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Old 04-01-2014, 01:50 AM   #1
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Euthanizing beloved fish?

I have a Jack Dempsey, who is 13 years old. She has been my first fish, my favorite fish. About a month ago she started developing hole in the head. My water was perfect. Her appetite was good, I couldn't really find a reason for it other than old age. I removed all activated carbon, and have been treating her (metronidazole) for the past 3 weeks, all the while maintaining good water quality. I've been rearranging my stock between my 4 tanks, and getting new fish, all tied to decreasing stress on my JD. The sites of infection never made it more than a few mm, but as one would go away another would pop up. Tonight I noticed one spot has pealed away to an open bloody sore, and another one is developing, basically her head is riddled with tiny holes and infections. She does not swim anymore, just stays on the bottom. Her appetite is still good, and she will swim to get food. In fact she seams like she still has a lot of life in her. But at this point I feel like it just going to get worse. I found a 30 gallon tank full set up for $100.00 and was thinking of getting it to put her in so she can be totally alone.
Tonight me and my girlfriend were talking about it, and she rightfully is concerned that it is a lot of money to spend on an old fish. I've never had a fish this old before, and I don't really want to see it get worse and worse. Is there something else I should try? Would moving her into her own tank be worth it? I'm worried the stress of moving into a new tank would make her worse. I also have to think about my other fish in the tank, I don't want them to become sick as she gets worse, or continue to expose them to heavy doses of medicine.
Tonight is the first time we talked about Euthanizing her. And I don't know what to do. She's old, she's sick, treatment isn't working, and although she still has a lot of life in her, it doesn't appear she will get better. This is the first time in 12 years she's been sick even. Should I wait until she can no longer eat/gets worse? Move her to a "hospice" tank, or just let her go? I've spent about $80 just on medication over the last three weeks.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:06 AM   #2
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Here's a pic, you can see the active infections, and the left over holes, as well as how swollen her head is. Click image for larger version

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Old 04-01-2014, 05:43 AM   #3
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That's a tough call man but I can see both sides of the issue. 13 years is a good run but I too would have a problem 'just letting her go'. Maybe you three could meet in the middle and install a temporary divider in her current tank and see how she progresses?
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:25 PM   #4
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I just found a 30g breeder on the classifieds with everything for $40. I'm going to get it.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:26 PM   #5
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Now I just have to worry about transporting a tank without jacking up the bio, and having to recycle it.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:38 PM   #6
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Good luck!
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:26 AM   #7
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Working out, she loves the new tank, didn't take her long to settle in at all, and being the only fish in it she just swims around tell she gets tired then takes a nap. Good to see. I imagine she doesn't have much of a run left, but this works for now.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:20 AM   #8
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That's awesome!

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Old 04-03-2014, 12:00 PM   #9
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What do to use to check the water parameters?


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Old 04-03-2014, 12:14 PM   #10
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I use the Tetra 5-1 strips for a quick check, and the API master test kit for precise testing.
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