Phlox gets his mansion!

Phloxface

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I've been offline due to computer problems. Finally got my new computer so I'm back... Meanwhile, Phlox has finally moved into his new 10 gallon home!  With the colder weather here it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the small tank he was in warm enough. Not only did he have a bad case of fungus (in spite of my best efforts to keep his water clean) but he was all clamped up from the cold and mostly just lying on the bottom of his tank.

The 10 gallon tank is not yet completed as far as decorations are concerned but it is heated and filtered. I still want to add lots of live plants and some decoration (I have in mind a lovely "greek ruins" piece from Petsmart for a kind of "Atlantis" theme) and also a small rock cave. It's not fully cycled but I needed to get Phlox in there asap for his own health. Ideally I would have liked to add the roommates first but I'll have to wait and add them later. 

I was at the vets office (with my cat) and talked to the vet about Phlox and his weird behaviour lately and also his fungus. She has fish too... I had tried to treat it (unsuccessfully) with "Betta Fix" and she suggested something stronger (Maracyn) so I got some of that.  She said his behaviour of darting around the tank in a panic has nothing to do with me scaring him. She says they do that when they have a bacterial infection.  The Maracyn is a broad range antibiotic and should take care of all his infections. The darting around in a panic should stop within a few days after starting treatment. He is on his second day of treatment and getting his third this evening (it is a five day treatment) and he is already looking better.  He is happily swimming in his 10 gallon tank with what is left of his once beautiful Crowntail (does anyone know how long it takes for tail and fins to grow back??)

I am keeping the water at a toasty 80 degrees and he is thriving! He no longer clamps up and shivers at the bottom. The warmth of the water is making him a lot more active and he just cruises back and forth in his enormous tank all day. He loves to play around the heater. I'm worried he'll burn himself but I assume the heaters are made to prevent that since the fish have such easy access to them. He found a new favorite sleeping spot, right on top of the heater... This way he's warm and close to the top so he can breathe. He has several plastic plants that go all the way to the top but he prefers the heater.

He looks soooo small in that huge tank! He definately needs a couple friends later when I get the tank established with live plants and so on.
 

Butterfly

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Welcome back!! Sometimes computers are the pitts
Glad Phlox is doing better. Keep us posted.
Carol
 

0morrokh

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I'm glad to hear he seems to be doing better. The fins can take a long time to grow back, and they may not be as big and beautiful as before, but they will grow back eventually.
Just to make sure... Do you have a thermometer reading 80 degrees, or is that just what the heater is set at? Because sometimes heaters are inaccurate, and I've heard that sometimes fish will hang around the heater if the water is not warm enough. Never mind though if you have a thermometer. I don't know if it is bad or not for him to be sleeping on the heater. i know they say not to let the heater be touching anything, but I don't know if it could actually burn a fish. Could it just be that there is nowhere else for him to sleep? I know you said the tank is not yet complete. They like to rest on large plant leaves near the surface.
When you do get some buddies for him, you should be prepared that he is not going to be happy that there are "intruders" in his territory. I would completely rearrange the tank, and remove him from the tank for at least a few hours while the new fish settle in. It will take him a while to realize that these new fish aren't a bad thing--you'll just have to be patient with him.
 
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Phloxface

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Hi,
Yes, I have a thermometer and attached it on the opposite end of the tank, furthest from the heater to see what the minimum temp would be. (I assume the water may be warmer closer to the heater) The thermometer reads a consistent 80 degrees and the water feels nice and warm to the touch. The heater is a "Top Fin" 50 watt with low, med and high settings only. It was the cheapest heater and all I could afford. The directions claim that setting it on med will keep the water at 79 degrees. I turned it just a little past med and it seems to work perfectly for 80 degrees. He sure seems lively now, zipping around the tank.  He has several plastic plants, one of which is a soft bushy thing that goes all the way to the top. I made sure he has enough plants so that the tank doesn't look too empty and huge. He has plenty of places to hide behind if he's feeling shy, although since being in there he's been very confident and swimming/exploring non-stop. I think he just likes the heater because it is something new and he is curious. He's fascinated by the blinking yellow light inside it!  I would assume if it hurt him to touch the heater he wouldn't do it.

I will definately get the new decorations and live plants at the same time as the new fish. I'll put Phlox back in his smaller tank for a few hours and re-arrange everything in the big tank (I'll need to do that anyways). I'll get the new fish settled in there and then put Phlox back in. I think he'll be so happy to be back in the big tank after spending a few hours in the small one he won't bother the other fish.  He's such a curious little fish he may not even show too much aggression to the others and just want to investigate these new "toys".

His finrot seems to be getting better. He no longer has little white cottony puffs on the ends of his tail. The new antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. He has two more treatment days to go.

It's wonderful to watch him now! He's so active and playful.  When there's nothing on TV (which is most of the time) I just sit on the couch and watch him play and swim.
 

0morrokh

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I am so glad to hear he is getting better. He must be so happy to have that "huge" tank!
I am not sure why he is hanging around the heater when the rest of the water is so warm. Maybe Chickadee will know once she gets her computer fixed.
Raising the temp to 82 or 83 can help in the regeneration of the fins. If you decide to try this, remember to raise the temp really slowly.
Just curious, what are the nitrates in the tank?
 
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Phloxface

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Unfortunately I do not have all the supplies I need yet, including water testing kits. I just have to rely on instinct and watching his behaviour for now. I have had some very big expenses lately... Yesterday I had to take my cat to the vet to be put to sleep. She has been battling cancer for several months and her vet bills have come up to well over $3000! Not only has this left me emotionally drained but this has left the bank account dry... Everything will be coming shortly for Phlox's tank, with each new paycheck.  He's not hanging around the heater as much anymore. I think it's just curiosity...  He's swimming all over happily.

I've taken some pictures of Phlox in his new tank. They're not the best quality but I'll try to post them in a new topic right now...
 

0morrokh

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I'm so sorry about your cat. That must be so hard for you. :'(
Hopefully you can get test kits soon, but until then don't worry about it too much. I can't see your nitrates getting too high with just one Betta in a 10 gallon tank, as long as you are doing your weekly water changes.
 
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Phloxface

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Thank you,
I'm haing a rough time grieving for my cat. She was only 12 years old, had cancer and we had been caring for her for 2 months trying to get her into remission but her cancer was so aggressive. She couldn't eat and had a feeding tube in her neck and had to be fed like that every 4 hours round the clock. It was physically and emotionally devasting. I hope she has found some peace now. It will be awhile before I find mine!  :'(
It was in the midst of caring for my cat that I rescued Phlox. I felt so helpless being unable to save my cat, but here was this little fish, dying in a dirty cup and I COULD save him. I guess it just gave me back a sense of control to rescue Phlox and give him a good life. He's been excellent therapy and a distraction from all the depression. My cat was too weak to try to hurt him but loved watching him swim around and sometimes reached out her paw and touched the glass when he swam by. He entertained her...

I'll see about getting some test kits sometime this week. The tank is brand new (only about 4 days old) so the water should still be quite fresh. I use only pellets to feed him and he gobbles them up right away so there is no food rotting away. He should be fine. After his meds are done tomorrow I'll be putting in the filter, changing part of the water and adding a little cycle to the water.
 

0morrokh

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That must be so horrible to have that happen to your cat. :'( I'm not sure I could stand to have a pet put down. :'( But I am so glad you rescued Phlox and gave him a great new home. He will be so happy living with you.
 

poefox

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He will look small for a bit but he'll get used to the tank. I know about the heater thing...Bettas can be very curious about events and devices, and will watch you do water changes, observe what to them are strange objects for a while. Good for you getting a betta mansion for him.
 

chickadee

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When a Betta has been ill for whatever cause, they will have the tendency to want to be warmer just like we do when we have the flu or a cold. If he had been ill then the area next to the heater probably feels good. Also there is the possibility that you have "hot spots" in your tank. (areas where it is warmer than others) You get rid of those by using an airstone attached to an airpump. (does not need to be expensive but if you want a QUIET air pump get a Rena brand - they are SO quiet!) This keeps the water churned just enough to make the water the same temperature all the way through. The filter moves the water mostly at the surface and the airstone will be at the lower level and it also helps to raise the oxygen levels of the water which is a good thing. This is probably one of the cheapest medications you can buy for your fish.

Hope this helps.

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Phlox isn't hanging around the heater so much anymore except when he is playing near it, racing up and down. He has an airstone in there now (it's behind his Greek Temple) which is right near the heater. I also thought it would stir up the water a bit and push the warmer water around so the whole tank is the same temp. Phlox LOVES playing around the Temple and he swims through the pillars and sits on the airstone showering himself with bubbles. Some Bettas don't like movement in their water but Phlox loves it. They are all so different in personality I guess all you can do is try different things for them.

Below is a picture of Phlox with his Greek Temple and airstone and heater behind it. Phlox loves to have his pic taken and often turns his little head to face the camera! This is such a cute pic of him.
 

chickadee

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That is a beautiful tank and gorgeous fish. (Please do not tell him I called him gorgeous - I should have said handsome) That picture should be entered in our picture contest. I love little Bettas who are HAMS. (I love little bettas, all little bettas but the ones who love to have their pictures taken are just little darlings)

Rose
 

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It's a cute tank But as a warning the middle plant that's kind of spikey is the one that Ficiton tore his tail on a couple times. It's the one I removed and he hasn't torn his tail since. Though at the moment he's still healing from his last escapade with it.

BlueBetta
 
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Phloxface

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Yeah, I'm planning on getting rid of all fake plants and putting in lots of real ones. They look nicer as well.  I put fake silk plants in my other Betta's tank for now as they are softer and won't do any damage. He's getting real plants soon too.  I got them both polished smooth gravel which is twice the price but won't tear their tails when they drag them on the bottom.
 
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