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Discussion Starter #1
*PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT I POSTED THIS (BEGINNING) PART NEARLY A MONTH AGO*

November 10th, 2017

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 20 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? Always between 76-80F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No tank mates

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? He gets freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms sometimes.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Daily. As much as he'll eat.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Bi-weekly
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Conditioned tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Prime

Water Parameters:
I stupidly panicked and didn't do parameters before cleaning the tank. Everything is now at zero.


Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A week ago?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Clamped fins, color loss, and 0 appetite.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He lays at the top of the water and won't eat.
Is your Betta still eating? No.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Epsom salt, peas, small amount of Melafix, etc.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No.
How long have you owned your Betta? 4 years, but he is around 5 years old.
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not that I know of.

My male (elephant ear) betta, Barney, has been acting odd. He's pushing 5 years of age, and because he is old... I didn't give much thought to his decreasing appetite, slight discoloration, and his laziness. I summed it up to old age, but now I know something is wrong. I recently watched him attempt to swim to the bottom of his tank, but he floated right back up to the top. I knew it was probably a Swim Bladder issue, and I felt guilty for not noticing it sooner. I cooked him peas that I let soak in garlic, but he wouldn't eat the slivers. So, I let him fast for a few days. After fasting him, he was still having buoyancy issues. On day 5, I attempted to feed him his regular pellets that I let soak in garlic juice. He wouldn't eat them, and he usually gobbles up garlic-soaked pellets. It's been around 12 days since he has eaten anything. I try every night to feed him, but he ignores the food.

Last night, I panicked. I removed him from his tank, put him into his old 2.5 gallon, cleaned the tank, and I gave him an epsom salt treatment for 15 minutes. I decided to leave him in his 2.5 gal last night. He looked so pitiful just floating on his side in the tank as the filter pushed him around (it was on the lowest flow setting, too). I thought this was just a constipation issue, but now I am worried that he may be close to passing away. Is there anything that I can do? Am I overthinking this? Could he just have a permanent buoyancy issue?

Any suggestions/advice would be great!

Thanks.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING POST IS CURRENT*

November 30, 2017

Hi everyone,

I posted this post nearly a month ago. I still really need advice/help, and I didn't receive any replies previously posting in the Disease/Illness forum. So, I am going to post my current thread here.

My betta, Barney, is somehow still alive after a month of preparing myself for the worst. I will say that he is swimming around much more now, and he sleeps/lounges "upright" instead of floating on his side at the water's surface. I don't want to get my hopes up with thinking that he is "getting better" because I still never see him eat, and he still can't swim to the bottom of his tank without floating right back to the top. I would have to think that he is eating some of what I attempt to feed him daily. I don't know how a betta could survive after a month and a half of not eating at all.

Anyway, after posting the first thread about Barney's health onto this site, I started googling all of Barney's symptoms and why he may have them. The symptoms that matched the most were related to Swim Bladder Disorder (which is apparent), internal parasites, and Hemorrhagic Septicemia. I know that SB can result from constipation which happens in fish, but I had zero clue as to why Barney could have parasites or HS since his tank is clean. I studied Barney for the physical signs of hemorrhagic septicemia, and I could tell from the red streaks on his fins, sides, and eyes that it is/was HS. I went to the store and purchased Jungle's Fungus Clear Tank Buddies treatment. It is supposed to cure Swim Bladder, Clamped Fins, Hemorrhagic Septicemia, and a lot of other fungus/internal infections. I followed the dosage, treated Barney in his old 2.5 gal, and I prayed that it would work. I also used Tetra's Lifeguard All-In-One treatment, but I only used that once and didn't dose again. 4 days later, Barney was still alive. I changed ALL of the tank water (even though Fungus Clear says to change 25%), dosed the water again with Fungus Clear, and I waited. I swear, I thought I was going to find him dead each morning that I woke up to check on him. On day 8 of treatment, I was surprised to see Barney swimming around better. He would swim to the side of the tank when I'd pass by. He wasn't as lethargic.

It has now been nearly a month and a half since I first noticed his changes. He is still alive, seems somewhat better, but I fear that his buoyancy will never return to normal. He tries so hard to swim to the bottom of the tank, but he can't stay down. I've read that Swim Bladder possibly can be permanent in some cases, but his SB case clearly isn't caused by constipation as he hasn't consumed a large amount of food in a LONG time. I've tried everything to help my little guy, and I would love anyone's advice, help, or input. He is around 5 years old. The 3-4 years that he has been with me he has lived in filtered + heated tanks with regular water changes. I don't think any of this could be caused by poor water quality. I want to return him to his 20 gallon tank, but the current is too strong for him in it. He'll have to remain in his 2.5 gal (filtered and heated). Please help me figure out what's wrong with my boy. :crying:

Thank you so much,

Lauren
 

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*PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT I POSTED THIS (BEGINNING) PART NEARLY A MONTH AGO*

November 10th, 2017

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 20 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? Always between 76-80F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No tank mates

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? He gets freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms sometimes.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Daily. As much as he'll eat.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Bi-weekly
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Conditioned tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Prime

Water Parameters:
I stupidly panicked and didn't do parameters before cleaning the tank. Everything is now at zero.


Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A week ago?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Clamped fins, color loss, and 0 appetite.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He lays at the top of the water and won't eat.
Is your Betta still eating? No.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Epsom salt, peas, small amount of Melafix, etc.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No.
How long have you owned your Betta? 4 years, but he is around 5 years old.
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not that I know of.

My male (elephant ear) betta, Barney, has been acting odd. He's pushing 5 years of age, and because he is old... I didn't give much thought to his decreasing appetite, slight discoloration, and his laziness. I summed it up to old age, but now I know something is wrong. I recently watched him attempt to swim to the bottom of his tank, but he floated right back up to the top. I knew it was probably a Swim Bladder issue, and I felt guilty for not noticing it sooner. I cooked him peas that I let soak in garlic, but he wouldn't eat the slivers. So, I let him fast for a few days. After fasting him, he was still having buoyancy issues. On day 5, I attempted to feed him his regular pellets that I let soak in garlic juice. He wouldn't eat them, and he usually gobbles up garlic-soaked pellets. It's been around 12 days since he has eaten anything. I try every night to feed him, but he ignores the food.

Last night, I panicked. I removed him from his tank, put him into his old 2.5 gallon, cleaned the tank, and I gave him an epsom salt treatment for 15 minutes. I decided to leave him in his 2.5 gal last night. He looked so pitiful just floating on his side in the tank as the filter pushed him around (it was on the lowest flow setting, too). I thought this was just a constipation issue, but now I am worried that he may be close to passing away. Is there anything that I can do? Am I overthinking this? Could he just have a permanent buoyancy issue?

Any suggestions/advice would be great!

Thanks.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING POST IS CURRENT*

November 30, 2017

Hi everyone,

I posted this post nearly a month ago. I still really need advice/help, and I didn't receive any replies previously posting in the Disease/Illness forum. So, I am going to post my current thread here.

My betta, Barney, is somehow still alive after a month of preparing myself for the worst. I will say that he is swimming around much more now, and he sleeps/lounges "upright" instead of floating on his side at the water's surface. I don't want to get my hopes up with thinking that he is "getting better" because I still never see him eat, and he still can't swim to the bottom of his tank without floating right back to the top. I would have to think that he is eating some of what I attempt to feed him daily. I don't know how a betta could survive after a month and a half of not eating at all.

Anyway, after posting the first thread about Barney's health onto this site, I started googling all of Barney's symptoms and why he may have them. The symptoms that matched the most were related to Swim Bladder Disorder (which is apparent), internal parasites, and Hemorrhagic Septicemia. I know that SB can result from constipation which happens in fish, but I had zero clue as to why Barney could have parasites or HS since his tank is clean. I studied Barney for the physical signs of hemorrhagic septicemia, and I could tell from the red streaks on his fins, sides, and eyes that it is/was HS. I went to the store and purchased Jungle's Fungus Clear Tank Buddies treatment. It is supposed to cure Swim Bladder, Clamped Fins, Hemorrhagic Septicemia, and a lot of other fungus/internal infections. I followed the dosage, treated Barney in his old 2.5 gal, and I prayed that it would work. I also used Tetra's Lifeguard All-In-One treatment, but I only used that once and didn't dose again. 4 days later, Barney was still alive. I changed ALL of the tank water (even though Fungus Clear says to change 25%), dosed the water again with Fungus Clear, and I waited. I swear, I thought I was going to find him dead each morning that I woke up to check on him. On day 8 of treatment, I was surprised to see Barney swimming around better. He would swim to the side of the tank when I'd pass by. He wasn't as lethargic.

It has now been nearly a month and a half since I first noticed his changes. He is still alive, seems somewhat better, but I fear that his buoyancy will never return to normal. He tries so hard to swim to the bottom of the tank, but he can't stay down. I've read that Swim Bladder possibly can be permanent in some cases, but his SB case clearly isn't caused by constipation as he hasn't consumed a large amount of food in a LONG time. I've tried everything to help my little guy, and I would love anyone's advice, help, or input. He is around 5 years old. The 3-4 years that he has been with me he has lived in filtered + heated tanks with regular water changes. I don't think any of this could be caused by poor water quality. I want to return him to his 20 gallon tank, but the current is too strong for him in it. He'll have to remain in his 2.5 gal (filtered and heated). Please help me figure out what's wrong with my boy. :crying:

Thank you so much,

Lauren
I don't know much about betta diseases, but I do know that your betta is extremely old. A betta reaching 5 years is a feat for its owner, but as every animal ages, you might see more issue prevelant.

He is essentially like 90 in human years (I am guessing) and at that point the body can start breaking down. Maybe his organs are failing due to age? Maybe he has cancer? It sounds like you have treated him for bloating and constipation, which should usually be the fix for swim bladder.

In my non-expert opinion, he is just dying due to age.
 

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Don't take the rest of my post the wrong way, he's lived with your for 3-4 years and pushing 5 years old so you're doing things right.

With regards to his diet, Aqueon isn't the best food and feeding him as much as he'll eat doesn't do well for these fish, it can cause issues with constipation and their swim bladder. These issues may not surface when he's younger, but as he ages, they will become noticeable.

That said, he's had a long life and I believe, as Hassled said, he's just getting old. I don't believe there's much you can do for him except keep his water clean and make him comfortable. When my little guy was at the end of his life, I would use planting tongs to put a bloodworm near his mouth for him to eat (which he would most times ignore), but this is just prolonging the inevitable.

You could try keeping him in the Epsom Salt bath for a few days (no more than 10 days), but tbh, I wouldn't expect a return to the original fish you knew.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies, and I apologize for my late response. I didn't know Aqueon was low quality, but it is basically the only type of pellets for bettas that my LFS carries. I do give him foods such as blood worms and brine shrimp, but he's never showed as much interest in them as he does with pellets. I was guilty in the past of over-feeding him, but he hasn't eaten numerous amounts of food in months.

Veloran, I had to do the same thing that you were doing for your old betta. When Barney was in his 20 gal, I would have to scoop him into a container to feed him. I had to use a syringe to push his food in front of his mouth so he could eat. His eyesight was/is poor, but I know he still has some eyesight. He can see me when I go up to his 2.5 gal tank. He can see the food floating on top of the water in it, too.

He has FINALLY been eating for the past 2 days. Currently, he is swimming around more, and I witnessed him resting on the bottom of his 2.5 gal tank. That only lasted for a minute or two, though. He floated right back to the top, but he isn't aimlessly floating around on his side at the surface anymore. I know that all life comes to an end at some point, and I know that he is incredibly old so the near end is inevitable. It is going to kill me to find him "gone" one of these days, but I am glad that I didn't euthanize with clove oil. I really thought I was going to have to do that around Thanksgiving.

Again, thank you for your replies. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't doing something wrong.
 
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