart for 3 bucks cheaper than petstores (its 1.40 at wally world.) Use as directed.

I suggest filling your tank a little lower so he can reach the top for air easier(but high enough to cover the heater) and change it everyday for 10 days.

He is 6 years old? He is pretty old and water changes can be stressful for him, if you don't feel comfortable putting him in this stress every day, I would just get him a heater, and put the recommended dosage of aquarium salt in his tank every time you water change. which should be 100% 3-4 days. That should help his fin rot.

I hope he pulls through :]

Last edited by ashleyy; 09-28-2010 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:14 PM   #3 
angrybetta
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Ashleyy, thank you so much for the detailed advice! I will stop using BettaFix immediately, change the water much more frequently, and start looking for the heater and salt.

Thanks again from both me and my fish! I hope he'll be back to his normal, angry self soon.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:55 PM   #4 
ashleyy
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lol I hope so too!

Hopefully someone else will add their insight as well, since he's an old fishy, they may have some other tips too. :]
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:38 PM   #5 
Adastra
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I definitely agree with the recommendation for more water changes--if he is old and has tumors (not uncommon in fish so overbred as bettas) the cleaner the water the easier it will be for his organs to remain functional. I would not medicate him with anything at this point except perhaps aquarium salt for a few days, personally, I don't like using AQ salt for longer than a week. Bettas originate from a part of the world where the water has very little electrolyte (salt) content, so they haven't adapted to be able to process this excess salt. Over time it places more strain on their organs--so it's definitely something you only use on an as-needed basis.

A heater will help him immensely. Lights often heat the water unevenly, and when you turn the light off at night (bettas need light during the day and darkness at night just like other animals) the temperature will swing, causing unnecessary stress. I suggest getting a 25 watt heater with an adjustable temperature dial--non-adjustable heater pads and pre-set heaters don't keep the temperature stable and often over heat the water or don't heat it enough depending on the temperature of your house. I use and recommend this heater: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...8&pcatid=11368
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:06 AM   #6 
angrybetta
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Ashleyy and Adastra, thanks again for your great advice!

I have bought a thermometer, aquarium salt, and a 25 watt heater. I'm changing the water every 2 or 3 days, and I've used the salt a couple of times. He certainly likes the heater. Right after I put it in, he was more active and started eating again.

He seems to have relapsed, though. For the past few days, he hasn't eaten anything and mostly lies motionless on his side near the top of the water. Occasionally he has a fit of energy and swims angrily around the tank. Maybe this is just the natural progression of age for him.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:55 PM   #7 
Adastra
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Definitely keep up with the water changes--I would lower the water level so that it's easier for him to reach the surface to breathe. You should check around at your local fish stores and see if they carry live blackworms. Something about how they wiggle in the water can convince fish that are even on their deathbeds to eat. Perhaps he'll turn around if he eats and has a lot of rest and clean water. If you can find it, some methylene blue would be helpful for preventing further infections in his vulnerable state.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #8 
angrybetta
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I'm sad to report that my betta, Moby Dick the Second, has died.

He lived an impressively long life, despite four jumps out of his tank to the floor, nothing but tap water for years, and a hungry cat who eyed him speculatively from time to time. His favorite activities were staring, mesmerized, at bright yellow objects and flaring angrily at everything else. I'm sure he's wrecking havoc already in an aquatic afterlife.

Once again, thank you so much for your advice. I plan to get another betta sometime and I feel better prepared to be a betta owner now.
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