My Betta Ricardo is really sick

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Shaney216

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This is my Betta Ricardo I’ve had him for just about 3 years now. He has traveled back and forth to college with me since my sophomore year, I’m now a senior. He lives in a 10 gallon tank with multiple structures and fake plants. And of course his two best friends, his heater and floating betta lot.
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However for the last few weeks he’s been hiding more often and not eating as much he usually does and seems to be getting worse even with frequent water changes and aquarium salt.

Here is what he looks like now:
IMG_1879.jpegIMG_1880.jpeg
I think he has dropsy as his scales are really rough on his top and he is pineconing. Any ideas on how to help him on a budget would be appreciated, I don’t want to lose him as we’ve been through so much together.
 
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems that Ricardo may just be at the end of his natural life span. It's possible he may have dropsy, but I can't say for sure. The thing to understand though is that dropsy is not an illness, it's a symptom, usually of organ failure. Loss of color, decreased appetite, a generally ragged appearance, and lethargy are common signs of aging in fish. Since you say the decline has been happening over the span of multiple weeks, I'm more inclined to think he's simply reaching the end of his lifespan rather than an acute disease.

Three years is nothing to sneeze at for a betta, especially one who was likely from a pet store! If he's been with you for three years, even through moving back and forth in college, then you've done quite a good job caring for him ❤️ It's true that some bettas can live to about 5 years, but the ones from big box pet stores aren't bred to be very healthy, so they tend to have shorter lifespans. It's up to you what you want to do moving forward. You can try to entice him to eat with things like bloodworms, frozen foods like brine shrimp or mysis shrimp, or you could potentially even hatch some live baby brine shrimp for him. However, if he stops eating altogether, you may want to consider humane euthanasia :( Otherwise, to make him more comfortable, you can try lowering the water level so he doesn't have to swim as far to reach the surface and eat. Since the salt treatments don't seem to have helped, it's probably also best to slowly reduce the salt concentration back down to pure freshwater because over time, salt can cause stress.

It's so hard to lose pets, especially those like bettas who are so chock full of personality. I'm so glad Ricardo has a lovely owner like you, who cares so much about him!
 
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems that Ricardo may just be at the end of his natural life span. It's possible he may have dropsy, but I can't say for sure. The thing to understand though is that dropsy is not an illness, it's a symptom, usually of organ failure. Loss of color, decreased appetite, a generally ragged appearance, and lethargy are common signs of aging in fish. Since you say the decline has been happening over the span of multiple weeks, I'm more inclined to think he's simply reaching the end of his lifespan rather than an acute disease.

Three years is nothing to sneeze at for a betta, especially one who was likely from a pet store! If he's been with you for three years, even through moving back and forth in college, then you've done quite a good job caring for him ❤️ It's true that some bettas can live to about 5 years, but the ones from big box pet stores aren't bred to be very healthy, so they tend to have shorter lifespans. It's up to you what you want to do moving forward. You can try to entice him to eat with things like bloodworms, frozen foods like brine shrimp or mysis shrimp, or you could potentially even hatch some live baby brine shrimp for him. However, if he stops eating altogether, you may want to consider humane euthanasia :( Otherwise, to make him more comfortable, you can try lowering the water level so he doesn't have to swim as far to reach the surface and eat. Since the salt treatments don't seem to have helped, it's probably also best to slowly reduce the salt concentration back down to pure freshwater because over time, salt can cause stress.

It's so hard to lose pets, especially those like bettas who are so chock full of personality. I'm so glad Ricardo has a lovely owner like you, who cares so much about him!
Thanks for the reply it means a lot. I guess not everyone can say that a their pet fish has travel 5200 miles with them.
 
I'm sorry. I have noticed that dropsy is often the sign that inevitable old age has kicked in. Things just break down.

That guy has had good, caring company in his travels. He has traveled - starting with 7000 km to get to Melbourne, as well as his adventures with you.
 

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