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Old 01-18-2011, 10:32 AM   #1 
flib
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How do I know when a fish is dying of old age?

My friend that goes here has a fish that hasn't been doing well lately and I'm wondering if maybe it's just his time. She's only had him for about a year, but he might already be pretty old anyway.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:15 PM   #2 
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Well, a year isn't exactly old, seeing as they can live 5 or so years. How large is your friends tank, is it heated to tropical temperatures, how often does she do water changes, and how frequently/what does she feed her betta?
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:44 PM   #3 
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3 gallon
79 degrees
water changes once a week
food pellets or bloodworms twice a day, 2 in morning, 1 or 2 in evening
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:35 PM   #4 
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If she has had him for a year and she got him from a box type pet shop he was most likely 6mo-1yr to start- making him roughly 11/2-2 years old...average lifespan is 2-3 years, rarely 4-5 years with reports of some as old as 7-9 years in laboratory conditions

Usually signs of aging in my experience- when other health problems and water quality have been ruled out as a cause-males will get somewhat of a hump back, fins sag more, color lightens on the head face area, appetite decreases-overall activity decrease, limited response to other Bettas....sometimes not always......aging signs varies-....

Aging process can change in regards to lifespan-it can be genetic related, overall care, water temp, diet, past health issue, breeding etc....fish that have had multi health problems or kept long term in poor conditions can sometimes have a shorter life span....also, sadly the Bettas shipped from overseas can sometimes have limited lifespans-often they will not live past 1 year of age-males and females that have spawned mutli times can sometimes have shorter lifespans...not always but sometimes

Bettas age as different as we do-genetic are a factor as well as the environment and general health, care given, nutrition...etc..........

I wouldn't rule this guy out yet....have her make some daily water changes, improve nutrition and see if he won't perk up...sometimes it is the environment and not age that cause the symptoms.....
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:55 PM   #5 
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Any idea what it means if a betta is constantly opening and closing it's gills? It almost looks like he's suffocating.

He also has an indent on his top left.

He wasn't eating much for a while and we still have a tough time getting him to eat.
He hardly moves around at all and is often hiding behind things and resting on the floor or a plant.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #6 
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It sounds like water quality issue....make some daily 50% water changes for several days and use a little extra dechlorinator and hold all food and see if he won't perk up and start eating for you

Indent top left...what?

Filtered or unfiltered tank by the way....
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:21 AM   #7 
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I'll have her start doing that right away.
I have no idea what could cause him to get such a strange indent like he has other than maybe physical trauma.
She said that he's had it for a while now, but that it appears to be getting worse.
I hadn't noticed it before today but it looks really bad now; it's pretty big. It's like that spot on his body got pushed in somehow. I can't imagine any way that he could have done that to himself unless he managed to really slam himself up behind his filter.
I've searched all over for information on this and I'm guessing there aren't any diseases that can cause this, so I'd say he most likely hurt himself on something. If this is the case, is there anything that can be done to help him?

Thank you for all your help with this, we really appreciate it!
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:50 AM   #8 
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Can you post a pic of the indent...I am still not sure what part of the body you are talking about in regards to the indent....
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #9 
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That's about the best I can do under these lighting conditions and in his position.
If you can't quite tell, it's to the left of that scratch he appears to have near the top.

It looks like he made a little bubble nest, could this be a good sign?
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:07 AM   #10 
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Which scratch, he appears to have two..

Is the dent the thing under the large bubble?
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