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Old 10-06-2010, 12:05 AM   #1 
sperham40836
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Question 4 y.o. fish lying on side, lethargic, listless, pale

My 4+ year old betta, Sperham, started acting odd today. I noticed him lying on his side and breathing heavily. For the past few weeks he's had a dull color and almost a sunken in appearance of the face.

He lives in a 5 gallon glass aquarium with filter (currently turned off to prevent sucking him in), heater, and hood. He has all silk plants and one rock decoration that's been smoothed down of sharp edges. I did a 50/50 water change tonight with treated water and a tsp of aquarium salt. He can move around, but when he does it's erratic and he has no interest in food. He swam into the side several times before he got himself to a plant and lay on it panting.

I know he's older than the lifespan stated for bettas, so I'm fully aware he could just be on his way out from something like organ failure/old age.

What do you guys think?
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:05 AM   #2 
FuulieQ
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Sounds like it could be just old age. But how often do you usually change the water, what do you typically feed him and how much, etc.

It would probably still be good to know the basics. :)
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #3 
Adastra
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I think the only thing you can do for him at this point is lower the water level, turn off the light, and give him a lot of peace and quiet. In my experience, when they have trouble finding the water's surface to breathe, they're usually too far gone to bother with medications that may or may not be of any use at all. The problem might very well be neurological, so I wouldn't put him through a harsh medication treatment.

If he continues to linger on much longer, you might consider euthanasia. Let me know if you want information on how to humanely euthanize your fish.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:41 PM   #4 
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He's still hanging on. He's floating halfway near the top with his gills hanging out and when he sees me come near the tank he tries to swim over for food but he isn't able to move enough to get food, and when I put crushed food in front of him he can't grasp it.. I keep thinking he's dead, except for the gill and eye movement. I'm taking my dog into the vet today and one of the other vets there deals with fish/exotics and I think I'll stop by and talk to her about what to do if he doesn't pass soon.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:13 AM   #5 
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He tries to swim around periodically, but it's very wobbly. He still hasn't eaten and just moves his eyes/gills. I didn't get a chance to talk to the vet, what should I do?
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:34 AM   #6 
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Just keep him comfortable, lower the water level if you haven't so he can get to the top to breathe.. keep him at 80*. If it is indeed old age I'm not sure that there's much you can do other than keep him comfortable.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:36 PM   #7 
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He ate 2 pellets of food today but he hasn't improved any. His tank is kept at 80* and I did lower the water. He sits in his silk plants near the surface to breathe. Should I get a bubble aeration thing or would it not be worth it since I'm not planning on getting more fish after him for a while?
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:01 AM   #8 
FuulieQ
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I wouldn't get a bubbler, if that's what you're talking about. That will just stress him. Just lower the water level and try to keep the water warm and clean. :)
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #9 
sperham40836
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Yeah.. he's still hanging in there today. He just sits on his plant by the top or the heater itself.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:13 PM   #10 
vaisforlovers
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I am so sorry you have to go thru this. If you end up having to euthanize him please get the correct procedure. When I had to do it it was a horrible experience. I thought the person helping me knew what they were doing but I was also very stressed out having to euthanize him, I may have read the directions wrong. So please humanely euthanize him.
Joanne
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