Sushi is 5-6 years old. has a 1 gl bowl with rocks and plants he's had forever. had problem w/ SBD years ago, so we use aquarium salt and feed fresh bloodworms. a month ago his bowl cracked; I wasn't home. A friend got a new bowl, added different rocks (not sure where from), and switched sushi's betta hammock for a used one he had in his tank. 2 weeks ago sushi started acting weird. Now, he can't swim, won't eat and lays in his plant at the top of the water. If he falls out of the plant, I have to pick him up to put him back. His scales don't seem to be raised, but where the gills meet the belly seems swollen. He is still blowing a bubble mat, which seems strange since he's so sick. I don't know what to do but he is suffering and starving to death. It has been 6 days since he's eaten, I'm scared. Bacterial infection? SBD? Please help!! :(
Aww poor guy..
Unfortunately he is very old so you don't want to do a whole lot to him to cause him extra stress. Is there a way to put back his original items in his tank?
The only thing I would recommend is Epsom Salt treatment as it's very gentle on fish, and if he is having trouble with his swim bladder for any reason it can help.
2 teaspoons of Epsom Salt (undyed, unfragranced, can be purchased at most stores in the pharmacy section, dissolve it before adding it to his water).. you will want to do daily 100% water changes adding in the salt + water conditioner each time. If by the 8th day there is no change, then you may have to consider the possibility he is just at the end of his very long life and give him peace and rest from the water changes- keep up with the weekly water changes of 1 50% and 1 100% per week to make sure his water stays clean. You can remove the substrate and not have it in there if you are unsure where it is from and are worried.
Make sure not to use AQ salt, especially for bloating/SBD as it can actually make it worse.
Make sure the temp is a constant 78-82*F without any fluctuation as that can cause stress on him as well- colder water (low 70s) won't kill but causes the immune system and metabolism to be lowered.
Without any physical signs other than not able to swim it's hard to tell exactly what is going on inside of him.. if he continues to have trouble swimming then you can lower the water level to 3-4 inches so that way if he does fall off he can reach the top a little bit easier.
5-6 years of age is old for a betta these days, most pet store bettas have a life expectancy of 2-3 years due to mass breeding for numbers rather than health, and bettas purchased from quality breeders you tend to get 3-5 years of life. Anything over isn't unheard of, just not as common. So sadly this may just be his age finally catching up to him.
Thanks so much for the support. I am currently trying epsom salt, but as far as the temp? Idk, probably about what the room is @ 71 degrees. I can't find a heater for a tank as small as his (actually it's currently the hospital coffee pot), if I put him back in the new house, it's too large for him to swim to the top and I can't tell if he poops because I have to cover the heater (it's an under gravel type) with stones. For now, I have boiled everything he comes into contact with and he is in epsom salt. If I do 100% water changes about every 12 hours, the water should stay warmer, but I feel like it stresses him out to keep moving him around. I guess we'll see. From everything I read online, maybe it's constipation, or else as Myates said, maybe it's just his time. Poor fishy, I'm so sad. :'(
good luck give us update :( I agree with everything that Myates wrote, but wondering if he has internal parasites. Did you see his poo?
Bubble nest unfortunately doesn't mean that betta is healthy . It just natural instinct. I saw many bettas in the store and even sick ones had bubble nest . It sad to see it in the store,but your betta live long and happy life. Not a lot of people have 5-6 years old betta.
I have 10 bettas and a few of them also will be about 5.5 years old.
Update on poor Sushi. Unfortunately he passed last night. I got up to check on him around 4:30 and he was gone. So sad :'''( my hubby buried him under my pink hydrangea this morning. I will miss him terribly (especially the wiggling), but I know that he had a really happy life. Thanks so much to everyone who helped out. I appreciate all of the time everyone took.
R.I.P Fishy 2007-2012