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Old 02-21-2008, 03:12 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2008
sick or dying?

Hi, my betta has been with me for almost a year. He was doing fine until about 4 days ago when I noticed he was lethargic, is only swimming to the top, gets some air or eats 1 or 2 pellets of food, but it seems like he cannot stay afloat cause he goes up but sort of let go of himself immediately. Then, he reminds on the bottom of the tank on his left side. His color remains intact as well as his fins and he is eating.

I do not have a filter on his tank but it has been like that since day #1, about 1 year ago. I keep it clean and did clean it when noticed his behavior but nothing has changed.

Could he be dying or is he just sick?

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Old 02-21-2008, 03:27 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wisconsin
It sounds as if he is suffering from some swim bladder problems. If you add a few lg grains of epsom salts to the tank, or can get him to eat one or 2 small pieces of the salt, this should help.

What is his temp? How often are you cleaning his tank? How big of a tank is he in? There are a lot of things that can cause swim bladder problems, but dirty water and cold temps are 2 big ones. While you can usually treat the problem with the swim bladder, if you don't find and eliminate that cause it will continue to happen, which causes permanent damage and eventually death to the fish.

Bettas need clean water, temps about 80 and stable, and good food... that's really about it. If this has happened over a 1 yr time period, is it possible that nitrate levels are up? If water changes aren't done frequently enough and solid waste is not vac'd out of the tank, eventually nitrate levels go way up and will become toxic. It serves to slowly poison a fish. Long term high nitrates can also lead to a drastic drop in pH, which is also deadly to the fish.
It would be a good idea to check your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels. If you post test results (we need exact results for all of the above tests) we can help you to sort this out.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:39 PM   #3 
Join Date: Dec 2006
As Dawn said, but with one addition. Constipation is also a problem in fish, especially bettas, that are fed a staple of animal matter. In this case, most betta foods are blood worms. Try feeding him fresh peas, frozen will be ok. I thaw mine and smash them(a flashback to my days a wee lad) to make them easier for the betta to eat.
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