Betta rescue philosophy and betta rescue tips?

  • #1
This is a 2 part question.

1.) Any tips for nursing back to health a sad looking lethargic betta you've "rescued" from a pet store? I have read and done many things already, but I'm asking for your personal protocol if you have done this. (aquarium salt, variety of betta foods, correct temperature, live plant, additives like Seachem Prime or whatnot .. . what if your betta still looks "ty and sad" and how long does it generally take to recover from just being in a cup for a few weeks? (I noticed that the same bettas seemed to be at the nearest store for a few weeks at least.) What can you try if your fish isn't responding to all the things on the general good betta care checklist?

2.) Are you in the "boycott Petco/Petsmart/Other big box store" or "save a little fishy when you can from Petco" camp? If you are in the 1st camp, I am just wondering where you ARE supposed to get fish . . it just seems that even if I ordered one on Aquabid this is still risky and stressful to a fish . .. I mean shipping a poor thing from across many states or countries . ..

I only ask out of curiosity about people's opinions, especially having perused Aquabid and not seeing much in the way of bettas for sale in states near me. I also live in the desert so shipping a fish seems .. . like playing with its life? It's either VERY hot or very cold at night, depending on the season.

For me the pet store vs. Aquabid thing is not necessarily about the money. . I feel good rescuing a little miserable thing but I understand how boycott works as well.
I did write something about my concern as a customer about the betta treatment to Petco when I reviewed something online and I signed a petition asking they don't sell anything under a gallon. . but I doubt anything will change soon.

Thoughts? (Sorry this is so long!)
  • #2
If your going to get a betta from a store you need to be sure you know what your getting. Ask yourself, "do I have the means to care for a sick fish". If the answer is no, then don't buy a fish. If the answer is yes then you must decide whether you want to pick up the sick looking fish at the store and get a discount to justify the term "rescue" or purchase a healthier looking betta. Think if it like this. The store has 2 bettas, 1 is sickly the other is healthy. You take pity on the sick fish and rescue it, take it home and after a week of treatment it dies. You go back to exchange it for the healthy fish, by now its also sick, it dies. No one won. Or, you purchase the healthy fish and open a room for another betta(which the store is getting anyways, they don't care how many sell, bettas are a means to push other product.) That betta gets to live a good life, the sick fish dies.

If you have the means and will to rescue and recover a sick fish then do it I suppose. But, know to what extent you can rescue. Torn fins are not a problem normally, damaged scales are a opening for infection. External parasites should be avoided imo. Sbd MAY be curable. body rot should be avoided as should spinal deformities.

I bring home any betta and its into the QT tank. temps at 82f. I feed frozen foods, NLS, HBH, attitsons and a few other brands of pellets. That's for all my fish. Monitor the animal and treat what is needed. I do not introduce salt for ripped fins, I do introduce salt for body wounds.
  • #3
Thanks for the read

My local petco is not the greatest... but it is cheaper. Though PetSmart by me seems nicer, there are other places but they can be hard to find.
  • #4
I should also say, don't let pity get the best of you. The difference between a healthy betta and a sick betta is that you may be able to get the sick betta for less(rescue) but, if thas not the case then get the healthy betta. Their life is just as important.
  • #5
Welcome to FishLore!!
If you get a betta that has torn fins and generally not feeling well from being in a dirty cup often times pristine water, garlic gaurd, vita-chem and some extra stress coat will help him heal.
  • #6
I've read a thread about the "save the fish vs. boycott the store" issue; I think it was closed because the arguments got too heated Definitely a touchy subject for some.

There is a PetCo near-ish to me that has GORGEOUS bettas. The water is always pristine, slightly larger cups than normal, and the bettas always look healthy.

In regards to shipping, most fish arrive at pet stores by being shipped, so that isn't really any different. Everyone (myself included) is always initially leery of having fish shipped to them, but that's how the fish get to the pet stores, as well.
  • #7
Boycott? Nobody's going to win. The stores will always keep bettas. And there will always be someone who hates the cups. But, if you think of it this way, a betta gets a cup to itself, and that's wrong? But how often do you hear "Oh my god, that's just too many guppies in that tank!"? You don't. There can be 30 guppies in a 10 gal tank, and nobody cares. I personally buy my bettas at the store, so at least I know what I am buying. I've took pity on a couple of bettas and bought them, but I've also had to turn down buying the pretty, healthy ones that I wanted because I had already bought the pitiful one.
  • #8
But how often do you hear "Oh my god, that's just too many guppies in that tank!"? You don't. There can be 30 guppies in a 10 gal tank, and nobody cares.

Oh I always note that when I'm at an LFS. They'll have half a dozen baseball-sized goldfish in what appears to be a 5 gallon tank. Or I'll see (usually at non-pet stores, like a grocery store...which shouldn't even carry fish, but that's another rant) fish housed together that shouldn't be together, like nippy fish with angel fish, etc. However, one argument I've heard is that the fish are usually turned over so quickly that it isn't actually that stressful for the tanks to be so overstocked.
  • #9
Yeah, but then again, I've never seen the same betta twice at the petstores.
  • #10
that's because they die/get sick or get trashed for new arrivals. Bettas are one of the few things that chain stores have no problem trashing if they have been around too long. Live or dead.
  • #11
I definitely have. I always like to look when I go (dangerous idea, I know) and I saw this same gorgeous blue and white halfmoon on two separate occasions, had to be two weeks apart. You can tell which ones have been there awhile because new ones have blue water, and old ones have clear water.

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