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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my Betta (Berry) for a year and a half. He had an injury and a bad infection almost a year ago that I was able to treat. But the damage to his body was already done and could not be reversed. He has stayed with me well beyond the time anyone expected him to last! Altho he has conserved his energy by sleeping a lot, he's kept a healthy appetite and has always swam up to me when I come to feed and/or bond with him daily. Now he’s developed Lymphocystis (a tumor at the base of his dorsal fin) and the tumor is getting larger and he can't swim very well at all so he stays at the surface in the corner all day holding still only barely moving when I feed him.

He is definitely declining in health, but his breathing is calm and he still has a healthy appetite. It's only been the past few days that he can't swim very well because his dorsal fin has stopped working and appears to be dying off from the tumor. He’s having a hard time staying upright as the back half of his body pulls him sideways so he stays up against the glass at the surface at the back of the tank or he lays in the decorations in the same back corner to stay upright. He’ll occasionally dart around the tank to get back into position, but recently he just stays still and struggles to reach the pellets that I put right in front of him.

I'd like to enlist the opinions of other Betta owners on the concept of euthanizing him now vs. later. Since his immune system is so low and his body has been slowly deteriorating he appears to have no ability to fight off the Lymphocystis. I don't expect he will have a miraculous recovery altho I’d do anything I could to save him! Is it kinder to put him down due to his poor quality of life and inability to swim or is it kinder to wait until he stops eating and appears to be more distressed? I hate to see him suffer and can tell he doesn't feel very well.

Here is all the 411:

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? 80 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta Pellets (I used to also feed him dried blood worms and frozen brine shrimp on occasion, but stopped because he didn’t have the energy to eat them.)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day/4 pellets at a time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Partial water change every other week – Gravel Vacuum every 3 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20% for partial water changes – 35% for Gravel Vacuuming
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat water conditioner – Aquarium salt occasionally

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 7.3
Hardness: 300
Alkalinity: 70

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
He’s been fading in color over the past year, but his bottom fins have kept their color. His eyes have continued to pop out. Now he has a large white tumor at the base of his dorsal fin and the fin is turning dark and losing color. His fins are tucked downward.

How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
As I explained in my comments above, he has become less active over the past year since his injury and infection to conserve energy but he’s kept a healthy appetite and would swim and bond when I came to visit with and/or feed him. But over the past couple weeks he’s stopped swimming over to me and over the past 3 days he holds perfectly still at the surface in the back corner. He is taking in breathes of air every 2 minutes when I’m watching him. His vision seems to be a little impaired over the past couple months but he can still see.

When did you start noticing the symptoms?
I started noticing the Lymphocystis/tumor about 6-8 weeks ago. It has increased in size significantly over the past couple weeks.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
I treated him with PimaFix for a few days when I first noticed the tumor, but it appeared to make him feel even more lethargic so I stopped using it and have increased the amount of water changes to keep his water as pristine as possible with low ammonia levels, etc. I add small amounts of Aquarium salt not to exceed a safe amount for his tank.

Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Yes, he had popped out eyes within a couple months of owning him that I tried to treat right away. Then he got stuck in a decoration and was injured in the process of trying to break free and the process of manually breaking him free of the decoration - scales scraped off his back near the dorsal fin … and his right side fin was injured.:cry: I treated him with a mild antibiotic immediately afterwards to avoid infection. But he developed a bad infection within a month after that and I continued to treat him until the infection stopped. He came back to life, but the damage it did to his body never reversed and it seemed to have “aged” him quite a bit. Now he has Lymphocystis. But he’s always had such a positive attitude and like I said, has always kept a healthy appetite.

How old is your fish (approximately)?
I’d guess that he’s about 2.5 years old. I’ve had him for 1 year and 4 months from a pet store.

Any input on whether there’s anything else I can do for him and if I should prepare to put him down would be greatly appreciated. I love him very much and was crying over his tank last night. He’s a very smart Betta and used to do tricks for me (like jumping for food) :lol: We’ve become very close. I'm grateful he's lasted this long with all of his ailments. If I need to euthanize him, I will use the Clove Oil method. :-(

Thank you in advance!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
if his breathing is calm and he has a healthy appetite, I would leave him be..
Thanks for your reply Selah. His breathing is calm and he continues to eat ... He struggles to maneuver himself to eat each kernel but he manages before going right back to a still position in the corner. I wonder if the tumor is causing him any pain. I'll continue to research it and for now I'll wait for further signs that he's ready to go.

Thanks again.
 
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