The Planted Tank Forum banner

What to do with a Very Sick adopted fish

2144 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  starrlamia
I adopted a Betta only to find that he wasn't being cared for at all. His water was terrible. Now I am not sur what to do.

He is
1. sitting on the bottom
2. clamped fins
3. not eating
4. barely moving

I have put him in a large clean bucket with really good water. I am going to throw his old disgusting tank out and get a large suitable one.

Is there a point that it is cruel to treat them? Do you keep trying until they die of natural causes or do you euthanise? The poor guy has already suffered so much. I would love to give him a better life, but am not sure it's possible

What do you think? What would you do? What is the next step to help this Betta?

I tried to post photos, but I just can't get it to work. Can you give input now, so I can decide what to do next? I will keep trying to post the photos.

Thanks in advance
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Depending on how bad his condition is and what ailment he might be suffering from it might be best to put him down. If it is just fin rot or a small fungal infection you can easily treat him and nurse him back to health. Bettas are very resilient and can easily bounce back.

He could be suffering from Internal parasites, try soaking the food you give him in garlic. Most fish will go for it. If he does eat it, use medications for internal parasites (Prazi Pro) to treat him. Keep his water clean and keep the temperature and water parameters consistent.

If you decide to euthanize him, please do not flush him or freeze him. Clove Oil seems to be the most widely adopted humane method of doing it.
A Very sad fish

This is him in quarentine. The white on the fins is my lens/on the water surface.

What does it look like to you?


See less See more
Could be fin rot. But I dont see anythine else.
He could be constipated.. Bettas have tiny stomachs, the size of their eye. It is very easy to overfeed them.

Also you can post on the people there are really helpful.

I'll let the more experienced people chime in.
He doesn't look thin, might be worth trying some antibiotics. Do you know how old he is? He could just be old. And be careful about putting him in a big tank now. If he has always been in a bowl or small tank, he can actually become stressed in a big tank.
He looks old and battered. Maybe just some tlc and clean water will perk him up.
For a rescue betta, he's actually in pretty good shape. Last betta I rescued had little more than stumps for fins and had lost part of his upper lip to an infection.

That betta, btw, is now happily re-growing his fins and chasing cherry shrimp in a friend's 5g. Dosed him with Melafix to help clear up the fin-rot and guard against secondary infections and then moved him into a low-light 2.5g tank with an anubia and floaters to give him shelter, kept up daily wc (2x daily the first few days) and tempted him with a variety of foods.

For your guy? Get him into clean water with low light levels and give him a couple days to show a response before jumping to dose with medicationt that may not actually be needed.
I wouldn't use melafix or pimafix on a betta, just fyi. There's been too many reports of issues with it.

Where did you rescue this guy from? Any idea of his age? I agree that he doesn't look too bad, but bettas are typically always hungry so the fact that he's not eating concerns me. Try feeding him different things - flakes, tiny betta pellets, frozen blood worms, little tiny bit of shelled pea (and I do mean very tiny so he doesn't choke).
I have seen bettas that I cannot believe are still alive brought back from the brink and turn into beautiful, healthy creatures. So I would say no, there's not a point where treatment is cruel. If the betta dies, at least it wasn't abandoned in a dirty tank and devoid of love or proper care.

Bettas really need to be kept at a temp between 76-82 degrees, and for a stressed fish the temp should be around 80 to help boost the immune system. So if you don't have a heater in his bucket that could be contributing to him still being lethargic.

I highly recommend you get some Indian Almond Leaves, they are from a betta's natural habitat and the fish respond very well to them. Among other things, Indian Almond Leaves have antibiotic and calming properties, and can lower tank pH slightly through the release of tannins. They will stain water to be tea colored, which is what you want. They are safe to keep in the tank full time or just for treatment through a rough patch.

You can buy them online, but they take a really long time to ship from Thailand so I'd say try to find a US seller. I would offer you some of mine but I'm almost out and waiting on a shipment.

It's also quite normal for a new betta to refuse food for a few days, especially if the fish is already stressed out like this guy. As long as he's still pooping it's fine. Keep offering him one pellet every day. If he hasn't eaten it in 4-5 days he was probably fed something different before, so I'd either find out what they use or try a frozen bloodworm to see if that will get his appetite going.

I wouldn't use melafix or pimafix on a betta, just fyi. There's been too many reports of issues with it.
This is true. Anything ending in "-fix" should NEVER be used with a betta, even Bettafix (which is just watered down melafix). It will damage their labyrinth organ (the lunglike thing they use to breathe air).
See less See more
I have Indian almond leaves if you need some. I will sell you some at cost. I get themin large lots and they are high quality. Just PM me.
He is looking better tonight. He like the water change and seems to like the dimmer lighting. My daughter is happy that he might live.
The lady that owned him said he was 6 months old, but I don't think that's true. He seems like an older fish.
We will keep trying and hope for the best.
Thanks for your help.
He is looking better tonight. He like the water change and seems to like the dimmer lighting. My daughter is happy that he might live.
The lady that owned him said he was 6 months old, but I don't think that's true. He seems like an older fish.
We will keep trying and hope for the best.
Thanks for your help.
She might have had him for 6 months and not known his age.
Get some indian almond leaves and keep the water clean. Also, keep the current at a minimum or offer plenty of places sheltered from the current. Don't laugh but I actually had one of these for a betta a while back and they like them. Allows them to rest but still be near the surface for air. Keeps them off the gravel. Some bettas will take to it. Some will not. I started feeding mine above the leaf and they figured it out.
Hammocks are great for bettas, you can make them out of craft mesh too

Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk 2
I've used Betta fix on the bettas I have keeped and it seem to fixen up I brought one back from a case of Dropsy which is 99% fatal with it so I use it. did you add a little salt. c=
Keep him in some low light so not to stress him out.

As far as eating try 2 or 3 pellets just leave them in him might get scent of them and eatem
Don't leave uneaten food in as it will foul the water, especially if he's not in a cycled tank. I use a turkey baster to remove it.

I find it really hard to believe that BettaFix cured dropsy a it's not even a true antibiotic. Maybe that fish was constipated as it can look similiar to dropsy.
Just took in a male betta and put him in my 12gal Long with my other fish a few weeks ago. He was at the bottom of the fish bowl and didn't move at all when I got him. For this guy, it was all about the water and the company. I have schooling fish in my tank which really helped him with his energy and he started eating after 3 days in the tank.

I've heard of contamination, but I wanted to try something new. A lot of people quarantine with Meds and I didn't want to shock his system like that. Heres a picture I took today:

See less See more
That tank above looks really great.

I would be very nervous putting him in with my tank. My female Molly is pretty pushy.

Thanks for all your help. He is doing much better. Still quite and slow, but improving.

He still is in a none filtered tank, but getting frequent water changes. I am also sucking out any waste that I see. He is a pretty pampered little fellow.

I have a really healthy community tank, so I have actually been replacing his water with that water. Seems to be doing the trick.

I have added live plants for him and he really likes the shelter.

He is eating again and does come up to the surface to see me.

Now that it looks as though he is going to make it I will have to get him a proper filtered/heated tank.
See less See more
Add some moss and floating plants to make him feel more secure and soak up any excess waste in the water. good luck...
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.