Help With Rescue Betta

Rook

Member
I've been in an ongoing battle with my local Walmart over their fish care. I spoke with a couple people and eventually ended up calling animal control over the state of their fish tanks. Since then, I've noticed conditions have improved (slightly). Except today, I once again found two bettas in the same cup. I stuck a net between them while I waited for my pet care page to be answered (I hit the button five times so they received five pages - I've learned to make it seem super busy or urgent or they just won't show up). Luckily I got someone who was just as outraged as I was (usually they couldn't care less, but this guy was really upset about it and even showed me which water spicket over the sink I should use if I ever need to fill a cup or change a really nasty betta water).



He let me take the worse-off betta for no charge. I immediately went to Petco where I brought him inside, showed the fish guy (who is actually really good with advice for the most part, and he was just as outraged as I was about the Walmart fish situation), and came home with Stresscoat and Omega One betta food (which I think I remember reading somewhere is a good food?).

I already dosed him with the Stresscoat. I kept him in his little cup for now (he's barely mobile, though breathing fairly steadily [he was gasping earlier but that seems to have calmed down a bit] and moving his fins), but I'm floating the cup in a heated 5.5g tank with plans to release him with a low water level if he makes it through the night. He's covered in cuts and his gills look pretty torn up (couldn't get a good picture of the gills, but you can definitely see where he was bitten repeatedly).



He looks kind of pineconed in this photo, but he isn't. I keep checking!

I could use any tips you might have for helping this guy. I have Stresscoat, Paraguard, and Metroplex on hand. I assume big water changes with fresh water will be necessary for a while.

I really hope I can nurse him back to health.

His name is Apophis - my least favorite goa'uld from the series, but definitely the scrappiest, and he returned from the dead a few times, so I figured the name was fitting.
 

WTFish?

Member
That is horrible, kudos to you for trying hard to save him. Sadly, it was probably a customer who thought it would be funny, they should be in jail if caught imo. Fingers crossed for you both, I’m sure you’ll get great advice from someone with more Betta experience.
 

GuppyGuy007

Member
Hi-
I don't know much about diseases, but I did want to say kudos to you for rescuing him! Hope he does well!
 

Charlie’s Dad

Member
I like your tenacity!!!!! Kudos to you and the keeper who donated him. I really hope he will begin to mend an thrive for you!!!

Keep up the good work my friend!
 

Ohio Mark

Member
Wishing you the best of luck. I admire your willingness to step in and get involved.
 

Bryangar

Member
Yeah most likely was some customer that put those fish together. Good luck.
 

ETNsilverstar

Member
I don't have any advice, but I hope he perks back up! He's a beautiful little guy and deserves a good life.
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
Good for you!

Things to remember

Clean Water!! A MUST!
Stable Diet
Large and spacious tank
Daily Water Changes
Medication (if needed)
Live plants

Good luck!
 

midna

Member
I really hope he pulls through!!! poor guy he's a stunner for a walmart betta
 

PhoShow

Member
Beautiful betta, best of luck to you and him! Keep us posted on how he is doing!
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
BrownsFan#1 said:
Good for you!

Things to remember

Clean Water!! A MUST!
Stable Diet
Large and spacious tank
Daily Water Changes
Medication (if needed)
Live plants

Good luck!
How big should the water changes be? He's still in the cup for now, but I'm hoping he's stronger tomorrow and I can get him out of the cup and into something else. Maybe a breeder net.

I think I can have everything else covered! I have a plethora of windelov fern in my 29g. I'll release him in the 5.5g if he survives a couple days and gets stronger. I have Omega One betta food. I have Seachem Stressguard ordered and it should arrive on Thursday (my LFS no longer carries it!).
 

Corydoratheexplorer

Member
Rook said:
I've been in an ongoing battle with my local Walmart over their fish care. I spoke with a couple people and eventually ended up calling animal control over the state of their fish tanks. Since then, I've noticed conditions have improved (slightly). Except today, I once again found two bettas in the same cup. I stuck a net between them while I waited for my pet care page to be answered (I hit the button five times so they received five pages - I've learned to make it seem super busy or urgent or they just won't show up). Luckily I got someone who was just as outraged as I was (usually they couldn't care less, but this guy was really upset about it and even showed me which water spicket over the sink I should use if I ever need to fill a cup or change a really nasty betta water).



He let me take the worse-off betta for no charge. I immediately went to Petco where I brought him inside, showed the fish guy (who is actually really good with advice for the most part, and he was just as outraged as I was about the Walmart fish situation), and came home with Stresscoat and Omega One betta food (which I think I remember reading somewhere is a good food?).

I already dosed him with the Stresscoat. I kept him in his little cup for now (he's barely mobile, though breathing fairly steadily [he was gasping earlier but that seems to have calmed down a bit] and moving his fins), but I'm floating the cup in a heated 5.5g tank with plans to release him with a low water level if he makes it through the night. He's covered in cuts and his gills look pretty torn up (couldn't get a good picture of the gills, but you can definitely see where he was bitten repeatedly).



He looks kind of pineconed in this photo, but he isn't. I keep checking!

I could use any tips you might have for helping this guy. I have Stresscoat, Paraguard, and Metroplex on hand. I assume big water changes with fresh water will be necessary for a while.

I really hope I can nurse him back to health.

His name is Apophis - my least favorite goa'uld from the series, but definitely the scrappiest, and he returned from the dead a few times, so I figured the name was fitting.
Best of luck to your new fish! I hope he recovers!
 

Stephanie1722

Member
Thank you for saving him! He's beautiful. I hope he recovers quickly!
 

_Fried_Bettas_

Member
Whenever I had damaged bettas, I just provided clean water and Indian almond leaf. Best of luck
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
Honestly to me, he doesn't look that bad, I am pretty sure he'll pull through. That said, Indian almond leaves are a must _Fried_Bettas_ thanks, and I think a 25 % water change daily would do fine, although in this case the more the better. Clean water is imperative
 

Rtessy

Member
For the cup, I'd do two or three 50% water changes every day. Those cups build up ammonia and nasties really fast
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
I need to find catappa leaves. My LFS didn't carry them! Maybe Petco.

He's still kicking this morning! Definitely perkier (and with more of the "get off my lawn" betta attitude). Still weak, but he has the energy to try not to be flat on his side anymore, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

I'm planning to clean his cup a couple times today. If he's still improving tomorrow, I'll lower the tank's water level a little and let him free.


Apologies for the crappy photos. My lighting is either super bright or super dim. Sheesh.
 

Pukkafish

Member
This is why I hate Walmart. Last time I went there there was a dwarf gouramI in what looked to be a 3 gal with six other glue skis and a common pleco. Two of them were obviously fighting and there was a dead bloated one at the bottom that the pleco was eating. Seventeen pregnant mollies in one tank with seven males, and four dead oleco babies along with the parent plecs. They had make bettas next to eachother who were obviously sick
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
Get him out of that cup immediately! Put him in a larger container that is heated and filtered and has oak or almond leaves along with floating and live plants for comfort! Get him out! He should have been taken out sooner
 

Iboughtmykidfish

Member
BrownsFan#1 said:
Get him out of that cup immediately! Put him in a larger container that is heated and filtered and has oak or almond leaves along with floating and live plants for comfort! Get him out! He should have been taken out sooner
I agree!! If you have the breeder net, put him in that with some plants inside too.
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
Forget the breeders net, just get him in a large container heated and filtered. Nets can cause stress.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

Member
BrownsFan#1 said:
Forget the breeders net, just get him in a large container heated and filtered. Nets can cause stress.
Yeah, I know, but I figured a net (since op mentioned 1) in the 5 gallon would still be better than keeping him in the cup. I agree that a container, or even in the tank with the water level lowered significantly (if the filter allows) would be best.
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
yeah, but seriously, I don't know why none of us mentioned how necessary it is to remove the cup as soon as possible, now I feel like an idiot
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
BrownsFan#1 said:
Get him out of that cup immediately! Put him in a larger container that is heated and filtered and has oak or almond leaves along with floating and live plants for comfort! Get him out! He should have been taken out sooner
Geez, calm down. I'm changing the cup's water frequently. He's barely strong enough to make it to the top of the low water level in the cup - he couldn't manage making it to the top of the tank - the water level has to be a certain height for the heater to work, and that height is higher than he can swim right now.

He's in the cup in the heated tank, so he's definitely warm enough. I was already planning on going to pick up a breeder net, but I'm waiting until I can turn on the more powerful heater I just bought. It has 20 minutes left to soak before I can plug it in. I need to return the crappy little heater that hasn't heated anything well since I bought it, so I need to wait till the new heater is on and heating before unplugging the old one.

Once I get the breeder net, I'm going to move him into that with some live plants I have on hand. The filter for the tank arrives tomorrow. This wasn't a planned fishy acquisition so I'm doing the best I can with what I had on hand. Sorry it's not immediately perfect.

On that note, maybe you can give me advice on how to seed a sponge filter since I don't have the time to let it get established in my cycled tank. I have sponges I can take out of the cycled tank's filter. Should I put one under the sponge filter? Would that do anything?

Nobody has indian almond leaves around here. I've tried multiple stores, but had absolutely no luck. I'm asking around on Facebook now.

Again, doing the best I can.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

Member
BrownsFan#1 said:
yeah, but seriously, I don't know why none of us mentioned how necessary it is to remove the cup as soon as possible, now I feel like an idiot
I don't think its a case of you being an idiot. More like forgetting to state the obvious.. My theory is, sometimes yall super experienced fish keepers forget just how overwhelming it is starting out. Some people literally know nothing, except what the pet store tells them when they are buying the fish and tank.. And we all know how good that advice usually is. So removing him from the cup may have been our first move, and an obvious one to us, but it isn't so for a newbie. Especially with the common myth that bettas can be kept in small bowls with no heater or filter.
 

Iboughtmykidfish

Member
Rook said:
Geez, calm down. I'm changing the cup's water frequently. He's barely strong enough to make it to the top of the low water level in the cup - he couldn't manage making it to the top of the tank - the water level has to be a certain height for the heater to work, and that height is higher than he can swim right now.

He's in the cup in the heated tank, so he's definitely warm enough. I was already planning on going to pick up a breeder net, but I'm waiting until I can turn on the more powerful heater I just bought. It has 20 minutes left to soak before I can plug it in. I need to return the crappy little heater that hasn't heated anything well since I bought it, so I need to wait till the new heater is on and heating before unplugging the old one.

Once I get the breeder net, I'm going to move him into that with some live plants I have on hand. The filter for the tank arrives tomorrow. This wasn't a planned fishy acquisition so I'm doing the best I can with what I had on hand. Sorry it's not immediately perfect.

On that note, maybe you can give me advice on how to seed a sponge filter since I don't have the time to let it get established in my cycled tank. I have sponges I can take out of the cycled tank's filter. Should I put one under the sponge filter? Would that do anything?

Nobody has indian almond leaves around here. I've tried multiple stores, but had absolutely no luck. I'm asking around on Facebook now.

Again, doing the best I can.
I applaud you helping this guy. I think your on the right track with the filter situation, but if you can, make sure the seeded sponge is somehow wrapped around the sponge filter, so the water flows thru the seeded one. Idk that it would do as much good if they were just next to each other. But its still better than nothing, imo.

Good luck with him, he's very pretty. And definitely much better off than he was.
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
Thanks - I'll wrap it around and maybe tie it on with fishing line or something. I'm sure there's a way!

Want to apologize in advance for my last post - I realize it comes off snippy. It's no excuse, but I'm dealing with a lot of personal life **** right now and almost everything feels like a personal attack. I've been laying low on forums so I don't say something I'll regret, but I needed advice, so I had to post!
 

Guanchy

Member
Great job in saving this guy! Kudos to you.

I didnt read all messages but if he still in that cup I would take him out asap. Use a bucket with clean water, dechlorinator, and a heater. Having him in a breeder net will just stress him out more, especially if he sees other fish around him.

The problem with having him in such little water is that the ammonia builds up faster. Is he eating at all?
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
I kept my betta for awhile in a 10 gallon tank, with a heater and no filter, change the water frequently. The problem with cups is not only are they small, the ammonia builds up quick, plus the bettta is in a cramped area, he would probably be more comfortable in about 5 gallons. However perhaps you escribe to the theory that bettas will drown if placed in a large tank lol no offense
 

Guanchy

Member
bettas are fine breathing water through their gills, as long as there is oxygen dissolved in the water
 

WinterSoldier.

Member
Guanchy said:
bettas are fine breathing water through their gills, as long as there is oxygen dissolved in the water
Exactly!!
 

Jesterrace

Member
Yet another affirmation for me to never buy fish from a chain store. I am glad I have some solid LFS in my area. I can't believe someone stuck 2 Betas in a dinky cup. Being primarily a salty guy I am regularly disgusted by the condition that my local Petco keeps their marine fish in and what they expect people to pay for fish with clearly visible ich, faded colors and live rock that is more bristleworm than rock. I will buy tanks and other mechanical equipment from them but I won't touch them for anything that requies their care to keep it alive.
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
I'm not an idiot, but thanks to those of you who seem to assume I am.

I've read a lot of sick/injured betta posts on here and they ALL say to keep the water level low to allow for easy surface access for the betta. I'm following that advice because it is advice I see frequently. Maybe it's wrong, but it's all over this forum.

I've kept my bettas in 5 or 10 gallon tanks for years. Live plants, excellent filtration, regular water changes. I don't know everything there is to know (obviously - no one does), but I know enough to get by and keep my fish properly. I'm always learning. That's why I came and asked for advice after detailing exactly what's going on with him, what I'm doing, and the reasons I'm doing it. I hoped there would be some constructive advice. And to those of you who've offered some, thanks, I really appreciate it!

How this turned from "I'm making sure he's strong enough before I release him into a full 5.5g tank" (because the heater and filter need a certain water level to work, and that water level is currently higher than he can manage - like I've said numerous times) to "Wow you must be one of those people who thinks he'll drown lol probably keeps fish in a bowl hurhur" is beyond me.

I came back to post an update that I set him up in a breeder net with some live plants and he's doing well (does better when he's resting on a plant versus on the bottom of the net - furthering my belief that he's simply not strong enough yet).
 

Guanchy

Member
Rook said:
I could use any tips you might have for helping this guy.
I thought you asked for tips?..
 

angelcraze

Member
Personally I think keeping him a breeder net close to the surface is better than lowering the water level of the tank and setting him free, especially if he is not swimming well at all yet. Basically, more water volume to dilute toxins. I bought these containers at the dollar store with holes on the sides ( I plan to silicone some styrofoam under the handles or around the perimeter (or clip to the tank rim) to have a floating isolation box. The holes allow for baffled water flow and access to the whole tank water volume.
 

Isobelle

Member
Well done on taking care of the little guy!

I think you’re doing great. We’re all pretty passionate fish people so sometimes people just get worried about the fish. It isn’t at all that you’re doing a bad job!

I had an ill betta who actually drowned when I wasn’t home because he was sick and his water (even though I had it lowered) was still too deep. So I personally understand your problem.

If you’d like to keep him in the cup because it’s shallow, do you maybe have a deeper Tupperware? You could fill it a bit, float it, same situation but more water, just spread over a shallow area.

I would get him in the 5 ASAP, but you’re the only one that’ll know if he’s strong enough. You’re doing a great job!
 

ETNsilverstar

Member
Rook said:
I'm not an idiot, but thanks to those of you who seem to assume I am.

I've read a lot of sick/injured betta posts on here and they ALL say to keep the water level low to allow for easy surface access for the betta. I'm following that advice because it is advice I see frequently. Maybe it's wrong, but it's all over this forum.

I've kept my bettas in 5 or 10 gallon tanks for years. Live plants, excellent filtration, regular water changes. I don't know everything there is to know (obviously - no one does), but I know enough to get by and keep my fish properly. I'm always learning. That's why I came and asked for advice after detailing exactly what's going on with him, what I'm doing, and the reasons I'm doing it. I hoped there would be some constructive advice. And to those of you who've offered some, thanks, I really appreciate it!

How this turned from "I'm making sure he's strong enough before I release him into a full 5.5g tank" (because the heater and filter need a certain water level to work, and that water level is currently higher than he can manage - like I've said numerous times) to "Wow you must be one of those people who thinks he'll drown lol probably keeps fish in a bowl hurhur" is beyond me.

I came back to post an update that I set him up in a breeder net with some live plants and he's doing well (does better when he's resting on a plant versus on the bottom of the net - furthering my belief that he's simply not strong enough yet).
I think a lot of people want to help but are skimming over very important information, like the fact that he's not strong enough to really move yet. Just remember you're doing a great thing for this little dude. <3
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
Guanchy said:
I thought you asked for tips?..
I did, but when I explain why I don't think it's a good idea to do what was suggested YET and explain what I'm trying to do in the meantime and ask for advice with that, and I get "Wow she must think he'll drown lol" in return, I start to feel like no one is actually reading what I'm writing and I'm just throwing words out there into the ether for them to be ignored.

Yes, I want advice! But I also want the people responding to my post with advice to hear me when I explain why I was doing it the way I was for a short time.

Isobelle said:
Well done on taking care of the little guy!

I think you’re doing great. We’re all pretty passionate fish people so sometimes people just get worried about the fish. It isn’t at all that you’re doing a bad job!

I had an ill betta who actually drowned when I wasn’t home because he was sick and his water (even though I had it lowered) was still too deep. So I personally understand your problem.

If you’d like to keep him in the cup because it’s shallow, do you maybe have a deeper Tupperware? You could fill it a bit, float it, same situation but more water, just spread over a shallow area.

I would get him in the 5 ASAP, but you’re the only one that’ll know if he’s strong enough. You’re doing a great job!
Thank you - I appreciate your level-headed and informative post! I'm sorry about the betta you lost

I didn't like keeping Apophis in the cup at all, but it was the only way I could keep him close to the surface while still keeping him in a heated tank (I decided that heat was the more vital thing at the time and more space could wait until the next day). I moved him into the breeder net this afternoon and he swam around clumsily for a moment (more like bouncing than swimming, honestly) until he found a plant and rested on that. He's propped himself up at the side on the shallow end and only has a little ways to go to get to the surface. He's definitely not ready to be free in the 5.5, but I think he will be if he can hang in there a couple more days!
 

Guanchy

Member
Lol I see. Good luck with your little guy. Hope he pulls through
 

ssabatino14

Member
Rook said:
I've been in an ongoing battle with my local Walmart over their fish care. I spoke with a couple people and eventually ended up calling animal control over the state of their fish tanks. Since then, I've noticed conditions have improved (slightly). Except today, I once again found two bettas in the same cup. I stuck a net between them while I waited for my pet care page to be answered (I hit the button five times so they received five pages - I've learned to make it seem super busy or urgent or they just won't show up). Luckily I got someone who was just as outraged as I was (usually they couldn't care less, but this guy was really upset about it and even showed me which water spicket over the sink I should use if I ever need to fill a cup or change a really nasty betta water).



He let me take the worse-off betta for no charge. I immediately went to Petco where I brought him inside, showed the fish guy (who is actually really good with advice for the most part, and he was just as outraged as I was about the Walmart fish situation), and came home with Stresscoat and Omega One betta food (which I think I remember reading somewhere is a good food?).

I already dosed him with the Stresscoat. I kept him in his little cup for now (he's barely mobile, though breathing fairly steadily [he was gasping earlier but that seems to have calmed down a bit] and moving his fins), but I'm floating the cup in a heated 5.5g tank with plans to release him with a low water level if he makes it through the night. He's covered in cuts and his gills look pretty torn up (couldn't get a good picture of the gills, but you can definitely see where he was bitten repeatedly).



He looks kind of pineconed in this photo, but he isn't. I keep checking!

I could use any tips you might have for helping this guy. I have Stresscoat, Paraguard, and Metroplex on hand. I assume big water changes with fresh water will be necessary for a while.

I really hope I can nurse him back to health.

His name is Apophis - my least favorite goa'uld from the series, but definitely the scrappiest, and he returned from the dead a few times, so I figured the name was fitting.
We posted a tweet about Walmarts tanks and they DM us back. Since then the tanks look somewhat better and the Bettas have cleaner water. They asked us for the store number and everything. Even did a #PETA and they responded. It would be on @jamesrispolI handle
 

DestinyStars

Member
As far as plants and things go, I would only put one plant in at a time. Adding to many at once can stress him further. One plant to hide if he feel uncomfortable is good, but I've seen many males flare and become overwhelmed by lots of changes at one time.

Sent from my SM-G930VL using
 

WildType

Member
Because he is cut you could preemptively treat with E.M. Erythromycin, which is broad spectrum stuff for bacterial infections. Cory from Aquarium Co-op on YT treats all his fish he imports with it and swears it's a safer alternative.
Edit: but make sure if you use it to not mix meds.
 

CyndiLove

Member
He is so beautiful and you've done a great job. Looks like he'll be a great addition to your home. I always thought betas were supposed to be in the tiny tanks and almost bought one for my grand daughters new dorm. So glad I have seen how awesome they are on fishlore! It makes me want another one!
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
He's doing really well now! Definitely more mobile and spending most of his time in the correct fishy position (still has occasions where he'll be vertical, nose up tail down, but these are fewer now and he hasn't laid flat on his side again since the first day).

I was having a hard time getting him to eat (pellets were a definite no, mysis shrimp were spat out, and baby brine shrimp were eaten reluctantly) but I picked up frozen bloodworms today and those were a hit.

He's also swimming much better! I tried to release him from the net into the 5.5 gallon. He swam an inch out then darted back into the net and wouldn't budge. It was quite funny. The embodiment of "NOPE". I'm going to give him a day or two more in the net before I force the issue.
 

angelcraze

Member
That's so cute. The net is like his kennel cage lol. Thanks for the update.
 
  • Thread Starter

Rook

Member
Still going strong! I got the 5.5 planted and pretty and released him today. He hid for a while, but now he's out and about.
 

midna

Member
he looks so much better!! good job!
 

PhoShow

Member
Very nice! He is bouncing back and is looking great
 

Aquilist

Member
He looks great!
 

CyndiLove

Member
Wow beautiful!
 

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