Helping a neglected betta from family

Gage6

So I’ve attached photos to give a better idea of the situation. So my mother bought a betta on a whim without consulting me for advice. She knows I keep fish and have knowledge of them but for some reason didn’t ask me for any help. Needless to say I came over to find him in a 1.5 gallon, uneaten food all over the gravel, at the top of the tank (typical over feeding), algae everywhere and what looks to be a poor, sickly betta, who almost definitely has ich and or fin rot. I also asked if she’d changed the water since she got him about a month ago, to which she said no. I threw a nicrew light I had lying around on it to get some better pictures of the tank as she didn’t have a light. Now the main issue is that I don’t have any established media to transfer into the tank or even to start up a new tank, at least in a quick manner.
 

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Fae

Omg. Please take that Betta from your mother and don't give it back. She's obviously not going to do anything to care for it.

Bettas need 5 gallons minimum to feel comfortable, 10 gallons to keep the water stable and actually let them stretch their fins. You can get away with 2.5g minimum but imo those are cruel unless it's temporary as a hospital tank etc.

There's not much to say as your mother obviously doesn't know what she's doing, does she have any interest in learning? The fish will die shortly with her so whether you can teach her and she will change her habits or if you can take him home with you will be the deciding factor in whether he makes it or not
 

Gage6

So I’ll definitely be taking him home although I would need to set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank as I don’t have anything spare at the moment, I’ll need to buy one. My only concern is that I’d have to resort to doing a fish in cycle on top of medicating as I don’t have any media that I can grab from my established tanks, (a 20 gallon and 10 with sponge filters). I’m just not sure if both are very wise at once as I’ll mostly likely have to do daily changes due to having to fish in cycle with the issue that the meds definitely won’t last with daily water changes even if they are small….This is why research is vital as everything I’ve done has been throughly researched before acting. I’ve qt fish in the past but never had to do both a fish in cycle and qt at once. This is just giving more evidence as to why I should always keep a second sponge running in one of my tanks as an emergency.
 

awilkinson871

Since you do not have filter media can you take some of the substrate or decor out of an established tank? It will at least add some beneficial bacteria. Then daily water changes will be the best option as it will keep parameters stable and be good for the fin rot. At least the fish now has someone that will do their best to take care of it.
 

Fae

So I’ll definitely be taking him home although I would need to set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank as I don’t have anything spare at the moment, I’ll need to buy one. My only concern is that I’d have to resort to doing a fish in cycle on top of medicating as I don’t have any media that I can grab from my established tanks, (a 20 gallon and 10 with sponge filters). I’m just not sure if both are very wise at once as I’ll mostly likely have to do daily changes due to having to fish in cycle with the issue that the meds definitely won’t last with daily water changes even if they are small….This is why research is vital as everything I’ve done has been throughly researched before acting. I’ve qt fish in the past but never had to do both a fish in cycle and qt at once. This is just giving more evidence as to why I should always keep a second sponge running in one of my tanks as an emergency.

If I was you, I would do two things to make the cycle safe:

For one, I would buy another sponge filter (or whatever you prefer) for the new Betta tank. Then I would take the dirtier of the two sponges you already have, fill a dish that can fit the two of them with tank water, and squeeze out/gently clean the old one with the new one. Try to get some gunk on it. Then put that in the new tank. Also, you can rinse his gravel in his old tank water once he's out of it and put it in the new tank, I'd do the same with all his decorations too. That should be enough because luckily bettas have a pretty low bioload.

Just in case, I would also use seachem prime daily, and make sure you have a master test kit so you can keep an eye on the cycle.

Also, don't use any meds!! None! Not until you see serious signs of illness. I took another look at him and he seems okay just not great. No visible fungal or bacterial infections. No bloating hopefully. Some clean water and a proper set up will do wonders for him. Meds should be used in emergencies only. Fish are very delicate and it could end up causing permanent damage very easily
Btw, thanks for being awesome and helping this guy out! Does he have a name?
 

Gage6

If I was you, I would do two things to make the cycle safe:

For one, I would buy another sponge filter (or whatever you prefer) for the new Betta tank. Then I would take the dirtier of the two sponges you already have, fill a dish that can fit the two of them with tank water, and squeeze out/gently clean the old one with the new one. Try to get some gunk on it. Then put that in the new tank. Also, you can rinse his gravel in his old tank water once he's out of it and put it in the new tank, I'd do the same with all his decorations too. That should be enough because luckily bettas have a pretty low bioload.

Just in case, I would also use seachem prime daily, and make sure you have a master test kit so you can keep an eye on the cycle.

Also, don't use any meds!! None! Not until you see serious signs of illness. I took another look at him and he seems okay just not great. No visible fungal or bacterial infections. No bloating hopefully. Some clean water and a proper set up will do wonders for him. Meds should be used in emergencies only. Fish are very delicate and it could end up causing permanent damage very easily
Btw, thanks for being awesome and helping this guy out! Does he have a name?
I’d have to ask my mom what she named him although I’ve since set up a 10 gallon with established media from a friend (luckily he had some from a 55 with a high bio load). It’s been about 2 days and I’ve been testing daily and so far so good. More to be done though. He looks better already. I’ll be sure to add some pictures later. I fortunately had some swords and rotala that were just bought from my lfs but not put to use yet, I threw them in there and he seems to really appreciate them.
Thanks again for the help! I’ll be sure to not let my mom impulse by fish again. Hopefully this teaches her a valuable lesson that these are living things not just something to put in a bowl and forget about. I’m just glad I found him when I did because he was in a corner of my kitchen that I hadn’t noticed until she pointed out that she got him a month ago.
 

Fae

I’d have to ask my mom what she named him although I’ve since set up a 10 gallon with established media from a friend (luckily he had some from a 55 with a high bio load). It’s been about 2 days and I’ve been testing daily and so far so good. More to be done though. He looks better already. I’ll be sure to add some pictures later. I fortunately had some swords and rotala that were just bought from my lfs but not put to use yet, I threw them in there and he seems to really appreciate them.
Thanks again for the help! I’ll be sure to not let my mom impulse by fish again. Hopefully this teaches her a valuable lesson that these are living things not just something to put in a bowl and forget about. I’m just glad I found him when I did because he was in a corner of my kitchen that I hadn’t noticed until she pointed out that she got him a month ago.
Aw that's awesome, if you end up posting a pic of his set up please tag me! I guess all's well that ends well.

On a side note, I'm impressed your mom handled criticism that well. Maybe you could teach her more about how you care for your fish if she really is interested in keeping one
 

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