Dying Of Old Age?

sunpirate2u

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Hey guys,

My little 12 year old brother has kept this Black Skirt tetra for about four years now, alone :blink: . It survived fine without other's around her. Anyways, she got bigger and bigger throughout the years and reminded very healthy and wonderfully active. Today, I walked by and saw her laying on her side at the top of the tank :no: . She has no loss in color, she's just.. gasping on her side. If I lightly tap the tank she tries swimming down, with difficultly and just floats back up. I feel so bad for her. There doesn't seem to be any signs of illness. No white spots, fungus, fin loss, nothing :/ . Is she just dying naturally? If so, should I let her die on her own? I don't want there to be any pain for the old gal. I know it's just a tetra, but it is my little brothers so...

Comments are needed soon
Thank you!

~AnDi
 

FreedomFighter

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Honestly I can't tell yoy if it's old age or not. I have no idea how long tetra's live for.

But she certainly doesn't appear very well. Do you have any water testing material to hand?
Any chance you could tell us the Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia and Ph levels in the tank?

Also check on the temperature just in case.

Aside from that, if you think she's a definite goner, then do you have any clove oil to hand? It's a much easier way of saying goodbye, and much less painful for the fish.

Really sorry to hear about this, but everyone and everything has a use by date. That's life :(
 
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sunpirate2u

sunpirate2u

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Ah, all i have is an ammonia tester. Not very helpful eh? The tank was just cleaned the other day, if i may add
Oh and it was also just fed this morning and my mother and brother claim it was completely fine until about two hours ago.

I only have olive oil. What would I do with it if i acquired some?
 

FreedomFighter

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Ah, all i have is an ammonia tester. Not very helpful eh? The tank was just cleaned the other day, if i may add
Oh and it was also just fed this morning and my mother and brother claim it was completely fine until about two hours ago.

I only have olive oil. What would I do with it if i acquired some?

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-most-humane-way-to-euthanize-a-fish.htm

Hopefully it's okay for me to post that here. But the ways to euthanise a fish is there.

If you don't have any clove oil, then it's up to you all if you think it's worth going to get some. It's always handy to have around for such emergencies.

But, we'll try to stay away from that as much as we can.

Okay, so, you have no testing kits, not the greatest idea, but those things are expensive so I completely understand. To be fair if your brothers had this tank running for 2 years without a test kit and his fish is still alive, then he deserves a clap on the back, well done to him. He must have kept pretty good water conditions.

May I ask how often the water is changed? And how the filter is cleaned?

I will be honest in saying that I can't see this being completely down to old age, as I would expect a gradual decline in health. BUT, saying that, getting older reduces the strength of the fishes immune system, so your fish could effectively be dying from old age, helped along the way by some nitrite or simple bacteria.

Could you do an ammonia test just for knowledges sake. If it's 0 then thats nothing to worry about.
 
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sunpirate2u

sunpirate2u

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Oh I totally know it's such a bad idea not having kits on hand. My family thinks I'm crazy trying to go the extra miles for all the science behind fish life.

My mother's response? = "Honey, I kept a single goldfish in a bowl for many many years, and even traveled across the country with it." blah blah blah. :angry:

My dad? = "I kept a twenty gallon and put all sorts of fish together in there. I never checked the water and I had a great community for years. You don't need all this stuff." :shout:

Anyways, the tank is cleaned about once every week or so. We have under gravel filters in there, they are often replaced. The ammonia is of now, zero
 

FreedomFighter

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Oh I totally know it's such a bad idea not having kits on hand. My family thinks I'm crazy trying to go the extra miles for all the science behind fish life.

My mother's response? = "Honey, I kept a single goldfish in a bowl for many many years, and even traveled across the country with it." blah blah blah. :angry:

My dad? = "I kept a twenty gallon and put all sorts of fish together in there. I never checked the water and I had a great community for years. You don't need all this stuff." :shout:

Anyways, the tank is cleaned about once every week or so. We have under gravel filters in there, they are often replaced. The ammonia is of now, zero

Yeah, in the end it's really hard to argue with that. We all do our best to look after our fish, for some ignoring the scientific side works wonders, for the unlucky ones, such as myself, I need science to help me along the way.
Props to you for going the extra mile, some may not think it's needed, but either way, it's great to see you're trying atleast.

Well 0 ammonia is good, and to get the other basics out the way, you use a tapsafe water dechlorinator to make the fresh water safe? And I presume you gravel vac when cleaning the tank?
 

snowflake311

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Well you had the fish for 4 years. How big was it when you got it? Because it could be 5 years you don't know for sure how old a fish is unless you raise it from an egg. You can just guess.

5 years is an average life span for smaller fish like tetras. Some can get as old as 10 yr. I would think age does have something to do with your fish. Since you have been keeping him this long means you know what you are doing. All you can do now is keep his water clean try not to stress him out and hope for the best. Sorry but it sounds like he had a good run.

It sounds like a swim bladder problem and this can fix it's self or a cooked pea with no shell can help a lot.
 

FreedomFighter

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Thank you for that Snowflake, I honestly didn't know how long they lived for.
 
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sunpirate2u

sunpirate2u

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Yeah, that's what I was thinking too, swim bladder. Okay, I'll cook up some peas and see if she touches them. She still seems rather strong, but week at the same time. If that makes ANY sense haha

Yes I do use water conditioner, i use "Stress Coat"... and yes gravel vac, but every month a 100% water change
 

FreedomFighter

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All sounds fine to me.

Try some peas, and then we'll see what happens from there. Poor old fish.
 
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sunpirate2u

sunpirate2u

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Okay... I just boiled some peas, deshelled them, and cut them up into smaller pieces. :)
I put them in her tank and she didn't really see them.
Oh and while I was doing this she was sorta swimming around, but i can tell something is up with her swim bladder.
Atm she is "smelling around" so we'll see if she finds any of the peas
 

Katty

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Ack, this reminds me of my 2+ yo. betta that recently passed. He was doing the same thing that your tetra is doing, bobbing around on his side and stuff. He pulled out of the "swim bladder" thing after a couple days of feeding peas, but then came down with dropsy a couple weeks later. Its just my personal anecdote, but her days may be numbered already. I'm not sure how fish are "supposed" to pass from old age, but if nothing else is to blame that might be it.
 

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