Help! I think my betta is dying. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-27-2008, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Help! I think my betta is dying.

I"m a university student and found my beloved pet, creatively named Fred the Fish, in the garbage room at my old dorm, where someone had thrown him away. I rescued him, and have since had him about five years. I keep him in his own 1 1/2 gallon bowl, with rocks and a couple of plants, and change the water weekly with spring water. Normally, he's a darty little fish, but in the past week or two, he's taken to just kind of laying on the rocks. There doesn't physically seem to be anything wrong with him, but it looks like he just barely puts enough energy to eat his food, and then sinks back down. Is there anything I can do? or is he simply old and it's his time? I"ve had him 5 years, but I have no idea how old that is in " Betta " years. Any advice would be great! I'm extremely attached to him.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 12:11 AM
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I know a bit about bettas, I'm not a betta expert...but you're right, it could be your betta is old, since they're only supposed to live a couple years or so, so it sound like, to me, you're taking good care of him. :D He could be getting sick, too. Just about a week ago, my fish started acting like that...he would just sink tothe bottom without moving and sit at the bottom, and would only come up for food, and it turned out it was a case of ich. Are his fins clamped to his body at all? If you see anything unusual (like spots) then my best guess is you've got a sick betta. My best advice is to keep watching him and see what he does.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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his fins do seem rather pinned, haven't seen any spots though.....
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 05:25 AM
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In a 1 1/2 gallon tank you should be doing at least a water change (not necessarily full) pretty much every other day. You don't need spring water, just use regular tap water and treat it with a dechlorinator (unless you know there's something in there like excessive ammonia or nitrites that will make him sick). Spring water can sometimes contain the same crap as regular drinking water.

Do you have a liquid water testing kit? If so, test the water. If you have test strips, toss em and go buy an API test kit :)

This is the song that never ends...
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 07:27 AM
I agree, you shouldn't need to use spring water, but if you know that there are no chemicals in it you should be fine. Heck, what do I know, your betta is probably over 5 years old :D ! If there are no signs of illness, and your water tests at a normal pH, 0 ammonia and nitrites, and low nitrates, then maybe it is just that he is getting old. If you could get a little heater to keep the temp around 78 degrees (make sure you don't change it too fast though) it would make him feel a little more comfy in his old age. Other than that, great job in giving your betta a good, long life :) .
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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his water tests fine, and the temperature here in Mississippi keeps his tank comfortably warm. I wonder, do fish get arthritis? or some version? I 've never had a fish this long, and am not entirely sure how to care for my ( I"m assuming) geriatric fish. I wonder how old he is in fish years?
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 02:22 PM
I've never heard of a betta living to over 6 years old, and if he was full grown when you got him, he is probably close to that age now. Yeah, that would be considered geriatric ! If no other symptoms appear, I would consider it just to be old age. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this for fish as well as humans! Great job on giving your betta such a long, happy life.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-28-2008, 04:50 PM
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Wow, your betta is quite old! They're usually already a year when they get to the store, so he's at least 6 years old now, which is on the high range of the betta lifespan.
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-29-2008, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, he is probably over 6 already. Someone mentioned that they are a year old when you buy them from the store, and I myself will have had him 5 years in August, and whomever threw him away had him before me, but I' m not sure for how long. He's been a good fish, even though he's lost all of his pretty colors. He's kind of just bluish brown now. and he looks so sad just laying at the bottom of his bowl. I wish there was something I could do for him.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-29-2008, 08:44 AM
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Has this all happened since you pulled him out of the bin?

Is he loosing his colour like he is pale? Or hes just not as vibrant as he used to be? Hes REALLY old, so theres not much you can do but keep his water clean and make him as comfortable as possible.

Did you introduce your fist to this person who threw the fish out?

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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