Christmas Betta Rescue! Help!!

  1. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    So crazy meant to be story here. After spending my last dollar on Christmas eve for Christmas I got on my Facebook page to post something and I accidentally clicked on marketplace and as I was going to exit a post caught my eye bc it was an aquarium that said it was free. I clicked on it to see what it was and it was one of those small Marine betta EZ care aquarium. The water was so dirty and they tank was so small that I immediately messaged n said I would take it. I had to wait til Christmas night and drove an hour to pick him up and the tank smelled so bad that I could hardly stand it and I couldn't even tell what condition the fish was in bc it is hard to see thru. Anyway. I was unable to drive home but luckily they gave me their water conditioner so I immediately got his water changed but I had nothing else with me, and all stores were closed bc of Christmas. I didn't think he was going to make it thru the night. His tail is shriveled and torn and I am thinking it's possibly fin rot but that's just from researching a bit. Not sure what else if anything is wrong. I got my stuff with me finally to help him out but I have only had one betta when I first started with aquariums. I put an airstone in now and he really perked up a bit for that. Pretty sure he's never been around one. Kind of spooked him. He's liven up though. Anyway I have aquarium salt in a holding cup ready to either put him in for a certain amount of time or I can dump it in the tank I am transferring him too. What are your suggestions?? I can't get a clear picture of him now bc of the tank he is in but can once I get him over to a different one for treatments. Any and all advice is welcomed! Thank you!
  2. California L33 Well Known Member Member

    Post pictures if you can.

    If the torn fin doesn't go all the way to the body of the fish just give him fresh water changes every day- 30%-50%. If you see new growth then cut it to every other day. If the fin completely tore off right to the body, or it gets worse, switch to an antibiotic like Kanaplex.

    Is his tank warm? Does he have a heater? 78-80 degree water will help with his recovery.

    Thanks for saving him.

  3. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    Awesome did not know about the heater. Will add it. It's around 75 Now. I was going to do aquarium salt soak and complete water change every 24 hours for 5 to 10 days and then move him to his permanent 3 gallon or 5 gallon tank. Or should I skip "treatments and just get him in stable water conditions? I am going to storage to grab one of my aquariums for his tank tomorrow. I was going to set up and start the cycling tomorrow. Is this a good plan or should I try to leave him undisturbed in clean water?
  4. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    ae6c469f9311006b1e6140c12017d52c.jpg 64229176f2c5261a0669236767dca688.jpg

    These are harder to see. I can't tell How much is missing. Not sure on changes, color or anything. Does look like there's some red around gills and at times his body looks curved?

    I am waiting on better quality pictures to come through off another phone but wanted 2 get opinions is possible. I can't even tell what kind of tail it is...

  5. Elemental Member Member

    It may appear that he has fin melt which can be deadly but with the proper precautions your betta will be better in no time :D . I agree with California L33 you should do daily water changes of about 50%. and I would also suggest putting in small doses of aquarium salt or Kosher Iodized Salt but make sure the salt is stirred up because salt crystals can cause burning to any fish and if swallowed it could be deadly. And with proper heating and filtration I'd say he will be better in no time :p . Best of luck to your new little friend.
    - Elemental

    Also my preferred way of treating bettas with salt is by adding small amounts daily to there tank I find that salt soaks aka salt baths can be very stressful on the betta.
  6. Brett S. Member Member

    Might be just stress, if you have artificial plants those could be tearing up the fins too.
  7. California L33 Well Known Member Member

    Wow, the poor guy looks pretty bad. From what I can see his fins are pretty well gone and he's really skinny.

    I think, if he were mine, I'd dose him with Kanaplex. That should kill whatever pathogen is causing his fin problems without relying on his immune system to help, as with salt or other 'natural' healing products, simply because we don't know what state his immune system is in. The problem is if he's not in a cycled tank you can get toxins (Ammonia and Nitrite) building up quickly. To handle this I'd use Prime at double its dechlorination strength every day until the Kanaplex treatment was complete, then I'd go with frequent partial water changes until his fins showed lots of new growth.

    I'm not sure what to advise on changing tanks. If you can gently get him into a nice 3-5 gallon tank (the bigger, the better) then I'd probably do that.

    (As a side note, I see you've gotten some salt advice from others. It's always good to remember that reasonable people can disagree, and I do disagree with that advice, at least two parts of it. It's true that a salt dip causes stress to a fish, but Bettas [at least those in the aquarium trade] are true freshwater fish. They live nowhere near the sea so don't have to deal with even mildly brackish water in nature and are subject to internal organ damage if left in even mildly salty water for extended periods. This doesn't mean every Betta will get organ damage, so the poster may well have had good experience with it. A salt dip treats the outside of the fish. Salt for extended periods gets inside the fish and they never needed to evolve a way of excreting it. If you do choose to use salt I would only use aquarium salt, never iodized, though as stated above, I still think I'd avoid salt in this instance.)

  8. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    Ok thank you so much for everyone's replies. I did a salt soak for about 20 mins and started reading conflicting information so I decided to get him out. He is doing pretty bad today. Just kind of floating and not moving but when I get close he might move his fin or something so I know he's still alive but not sure he's going to pull through or not. I was trying to treat for fin rot but after the suggestion of fin melt I checked a video and that is definitely what it is. I do not have prime but I do have stress coat. Is that the same thing sort of? I had melafix but haven't been able to find it. If those two work I will try those if not I'm open to suggestions I have not heard of or seen kanaplex at the local pet store and I only have a couple within an hour away from me and Wal-Mart. Thank you so much for the suggestions. I am going to try to do a bigger tank today but it will be uncycled so definitely nervous but we shall see what happens.
  9. Elemental Member Member

    Yes, Prime does the same hing as stress coat. But I definitely would not suggest putting him in a un-cycled tank because doing that could kill even a healthy fish. And also if you do end up finding melafix definitely use that it is very good i use it for my betta fish's as well. I really hope he pulls through :)
  10. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    Ok guys what's your opinion of setting up his tank and pulling water from a cycled tank? If I should do that what's your guys opinions on how much? 50% established water and 50% freshwater or what ratio should I try or none at all. I think our plan of action will be to start with stress coat in his tank and just do 25% water change every day and seeing if that helps and if it doesn't ordering the antibiotic online for treatment but nervous that i don't have time to see how he does without. Should I just order it now and not risk it?

    My kids just got to meet him. My oldest said we need to give him the best life ever and was upset with previous owners but I explained they probably didn't research before buying him and they ultimately did the right thing by allowing someone to try to save him. And they named him Elf.

  11. California L33 Well Known Member Member

    There is no need to pull water from a cycled tank because treated tap water isn't the problem. It (usually) doesn't have toxins in it. It's only after the fish has lived in it that it gets toxins. Cycled tap water also won't cycle the new tank any faster, at least not appreciably so, as beneficial bacteria don't live in the water column. They live in the filter.

    Seachem Prime will protect him even in an uncycled tank if used every day.

    If you wish to use Stresscoat that's fine, too. However this will not protect him from Ammonia or Nitrite spikes. However, if you're doing 30% water changes per day that likely won't be a problem.

    Good luck.
  12. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    Perfect. Thank you. I will do stress coat for now with the water changes and try to order prime and the antibiotic that was mentioned. I never got the better pictures on my phone yesterday. But i tried to snap a new one with my phone today but my phones camera isn't good at all. But hoping someone can tell better if it's fin rot or fin melt.

  13. Elemental Member Member

    Definitely Fin melt just google pictures of betta fin rot and betta fin melt.
  14. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    After you suggested that I did a YouTube video n was pretty positive that was what has been going on. I don't know what is best to give. Seems I have everything on hand but what he needs. I tried melafix and he is at the bottom of the tank. I had him in hospital tank and now an uncycled 3 gallon with melafix and stress coat added and have temp up. At first he seemed like he was actually trying to swim but now he's at bottom of tank. I have just read not to use melafix on bettas. Have you ever had any issues with it???
  15. California L33 Well Known Member Member

    If you have Kanaplex or some other 'real' antibiotic I'd use that. There's debate about the use of Melafix on Bettas. I've read that it should never be used on any labyrinth fish, and that it's fine to use on them so long as you don't accidentally OD. The problem with it is it's a natural product with antiseptic properties. It's not an actual antibiotic. Now, I'm not somebody who throws medicine in the tank any time there's a suspicion of disease, but your poor little guy really is sick.
  16. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    Yeah. I think that's why I am at such a loss, I don't usually put anything in my tanks. Because of these reasons really. I did read after putting melafix in the 3 gallon that it should only be used on gill breathing fish because of the tea tree oil. I am stumped if I should attempt to move him out or do a water change already or just leave him alone. I do not have antibiotics. I have anti fungus tablets, melafix, stress coat, start zyme, ich gaurd, and then all the stuff for the water conditions and I rarely use any of it. I can go to petco or petsmart tomorrow or order online though. I have been thinking that is probably the best route to go and should have some on hand anyway but not sure what to do with him til then. I have moved him quite a bit in the last few days and want to jusr leave him be but he's sitting in tea tree oil so I have no idea, seems like it's hit and miss w the melafix and bettafix. Does anyone know if prime and start zyme are the same. I thought I grabbed something similar to prime and was thinking stress coat but came across my start zyme. If not i will try finding it tomorrow too.

    Also my girls changed his name to winter bc of the way he is swimming is like winter the dolphin from dolphin tale. Lol.

    Wal-Mart does not carry anything like antibiotics that I am seeing and I'm an hr from any petco or petsmart.

    Oh I also meant to ask since I am so far from the bigger pet stores I want to get everything while I am there. Should I switch to live food or any diet changes to help him out? And is there anything else I should try to find? I'm having a hard time finding articles on fin melt.
  17. Elemental Member Member

    Is he still doing ok?
  18. DixieGyspy Initiate Member

    He is! Not seeing lots of improvement in fins yet but seems like maybe? But could be wishful thinking on my part lol. However his color is getting better and he is getting more active and he's interacting with us now. Seems like he comes over and waves hello to us :) We got him a new aquarium too. I am going to hopefully have it set up to start the cycle and just keeping our fingers crossed. We are definitely loving him but I have been reminding me and my girls that he is pretty rough and might not make it. I have been having issues with his heater. It keeps shutting off and letting his temperature drop though and he's still in small amounts of melafix and aquarium salt.
  19. DixieGyspy Initiate Member


    I only scooped him in the holding cup today to get an updated picture. But improving. I have to be honest I really didn't think he was going to make it. Still far from clear. I am just doing start zyme water conditioned water to do his water charges everyday and have done 3 water changes since adding melafix n aquarium salt and I also put a jungle fungus fizz tablet in a separate container and let dissolve and sit for about 20 mins and then filled half of that holding cup (standard size betta container) and pour 1/4 in another hospital tank with my guppy (found her swimming in my tank differently with her head up 2 days ago) I poured about 1/4 or less of the 1/2 betta cup in his tank n rest in the tank I rescued him in for disinfecting and cleaning. I didn't do very much bc I really don't like adding so much to tanks and know I shouldn't mix many together but found an entire brand new box in one of my aquarium boxes and seen it treats bacterial related conditions.

    I did this picture bc I could not decide on his fin growth so easier to compare. That top fin still looks the same to me though so not sure if I need to try an entire tablet of fungus clear or order an antibiotic.

  20. Elemental Member Member

    He seems to be doing A lot better the fins are opening up. And sorry for not replying sooner I have been pretty busy. But is he still doing better?