I have a 2yo Betta fish that has been sick for months. He had signs of external parasites (stringy fungus on body) and popeye. Both have gone away. Treated with Maracide and Aquarisol. He continued to be lethargic and would rarely eat so I treated him with a course of Ampicillin for possible internal parasites. After 10 days on the antibiotic, showed no signs of improvement. He is now on no medication and has no sign of external parasites but is still clearly quite ill. He has not eaten a bite in almost three weeks. He swims around very little and occasionally flares at the neighboring Betta, but will not eat. I had his water tested and it is perfect. I keep his bowl very clean and have been trying hard to coax him into eating. My question is what should I do? I’ve been considering euthanizing him as I cannot stand the thought of him starving to death. I can’t help but wonder if there is a medication I haven’t tried that might help. Your advice would be so appreciated. I’ve been trying for months to cure him.
I get angry when I see what I call novelty pets being pushed to the unsuspecting public if only because I know for a fact that many end up dying as a result. Take the betta splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish) craze for example. When I wrote about betta fish and mentioned that I used to own them as a youngster it was when I was living in tropical Singapore. Betta fish in case you don’t know are tropical fish. And that means if you move them into a temperate climate with your usual 4 seasons, they will get stressed if left to fend for themselves in water temperature that fluctuates wildly from being balmy and warm in summer to frigid in winter. And for those shop keepers who flout them as being really hardy fish – after all they are found in the wilds of Malaysia, Thailand and live in very little murky rice paddy type waters. And that’s true BUT that’s provided the water temperature stays at a range of between 75-86F which really can only be maintained if the ambient temperature is well – tropical. It’s near nigh impossible in a temperate country to have that sort of temperature range if you keep the betta fish in a small little tank with no heating facilities to ensure that the temperature stays that way. So if you find that your betta fish is looking a little less frisky and seems to mope down the bottom of the tank, check your water temperature. If you keep your water temperature within the optimum range, you will notice that it will be a happier and generally healthier individual which is less prone to diseases. Don’t get conned into believing that buying the betta fish with a ‘self cleaning’ tank means you will have a healthy pet with no maintenance – I couldn’t believe this but someone at my local shopping mall actually tried to convince me that the pebbles at the bottom of the jar was impregnated with special bacteria which would clean up the poop for me so I wouldn’t have to change the water – no way was that going to happen, if I had followed her instructions I would soon have a very sick betta fish on my hands. There is NO SUCH thing as a NO maintenance pet – pets by nature require attention. If you are too busy, then do yourself and the animal a favor – pass on getting one till you’re absolutely convinced that you will have the time and perserverance to look after it properly. Pets are not novelty items or trophies which you can buy and then just leave on the side when your interest wanes.
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My betta has been fine until the last week. Now he lays at the bottom of the bowl most of the time and its tail fins seem to look shriveled up at the end. Any suggestions?
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