Emergency Betta Care Help Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by uprightandlocked, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Hello All:

    I am officially insane (I think I've said this before on here?). I walked through Petco yesterday (Why did I think this was a good idea?) just to look at the bettas. Unfortunately, I'd say one out of every 6 or 7 was already dead. Sitting in the middle of the shelf was a pretty guy with a surprising amount of energy considering he had a severe case of finrot. I sat and watched him swim around his cup, looking at me every now and then. His back fin had a large "V" shape missing from it and it looked painful. I told myself I had to leave because I was so depressed.

    This was yesterday afternoon. I am STILL thinking about that little guy today. At lunchtime I am going to drive to Petco and pick him up. I cannot leave him in that cup without at least trying to bring him back to good health.

    I am at my grandparent's house in Pittsburgh, PA for Thanksgiving. I am only going to be able to keep him in his cup until I drive back to Indianapolis on Tuesday. How can I best care for him during this time? I know I should change the water frequently. How much is advised in this tiny cup? I will have access to StressCoat+ but *not* to VitaChem, which is at home in Indy and appears to not be sold anywhere in Pittsburgh that I can find. Should I add garlic juice? It will be from the grocery store as I also cannot find a store that sells GarlicGuard. What else can I do until he is home next week in a heated, filtered and cycle tank (thankfully I have two spare 5g's at the moment and extra filter media in my cycled 10g).

    PLEASE HELP! I want to give this guy a fighting chance ... he only has a death sentence as of now sitting in the Petco store!
  2. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Awww, great save. They have a way of grabbing our hearts where we can't stop thinking about them and making us go back and get them.
    I'd suggest 100% water changes every couple of days and keep his temp warm and as consistant as possible.
    If you have a Kritter Keeper you can add a small heater. That'll give him some room and the temp he should have.
    Otherwise sounds like your plan is the best in this situation.
  3. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    The Kritter Keeper is a great idea IMO. :) They sell them at Petco so you could pick one up while you are saving your fish. You could hang on to the cup and use it to scoop him out while you do 100% daily water changes in the Kritter Keeper (that's what I would do anyway). Fish are more resilient than what they get credit for. I moved Cowboy and his tank from Texas back to Georgia and he did just fine with the 3 day trip. He rode in the cup in my car with his tank in the floorboard and I just set the tank up for him as soon as we got to each hotel. As long as the water is temp matched, your betta won't mind huge daily water changes; in fact, with the fin rot and injury he has going on IMO he needs it.

    IMO garlic juice and Vitachem are not necessary at all. It's generally not difficult to get a betta eating even with a fin injury. You can add them if you want though.

  4. Tigerfishy

    TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    Great advice above (glad to see my water change theory was the same as already written, means I'm slowly learning too!) and yes, they usually do eat OK (greedy piggies). As far as I understand, the garlic could persuade him to eat if you're having trouble getting him to.
    He should be fine, and while the interim solution may not be ideal long term, it is better than staying in a cup in a pet shop. Well done, good find!!

  5. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Hi Everyone,

    The poor boy is home at grandma's with me! He is white with red and a little shimmer to him that looks blue in the light. I've named him Vanguard (continuing with my defunct airline theme!) and right now I am trying to acclimate his water to what I put in his temporary home - a .5g bowl that came with a little gravel and silk plant in it.

    I bought something called "Garlic Extreme" which is supposed to help heal wounds (I am afraid his finrot is very close to his body!) and also am using StressCoat+ up above. In use with Eos and Ansett I have found Vitachem to be an incredible product that helps promote healthy fins (Eos little fins have been brilliant and growing since I started using it in his tank!) and can't wait to get home to Indy with Vanguard so he may benefit, as well.

    For now he will not have a heater (at least for today ... if anything is open tomorrow I may get a kritter keeper with a heater). I'm going to put him in his temporary bowl here in a few minutes. The house is very warm (it is my grandparents' afterall!) and I hope he pulls through.

    In terms of Petco I am SO mad. He is a "halfmoon" betta (without the halfmoon tail - currently!) and retails for $13.99!!!! I asked to see the manager and explained to him at checkout that 14 dollars for a sick, dying fish was ridiculous. I explained to him that he only cost that much because of his finnage, and due to the lack of care he received in the store that finnage was gone. I also explained to him that he needed adequate attention and care which I was goign to provide for him, but even with my best effort there was no guarantee that his fins would grow back to halfmoon splendor. Unfortunately he didn't buy any of this and I ended up paying 14 dollars for this fish. Oh well ... I couldn't say no. But thats the end of my Petco shopping!
  6. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember


    HI everyone.

    Thanks for the help and support! Here are some pictures of Vanguard. I've had him about 24 hours now. He has a lot of energy and is constantly swimming around his bowl. This morning he did eat three Hikari betta pellets. I'll feed him again later this afternoon. Also, this afternoon I will change his water. I currently have water sitting out to come to room temperature which is what his tank is at. The pictures are sad when you see his tail - but I can tell he has a lot of spirit and spunk and I'm confident he's going to fight to get better. I'm going to do everything I can to help him do that!

    Attached Files:

  7. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    He's a beauty. Poor baby. Hopefully with some good care and lovin' from you he'll bounce back.
    Looks like he doesn't know what to make of the extra room to stretch. lol
  8. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks, Lucy. I just couldn't pass him up when I saw him in the Petco ... he has a lot of personality - even with his missing tail. I'm not familiar with finrot whatsoever ... is this an extreme case?
  9. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    It's pretty close to his body. That would worry me. If you can get Vita-cem, garlic gaurd and fish protector, they should help with the healing along with getting him in a warm tank when you get home.
    If you don't see improvement or it looks to be getting worse you might want to consider meds.
    List of Betta Meds
  10. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you for that list, Lucy! I haven't seen it before. Vita-chem will be used once he is home (I can't find it here in Pittsburgh but I do have a bottle at home I use with every water change). I am using Garlic Extreme, I assume this is similar to garlic guard? Also I'm using a ton of StressCoat+ with every water change. I know he needs to be in heated water but I don't have the resources to do that currently. My grandparents keep the house warm so he isn't in cold water like he was at Petco ... once he gets back to Indy next Tuesday he will be in a heated tank.

    Do you recommend any of those other medications to add for right now while he is in his unheated tank? Thanks!!
  11. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    I'm not sure, it's hard to tell from the pics whether it's actually fin rot or damage from being in the tiny cold cup.
    You'd probably be the best to judge that.
    If you decide to medicate this might help:
    Listing of Medications with 1 gallon dosages

    Lets see what others have to say.
  12. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Okay - Thank you for the help!
  13. Tigerfishy

    TigerfishyWell Known MemberMember

    Aw, poor little guy, he's lovely. Best of luck and keep us posted, you've gone too far to keep us in the dark now!! ;)
  14. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    You're welcome, you're really doing the best you can for him now. :)
    Best of luck and keep us posted.
  15. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks...we have a new problem. The one day in my life that I *NEED* a turkey baster ... it happens to be Thanksgiving. I can't find a store within 20 miles that has any in stock!? How am I to clean out his water and debris without one?? I have the worst luck...
  16. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    You should probably be ok for one day. If you're feeding pellets just feed one at time.
    :p I don't think Grandma would appreciate your taking her baster even for such a good cause. lol
  17. OP

    uprightandlockedWell Known MemberMember

    Haha ... God bless grandma ... I was in the shower and I heard her yell "I found one!" When I got out of the shower she was not in the house. Pap pap says she went across the street to the neighbors. I seriously think she got on the phone and called all her friends to see if anyone has a spare baster. LOL. I might be in luck!
  18. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    :) Way to go Grandma!
  19. fishtroyWell Known MemberMember

    He is a lovely looking boy! Good on you for rescuing him! He will luv you forever for it! :)
  20. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    He's beautiful! Please keep us posted on his progress and all of our best fishy wishes are with you.

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