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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three boys, I can probably link a page that talks about them. I have been very depressed about my fish lately. Please no one give me crap for this and tell me I am awful, but one of my fish (named Sulo) is old. This is my impression from researching about old betta fish. Anyway the part that is awful is . . . I wish he would pass :cry: I love him, but I don't anymore. I wish he was healthy and young, but he has too many issues, and I am tired of trying to treat him. With old betta fish, it is harder to cure them, just like if you were trying to cure an old person from some disease. They are more prone to diseases, and are harder to cure. He has popeye, and I have decided it's not my fault he has it, and that I may not be able to cure him as I have been trying for so long. I have tried Melafix, Fungus Clear, every other day full cleanings, and Methylene blue baths, recently with a touch of melafix (about a drop because his hospital tank is 1 gallon, and I only keep him in it for 2 hours). The swelling always goes down, but never fully goes away. Also I read that fin rot is something you may not be able to prevent with older fish. There are other symptoms of an old betta that describe Sulo perfectly. I really do not know how old he is. From what I can tell, the fin rot is only occurring in his pectoral fins. He is an elephant ear (also known as a dumbo). He has a slight curl to his dorsal fin, though he has always had that. He is blind which has made it very hard for eating. He hasn't been eating at the surface for a long time. I trained him to eat off of his log. Hopefully he will pass in the spring time, so I can bury him and not flush him. Medicating him has become very expensive. I am 17 and I live with my mom and I don't have a job or my license. I am working on getting my license and once I get that, I will go in search for a job to be able to pay for future fish supplies, but most of the medication I have bought is for Sulo.
I regret buying my last fish. His name is Red. I haven't bonded with him like I did with Sulo and Cas. I feel like they aren't my friends anymore, just my pets that I have to take care of. Red was an impulse buy. Don't get my wrong, if any of them died, I would be very sad, but having them is expensive, and a lot more work than I thought.

In the far future when I no longer have the 3 of them, I would like to raise a baby betta. I have decided that if I want more betta fish in the future, I will stick to one at a time. I may end up buying my fish from breeders instead of the pet store, just to reduce the chance of diseases. Another betta goal is to own a king or giant (not sure what the correct name is). It would be cool to raise a king, though I am not sure how you can tell if hey will be kings. I will probably do more research on kings anyway. Plus it will be a long time before I own anymore fish.

Here is an older post I made talking about my boys, which includes a lot of info about older betta fish http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=640433
Also if you go to my profile, you can see an album of Sulo when he was a bit more active and not as old
Sulo is also my profile picture.
 

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It sounds to me as though you have 'caregiver burn-out'. It is totally understandable! In the reality that is yours, being 17, school, at the start of preparing to have job, a future that may be scary.....aaaaaand taking care of a sick, ageing fish that is not only costly to do, but also sad, because he is not getting better.

I don't know if there is a different, maybe better treatment you could try with him, and if you could afford it, and even then it might not be successful.
It may be that his life-time is coming to an end. One thing is clear to me though, you need to take care of you too!

What are you doing to have some joy in your day? You need to recharge your batteries, so you can come home and when it is time to take care of your fish you can go to your young and healthy one and talk to him, watch this beautiful creature dance for you as well as for his food that he knows you will give him.

You go to the next one and remember when you got him, what you loved about him and made you pick him over all the others.

Then when you go to Sulo, and with the smile on your face and in your heart that the others helped put there you send your love to him. You accept that this is his body now not young and new like Red, not healthy and vibrant like the other one, but he is still in there, your Sulo.

He knows when he feels better, and he will take pleasure from it. And you did that for him! When it is time for him to go, either natural or euthanasia you know, he's had a good life and you gave him all you got! You are doing a great job, you are just feeling a bit blue, because when we love another being and the time to say a final good-bye is near, that is hard to come to terms with.

Your feelings of wanting him to die, and you no longer wanting to care for him are perfectly normal. You are not a bad person for feeling this way!!!! You can accept those feelings. Be kind to yourself. Sending you hugs!
 

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It sounds callous, but if I have a chronically sick fish where I've exhausted every possible treatment and there's been no improvement in its condition, I will euthanase it.

I've nursed along fish like this before, where their condition just stagnates, and it is an emotional drain. I nearly left the hobby because of burn-out that resulted when I was dealing with what seemed like never-ending issues with my fish after I introduced velvet into almost every one of my tanks.

However, looking at the list regarding 'aging' bettas, a lot of the behaviours the author says to look out for, can be symptoms of disease, or an indication that something is amiss with water quality. For example, a deterioration in condition can be a symptom of internal parasites, while lethargy can be a potential symptom of ammonia poisoning.

So unless you have owned Sulo for a number of years already, I wouldn't write his decline in health off as being purely down to old age.

Also, if you do choose euthanasia, please don't flush Sulo. That is an appalling method of euthanasia and the fish suffers greatly before passing. There are more humane methods of euthanasia, although the most popular on this forum, seems to be the use of clove oil.

As to your lack of bond with your fish Red, I've had fish that I've never connected with, and I've sold them on. While I am probably more of a breeder than a pet owner, I simply don't have the space or resources to waste on fish that I don't feel some attachment to.

This is why I no longer make impulse purchases. I feel these are much more likely to end with feelings of buyer's remorse, than a purchase that I have planned and prepared for.
 

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Have you tried Tetracycline? It seems to be the most recommended med for popeye. I got half a box donated to me after I take in a foster with the world's largest eyes. But not long later I realized said foster simply has the world's largest eyes. So the Tetracycline is just sitting comfortably in my first aid shelf now. You can have it if you want. I'm shipping off stuff to another forum member tomorrow morning anyway so I can ship yours too.

That being said, taking Sulo's age into account, I suppose at this point it's up to you to euthanize or not. Popeye is a terrible disease. The fish must be in great discomfort, and it's been so long now. I suppose in a sense it's best if Sulo passes on now.

As for your lacking bond with Red, I can tell you you're not alone. I do cherish my last girl Memory and I really did feel sad when she passed unexpectedly, but we just never bond that closely. Volga is another story. He's my baby and I worry a lot over him, but he's just not as beautiful in real life compared to his eBay pic. It's not like the seller sold me the wrong fish, but I suppose I forgot that sometimes awesome photographers make ordinary things look extraordinary. Vol still and will always be a great companion, but I'd be lying if I say I don't wish I could trade him for a better-looking fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It sounds to me as though you have 'caregiver burn-out'. It is totally understandable! In the reality that is yours, being 17, school, at the start of preparing to have job, a future that may be scary.....aaaaaand taking care of a sick, ageing fish that is not only costly to do, but also sad, because he is not getting better.

I don't know if there is a different, maybe better treatment you could try with him, and if you could afford it, and even then it might not be successful.
It may be that his life-time is coming to an end. One thing is clear to me though, you need to take care of you too!

What are you doing to have some joy in your day? You need to recharge your batteries, so you can come home and when it is time to take care of your fish you can go to your young and healthy one and talk to him, watch this beautiful creature dance for you as well as for his food that he knows you will give him.

You go to the next one and remember when you got him, what you loved about him and made you pick him over all the others.

Then when you go to Sulo, and with the smile on your face and in your heart that the others helped put there you send your love to him. You accept that this is his body now not young and new like Red, not healthy and vibrant like the other one, but he is still in there, your Sulo.

He knows when he feels better, and he will take pleasure from it. And you did that for him! When it is time for him to go, either natural or euthanasia you know, he's had a good life and you gave him all you got! You are doing a great job, you are just feeling a bit blue, because when we love another being and the time to say a final good-bye is near, that is hard to come to terms with.

Your feelings of wanting him to die, and you no longer wanting to care for him are perfectly normal. You are not a bad person for feeling this way!!!! You can accept those feelings. Be kind to yourself. Sending you hugs!
Thank you for being so kind! it really made me feel better!
I have only had him for a year, but all the physical appearances and behaviors mimic what is said to be an older betta. He doesn't seem unhealthy otherwise. He doesn't act weird, and does look unhealthy besides his pectoral fins and eyes, and a slight bit of discoloration to his gills. I chose him because he looks like a little dragon to me! His colors were and still are beautiful! He is almost a lilac color!
If his popeye would go away, I would have no problem having him and treating him for his fin rot on the pectoral fins, but my worry is that his eye with popeye will fall out and then I will have to make sure his eye socket doesn't become infected, which will most likely be as frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It sounds callous, but if I have a chronically sick fish where I've exhausted every possible treatment and there's been no improvement in its condition, I will euthanase it.

I've nursed along fish like this before, where their condition just stagnates, and it is an emotional drain. I nearly left the hobby because of burn-out that resulted when I was dealing with what seemed like never-ending issues with my fish after I introduced velvet into almost every one of my tanks.

However, looking at the list regarding 'aging' bettas, a lot of the behaviours the author says to look out for, can be symptoms of disease, or an indication that something is amiss with water quality. For example, a deterioration in condition can be a symptom of internal parasites, while lethargy can be a potential symptom of ammonia poisoning.

So unless you have owned Sulo for a number of years already, I wouldn't write his decline in health off as being purely down to old age.

Also, if you do choose euthanasia, please don't flush Sulo. That is an appalling method of euthanasia and the fish suffers greatly before passing. There are more humane methods of euthanasia, although the most popular on this forum, seems to be the use of clove oil.

As to your lack of bond with your fish Red, I've had fish that I've never connected with, and I've sold them on. While I am probably more of a breeder than a pet owner, I simply don't have the space or resources to waste on fish that I don't feel some attachment to.

This is why I no longer make impulse purchases. I feel these are much more likely to end with feelings of buyer's remorse, than a purchase that I have planned and prepared for.
His water conditions are good, and he has no symptoms of other diseases. For a project I have to do to graduate this year from my high school, I did a crap ton of research on betta fish including diseases. I would never flush a fish even if the fish has already died. I am pretty sure in my post I said I didn't want to flush him.
That's the difference between you and I. You are more of a breeder than a pet owner. My mother is the kind of person where she is with an animal until death. It is almost impossible for her to give away pets unless it is financially stressing.
I am not going to sell my fish just because I am tired of taking care of them. Even if I have lost the blond with my boys, they are still MINE. I have no reason to euthanize Sulo. He seems healthy. I read another article yesterday as well that perfectly described Sulo as well. I admit that I haven't always been the best fish owner due to personal problems, but I have done the best that I can. I know my fish better than you, and euthanasia is not the answer right now. If he were to get worse and stop eating, than maybe I would but he eats and that's all that matters. He isn't bloated, and he swims. Sulo doesn't act sick, he just has pectoral fin rot and popeye. He has had popeye almost my entire time owning him. Fin rot is very common in older fish. He has proper filtration and heating, and his tank is clean, as I have been keeping it a bit cleaner because he is older.
I have learned my lesson with impulse buying, I no longer like to be in pet stores because of my liking of the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you tried Tetracycline? It seems to be the most recommended med for popeye. I got half a box donated to me after I take in a foster with the world's largest eyes. But not long later I realized said foster simply has the world's largest eyes. So the Tetracycline is just sitting comfortably in my first aid shelf now. You can have it if you want. I'm shipping off stuff to another forum member tomorrow morning anyway so I can ship yours too.

That being said, taking Sulo's age into account, I suppose at this point it's up to you to euthanize or not. Popeye is a terrible disease. The fish must be in great discomfort, and it's been so long now. I suppose in a sense it's best if Sulo passes on now.

As for your lacking bond with Red, I can tell you you're not alone. I do cherish my last girl Memory and I really did feel sad when she passed unexpectedly, but we just never bond that closely. Volga is another story. He's my baby and I worry a lot over him, but he's just not as beautiful in real life compared to his eBay pic. It's not like the seller sold me the wrong fish, but I suppose I forgot that sometimes awesome photographers make ordinary things look extraordinary. Vol still and will always be a great companion, but I'd be lying if I say I don't wish I could trade him for a better-looking fish.
Oh my god, it would be greatly appreciated! If it works, big thanks to Sulo as well. I don't think it's time to euthanize him yet, as he still acts like a fish without any problems besides not seeing anything.
 

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I just wanted to pop in and say you're definitely NOT a terrible monster for feeling this way.

Also, on the matter of wanting to bury your fish if/when he does pass, but obviously not being able to rent a backhoe required to dig the hole at this time of year, my suggestion would be to freeze a beloved fish. Wrap the body gently in paper (you could choose something pretty!), slip it into a zipper bag, LABEL IT CLEARLY, put it in the freezer, and just let the burial wait until springtime. Then all you have to do is bury a small, frozen paper "coffin" when the time is right. If your family is freaked out by this you might want to double-bag or put the bag into a plastic container, but there should be nothing unhygenic about it if it's done right!

My grandparents have been okay with zippies of frozen bloodworms in our freezer, an actual small fish should be no different.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just wanted to pop in and say you're definitely NOT a terrible monster for feeling this way.

Also, on the matter of wanting to bury your fish if/when he does pass, but obviously not being able to rent a backhoe required to dig the hole at this time of year, my suggestion would be to freeze a beloved fish. Wrap the body gently in paper (you could choose something pretty!), slip it into a zipper bag, LABEL IT CLEARLY, put it in the freezer, and just let the burial wait until springtime. Then all you have to do is bury a small, frozen paper "coffin" when the time is right. If your family is freaked out by this you might want to double-bag or put the bag into a plastic container, but there should be nothing unhygenic about it if it's done right!

My grandparents have been okay with zippies of frozen bloodworms in our freezer, an actual small fish should be no different.
Thank you! that is a good idea!
 

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This is what I read in your original post.

Anyway the part that is awful is . . . I wish he would pass I love him, but I don't anymore. I wish he was healthy and young, but he has too many issues, and I am tired of trying to treat him.
In your own words you said you wished your fish would die. So I'm not sure why my suggestion of euthanasia is met with such hostility. I can only go off what you have written.

I didn't make any sort of judgement on your capabilities as a hobbyist, and I see now that I misread the part in your post about flushing. I thought you were going to use flushing as your method of euthanasia, not as a means of getting rid of the body.

I actually am a terrible breeder because I get far too attached to my fish. I worry about where they might end up once they leave my fish room, and what sort of treatment they might receive from their future owner/s. I have pet fish, and breeding stock that will never leave my fish room, but at the same time, I've learned that keeping a fish simply out of feelings of obligation rather than any real fondness, can sometimes be the wrong choice to make.

But anyway, I can see that my response was not what you were really looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It sounds to me as though you have 'caregiver burn-out'. It is totally understandable! In the reality that is yours, being 17, school, at the start of preparing to have job, a future that may be scary.....aaaaaand taking care of a sick, ageing fish that is not only costly to do, but also sad, because he is not getting better.

I don't know if there is a different, maybe better treatment you could try with him, and if you could afford it, and even then it might not be successful.
It may be that his life-time is coming to an end. One thing is clear to me though, you need to take care of you too!

What are you doing to have some joy in your day? You need to recharge your batteries, so you can come home and when it is time to take care of your fish you can go to your young and healthy one and talk to him, watch this beautiful creature dance for you as well as for his food that he knows you will give him.

You go to the next one and remember when you got him, what you loved about him and made you pick him over all the others.

Then when you go to Sulo, and with the smile on your face and in your heart that the others helped put there you send your love to him. You accept that this is his body now not young and new like Red, not healthy and vibrant like the other one, but he is still in there, your Sulo.

He knows when he feels better, and he will take pleasure from it. And you did that for him! When it is time for him to go, either natural or euthanasia you know, he's had a good life and you gave him all you got! You are doing a great job, you are just feeling a bit blue, because when we love another being and the time to say a final good-bye is near, that is hard to come to terms with.

Your feelings of wanting him to die, and you no longer wanting to care for him are perfectly normal. You are not a bad person for feeling this way!!!! You can accept those feelings. Be kind to yourself. Sending you hugs!
Again, thank you for being so kind! I took some pictures of my boys today, and I felt better about having them! Taking the time to sit in front of their tanks was nice. I had my computer near me, and I was watching videos, and my rose tail, Cas, came and settled near me (My computer was next to his tank). He probably misses human interaction.
 

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I have a EEHMPK that came to me blind with chronic pop eye. I don't have access to tetracycline so I used epsom salt to treat him. So far the swelling is gone and it's been gone for 4 days which is the longest he's ever gone without pop eye so I'm hopeful.

You're not horrible for feeling this way. I had some of the same feelings moving my fish back to school last weekend. I'm probably going to start trying to downsize and as I lose them, sell the small tank. I'm keeping my big tanks though.
 

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Are you sure it's pop eye? I kinda wanna say diamond eye, but I can't be sure if the silver color is scaling or something else. You should still be able to see the eyeball if it's pop eye. There will also be a milky/cloudy membrane but nowhere near as opaque as that. Could it be that none of the medicines work because it's not pop eye?

Another thing: I added three bags of Rooibos with the Tetracycline I sent you. It's an alternative tannin source aside from the well-known IAL. Should help with the fin rot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Are you sure it's pop eye? I kinda wanna say diamond eye, but I can't be sure if the silver color is scaling or something else. You should still be able to see the eyeball if it's pop eye. There will also be a milky/cloudy membrane but nowhere near as opaque as that. Could it be that none of the medicines work because it's not pop eye?

Another thing: I added three bags of Rooibos with the Tetracycline I sent you. It's an alternative tannin source aside from the well-known IAL. Should help with the fin rot.
I am pretty sure it is pop eye :\ Organism Fish Fish Aquarium Amphibian


Thank you so much for sending me the medication! Do I just add it to the tank or do I do a bath?
 

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The time always comes.
It isn't so terrible that you have to decide when that time is. It can often be a blessing. A pet can't commit quick suicide when the suffering gets to be too much. They need you to help them find peace and an end to what suffering they may be going through. It is another part of caring for them. Caring about them.

When it is hurting you to know they are suffering. Then they are hurting too. It is best for both of you to find peace.
 

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There should be a usage guide on the back of the Tetracycline box. The Rooibos you just throw into the tank. I can't be sure if it's gonna mess with the Tetracycline though so better get the Tetracycline rounds done first.
 

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I felt this way with my previous betta, it was definitely tiring and while working full time, it definitely made it difficult. You're not alone, it can become a job rather than a hobby. After he passed, I took a 1.5 year break and it was really refreshing, I think when you take a break, it'll definitely help ease out the tiring lingering feeling from your previous bettas and hopefully the 2nd round, it wont be as bad because you learn from your first experience.
 
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