I Don't Know What To Say About This Tragedy :(

Cori Elizabeth

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One of my sisters friends heard I "look after fish" and came to me with one of the saddest stories I've ever heard...

This girl pulled out one of those tiny Tupperware containers from her bag (the kind that are about 5cm all round squares) and opened the lid. Inside was a male halfmoon betta. Totally gorgeous boy, great body structure

She asked me to save him... I asked her why she had brought the fish to school in the container, the girl told me he lived in there in her socks drawer so her parents didn't find him as she's not allowed fish. She said her uncle had bought the fish for her and said to hide it as a fun game.

I asked her, trying to stay calm, how long she had had the betta. She said 3 months, I was shocked that this boy had made it so far. I asked her if she ever changed the water or thought about getting a bigger tank even and she said no, this poor fish had been locked in the container with no fresh water for 3 months approximately, I'm amazed how he managed to breathe at all.

So I took the betta off her to "save him" like she'd asked me to do so. I bought a 1 litre water bottle from the school's canteen and filled it with the water from our taps (rain water), placed him in my locker for the day and took him home. I placed him in a 12 litre container with an air stone and some almond leaves with a small heater.

He swam on his side, hanging out near the air stone. I fed him 4 blood worms, he took two and spat out the rest.

And here I am now, about 4 hours later after I got him home. He's still hanging on his side. After inspecting him, I noticed he has an injured eye and torn fins, his beard looks like it's hanging out on one side.

Should I euthenise him? Or should I continue trying to bring him back? I'm not going to give him back to the girl, she gave him to me after some convincing that she can't care for him. She named him Peter.

I'm not angry at the girl for how she treated Peter, I'm angry at her uncle for letting her get him. A grown man must have known that this was wrong! and poor Peter has had to suffer through this ordeal because of a grown man. I'm outraged.
 

AllieSten

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Omgosh. How incredibly sad!!!

Don't give up on him. Do daily water changes and feed some high protein foods. I would do some frozen brine shrimp. They are soft and easily digested.

You will know in just a day or two if he needs to be euthanized. I wouldn't do it just yet. Give him a couple of days.

You may try some Aquarium salt also. (1tsp per gallon, so about 3 teaspoons for your 12l tank) to help with his eye injury. I would wait to use any actual medication for a couple days. See if he bounces back first. But the med I would use is nitrofurazone. So if you need to pick some up you can. Jungle Fungus Clear tabs or API Furan-2. I don't think he is strong enough yet for meds. He needs to recover for a few days first.

Thank goodness you have taken him in.

Good luck!
 
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Cori Elizabeth

Cori Elizabeth

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AllieSten said:
Omgosh. How incredibly sad!!!

Don't give up on him. Do daily water changes and feed some high protein foods. I would do some frozen brine shrimp. They are soft and easily digested.

You will know in just a day or two if he needs to be euthanized. I wouldn't do it just yet. Give him a couple of days.

You may try some Aquarium salt also. (1tsp per gallon, so about 3 teaspoons for your 12l tank) to help with his eye injury. I would wait to use any actual medication for a couple days. See if he bounces back first. But the med I would use is nitrofurazone. So if you need to pick some up you can. Jungle Fungus Clear tabs or API Furan-2. I don't think he is strong enough yet for meds. He needs to recover for a few days first.

Thank goodness you have taken him in.

Good luck!
I'm going to keep trying, but he looks very week and very out of it. I've been holding the air stone over his gills every now and then and he'll dart to the bottom of the tank and float back up slowly. There doesn't seem to be any signs of dropsy, ich, fin rot, fungus or any other issues.

I agree with him being too weak for medications, if anything I'm going to try avoiding using any at all, which is why I put the almond leaf in there for it's health benefits. I have some frozen brine shrimp cubes in the freezer, would they be sufficient for him? Also have frozen blood worms which is what I fed him today.

I'll get some pictures/videos of him tomorrow just in case there's any injuries I've missed. I just want to give him a chance to settle into his container for a while before stressing him with cameras.

Would salt with no iodine in it be okay for him? I don't have aquarium salt on me and it's too late to buy any in Australia.
 

AllieSten

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The frozen brine shrimp is perfect. That's what I recommend for sure. I would also just feed him once per day for a few days.

Also Lower his water level to half. That way he doesn't have to swim so far to get to the surface.

Table salt won't work. It has iodine in it and will harm him. It also has an anti-caking agent that is dangerous for fish.

Rock salt, however can work. You can find it at the grocery store most often.

It isn't something you need right away. It can wait until you can get to the store to get some. So that is up to you.

You have to figure he is in shock right now. That little container was full of toxins. So his little body has to adjust to clean water. It is going to take a few days. I would keep him in low light, feeding once a day, little stimulation, clean water, & good food. You will see a huge difference in just a couple of days.
 
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Cori Elizabeth

Cori Elizabeth

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AllieSten said:
The frozen brine shrimp is perfect. That's what I recommend for sure. I would also just feed him once per day for a few days.

Also Lower his water level to half. That way he doesn't have to swim so far to get to the surface.

Table salt won't work. It has iodine in it and will harm him. It also has an anti-caking agent that is dangerous for fish.

Rock salt, however can work. You can find it at the grocery store most often.

It isn't something you need right away. It can wait until you can get to the store to get some. So that is up to you.

You have to figure he is in shock right now. That little container was full of toxins. So his little body has to adjust to clean water. It is going to take a few days. I would keep him in low light, feeding once a day, little stimulation, clean water, & good food. You will see a huge difference in just a couple of days.
Already made sure the water level was low enough for him to easily get to the surface. Okay I'll wait to get salt.
Done, done, done, done and done. He's all set for a speedy recovering so long as he makes it through the next few days.
 
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Cori Elizabeth

Cori Elizabeth

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Its been about 8 hours since I brought Peter home now. He's started clamping his fins, I think due to the stress. He does swim at the surface a bit instead of laying there limply, he does this by shaking his entire body. Some colours have started to come back, he's a beautiful green/blue duocolour with copper shimmers and a black line across his head and body.
 

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Give him time and clean water. Bettas are often shipped in heat sealed mini-bags, which are round. One of the local stores was unpacking and a bag rolled off the table, unseen. They moved the table weeks later, and there he was, skinny and a mess. The guy who unpacked was so mortified he brought the fish home, and in about two weeks, it recovered.
He was a pale yellow Betta, but he lived on for a normal life. The pet shop guy had about ten tanks with the weirdest, rarest fish that passed through the store, and in the middle, a 10 gallon with a common cheap betta who was his favourite. He told me the fish reminded him to take the extra time always, and to check that everything was okay with the animals he was in charge of.
There are happy endings.
 

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How kind of you to take him. I wish you the best, I truly hope he recovers for you.
 
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Cori Elizabeth

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12 hours in and Peter is looking worse... the activeness he was getting back has stopped. He's simply floating on his side barely moving a fin, his gills barely move... I think he might go soon
 

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CorI Elizabeth said:
12 hours in and Peter is looking worse... the activeness he was getting back has stopped. He's simply floating on his side barely moving a fin, his gills barely move... I think he might go soon
Aww, he had such a rough beginning, and he doesn't deserve what he had.
I'm sorry about it. Maybe he'll make it through, just keep trying.
 

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I'd be more worried about an uncle who gives his niece gifts and encourages her to hide them from her parents as a "fun game". That is definite creep territory to me. All kinds of red flags. I would be asking more (very discreet) questions.
 

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If you've got methylene blue or Betta Revive (which contains it) on hand try throwing some of that in the water.

Absolutely agreeing with vikingkirken though, I got the creeps when I read about the "fun game" too! Maybe mention it to a school counselor, they may be trained in what to watch for if there's something wrong.
 

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I think it's important to add that if you do say something to a teacher or school counselor, be VERY careful to only repeat exactly what you heard. Do not embellish with what you think/worry/wonder might be going on. While it's possible he is a creep, it's also possible he just had a dumb idea.

If this is a close friend of your sister, she might be able to say something to the friend's parents, or encourage her friend to? Getting this out in the open with them removes the secrecy there, which could nip a potential problem in the bud.
 
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Cori Elizabeth

Cori Elizabeth

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vikingkirken said:
I think it's important to add that if you do say something to a teacher or school counselor, be VERY careful to only repeat exactly what you heard. Do not embellish with what you think/worry/wonder might be going on. While it's possible he is a creep, it's also possible he just had a dumb idea.

If this is a close friend of your sister, she might be able to say something to the friend's parents, or encourage her friend to? Getting this out in the open with them removes the secrecy there, which could nip a potential problem in the bud.
Aquaphobia said:
Absolutely agreeing with vikingkirken though, I got the creeps when I read about the "fun game" too! Maybe mention it to a school counselor, they may be trained in what to watch for if there's something wrong.
I hear where you're coming from, I'll be taking it up with my social worker and case worker to just enquire what they think of it.
 
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Cori Elizabeth

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Update:

Peter passed away last night, I found him dead in the tank this morning. S.I.P Peter
I feel so bad for not being able to save him...
 

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I'm sorry. But, you give him the best day of his life. He must've been very thankful for that. It's not your fault.
 

AllieSten

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Oh I am so sorry for your loss. At least you know that his last few days he was well taken care of. SIP Peter.
 
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Cori Elizabeth

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I spoke to the girl a few days after Peter died, I told her about proper fish care. She was very upset hearing how wrong she treated Peter.
I also asked her some questions about the uncle, not direct questions but just snooping around. (Being in a situation that is similar to what is suspected by other users myself I know what questions to ask and what responses to look for) I'm not worried for her but I'll still be speaking with my case worker.
 

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