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Old 11-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #1 
angel01
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Broken Back or Dying?

My betta Pasha has been lying on his side for a while now (over a month). At first I thought it was swim bladder disorder so I starved him for 4 days. He didn't seem to want to eat at all anyway. I tried to give him pieces of a pea but he wouldn't come up to the surface and the peas just floated to the bottom. Ever since, I have only given him 2 pellets of Hikari Bio Gold a day. He doesn't seem to have an appetite at all. The food floats around for a while. Once in a while I will see him shimmy up to the surface to try to get at it. Usually it looks like a big concerted effort for him to get at the food, and then he goes back to resting at the bottom on his side.

I would have thought that if it was swim bladders', he would've either recovered or died because it's been so long. And he isn't eating much. So now I am wondering if it is possible that he has injured his back (maybe during a water change) or if he is just getting old. I've had him for a couple of years already. But he just lies on his side and looks dead and it's scaring me. Any ideas?
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:10 PM   #2 
kelly528
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How old is he?
How big is his tank?
Is it heated?
How often do you clean it?

Small tanks will cause premature death from accumulation of fat on the liver.
Unheated tanks will shorten a betta's lifespan because they need relatively warm tanks.
Unclean water will also do a betta in early.

What does it look like when he goes to the bathroom? White and stringy poop is a sign of internal parasites, as is a bent spine.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:15 PM   #3 
Vikki81207
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good questions kelly
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:44 PM   #4 
angel01
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I have had him for about 2 years.
He is in a small fish bowl, and it is not heated.
I change the water about every 2 weeks.
His poop looks similar to the Bio gold pellets I feed him, just bigger.

A couple of times I have seen him completely vertical, like he is standing on his tail fin looking up.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:35 PM   #5 
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EEEP! No wonder he's having problems! First of all, the average bowl needs to be cleaned every two days to keep toxic waste at a safe level.

Secondly, I'd say the average room temp in vancouver is about 65-68. A betta needs water of 74 at the very least, 80 is optimal. The cold water drastically decreases their lifespan.

You might be able to save him if you purchase a tank of 2 gallons or more with a heater, but if he has been doing this for a month and has been living his whole life in such conditions you may not be able to bring him back from the edge.

In any case, here is a good care sheet to read: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/b...are-faq-20058/
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #6 
dh5daaaccfdd
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I think he has a broken back.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #7 
ChristinaRoss
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ya i agree with kelly..........definately get a bigger tank and a heater, it will definately HELP him.

most people say their average lifespan is 2-3 years, i had one live for almost 6 years! so get the other equipment and you might just save him, hurry!
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:28 PM   #8 
charliehasacola
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I had a fish with a broken back at one point, and their backs get horribly disfigured, especially if it's been like that for a month and it's swimming around.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:43 PM   #9 
ChristinaRoss
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it would be greatly helpful if u can post a pic
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:50 PM   #10 
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How would he have broken his back? A bent spine can indicate internal parasites, but a back like charlie described is probably broken. In that case, you will need to euthanise him asap with clove oil or by dropping him in ice water (not putting him in the freezer and letting him gradually freeze!).
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