New to the fish scene

IridescentFins

Hi everyone,
I've been lurking on this forum off and on for the past few months, mostly whenever it comes up during my googling. Since I find myself here so often, I figured I'd make an account. There's a lot of great information to be found here and I want to thank the community for providing that.

I started my research on Bettas back in Feb. and after visiting a couple of shops, I decided it would be fun to raise a baby betta (yes, I did research on how to raise them). In April, I bought one in a last-minute impulse buy (despite researching and scouting for many weeks). As the big box pet store was closing, I didn't look too closely at the baby betta's body, mostly checking the spine and the fins for damage and seeing he was alert and active. He went home with me and was put in a temporary 1-gallon tank until I could get him a bigger one when he grew a little. He was very curious about everything from the start and seem to be in good spirits.

After about 2 weeks of rapid growth, I noticed one side of the gills was much redder than the other. This led to some panic as I thought he had the beginnings of gill rot. I was already changing his water about 20-30% each day but immediately began changing out about 50% water or more. Here's the thing: He was active and alert, didn't have any behavior change, and was not gasping at the surface of the water. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the gill flap was much shorter than the other, exposing the red gills beneath it. When I went to look back at the only photo I took of him on his first day home (lol), I saw he already had this damage. I'm guessing he was injured at some point at the store or beforehand. Either way, at 2-3 weeks in, I was much too attached to my fish to take it back for an exchange and have resolved to raise it to a ripe old age regardless if he ever grows back the gill flap.

He's now about 1.5 inches long from head to tail and seems to be growing much slower. I have a 5g tank I am cycling with amano/rcs and have recently decided to aquascape. I have tried putting in at different times rc, ghost, and amano shrimps to help clean the algae in the 1g tank but my betta seems to be the overly territorial/aggressive type. He harassed my ghost shrimps to death and took the advantage of a freshly molted amano shrimp to feast on. I had never seen him so full before; it looked like he was about to explode if he ate anymore. If anyone has seen that chart showing how round a betta's stomach is supposed to look like after a meal, he was well past the "out of control" one.

Before anyone chimes in that 1g was too small and ofc he would attack them, after I move them to the container he came in, the moment he saw them, he tried to attack. He did this again when I moved them to the 5g, actively following and wiggling as if he could phase through two walls. He did this for a while before accepting the reality that he was no Shadowcat. I hope once the tank is planted and set up, he will ignore the shrimps and stick to the mid-water and top part of the aquarium.

I'll update this thread later with photos. I'm sure some people here are interested in his damaged gill flap. :p
 

grac3

he sounds so spunky! any pictures?
 

Cinabar

Welcome to fishlore! Would love to meet your little guy. Can we get pics?
 

IridescentFins

Thanks for the warm welcome. I realize I take more videos than I do photos but here's what I have. He changes so much day to day. It's honestly amazing to watch. When he came to me, he was mainly white with a pink tinge and cellophane fins. Now he is turning orange (often mistaken as a goldfish by friends and family) and forming some black streaks in his fins which have some iridescence.

he sounds so spunky! any pictures?
Spunky is a perfect adjective for him. Coming right up!
Welcome to fishlore! Would love to meet your little guy. Can we get pics?
Absolutely.

First week of May. I was trying to get a body shot of his short gill side but he wasn't having it.

IMG_20210501_145926.jpg
IMG_20210501_145939.jpg

Almost a week later, he is developing black streaks in his coloring. It's more severe now but I haven't taken a new photo yet.


IMG_20210507_173050.jpg

Here's the best shot of his injured side. I noticed he tends to watch me from his right side more than his left so it is hard to get a good photograph. It's also the reason I never saw his injured gill when I was buying him.

IMG_20210507_173021.jpg
When he flares, one will notice a distinct lack of beard on one side. He did flare at me the other day when I was feeding him. I thought it might have to do with the 90% water change I did the day before, and how I had to remove him from his tank to do it. He did so right in the middle of his first feeding and it was a slow wave side to side. Is this normal? Or was he still angry from the day before? If he does it again, I'll try to take a photo, haha.
 

Cinabar

What a unique-looking boy! Never seen a color pattern quite like that before. The pics are a little unclear but it looks like he has one shortened gill plate. It's a common "birth defect" in fish and they are often culled depending on the severity of it. This one doesn't look bad at all though, so I think he'll live a perfectly normal life. Be warned, it might become worse as he ages.
 

IridescentFins

What a unique-looking boy! Never seen a color pattern quite like that before. The pics are a little unclear but it looks like he has one shortened gill plate. It's a common "birth defect" in fish and they are often culled depending on the severity of it. This one doesn't look bad at all though, so I think he'll live a perfectly normal life. Be warned, it might become worse as he ages.
Oh, that's good to know. What should I be on the lookout for as he ages? I would like to provide a good life for him.

I am aware it is a blurry photo. I will try and get a better one later. He is very shy about that side.
 

Cinabar

Oh, that's good to know. What should I be on the lookout for as he ages? I would like to provide a good life for him.

I am aware it is a blurry photo. I will try and get a better one later. He is very shy about that side.

Look for exposed gills. You just need to do the usual stuff... clean water, stable parameters, no sharp objects, the like.

Lol I find it funny that bettas are simultaneously so aggressive yet so shy. Such a personable fish
 

PianistProdigy

Welcome, I’ve also started with betta fish as well.
 

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