My growing Betta family...

Phloxface

Member
I have quite unexpectedly adopted two more female Bettas. After going to the store for supplies I noted how unbelievably cold it was in the store and the Bettas are kept right at the front of the store near the doors. It is like -10 degrees here now and those poor fish are FREEZING!! I was QUITE upset and demanded the employee get me a thermometer to measure the water temp in one of the cups. It was 58 degrees!!! All the Bettas were at the bottom clenched up and I counted at least 5 dead and one dying amongst the 30 or so cups (and I couldn't even see the ones in the back  > ) For the life of me I can't understand why they couldn't have some kind of heat lamp at least to keep those poor fish warm! Also the water in the cups was appallingly dirty! So murky with poo and rotting food you could barely see the fish! I ripped the manager a new one although I still doubt they'll do anything about it!  To shut me up they offered me two Bettas for free and handed me two females. I wasn't planning on buying any more but once these two tiny pathetic creatures were in my hands I could NOT put them down. Their eyes were all squinty and they looked like they were crying!  :'(  I didn't have the heart. I had one 4 gallon critter keeper at home as a hospital tank already so I just grabbed another one and insisted they pack my babies in a box with lots of paper towels and a heat pack. It was freezing cold outside and I have to take a bus. It takes about 20 minutes to get home and I didn't want to expose them to even more cold!  When I got home I set up the tanks and very slowly got them acclimated to the warmer water. I started with 72 degrees and slowly raised the temps throughout the day to 80 degrees. They'd been living in 58 degree water so I didn't want to shock them.  After releasing them in the tanks I finally got a good look at them (the water in the cups was so dirty I could barely see them.)  Both were suffering from ammonia burns to their gills. One is particularly bad with open sores and a scale hanging off her ready to fall off. Judging by their size I'd say they were about 5-6 weeks old. They are smaller than my Aenara.  What a perfectly hideous start they've had in life!  :'( :'( 
I use both Prime and NovAqua Plus to condition their water so that should help with the ammonia and give them some vitamins and stuff in the NovAqua to strengthen them. They are swimming and seem content although neither is anywhere near as active and healthy as Aenara. She is zipping around the tank like she's training for the Betta Olympics! They are moving around slowly and are curiously watching me and listening as I talk to them. The other fish are jealous but these two new girls need special attention and care right now. I know they need medication for their burns and sores but I have no $$ left and the only meds I have on hand are PimaFix and Melafix (which I am NOT using after reading the alert) and a bottle of BettaFix remedy which is a very dilute MelaFix but may be safe for short term use. I decided to try the BettaFix and used half the dosage just to be safe. After an hour the two girls seemed more comfortable so maybe it'll help a little. Should get some extra $$ in a few days so if anyone has any suggestions of other meds to try for ammonia burns and open sores I'd like to hear them. I know I need to keep their water VERY clean. How often should I make water changes and how much (100% or partial water changes?)
When I first got them in the tanks they were a drab grayish brown color. Within hours of being in nice clean warm tanks they both started showing some color. One has a lovely metalic green color and the other is showing some turquoise on her back although both are faint colors and will probably never be really solid colored. I've heard they show colors when they are happy so I'm guessing they really appreciate being rescued. Aenara really blossomed over the two weeks I've had her and her color has improved and her energy is through the roof!  I hope I can nurse these two back to health (and that no other health problems come up in the mean time)  I haven't even been able to name them yet. I'm almost afraid to...
Will post pictures as soon as I can take a clear shot.
 

gammerus

Member
I'm not sure if you can use salt baths on them or not, but they are a pretty good treatments when you can.

Good job for working so hard with them.
It is allways hard to just stand there quietly while bettas are being neglected, good job on standing up for them.
 

Peter243243

Member
You have a big heart for doing that.
58 degrees tell them it's terrible for them.

Lets start a protest.(I'm 75% serious 25% joking for the protest)
I'm in stop fish abuse mode.
END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!!
END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! END ANIMAL CRUELTY!!!
Ok I've calmed down.
Name them Hope and Strength for surviving such abuse.
 

nmwierman1977

Member
That is absolutely awful!!   > I can not believe knowing that they need to be in water's between 78- 80 degrees that they would leave them in the cold like that.  They had to of known.  I'm glad that you were at least able to save 2 of them. I feel sorry for the rest of them that have to stay in those conditions. Hopefully the store manager will put them in a warmer area and get some kind of  heat  on those containers to warm them up. That is just awful. That really breaks my heart that all of those poor Betta's are suffering like that.  > > > > >
Natalie  
 
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Phloxface

Member
I've heard that salt can burn them further if they have open wounds so I don't think I'll try that. I wouldn't want to hurt her further. The one with the hanging scale worries me the most. She is barely eating. I got her to eat one tiny baby pellet and the rest she just stared at. The other fish (the green one) ate all her food although slowly.
I fed the two sick girls first and it took awhile. Aenara has been thrashing about angrily in the front of the tank demanding her food!

I can still hardly believe they've survived this long in such COLD water, especially being so young! They must have an incredible will to live.
 

nmwierman1977

Member
Those would be really good names for them. You can also name one Faith. Hope and Faith. I wish I could be of help as far the dammage the ammonia did to them I will keep them in my prayers though.   Natalie
 

AesSedai

Member
((((((((Phloxface))))))))))

That was so unbelieveably cool of you. I'm teary that at least those 2 lil girls went home with you. Please, please email me via my email address in my profile (I will check it very regularly for the next week) if you need something for them and don't have the money. I just got a lil windfall and would absolutely not hesitate in the slightest helping you with that!!

I'm soo happy for them.
 

chickadee

Member
Check what you have for Aloe in the ingredients. If it is listed, it is the best thing for burns of any kind. If not get some StressCoat. It is heavy on Aloe and helps them to reestablish a good slime coat to cover the burns and that is the best bandage that they can have.

I think that is a wonderful thing you have done. I do hope that they are doing okay and please do let us have progress reports.

Rose
 

cherryrose

Member
I am so happy that those poor little Bettas now have a warm and healthy home.  You are wonderful to take such loving care of them.  I love the names Faith and Hope, but of course you are the one that will get to learn about their personalities, and may find an even more appropriate name for them.  I'm sure that with your excellent care they will be better soon.  They sound like they will be beautiful fish.

CherryRose
 

Peter243243

Member
Can we get before and after pictures or any at all?

For the holidays a good home is the best gift for a poor Betta.(Two in this case, even though fish don't celebrate any holiday except maybe Fishmas.)

Hope and Faith are good names. The name Strength might be for the 3rd Betta you rescue of course better names will come up.

What store abused those poor Bettas? Have them fined for animal abuse!
 
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Phloxface

Member
I got them at Petsmart. The care the Bettas receive there is very inconsistent. It seems to depend on who's taking care of them.

The green fish is doing well. Her color has really brightened up over the course of the day and she is a nice green on top with red on the bottom. Amazing considering she was totally gray when she arrived! A Christmas fish! She's eating well. Not as active as Aenara but seems content and does a little wiggle dance when I talk to her.

The other fish is not doing as well. I'm worried about her. Her burns are bad and she's not eating. She looks so sad and gray. I'm hoping she will perk up soon. She doesn't even pay attention when I try to feed her and doesn't even look at the food. She swims around slowly. She seems to respond to my brother when he plays with her and makes faces at her. It's only her first day here so maybe she'll feel like eating tomorrow. If I can get her to eat then I feel she may be alright.

I tried taking pics today but they were all too blurry. I think it's the settings on the camera. I'll try to figure it out and take some tomorrow.
 

AesSedai

Member
Wanted to share an idea for the lil girl, both really

From what I understand, Wild Almond Leaf is an excellent general tonic for conditionin/helping Betta's. I think someone on this board said they give their Betta a spa?, I think it was once a month. Some from the back label of this product I have that's ready to use, not the actual leaf but contains extract:

Mr. Atison PhumchoosrI is recognized worldwide as one of the most respected Betta breeders. The Wild Almond leaf extract will create a more natural environment for the Betta fish. The leaves contain humic acids and tannins and are known to have antibacterial properties.

You could go to his web site for more information. I got this 125 ml bottle for $6.99 at The Fish World, Waters Ave. Tampa, Florida. The owner would most likely express it to you, she's quite the fish lover and educator. It seems hard to find. Her place, the oldest fish store in Tampa, was the only place I've seen it in my many travels to lps/lfs.

She'll be in my thoughts...both of them. I'm soo tempted to rescue a Betta for the holidays. I need to get the one I have back into his tank and resettled first. We'll see...
 

chickadee

Member
Atison's Betta Spa can be purchased online at:



I have some and I will have to say that while I agree that it won't hurt anything, my guys hated it. It turned the water dark and they went bananas. I had to change it out right away. They are horribly spoiled but it may take a new fish and one not used to clear water to use it. The ones I have thought something was wrong and couldn't handle it. But as I said, it won't do any harm although I am not sure how it is with a cycled filter as I believe it is meant for the betta bowls.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

Member
I'm not sure she'd live long enough for me to order it. She really needs treatment right away if she is to survive.

Her sister, whom I named Noelle because she has turned a lovely shimmering green color with rusty red fins (Christmas colors), is really doing well. She is eating like a piggy and doing the wiggle dance every time I talk to her.

The other fish has the strange ability to turn different colors based on her enviroment and mood. She came to me a drab gray color with two horizontal black stripes. When I put her gravel and plants in the tank she IMMEDIATELY turned a gorgeous steel blue (with NO stripes) and pale blue fins! I called my brother over to look and he couldn't believe it either. She didn't even look like the same fish!    When I was putting a small bubble filter in there for her (just floss, no carbon as I am using meds) she got a little startled and turned gray and striped again for a few minutes.  ??? Weird!
She seems to be some sort of chameleon so I decided to name her Karma Chameleon (Karma for short)  ;D

I added a little BettaFix to her water yesterday and her gills seemed a lot better already this morning. Yesterday they were very red, swollen and bleeding. They seemed to be healing today and no longer so swollen. She's still listless and not eating. I think she probably has some sort of bacterial infection due to the open sores and filthy water she was in at the store. I have lots of leftover Maracyn so I've begun treating with that and will pick up some Maracyn 2 and treat with that at the same time.  I'll stop the BettaFix now. I only put in one treatment and at least it gave her some relief for her very sore little gills but it won't treat the bacterial infection inside of her. She will not live much longer if I don't get that under control fast.

Karma is such a sweet friendly little girl. She has no fear of me and comes right up to my hand when I'm in the tank doing something. She's just so sleepy and sick... 

Both my girls were drab gray fish in the store cups. No one wanted them. Goes to show you that a little love and clean water, proper size tank etc. and your fish will give you beautiful colors!
 

cherryrose

Member
Sounds like you are taking good care of your girls. I'm glad Noelle is doing so well, and hopefully Karma will recover soon.  Betta's are so much fun!

CherryRose
 

chickadee

Member
I hope she makes it, but keep in mind that bettas are fighters. They have come through some really horrible circumstances and been fighters strong enough to hang in there. You may want to keep her light off to reduce her stress level or see if you can just give her light shorter time or such. She really needs to rest and if she thinks it is time to rest she may settle down and let herself heal a bit. The gill burns sound like the worst of it and she is not going to feel like eating much. You could try soaking her food in some juice off of minced garlic (the kind you buy in jars) as fish love garlic and sometimes sick fish that will not eat are tempted by garlic taste. The Maracyn and Maracyn 2 is a good idea. I have never used them, but have heard good things about both of them.

Please keep us informed of her progress. It is always distressing to have a little one sick, my thoughts are with you both.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

Member
Both Noelle and Karma are in large 4 gallon Kritter Keepers which have lids but no lights (you can buy the lights separately) so they have no lights anyways right now.
Karma has been laying on the bottom or floating at the top for two days resting. I put in the Maracyn yesterday and this morning she seems a lot better already although she is still not eating. She has been swimming back and forth vigorously this morning and even responding to me and doing a little wiggle dance. These antibiotics work quickly and hopefully she'll feel like eating a little soon. Her condition is still guarded but maybe she has a chance now.
Noelle is really doing well and her color continues to deepen every day. She is such a pretty girl!  They both are!
 

Timesdragonfly

Member
I'm very glad to hear that karma is doing better.
It is sick how these beautiful fish are often kept. Small bowl, cold water, no food UGH! No wonder she dosen't feel like eating!
I'm glad to hear that at least two of the fish have been given a chance.
Good luck, and keep us posted!!!
~J~
 

nmwierman1977

Member
I am so happy to hear that Noelle and Karma(which are beautiful names by the way)are doing better. I know that you were pretty worried about them. Like Rose said though, Betta's are very strong little fish and obviously the 2 girls you have, have a very strong will to live. You are so lucky to have such beautiful fish. So when are we going to be able to see some pictures?
Natalie
 
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Phloxface

Member
Karma finally ate something! All day whenever I looked at her she would do this funny thing... opening and closing her mouth like she's talking to me. I understood it to mean "I"m hungry, feed me!" but whenever I dropped food in she didn't pay attention and it would end up falling to the bottom. She finally became so hungry that when I put my hand over the water she looked up and saw the food drop and ate three pieces!  I don't think she knew enough to look for food at the TOP of the tank. She was always snarfling around on the bottom searching. I'm so relieved she's feeling better. 
 

Timesdragonfly

Member
Wonderful!
 
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Phloxface

Member
I got two somewhat clear pics of Noelle. She likes to pose for the camera but always stands facing me. I try to explain to her that she needs to turn sideways so we can see her better.
Will try to get pics of Karma later...
 

AesSedai

Member
((Phloxface))

Poor lil girl... 

She couldn't have found a better mommie.  They're in such loving hands!  You're so right.  So little...and love, can make such a difference.

Edited to say that I read to the end of thread (thought I had when I posted) and read that karma ate!  Thanks for the pic of Noelle   Great names you decided on.
 

LZ Floyd

Member
It's amazing how resilient I've found these Bettas to be.  But they do need help from us humans.  Phloxface, you seem to be doing what these two need done.
 

chickadee

Member
Oh I am so glad that she ate! She was probably not being given the right foods at the store, if being fed at all. She will learn fast now that she has found that the food is at the top. Three pellets is a big dinner after not having eaten for so long. (and such a tiny tummy )

The pictures of Noelle are lovely. She is a real beauty and so tiny! She is a little Christmas fish.

We will look forward to seeing Karma but we do understand that she has not been well and is not feeling like a photo shoot as yet.

Congratulations on such lovely little girls. And I am so pleased that Karma is hungry, that is ALWAYS a good sign.

Rose
 

nmwierman1977

Member
Noelle is very beautiful. Can't wait until Karma get's better so we can see some pictures of her. Natalie
 

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