This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

How long will a Betta live

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by suep, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    I set up a 10 gallon planted tank in May 2007, and among other fish, added a very pretty red Betta. He did well, and a few months ago I finally took down the 10 gallon moved him to my 46 gal planted bowfront. I kept an eye on him and he seemed to do well. He really seemed to enjoy snaking around the plants and chasing the guppy fry.

    The past few weeks he's spent almost all of his time hiding in the plants, and has almost seemed to be using them as support. If he's out in the open he'd gradually list to the side. He seemed to be able to swim OK, just not support himself upright when he was not actively swimming. He seemed to be getting enough to eat, his belly was as round as ever. His fins have been fine, not frayed or town.

    The last couple of days, I haven't seen him without some serious searching, and the last time I found him he was laying on his side. Alive, but definitely looking weak. I'm seriously worried, and wondering if I should euthanize him. Could it be old age? I remember hearing a Betta could live 4 years? He's probably about 2 1/2, maybe 3... :(
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    I'd look to parasites, maybe an ichthyoid relative of tuberculosis. Both have parasite medications for them, which should probably be used in a quarantine tank for the sake of other fish and possibly the plants depending on the compounds used.

    Personally, I accept the deaths of all but my more prized fish. I've found that outside of external parasites like ich and fungus, a great number of other diseases are death sentences by the time they're noticeable. You may have a chance if you can ID and treat quickly, betas are hearty

    Of course most of this is in reference to small fish. I find people keeping larger fish seem to have more success detecting and treating illness.

    Anyhow, I'd say head for a good book or highly academic publication on tropical fish disease. I find more advanced fish diagnostics on a forum, without a microscope, end up being a big waste of time in conjecture.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Thanks. :)

    Yes, I'm also extremely skeptical about diagnosing and treating most illnesses at home. Ich, sure, but I suspect most other attempts do as much harm as good.

    The googling I've done seems to list 3 and maybe 4 years as a 'normal' life span. And my betta looked like he was developing some of the aging traits shown in the picture I saw. I know he's at least 2 1/2 years. He had full, long fins when I bought him, I don't know how many months those take to develop.

    Dang, I don't want to lose him :( , but I'm not going to try heavy antibiotics or stuff.

    Thanks again...
     
  4. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Forgot to say, the tank has an 18 watt sterilizer, and everybody else seems to be doing fine. Pearl Guarami, cardinals, cories, etc. Well, the fancy guppies are delicate, but breed faster than they die. Everyone else is fine, and even the betta looks fine, if a little faded... I've had most of the fish for at least 18 months...
     
  5. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Bettas have a short lifespan. 2.5-3 years is actually old for a betta so you have done well keeping it as long as you have. Chances are good its old age. The only other thing I can suggest is sometimes bettas have a hard time competing for food in a larger community tank. Frequently they will actually do better by themselves in a smaller setup or with fish that are bottom dwellers that won't directly compete with the betta for food.
     
  6. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    I've been keeping an eye on him and as far as I could tell, he's been getting food. His belly doesn't look shrunken.

    I don't see him today, he may just be hiding... Or... :(
     
  7. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    I managed to catch him today and put him in a little quart jar for observation. Tossed some floating plants in with him, for comfort if nothing else. He still doesn't look shrunken, but he's definitely weak. He's laying on his side, against the side of the tank. He ate one frozen mysis when I hand fed him, and ignored the 2nd one I tried.

    Right now I guess I'll wait and see. If he doesn't start getting better in a day or so, I'll euthanize him..

    He does look a bit faded and grey, whether old age or just poor health I don't know.
     
  8. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    He's still in the tiny tank, hanging in there. He's avidly eating a few pieces at a time when I feed him. He _looks_ old, with a curved hump in his back and some darkened, thin spots on his dorsal fin. But he's alive and eating.

    I may try him in a breeders net in the big tank, at least when I go on vacation in August. But for now he's doing OK.

    I'm starting to think the female swordtail I added a few months ago was chasing him and not letting him eat. She seems pretty aggressive. I may try to catch her & the other swordtails and take them back.
     
  9. Tanya

    Tanya Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Sue, is he still staying near the bottom? I raise a lot of bettas; this seems to be something that occurs from time to time. One will seem perfectly happy/healthy, but sink as if a weight is attached to him, and struggle to swim to the top. This can last for months; they can get to the surface of a very small tank for food, but mostly they lay at the bottom listing to one side.

    I don't know the cure, sorry; I only know what you are describing is something I see a lot.
     
  10. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    The tank he's in holds less than a quart of water, I'm sure. I tossed some floating wisteria in and he prefers to jam himself in it and use it to 'float' and keep himself upright near the surface. Other than that, he does struggle to get to the top. I've seen him flash at the mirror, so I don't think he feels particularly bad.

    Do your affected fish eventually die, or recover, or just stay the same?

    If mine doesn't deteriorate, I'm willing to keep doing water changes daily in the small tank. Although I may use a breeders net in the 46 gallon when I leave for 5 days next month.
     
  11. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Oh, and thanks for the report Tanya, I appreciate it!
     
  12. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    How is your betta doing? Good job getting him past 2 years! Most don't last that long because of poor conditions where they were raised or kept prior to being sold.

    I have an old-timer too. My plakat's over 4 years old now. I just change his water more and check on him more often. Is yours a veil tail? I've heard that carrying those long fins around can be a hassle and can speed old age. Something about impeding movement and the betta has to use more muscle to move around, especially if there is current. Using more effort, strains the body, etc...

    I can be completely wrong, however. All I know, my VTs never have lasted as long as this ugly little plakat I have now.

    llj
     
  13. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    Yes, he's a veil tail, just a common little $6 pet store fish. :)

    So far he seems fine in the little jar. He's eating and I've seen him flare at the mirror. He's using the plants to hold himself upright at the top. He can swim but it's obviously more effort than it used to be. (He used to be the terror of the 10 gallon tank.)

    If I can figure out out how to handle water changes, I may put him back in the 46 gallon tank, in a breeders net. But for now anyway, he's got a safe place to hang out. I gave him some live adult brine shrimp last week and he was _really_ happy. :D

    I suspect your plakat is just hardier than the more domesticated types. I don't think I've ever seen one around here, or I would have been tempted to try one. :cool:
     
  14. lljdma06

    lljdma06 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    I got mine from a friend at another forum who was working on a copper crowntail plakat line. He was from the first generation and she had like almost 200 fry survive. Needless to say, it was getting crowded. She kept the ones she wanted for breeding, adopted out the rest, and my betta was one of the last adopted. He has an deformed gill plate, a great pet, but not suitable for breeding. I think the effort she took to breed resulting in a very nice, hardy fish. Not over bred. I got very lucky, he outlasted his brothers and every other betta I've ever had by a huge margin.

    It seems that yours is doing better. Perhaps the breeder net in the 46g is best for him for the remainder of his days. He's getting older and if it's hard for him to move around, the 10g will not be good for him. It's the distance to travel to the surface that is the most difficult. The shallower, the better. That's probably why he's doing better now. Much less distance to travel in the jar.

    Plakats are rare in the LFS Sometimes you'll get a male amonst the females, but usually it is a long-finned male that hasn't matured yet. A real plakat is hard to find and my next one will probably be from an online or even a fighter type, though I would never fight a betta. The fighting lines, however, make excellent pets.

    llj
     
  15. suep

    suep Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    I found a picture from when I got him in 2007. I'll try to upload it here, it's small enough it may work.

    His bottom fin was torn when I got him. It did heal, and it never seemed to bother him. This is when the 10 gallon was a few weeks old. It rapidly grew into a jungle, and he seemed to love ramming himself thru the plants, hunting and playing.

    2007-06-03 002 small.jpg
     
  16. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    3
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    This sounds like swim bladder disorder, which is caused by overfeeding and constipation. The betta usually recovers on its own in time. Feeding daphnia or even a cooked/peeled/quartered pea (after a 2-3 day fast) can help.
     
  17. mstasa

    mstasa Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    12:50 PM
    i say close to 1.5 years
     
Loading...

Share This Page