Five years ago, my best friend gave me her two year old betta to care for while she did construction. He lived in "the vase". I lurked around these posts for a while and, after she didn't want him back, got him a 10 gallon tank, heater, bio wheel filter, gravel and plastic and fabric plants. Pellets for food and a pea piece treat once a week. I used an Eheim vacuum and swapped two gallons of water a week, wiped down the sides, swapped the filter once a month. Checked his ph and tried to do good housekeeping, no overfeeding. My fish always seemed healthy. Lately he didnt see well, so I turned the filter off to give him his pellets. Two days ago it is like he has given up. He has no sores or anything, although his colors have faded badly over time. I've moved him to a measuring cup of water. I clipped on a teeny bubbler and stone I got at the pet store. Seems to be easier to swim up for a breath. He is close enough to an oil radiator to keep his water warm (I stuck a little thermometer on). He won't eat even if I take a tweezer and try to put food in his mouth. I read about euthanizing them with clove oil and vodka but can't. I am so afraid he is suffering. Is there anything else I can do? Anything at all? I am afraid he is actually starving to death. It is just heartbreaking. He seems to be listing slightly on his side in there.
Am I reading right? your betta is 7 years old?? Congrats! I'm afraid it might just be old age bothering him... have you tried buying some frozen brine shrimp or baby betta food or frozen blood worms? maybe he would eat some of those things?
So sorry to hear about your fish! If he is actually seven years old though, that is incredible. I don't think I have EVER heard of someone keeping their betta alive for that long. He must have a very good owner. :) Glad he has been well taken care of.
For now, if you don't want to euthanize, it seems like you are doing all you can do, which is to put him in the least distress possible. He has lived a good, old life and though I am nowhere near an expert, I suspect he is just dying from old age.
Maybe if you can't euthanize him, someone in your family would be comfortable with it? Like you, I wouldn't want my fishy to suffer. There are a lot of people here who can give you advice about your options. You came to the right place!
He is 7. She had him for two years, then gave him to me. Where do I get frozen shrimp? The pet shop? My husband is a tough guy but he can't do it either. And thanks. Mostly I guess I am wondering how to make him comfortable.
I'm so sorry to hear this ... and not that it makes it any easier, but from everything I've read, seven years is at the extreme far end of a Betta's life span, so he must have been getting exceptionally good care. At the very least, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that you gave him a wonderful life and loving care. Since he started out his life in a vase, that's not too shabby. I think it sounds like you're doing all you can do right now - keeping him warm, and making it as easy as possible to get to the surface to breathe.
Wow, I would try frozen bring shrimp, and yes you can get them from like petco/petsmart or good pet stores, I hate when one of my fish I have only had for a month or 2 dies, I do rescue some bad off fish here and there, some make it some don't but to have a fish for 5 years and have to face the fact that he has had a long good life does not make it easier in loosing him. It seems you are doing all you can for him
He's a really old fish! It's awesome that he had such a good owner to take care of him and keep him happy and healthy all those years. :) I'm sure he's thankful he had you and he knows that you're doing all you can to keep him happy.
MoBetta it sounds like you have done an amazing job with your fish. I'm sorry he may be at the end of his very long life. If the time comes to euthanize and you can't bear to do it (understandable), perhaps one of the vets in your area would agree to. If you decide to go this route, I'd try contacting one that specializes in "exotics."