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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, I’m new to the forums, but I came seeking help for my male betta fish. For the past 2 weeks or so he hasn’t been acting like normal. He lies around the aquarium floor and doesn’t really move unless to go to the surface for air, and when he does he swims quickly to the top, gets a gulp of air, and floats back down. The only other time he moves is to shift from laying at one spot to another. He also is breathing heavier than normal and swimming weird. His tail sinks down when he does rarely swim. He also barely eats, I have to sink the food to the bottom as he will not come to the top to feed as he normally did. His colors are dull. There was a small cotton-like string hanging off his head, also around his one eye too, but that is gone now, so I think that was just something from the substrate. I got the water tested at PetSmart, however we did not get the chart. The employee said the quality of the water was fine. Though I am skeptical of how accurate the results were, so I ordered a liquid test kit which will arrive this week. I’m really worried about him. (I have attached pictures of him below.)

How many gallons is your tank: 10 gallons

Does it have a filter: yes

Does it have a heater: yes

What temperature is your tank: about 79 degrees Fahrenheit

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration: no

Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind: no tank mates

What food brand do you use: Aqueon Betta food.

Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Freeze-dried?: I feed him pellets

How often do you feed your Betta? How much: he gets 2 pellets in the morning, 2 pellets at night. No food on Friday.

Before your Betta became ill how often did
you perform a water change: every other week.

What percentage of water did you change: 15-25%

What is the source of your water: conditioned tap water

Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water: yes, I vacuum substrate.

What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner: API Betta water conditioner.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms: About 2 weeks ago.

How has your Betta’s appearance changed: his colors have dulled a lot.

How has your Betta’s behavior changed: inactive, trouble swimming, breathing heavy.

Is your Betta still eating: Barely

Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how: put stress coat in water and Fritz catappa tea bags as recommended by PetSmart store employee. I do not know what is wrong with him, so started with these things. They have not been helping.

Does your Betta have any history of being ill: yes, he has gotten fin rot 2 times, and has had swim bladder disease once or twice. His fins have not really grown back much since fin rot.

How long have you owned your Betta: 2 years

Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased: No


· Registered
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He looks to be quite thin. The last photo, especially, makes me think so. If you can get a photo from above that would help.
I have posted a picture from above. It’s hard to get a picture of him above because he spends a lot of time on the aquarium floor, so I did my best to get one when he was resting on his plant. Is there a food you recommended to feed him to help him regain some weight?

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if he won't eat pellets at all right now I would feed the frozen until he will. 2-3 a couple times a day would be what I would start with.
I have started to try to feed him the bloodworms, he isn’t eating them, he’ll just lay there and not eat. What should I do? He’s suffering. Is there any other treatment that could make him feel better? He’s acting more lethargic lately.

· Registered
43 Posts
That's up to you. I'm sure you researched the humane ways to do it if you decide to go that route. I'm not sure what the forums view is on it though. It's seems like you've tried everything to no avail, so Id guess it's just old age. For what it's worth, I fed my betta the aqueon pellets and he liked them for awhile but then one day just stopped eating them altogether. I then bought him bug bites and he loves them

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all who have replied, it means a lot to me that you all took time out of your day to try to help my fish. I think I’m going to euthanize him soon if he doesn’t pass on his own in a day or two. He is no longer interested in eating any food, so his health and quality of life has greatly diminished. From what I’ve researched, it seems like clove oil and some alcohol is the most humane method, is that correct? And lastly, here is a picture of what he looked like when he was younger before he got fin rot and became sick.
Water Blue Light Purple Organism

· Super Moderator
1,642 Posts
I am very sorry.

Here is a guide if you decide to go that route:

Prepare a small container with water and put in the fridge until surface starts to freeze.

Prepare an emulsion of 10 drops of clove oil and 100 ml warm water by shaking it very, very well.

Add this (preferably with a syringe and some pressure) to a quarter or max. half a gallon of tank water and stir well.

Put the fish in and watch for any sign of breathing or eye movements if rolled over after twenty minutes.

If no signs, transfer fish to freezing water and dispose of (no flushing) after another twenty minutes.

If signs, repeat dose, wait and then transfer to freezing water.
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