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Old 08-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #1 
xswornxoffxjello
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Question Please help--Merlin is sick

Merlin is lethargic. Mostly he lies on his side gasping for breath, and I have no idea what's wrong with him. He doesn't look at all different; he eats and comes up for air (and he always comes to say hi--the little sweetheart ). But mostly he hides.

The tank is 3 gallons. It is not cycled. Heater keeps it at 78 degrees F. I do a 70% water change every other day. I know I should do 100%, and I used to, but even though I tried to catch him in the net as quickly I could, he kept getting away from me. It was very stressful for him and he would lie at the bottom for a very long time after I was finished. He scared me enough that I stopped changing 100%.

I don't have a test kit for the water. I've never bought one before and I don't know what to look for.

I don't have another tank that he could go in ATM. I don't even know if that's the problem. What could be wrong?

Help please?

Last edited by xswornxoffxjello; 08-11-2010 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:32 PM   #2 
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I'm sorry he's not doing well I really don't know what to tell you. He does get stressed during water changes but usually he's fine after a few minutes. Maybe try darkening the tank to see if he calms down?

Sorry I can't help more.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:21 PM   #3 
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I knew it was a risk.

He was doing great until about a week ago, when I noticed that he would lie at the bottom periodically. It's been getting worse, though. That's all he ever does now, besides come up for air.

I covered his tank with towels. The way the tank is set up, it's hard to leave part exposed so oxygen can flow down there, but the tank has a filter and about two inches of air below the lid.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:15 AM   #4 
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He may just be getting older. I don't know how long the lady had him before she gave him to me and before that he sat at the pet store long enough to get fin rot. I'd say he's at least over a year old, if not more.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that he improves.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:51 PM   #5 
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I think you're right about it being age--somehow I didn't think of that.

He only comes up for air now, and even that with difficulty. I lowered the water level considerably so he doesn't have as far to go.

Poor lil' guy. I don't think he'll live much longer. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, though.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #6 
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I hope he turns around but if he doesn't at least he had a great life with you, if only for a short time. He had a very hard road and its amazing he made it through what he did.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:36 PM   #7 
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I hope he gets better!! I would turn off all the lights. That's what I do when Ares gets stressed during a water change. Good luck!
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:07 PM   #8 
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I hope he gets better, it's never easy to loose something u love or see it suffer like that but if the worse happens just remember that u gave him love and a great life that's all he could ask for
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:19 PM   #9 
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Thanks, guys.

He's still hanging in there, poor guy. I hate not being able to do anything, besides keep him quiet. The tank is still about half empty, since he has trouble with more. Does anyone know if it's safe to use a heater?? I know he should have heat, but I'm afraid he'll fry when the water's so low. It's a 2-15 gallon heater.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:34 PM   #10 
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I think it will be ok. Do you have a thermometer so you can monitor the temp? You could try it out and see how warm it gets.
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