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Old 03-11-2013, 09:14 PM   #1 
prosthetik
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Old Age?

I've had Flake for about 14 months now, he was my first Betta. He's always been so lively and energetic, practically jumps out of the water when I have food for him etc.

In the past roughly 6-8 weeks I've notices his scales are starting to look kinda, well not 'tattered' so to say, but oldish. He doesn't swim around as much anymore which makes me ask, how can we tell if our Betta's are showing signs of old age?

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Just in case;

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 81
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? N/A

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley's Betta Pellets & every so often some frozen brine shrimp.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 pellets a day, sometimes 3.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 1/2 weekly, full once a month.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? See above.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta conditioner, pH down.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: N/A
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: N/A
pH: 7
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? As above, scales looking old and worn out.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Isn't as energetic as he used to be.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 6-8 weeks ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've put Epsom Salt in the water when I change it.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No. Suspected Popeye last week but seemed to go away within a day.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I'd say roughly 2. He was pretty mature when I got him.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #2 
callistra
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Bettas are 6 months to a year when you get them from the pet store. So he's about a year and a half to 2 years max. This is young.

It's really important to stop messing with the ph. It won't stay there and it only causes fluctuations. Bettas can adapt to a wide range of ph but the swings can kill them. What the ph of your water normally?

Any time you want to run a tank with a filter and not do weekly 100% change you really should own a reliable test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. 50% weekly with siphon would be okay for a well established tank, so long as nothing odd happens (siphon is needed yes, scooping water off the top is never okay), but it's possible something has happened to your cycle or it is not properly established.

How long has the tank been set up?

What filter do you use and how do you maintain it?

Whardley betta pellets are arguably the worst on the market. He's not getting adequate nutrition. You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week.

Last I would turn down the heater a degree if not two. The higher temps make their metabolism faster and it will actually shorten their life span.. not enough that he should be considered old at 2 or less.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #3 
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Well when I test the water for pH straight out of the tap it is black, we have really crappy water here. Thats why I add pH down to the water.

The tank has been set up for about 6 months, but I have 2 other tanks the same & set up for the same amount of time and they're both fine.

Its hard to find decent food here. They're really the only pellets I can find unless I feed them the flakes & I dont want to do that. I live in Australia, we dont have the range everywhere else has.

& I don't have a heater, the temp stays around 81 in Summer, is there anything I can do to lower it? Although its heading into Autumn here so the temp is starting to drop...
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:17 PM   #4 
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As long as it's under 9 it's fine. If you really do have to cut it then I suggest buying gallon jugs of RO water and cutting it 50/50, then retest. It's really important to do this EXACTLY the same every time and not just top off with one jug or add a little this or a little of that. Ph down is just never a good thing.

You may need to buy online then.

Do you have air conditioning in your home? Just keeping your house cooler is about all you can do. You can buy a chiller, but that's really super expensive and I wouldn't do it for a couple of degrees unless you just have the money.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:47 PM   #5 
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May I ask what RO water is?

Yeah, plenty of air conditioning, its usually on in Summer.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:54 PM   #6 
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RO is reverse osmosis water. It has all of the minerals and everything stripped, so you can cut the ph and hardness a lot by mixing it.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:58 PM   #7 
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Should I be able to find it in pet stores or online? I've never heard of it so Im unsure.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:59 PM   #8 
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Grocery stores around here. They sell gallon jugs of it. Maybe pet stores.. Be careful though. They also sell jugs of spring water.. just check to make sure it is really RO.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:05 PM   #9 
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Oh ok, thanks.
Im heading up to the pet store now to see what other types of pellets they might have hiding away.

I never realized just how little we have in Australia to do with fish until one got sick & I couldn't find anything to help him.
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