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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had this male Blue Ram for almost 3 years now, he's clearly unhappy and his quality of life is extremely bleek now. About 3-4 weeks ago, something happened to him, a stroke maybe, failure or sometype of disease of the swim bladder but he cannot swim any longer, at least not like a fish should be able to swim. When he tries, which is very seldom now, he ends up taking a dive and landing on his head or his side. He cannot seem to move his back fins. It's really hard for me to say exactly what is wrong, I'm beginning to think that it's just old age. Anyway, he lays around on the subtrate all the time now and when I feed the other fish in the tank, in order for him to get food, I either pick him up in my hand and drop the food down to him, practically hand feeding him, which my husband thinks is extraordinary, or dropping it down to him as he lays on the subtrate, that's if he's not behind some plants and out in the open.

He clearly is hungry and wants to eat, he just can't manage on his own, he is totally unable to pick food up off the subtrate, as he cannot put his back fins up in the air in order to hover about the food so that he can get to it, again, hard for me to explain. He's totally breaking my heart, he's a big boy, he's always been the largest fish in the tank. I do have a smaller Blue Ram in the tank and also a female. This is a 29 gallon planted tank. I really don't think it has anything to do with the tank itself or the other fish, as they are all fine and all my parameters are in order and have been since this happened. Of course I can't rule out the fact that maybe the other male did something to hurt him and he just never recovered.

I hate to watch him suffer like this and I'm sure he is, what type of life is this for a fish, but I don't have the heart to euthanize him. My feeling is if he's trying to eat then maybe he wants to live. I just wish I knew what to do and hope that maybe I can find some answers here.

If anyone has any advice they can offer, I would surely be grateful!

Many thanks!
Linda
 

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3 years is about as long as these fish as expected to live. You know your fish better than anyone else and you need to make the choice that his best for the fish. It is tough to do, and I've had to euthanize a fish before as well and it isn't easy.
 

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I’ve had tropical fish for over 40 years and I would definitely suggest removing your fish. It may have a communicable disease and even if I doesn’t and dies when you are not available, any other fish in the tank will eat it or it will contaminate your aquarium.

OK I know that you can get emotionally attached to a pet but when you take on a pet you have to accept the eventual loss. Fish are fungible, i.e. one fish of a particular species is pretty much the same as another. Consider this an opportunity to branch out and not a loss.
 

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Sorry to hear he's doing poorly. Yes, 3 years is a very long life for a Ram since usually 2 years is average.

I would say in this case that the most humane thing to do is euthanize him.

Here's a good article on some of the very humane ways to go about it, if it's any help to you.

Euthanasia Options
 

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Want to do something cool?

Obtain some new wild rams from an importer. I got some from Mark Denaro at anubiasdesign.com. They're really nothing like the hormone-raised fish from Florida or Asia. They're a bit more shy, but far more beautiful IMO.

It's hard to describe the diference in coloration. The hormone-raised fish have a more intense orange background color and they might be "flashier" than the wilds. The iridescent blues and purples of the wild fish are far deeper and much nicer when seen in person.

If you do it, just be sure you quarantine them for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone, I am going to euthanize him this evening. I just picked him up to feed him and he's looking pretty rough, he's so thin now and his color, which once was so vibrant, is really dark.

Bryce, thanks for the tip on the wild rams, I had some a while back and thought they were great. I have been looking to purchase more of them.


Linda
 

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You're making a good choice Linda. It's hard, but it is in the best interest of the fish.
You must have done a great job of making his home ideal since he lived such a long life. :)
 
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