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Old 12-17-2012, 03:28 AM   #1 
rosebud345
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Unhappy Should I end his suffering?

Hey, long-time reader, first-time poster. Petey is my first betta fish- he's been happy most of the time (10 months since i got him). But this past week has been terrible for both of us- I've had a hard time distinguishing if he's dead or not. Upon closer inspection, you can see his gills move. But he hasn't been moving or eating for the past week, and is laying at the bottom of the tank fully on his side..

I'm wondering what I should do- I've been waiting for him to die, but maybe there's a chance? And if there isn't, then I want to make him as comfortable as possible. Should I "put him out of his misery"? I wouldn't know how, but the toilet sounds like the worst way to go.


Here's the questions list that has been floating around:
Housing
What size is your tank? 1 gal
What temperature is your tank? 78F
Does your tank have a filter? added 2 weeks ago. didn't use it before because I didn't think of putting a buffer on it.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? BettaMin flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day, sometimes every other day (hasn't been eating the past week)

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? once a week-ish (i know, i know... should be more often, it's a small tank)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? BettaBowl plus conditioner, sometimes BettaFix in the past month for his damaged fins

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I took some water to petco, the guy said the ammonia is good, but needs more nitrate.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? discoloration, fin rot, a little bit of white fungus coming off his front fins
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He hardly moves now, I thought he was dead.. he lays on his side at the bottom of the tank. Looks like he's having trouble breathing. The only thing telling me he wasn't dead was that his gills kept moving
When did you start noticing the symptoms? last week
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I don't know what to do, I thought he would have died already... I got him a live plant that floats at the top of the tank, I guess to help him feel safer, help him breathe. I left room for access to water surface.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? yes, i've been bad about changing his water before. he got swim bladder once or twice, slight dropsy once that he recovered from
How old is your fish (approximately)? 10 months since getting him from the pet store
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:36 AM   #2 
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:41 AM   #3 
LittleBettaFish
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I would say that your betta is more than likely suffering from the long-term effects of poor water conditions/ammonia poisoning.

You say your got your water tested at Petco. Did you happen to ask what 'good' meant? The only good ammonia level is 0ppm. Anything above that can cause anything from irritation to death. This is why I always advocate people purchase their own water test kits. That way as soon as your betta starts showing signs that something isn't right, water quality can be ruled out right off the bat. They are not foolproof no, but currently you are playing a guessing game as to how good or bad the quality of your water actually is.

Right now I would do a 100% water change with clean, warm water. It would probably be better to acclimatise him slowly over, but since it sounds like he is on death's door anyway it probably won't make much of a difference.

If you do have a filter in there take it out. It's pointless to have one in a tank so small and unless it is cycled, all it is doing is moving the water around and possibly stressing out your sick betta.

If you have access to Indian Almond Leaf or even oak leaves, a tea brewed up of these, or even some added to his tank may help lower his stress levels.

If you truly think your betta is suffering, it's no use letting him linger. By your account it does not seem like a very peaceful end and it is cruel to just sit around and wait for him to die.

Blunt force trauma, clove oil and the shock method (immersing the betta in ice-cold water) are all methods I have found to be extremely quick and to cause minimal stress to the fish. Do not freeze or flush your fish. These methods are slow, painful and should not be used.

Unfortunately, you cannot just take a betta down to the vet. Therefore, it becomes your responsibility as an owner to do the kindest thing and end the suffering.
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