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Old 12-14-2013, 01:33 PM   #1 
Npinja
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Symptoms of Dying Betta Fish

What are the symptoms of dying betta fish and usually how long do they live after the symptoms occur?
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:04 PM   #2 
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Depends entirely on that which is killing it....

Sometimes death is a long and drawn out process. Sometimes the fish dies before you notice anything is wrong.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #3 
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Jaycee is correct-either it's long and drawn out, or very quickly for no reason.

I have an older fish (over 3 years old) that's dying right now, I think, of old age, so I can give you his symptoms: He just lays on the bottom on his stones and doesn't move unless I gently nudge the container. Sometimes he lays on his side, breathing heavily, and he's recently stopped eating. I have him under a lamp in a small, shallow container to keep him warm, and to keep him comfortable for whatever time he has left. I'm hoping this isn't going to be a drawn out type of situation, but it's starting to look that way. It's been close to a month now.

Assuming there's no physically evident sign of disease, I would think that a fish that isn't moving much, lays sideways all the time on the bottom of the tank, and refuses food even when it's put right in front of his face, is probably dying.

Do you have a fish with these symptoms, and if so, how old is he?

Last edited by futbol1; 12-14-2013 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:29 PM   #4 
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Yeah, it depends on what its dying of, often times they lay on the bottom of the tank or hang out by the heater where its warm, also lots of times they don't eat much or at all, along with not pooping.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:26 PM   #5 
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Mine doesn't eat much at all much less poop. He has a fungal infection and he is very lethargic. It is a white patch on the left side of his body. I am currently adding bettafix.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Npinja View Post
Mine doesn't eat much at all much less poop. He has a fungal infection and he is very lethargic. It is a white patch on the left side of his body. I am currently adding bettafix.
It's good that you at least have an idea of why your fish is ill and can medicate. Mine has no evidence of disease, no fin rot, nothing. It's so frustrating. Never considered meds, because there's nothing to treat.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:01 AM   #7 
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Quote:
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Mine doesn't eat much at all much less poop. He has a fungal infection and he is very lethargic. It is a white patch on the left side of his body. I am currently adding bettafix.
Sounds like you should be using a real medication. I don't have much experience with fungal infections, but I'm sure someone will be able to recommend one for you. Too, some bacterias can look like a fungus. Can you post a pic or video?

Last edited by jaysee; 12-15-2013 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:13 AM   #8 
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Is the white patch kind of fuzzy or cottony looking? Is it raised at all?

It sounds like he may have Columnaris, which is a bacterial infection. (Bacterial infections are much more common than fungal ones.)

Bettafix won't really help with Columnaris. As Jaysee requested, can you post a photo?

If it's Columnaris, there's a two-part treatment that is very effective:
(1) Lower the water temperature to about 76-77F.
(2) A a furan antibiotic, such as API Furan 2 or Hikari Bifuran or Jungle Fungus Clear.

As for not pooping, when was the last time he ate? What brand of food are you feeding him?

Also, do you have a water testing kit? If so, can you post the results?
If you don't - when was the last time you did a water change?
Do you add anything (conditioner, etc) when doing water changes?
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:04 AM   #9 
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I have read for columnaris to lower the temp to the low 70s in order to slow the growth.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:57 AM   #10 
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Jaysee -

Yes, the lower the water temp, the slower the growth. But, IMO, you also need to weigh the needs of the fish against the need to slow down bacterial growth.... Since Bettas are tropical, I worry that lowering the temp to the low-70s will adversely affect it's metabolism and immune function. So I generally suggest just lowering it to the bottom part of the Betta's comfort range, which is about 76F.

Plus if you add an antibiotic, you're killing the bacteria anyway.

(Conversely, adding an antibiotic puts stress on the fish's liver and kidneys, so again, you're still weighing your alternatives in terms of risks/benefits.)

IMO, since Columnaris can become an aggressive infection, if I can't control it very quickly (ie: at the very initial signs of it), I drop the temp to about 76F and add a furan medication.

Again, this method has worked for me. Some people only treat holistically, in which case, yes, you'd probably need to drop the temp more since you wouldn't be using an antibiotic....
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