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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Exclamation To euthanize or no? Listless betta.


    0 Not allowed!
    Tank specs: 10 gallon, planted, filtered. Shared with 1 ADF, 1 nerite, and a number of malaysian trumpets and limpets.
    Am/NtrI/NtrA: 0/0/~5/10 -- weekly 25% PWCs, API conditioner
    Temp: Heated, 78F (it was at 80F, but I was concerned that may be too high for the ADF)
    PH: High, but stable at 8.0


    We've had him for a year(?) or so, but he was full size when we got him so I'm fairly certain he's well over that in total, as far as age goes.

    At any rate, over the past month or so I've watched him become more and more listless, to the point where all he really does is hover at the surface, "resting" on top of the thermometer. I even put a different thermometer in there, in case something was wrong with the current one and the temp was lower than I thought, but no. It's accurate. He moves a little at feeding times, but tends to show little interest. It's almost as if he can't find it or see it, spending most of what energy he must have left kind of randomly lunging in the vicinity of the kibble to try to get it. He gets some blood worms from time, but even those he's starting to care less about. His "breathing" has become very shallow and slow, to the point where I have to spend a moment watching because I'm not sure if he even is moving his gills and thus gone to the big pond in the sky.

    He spent a week in a salted quarantine in the beginning, but that didn't change anything.

    The ADF's behavior is normal, so whatever this is is confined to the betta. I don't know what to do. He's just not the spry guy he was. Does this mean he's suffering? Should I just let him go? As for method, I have clove oil. Just... :( Am I doing something wrong? Have I missed something?

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    It might be the cooler water making the betta listless. This site says the frog can be in temperatures of 75F -82F http://www.africandwarffrogsaspets.c...f-frogs-facts/ Since betta like their water on the warm side I would raise the temperature back up to 80 and see how things go.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Definitely warm him up.
    If that doesn't work, I'd still say probably don't euthanize him unless you have proof he's suffering, or unless he's going to starve.
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
    29 sw: Damsel, shrimpgoby, pistol shrimp, waspfish
    65 fw: Rummies, glowlight tetras, pencilfish, darters, ottos, f betta, goby, dwarf gourami, ninjas
    29 fw: Chili rasboras, pygmy cories, P. Gertrudae

  4. #4

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    1 Not allowed!
    This sounds like a typical classic case of old age. There is a progression when a Betta is dying of old age, which you can almost measure in time frame, and once it begins, it generally runs about four to six weeks, but rarely up to two months before the Betta finally takes his last gulp of air.

    A Betta in the throes of old age, usually begins with a healthy appearance, but a slow, progressive listlessness, hiding, or hovering, as you described, near the surface. Energy begins to lack, and staying near the surface is usually to conserve energy to be close to the air source.

    Along with this will be decreased feeding. Most Betta start with a tell tale, every third day, they just aren't interested, and then interest returns, then three days later, no interest, this progresses to ever other day, and may flick on and off, with ravenous appetite, to, no interest at all with no rhythm after a while. The interest in food spreads out over time, going longer and longer, until he simply stops eating all together.

    During this, the way to tell its not illness, and old age, is though the fins will droop and eating and activity drops off, the fish still appears healthy. No ripped fins, fungus, ich, or other ailment. The Betta's color may begin to fade, but only once he refuses food all together.

    When the Betta refuses all food, it is usually two to three weeks before he will expire, but it can take longer (one of mine lingered without food for a month).

    Unless the Betta shows signs of intense stress, such as color striping, extreme gasping, or signs of illness, there is no need to euthanize. It is a natural process, and the Betta simply slows down and perishes. Its part of Betta ownership, and a natural part of their lifespan.

    Store purchased Betta (from box stores and even side shops) generally have a lifespan of one and a half years, but a year is not unusual. Though many breeder Betta can live up to six years in extremely good cases, four is more reasonable of an expectation. Why Store bought have shorter (much shorter) lifespans is not really for me to judge, but I suspect handling, and age before market, and bad breeding practices.

    Its very hard to watch a Betta succumb to old age, but as I said, it is a natural process, and your intervention is not required unless it is under duress. Keep an eye on him, and don't make any foolish moves like changing over all your routines, medicating, adding salt as you risk making his final time a stressful situation for him. Just be vigilant to watch for the final time, as you do not want to risk your other inhabitants to him not being discovered for a long period.

    Normally I recommend 80 degrees for your Betta, however, I have seen many Betta thrive in 78 for years, as long as the temp is constant. Fluctuation is worse than two degrees low.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the RE:s guys. I've bumped him back up to 80, and he ate some bloodworms last night, and seemed to have an easier time getting his kibble this morning. Still kind of just laying (upright, not tilted or anything) on his thermometer at the surface, though.

    fishkeeper: But that's just it, define suffering. My kids can tell me when something's wrong. Even my cats and dogs express discomfort. Is laying there, hardly able to move, wasting... suffering? I'm not try to argue the point, just trying to express the (my) uncertainty. But as Tiari stated, if this is just a slowing down due to being an old man, he's not really under any duress.

    Tiari, a lot of that stuff kind of fits the bill. Other than looking a bit droopy, and more recently looking slightly paler (he was a very bright red) that's all I can see on an outward, physical aspect of this. Behavior. He was a store fish, in the little cup, looked kind of pitiful when we got him. Part of the reason we picked him.

    Here's hoping that it was a mistake to drop the temperature, coupled with age maybe, and now he'll perk up a bit. I'll keep vigilant, his temperature bumped, and my fingers crossed.

  6. #6

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    Tiari, an excellent post.
    75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Silvertip & Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Pearl Gourami, Black Kuhli Loaches, Whiptail Cats, Wild Caught BNP
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  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by clichepithet View Post
    Thanks for the RE:s guys. I've bumped him back up to 80, and he ate some bloodworms last night, and seemed to have an easier time getting his kibble this morning. Still kind of just laying (upright, not tilted or anything) on his thermometer at the surface, though.

    fishkeeper: But that's just it, define suffering. My kids can tell me when something's wrong. Even my cats and dogs express discomfort. Is laying there, hardly able to move, wasting... suffering? I'm not try to argue the point, just trying to express the (my) uncertainty. But as Tiari stated, if this is just a slowing down due to being an old man, he's not really under any duress.

    Tiari, a lot of that stuff kind of fits the bill. Other than looking a bit droopy, and more recently looking slightly paler (he was a very bright red) that's all I can see on an outward, physical aspect of this. Behavior. He was a store fish, in the little cup, looked kind of pitiful when we got him. Part of the reason we picked him.

    Here's hoping that it was a mistake to drop the temperature, coupled with age maybe, and now he'll perk up a bit. I'll keep vigilant, his temperature bumped, and my fingers crossed.
    Sounds like this betta hit the jackpot when you decided to bring him home.
    75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Silvertip & Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Pearl Gourami, Black Kuhli Loaches, Whiptail Cats, Wild Caught BNP
    Dual 29 gals - Diamond Tetras. Harlequin Rasboras, Bloodfin Tetras
    10 Gal - Mr. Betta's Fishy Paradise

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    The warmer temp will certainly help him. Keep an eye on him and of course offer food. Make sure if you put food in, have a net nearby to take it back out if he's not interested in it at all to keep it from grubbing up the tank.

    "Droopy" is exactly the look of an aging Betta. Lazing and listeless with drooped fins, concaving stomach after a while, and just, well like a grumpy old man who has no interest.

    Usually Betta's are floating piggies who gorge and are giant welcome wagons, and when that changes with no illness present, its a pretty good sign his metabolism is slowing down to a trickle.

    If the warmer temp helps, fabulous, but I think you are coming up against old man time. Just watch him like a hawk for improvement, or, downgrading of his condition.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

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