Hi all. Ive had my betta Pony for a little over two years. He has always been extremely healthy and i take care of him so well.. so i was surprised when i noticed he starting getting bloated and pinecone like scales. i knew right away it was dropsy. I am so devastated. I noticed this about a week and half ago. i started daily water changes, adding a teaspoon of epsom salt and three drops of Revive Health Aid by Hikari to his hospital bowl (about a 1 gallon bowl). I heard miracle stories of this working, but to no avail. Now I am noticing he is getting bigger, puffier and i know he is suffering. Would anyone suggest putting this fish down? If so, how? I need something humane and everything i read on the internet seems so horrible (i.e. freezing, clove oil). I heard adding vodka to the tank may be the most painless way.. but that still sounds like torture!
Also, if your fish has survived dropsy, how long did it take? what methods did you use?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. thank you!
Unfortunately, the most humane methods are also the hardest for the aquarist to carry out. If you can, I'd definitely suggest locating clove oil OR a product called Finquel. Finquel is a fish anaesthetic that can be used to safely euthanize fish when overdosed.
In the meantime, if your little guy is having difficulty reaching the surface, you can lower the water level as much as necessary to make it easier for him to swim up to breathe.
I'm so sorry your guy is sick but you've given him a very long life by betta standards. Anything over 2 years is a long life.
thanks for the suggestions. i will NOT do the freezing thing. I guess the clove oil is the best way to go. he doesnt stay at the bottom actually, he floats at the top on his side. most of the time he looks dead, but his gills are still moving. its a horrible sight. plus the way his scales are all spiney and how bloated he is - he just looks horrible. i cant stand to see him so miserable and in pain :( every night i go to sleep thinking he will probably be dead when i wake up, but hes not! he is just in the same position he was the night before looking just as miserable. its the worst. sometimes i wonder if i want him to put him down to put me out of MY misery. Is there any way he can come back from this?
ESalvi, I'm so sorry. Most likely, if he is that advanced, he is on his way out. Dropsy and pineconing are symptoms of internal problems and are a sign that the organs are beginning to shut down. He may be struggling but if it makes you feel any better, fish don't feel pain and suffering in the same way we humans do. I know it's small consolation, though. :(
Sorry your Betta isn't well, as others have posted-sometimes when a Betta is suffering we need to do what is right by them. But we also don't want to give up too soon either-Only you can make that decision....
Sadly it sounds like he may be aging out and without more information I can't comment on the environment or husbandry.....
What I would recommend you try-lower the water level and start Epsom salt 2tsp/gal and tannins-remove the filter if you use one, dim lit quiet location and if he seem to be suffering....Humanely euthanize
After work today, i went the the pharmacy to buy clove oil.. when i came home, i looked in the tank and Pony was swimming around! he also does not have pineconey scales anymore and his gills are still sticking up, but are no longer red! I guess the Hikari Betta Revive and epsom salt, plus daily water changes worked! Hopefully he continues to get better! I heard that dropsy is usually not reversible - its a miracle! thanks for the suggestions everyone, but the clove oil is going in the medicine cabinet and hopefully i never have to use it.