Help With Rescued Betta

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by loveoftheloveless, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. loveofthelovelessNew MemberMember

    Hello all!

    I was at Petsmart earlier today buying a new siphon/gravel vac for my 10g tank, and a few new plants when I ran across what I genuinely thought was a dead betta. He was SUPPOSED to be a Half Moon Dumbo and he ... sort of looks like ... I don't even know. He looks absolutely awful, clearly suffering from amazingly severe fin rot and ammonia poisoning. I picked up the cup he was in and was VERY surprised when he FREAKED out and swam in very odd ... spiralling motions, kind of like a football, before slipping to the bottom of the cup and going still.

    Well, that was that. I brought it to the attention of the "fish guy" (who SWORE he did a water change not three hours ago and that things were fine and blah blah) and got them to let me take him home for a couple of dollars (they sold him to me so I'd have a receipt if I wanted to bring him back -- I didn't argue. He was originally $16, and I got him for $3).

    I brought him home, and tested the water with a liquid test kit. It IMMEDIATELY read over 4.0, and when the test completed, was hovering someplace closer to 8. I'm shocked he was even alive.

    I'm not gonna lie -- I didn't really bother with properly cycling a tank or anything. I snagged a little 3g I had laying around and tossed in some gravel and a couple of live plants, filled it with roughly 80 degree water, some Seachem Prime and a bit of bacteria liquid, added a bit of aquarium salt, made sure the parameters and PH were good, stuck in a heater and a filter, and just got this poor betta the out of that AWFUL water.

    He IMMEDIATELY started to breathe with deep, smooth gill movement in the new water. He just sort of ... laid on the bottom of the tank, though -- struggled to get to the surface and I contemplated just ending it humanely, but he made it to the top of the tank and got a good gasp of air and finally started to float. He sank again and landed on the betta hammock I left in there for him, where he stayed for a while.

    SO. Now I have this ... really, REALLY sick fish. I'm still not sure if he's going to make it, but any advice would be welcome. He seems to have VERY inflamed gills, his fins are just /destroyed/, he can't really do much other than just float, and I'm ... still kind of not sure if I should just end it humanely for him or if he has a shot at recovery. I'll try to get a good shot of his gills and his fins and upload them here.

    In the meantime -- any advice on what to do with the gill inflammation and how to help with ammonia poisoning would be REALLY very welcome.
  2. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    It might be better to use water from you, what I'm presuming to be an established/cycled, 10 gallon tank. In other words, fill that 3G with your 10g water. This is if you haven't already done so. Trying to do a cycle with an already sick fish and that high of an ammonia will most likely kill him :(. Also too, if you can, to reduce the "cycling portion" dip the filter media in your established tank as well, or squeeze out your sponge into the new tank. This will seed the small tank with the good bacteria and hopefully get them going to remove all that ammonia. As for the fin rot, Melafix or Primafix works well, by hold off on the medications until the Betta (hopefully) survives and is better established and feeling better. I always believe they have a shot unless they already look like their kissing death.

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
  3. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Wow! Quite the story :(

    First thing that pops into my head is maybe lowering the water level, even if just for a bit, so he can get to the surface easier. If you have some Seachem Destress (or something similar) that may help ease the inflamation as well.
  4. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Agree except this part, BB doesnt live in the water, however if you can get a bit of sponge or a bit of biomedia from your cycled filter into the new one that would help :)
  5. loveofthelovelessNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the good wishes. I thought about putting water from my established 10g in there, but as luck would have it -- I had an ammonia spike in that tank this morning (nothing TOO crazy, thankfully) thanks to a couple of dead shrimp I'm grappling with. Besides -- I'm not sure I really want to change the water out on this hospital tank again when this new guy is already struggling so hard.

    The params in the hospital tank look good -- no ammonia, PH at a steady 7, no nitrate or nitrite (though that's not so surprising considering it's a new tank). To make sure I was clear -- the CUP he was in at Petsmart had the ammonia reading of 5+. Not my tank! lol I made sure the water was good before I dumped him in. I know fish-in cycling isn't the best idea with a sick fish, but ... uh. Not ... sure I've got a whole lot of choice in the matter though. I'll look into some Melafix or Primafix though, if he makes it a week or so. Thank you again!

    I am out of Destress, but I'll snag some the next time I'm out and about. Hopefully tomorrow or the day after, if he makes it. Maybe I will lower the water level -- I can siphon some out if I need to, but he seems to finally be floating near the surface on his own. He kinda ... tilts to one side a bit, but he's floating! He sunk once and I used my net to help him back to the surface -- but that's been the only time. Hopefully he makes it through the night. Thanks!
  6. loveofthelovelessNew MemberMember

    Update: Unfortunately, he didn't make it through the night. Thanks to everyone for your quick responses and help!
  7. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Well good try :)

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