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Old 11-30-2011, 09:02 AM   #1 
gardengirl13
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heating issues- please help ASAP!!

Darn heaters!!! We had a heater that's lasted about 8-9 months and then crapped out on us. It kept raising them temp a few degrees then staying, then raises it more then stays. We kept lowering the temp on it and it seemed to do ok. I know now we should have bought a new one.

I did a water change on Sunday and all was fine, he ignores me after a water change like it's all my fault, but he'll pay attention to my husband, since he didn't do the change. Darn stubborn fish! Well Monday am we noticed his tank had goen up to 88-89 degrees. yikes. We unplugged the heater and ordered the elite with overnight shipping, thinking the tank wouldn't get too cold over the few hours we were gone. When we got home last night (due to it being 65 degrees outside the furnace never cut on and the house was chilly) the tank was down to 72 and he was floating on top of the heater. Even during power outages the tank never gets this cold this quickly! We plugged the heater back in and slowly let it come back up. But it's staying a 88-89. I want to unplug it until UPS gets here but I don't want the fluctuations. But I also don't want to fry to poor thing!!

What do I do? Unplug and plug it back in every time it gets too low or too high? Leave it unplugged? Leave it plugged in and let the tank sit that high? How high is too high. Obviously he thinks 88 is too warm as he won't do anything but lay there and not eat. He is getting old so I worry this stress will kill him. I'm really scared for him. So much I couldn't sleep well last night.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:10 AM   #2 
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My vote is for unplugging it. If your house is reasonably warm, then it should take a while for the temp to drop down from 89 and if the temp drops gradually, it won't shock your betta. A slow fluctuation isn't as stressful as rapid and frequent changes.

If you do decide to keep it plugged, try adding an airstone to the tank. At high temps, even bettas need extra oxygen in the water.

Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:27 AM   #3 
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I guess since I'm home waiting UPS I'll crank the heat the in the house and unplug it. Right now the house is at 65, I assume if I turn it up to 70 and unplug him he won't cool down too quick, like yesterday. He was down to 72 in 7 hours!!! Even during power outages it normally takes 2 days to drop that quick!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:06 AM   #4 
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Well all seemed ok last night. He seemed happy with the new heater. The tank is a steady 81 which is the temp he prefers. He even ate a bit last night and flared at me quick.

But this am he's back to laying on the bottom and not responding. If we call him he'll just look over at us and then look away again. He does go up for air, and will switch spots every once and a while. But he's not his active self. One other time when this happened (not due to heat, I'm not sure why it happened) he just laid around for a couple days then perked back up. But this was over a year ago.

I plan on doing a 50% water change tonight, but I worry it'll stress him even more. Could his age be a factor in his not feeling better yet? We've had him for just over 2 years and we think he was about 6 months old since he grew a bit after we got him, but not a lot.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:31 PM   #5 
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Hmm. You're definitely right that his age could be a factor. He's getting close to 3 years old by your estimates, which is pretty old for a betta. Most people estimate their life span to be about 1-3 yrs.

If you do a 50% water change, you don't necessarily need to remove him from the tank, especially if you are using a siphon hose to take the water out. As long as the water you put back into the tank is close to the temperature of the water you took out, he won't be too stressed.

For now, you can keep his tank kind of dim and quiet and just let him rest. Maybe he's feeling kind of "old man" right now? If he starts to show any other symptoms, definitely let us know.

Oh, one more thing. If you want, you can add API Stress Coat to his tank as well. That might help relax him.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:03 PM   #6 
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He's acting the same. Not breathing heavy. No fin or scale issues, no white spots or anything else. He just seems too tired to do anything more then lay on the bottom. He acted sluggish a few months ago, but would still beg for food a bit then just go lay down. Then just when we thought he may die of old age he perked back up again and acted just like his young self.

I'm worried he may not perk up again though. I'm kind of wondering if that was a last hoorah before he dies. I've seen older people and people with cancer do that. They feel horrible, then all of a sudden they seem 100% better for a month right before they die.

I don't want to loose him. He's outlasted 2 other betta fish we had a while ago who were all sickly to start and nothing could be done for them. He's our 4th betta out of 6 over the years and has lasted the longest. The first three lasted 1.5 years each, one of which refused a heated tank, he preferred a bowl and would have fits every time we moved him, the first two were in college in bowls before we knew better and added heaters, that was about 16 years ago. We have been expecting him to die for a while now, since we thought they're expectancy was about 2, and we assume he was 6 months or so when we got him. But I'm still not ready.

Is there a way to tell if he's suffering? Will he just peacefully die one day? I don't want to euthanize him, but I rather do that then have him suffer. How long before we should do this, if he's eaten one small betta bit since monday night. I can't stand the idea of him suffering.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:21 PM   #7 
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:( I'm so sorry to hear he isn't perking up. You could be right, perhaps the heat was too much stress on an aging system. It doesn't sound like he's suffering right now so that's good. But if he starts to struggle to swim to the surface to breathe, his gills move rapidly or heavily, he becomes bloated, or he goes for more than a week without eating, then these could all be signs that his time is drawing to a close.

You've done well with him and he's had a good long life, far longer than most bettas (even healthy ones who are taken care of). But I understand. I just euthanized one of my boys last night so I know how you feel. You're never ready to lose one for any reason, whether it's illness or old age. Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

Hang in there!
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