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Vertical Betta-Help!

Posted by hollyg (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 18, 06 at 17:26

My Betta fish has been "sitting" vertically for about a week now. Just when I think he may finally have gone to fishy heaven he swims up to the surface, grabs a breath, and sinks back down vertically-yes-vertically, and sits there without moving. His eyes look like a dead fish's eyes, they look mirrorlike, but he does not have popeye. I am feeding him, but he does not come up for food, he actually looks pretty skinny. He does not have spots or any visible fungus. He is 5 years old--is he just an elderly guy? What can I do? I thought the water might be cold, so I just put a lamp over him, but he used to live in a drafty hous in Minnesota, so I don't think that's it. Any advice would be appreciated--even if you think I should euthanize him, I would like to know. I hat seeing him suffer.Thanks so much! Holly

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Vertical Betta-Help!

i would put him down. *sorry, hugs*

it is probably age related. Swim bladder disorders cause this condition, as does constipation (but if he looks skinny than i dont think hes constipated) poor water conditions and cramped quarters can bring on coditions like this as well, but if youve had him 5 years then im sure he was happy and healthy.

I had one that was like that for a week before he finally passed on.

Yours has lead an extremely long life and at this point i think it would be the most humane thing to do. Ultimately only you can make this decision, you know him best. :)

RE: Vertical Betta-Help!

5 years is a long life for him, especialy if kept in an un-heated bowl (assuming). If you can raise the temperature to 78-80F it may encourage him to eat, by speeding up metabolism. Is it too late? who knows. I have had 2 that lived +7 years, both in a community tropical aquarium, with filtration and proper sized heater for consistant temperature 76-78F. Like Sarah stated only you can make that determination. Either way, it sounds like you have taken care of him well over the years.

RE: Vertical Betta-Help!


Old age it appears, wow he has lived a very long life. He is preparing for 'betta heaven' or where ever fish souls go... I wondered about my male guppy that was preparing to pass, to put him down or not. (I do it quickly by putting them between wet paper then hitting them with heavy sculpture mallet, then cry for a bit, as this is hard for me to do, but can't freeze them or let it go to long)

I was once very sick almost died and I remember how 'peaceful' it was ie the body somehow releases hormones and other agents ie like morphine that ease the pain, I remember thinking how easy it would be to just not take a breath, so I decided to let the guy go naturally (since it was not some horrific disease that 'seamed' painful but rather old age)

I fed this guppy a great 'last meal' (he was mostly at the bottom by now, so sank the food, shelterd him from others suddenly curious about him as a meal with a little sunken plant garden, (hmm so much for guppy brotherhood), and lowered the lights) and next day was gone. Buried him in plant. Best to you and your pal. Sherry

RE: Vertical Betta-Help!

For crying out loud! PLEASE, don't whack your betta with a "sculpture mallet"! If you're sure he's dying, a humane way to let him die peacefully is to make a mixture of Vodka and oil of Clove and add that gradually to a small amount of water. Try cleaning the water out first though. Check the temperature of the water-- it should be between 76-80 degrees for optimal health. You can put a light over his bowl to raise the water temperature if it's too cold. If he's having trouble swimming correctly (as in he's unable to keep is body parallel to the surface), then he may be constipated--- this can be caused by overfeeding or feeding too much freeze-dried food. Try fasting him for 2-3 days-- he should be able to "pass" the problem and will return to his normal swimming pattern. A small bit of squished green pea will also help with this problem (milk of magnesia for bettas). Remember though, a betta's stomach is only about the size of his eye.

RE: Vertical Betta-Help!

Mines doing this now I've only had him for three days! What do i do?

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