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Discussion Starter #1
Help! My 4 year old's Betta is at the bottom of the tank and gasping for "air." He is in a small take alone (maybe 2 gallon?). I checked the water stats and everything seems fine. I changed the water about 4 days ago and did not keep much of the old water. I did use a water conditioner made for Bettas. Any ideas? I don't see anything obviously wrong? If Red goes to the big fishbowl in the sky my daughter will be heartbroken. Dee
 

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Unfortunately, 3 - 5 yrs is the average lifespan of a betta. Considering many of them are at least 8 months - 1 yr old when we buy them at the store, to have had it 4 yrs is about average.
The best thing you could do would be to explain to your daughter that this fish is "old" and its time for him to pass on. Then, when the time comes, clean everything out and find a new betta to love, or upgrade to an aquarium setup and venture into a new environment with more fish options.
Once a betta is too old to swim to the top easily for air, there isn't much you can do for him. One thing that might help him for a while is to reduce the amount of water in his bowl to 1/2. This will make it easier for him to reach the surface of the water for air. This also means more frequent water changes, which was the other thing I was going to suggest. Keep him as clean as possible, well fed if he's still eating, and make it "easy" for him in his last days.
I'm sorry there's not much more you can do.
 

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This topic is being moved to Freshwater Emergencies.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your replies. I will do as you suggest. Dee
 
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