Phlox has a new brother!

Phloxface

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Okay, I couldn't resist... I rescued another Betta from Petsmart. Yesterday I saw the most gorgeous Betta suffocating inside one of those horrible "lava lamp" torture devices! It was a tiny lamp and had a shower of bubbles going up the middle. The top of the water surface was about 1 1/2 inches in diameter! > He was floating at the top sucking what little air he could get and desperately trying to avoid the explosion of bubbles going up the center! He looked near death yesterday so I was hesitant to buy him. I told myself if he's still alive today it's a sign that I was meant to get him. Well, he was still clinging to life. I asked the girl there to get him for me and told them how cruel I think it is to keep any living creature in such a small container! She agreed. (she wasn't the one who put the fish in there) Hopefully that "tank" will remain empty and UNSOLD!
I decided to name my new boy "Lava". (since I found him in a lava lamp) He's my Lavaboy! :-* ;D
All I have is Phlox's old 2 gallon tank for now but that's a definate improvement over the conditions I found him in!! I will soon purchase a lovely little 5 gallon tank with heater, filter, lights etc. He can live in there alone (I'll probably just get him a Mystery snail for company). He seems absolutely delighted even with his 2 gallon tank! He's displaying his gorgeous fins and tail and curious about his gravel and plant. (how sad that these fish have never even seen anything as simple as plants and gravel)
He's on the hutch shelf of my desk right over my computer and he's watching me curiously. He's still shy when I try to feed him. He won't come to the top. It will take some time for him to get to know and trust me. Phlox practically eats out of my hand now! When I have my arm in Phlox's tank rearranging a plant or something he's right there nipping at the plant and trying to "help" me. ;D
I feel relieved that Lava is now safe and sound and being loved and respected the way any pet should be! I look forward to getting his new permanent home soon and seeing the happiness is his eyes when he sees all the new space and the nice playground I'll build for him!
Phlox's new place is looking great and he got a beautiful greek temple ruins in there now. He adores it! He seems to think it's his own little house! He swims right through the front door (between two pillars) and plays inside and then peeks his head out to see what's going on! It's so much fun watching him play all day! Lava will get the same!

Here are some new baby pictures of Lava! He has the most gorgeous coloring! Does anyone know if this coloring has a name or is it just random?
 

poefox

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What an interesting and attractive fish you got. I know how you feel about rescuing him. I'm glad that Petsmart at least the one I go to doesn't have any of the torture devices or the O betta thing or anything like that.

I agree that it is kind of tragic that they have had such abnormal lives, though probably it is because they are difficult to keep with other fish and impossible just about with one another. The females at the store I visit are all kept together though you can see them flare up with hostility any time one gets to close to the other.
 

Isabella

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One of the most beautiful Bettas I have ever seen ! And you, Phloxface ... THANK YOU for having rescued the fish. I have said this many times on this forum already: that I cannot - and never will - understand how people can be as cruel as to keep Bettas in such tiny containers of water, thinking the fish are fine there. I mean, how can you even "think" that? Isn't it "sort of" obvious how they suffer? It breaks my heart to look at Bettas whenever I am at my LFS, so I don't look at them anymore when I'm there (because I know I can't take them all home). I can't :'(.

If I could, I'd buy a 1,000 gallon tank (!!!) and rescue as many Bettas as I could, and put them all in that tank (that is, if Bettas could all live together in large numbers). These poor fish deserve so much more from what they get at fish stores. I mean ... imagine living your ENTIRE life in a tiny closet, for these are exactly the conditions in which Bettas have to live.
 
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Phloxface

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I don't understand why people think Bettas are happier in a small container either. I have been in Petsmart shopping and twice now overheard the sales person talking to customers wanting to buy a Betta that they are happiest in a small bowl or vase  ??? and they like their water cool  ??? and the bowl/vase only needs to be cleaned about once a MONTH! 

Both times I waited until the sale person walked away and sidetracked the customer telling them I have a Betta and that they most definately are NOT happy in a small container. I set them straight on the proper care of Bettas and managed both times to convince the customer to buy a little bit bigger container. Neither wanted a big tank sadly  but at least I showed them the BIGGEST bowls in the store (I would guess about 2 gallons) and told them to keep it clean, keep it in a warm place and keep it covered. Oh, can you believe the sales person also told those customers to feed their Bettas 12 pellets twice a day!  : I made sure those people knew that the betta would explode if you fed them that much. Geez if you just read the directions on the package it clearly says 2-4 pellets twice a day! I may not have been able to negotiate a large tank for those Bettas but I hope they'll have a less miserable existance than they otherwise would have.  I find if you approach people in a non-confrontational way and try to be helpful they will listen.  Everytime Petsmart gets a new shipment of Bettas, they sell out quite fast.  I'll bet nearly 99% of them end up in tiny "Betta displays" no bigger than the cup they were bought in, vases, tiny bowls or worse, those tiny HALF bowls (anyone seen these at Petsmart?) or a lava lamp where the fish can live in terror for the remainder of it's short life with a tornado of bubbles and flashing colored lights and NO place to escape and hide! Why does the Humane Society not put a stop to these things??!!
I'm going to write a letter to the head office of Petsmart and let them know how I feel about them selling tiny "Betta containers" and even worse Lavariums (even the name sounds like an insane asylum!) which are downright CRUEL!  They are a company who cares about pets so they should LISTEN to the customers and NOT sell things that promote cruelty to animals, and fish are animals too!  No one would even think to sell a device that would let you put a cat into a tiny space where it could barely turn around, blowing a hurricane of air into the container and frightening it with colored lights! It would be barbaric and yet no one thinks twice about doing that to a Betta (or Guppy) If Petsmart really cares about pets they need to remove at least these Lavariums so people will know how inappropriate and cruel these things are.
Lava was in that Lavarium for days. He's completely traumatized.  He's swimming around my tank right now furiously and flaring at everything.  I'm worried he is getting too stressed. He won't eat anything I give him. I tried Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets (which Phlox LOVES), bloodworms, and a flake food for Bettas crumbled small. He tried things and them spits them out and takes it again, spits it out and finally abandons it.  He does not come to the top when I drop food. He does not trust people anymore.  He is physically healthy but psychologically damaged. Maybe in time he can forget his experience in the Lavarium. Right now I'm worried about his stress level. He is SOOO different from Phlox! Phlox is such a friendly, curious little puppy dog-like fish, playing and racing around his aquarium and he always meets me at the top of the tank and practically snaps the food right out of my fingers. Lava doesn't seem to watch my hands and won't even look up when I put food in. He only discovers it by chance and then eats, spits, eats, spits etc.  He doesn't respond the way Phlox does at all.  He does however watch me when I'm not looking. I find him staring at me. I'm trying to talk to him and get him to trust me. It may take some time...
Even though I wasn't planning on getting him his new aquarium until next week when I get paid, I'm so worried about his anger and stress I've decided to go buy him the same 10 gallon tank Phlox has today. It will have to come out of my grocery money but so what? I can live on mac and cheese for a week.    Hopefully the exercise of swimming around a bigger tank will calm him down. I'll give him lots of bushy soft plants to hide in when he's anxious and his own "house" like Phlox to explore and sleep in. Maybe with some other distractions he can forget his trauma.  There's not much I can put in his 2 gallon tank now other than one plant. There's just no room. I'm also worried about causing him more stress by having to clean his small tank every second day. I don't want to give him more reason to mistrust humans by chasing him with the net every second day.
 
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Phloxface

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Lava seems to be doing much better now. He calmed down after a day in his new 10 gallon and he's even built a nice bubblenest (which is growing by the hour!) I have pictures of it in my other thread. He seems to be warming up to me and comes to the top when I lift his cover and responds to my voice. He loves when I talk to him leaning over the tank and looking down into it. He comes up and watches me, wiggling a little. He's becoming very sweet and gentle, not at all the angry little fishie he was at first... He's eating but not much and he seems to have trouble eating the pellets, spitting them out several times first. Not sure why since he's a bigger fish than Phlox and Phlox has no problem chewing his pellets...
 

chickadee

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What a lovely fish!!!  I do so applaud all the effort you are making to give him a comfortable life.  I should let you know that there are some little Bettas that never do warm up to the pellets and need to be given bloodworms and there is even a difference in bloodworms.  Believe it or not, my little ones taught their old mommy a lesson this last week and as a result are all on a hunger strike this week (self-imposed I do assure you).  I made the mistake of buying the locally available bloodworms instead of ordering the Hikari that they are ALL used to eating.  I will not mention the brand name but it was the only one available and they were quite a bit larger than the Hikari worms.  My picky little darlings gave each one a nibble and spat them out and even though we go through the motions of feeding every morning and every evening they do not touch them now.  So we are letting Mommy fish the worms out of the tanks after each meal.  Well they won't starve as I have the Hikari ones on order and have paid a fortune for expedited shipping.  They are very picky and I have said before that it is a trial-and-error thing with each fish as it is usually the case that no two will eat the same thing.  I have gotten very lucky that all of mine are now in love with these bloodworms (as long as I get the correct brand  but nearly everyone knows how I spoil my little ones).

You sound like you could do the same thing, just be careful, macaroni and cheese is something that can become a habit if you let the fish run you ragged.   

We love them anyway!   

Rose
 
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Phloxface

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Hi Rose! Welcome back!

Lava is doing much better now and seems to be getting better each day. He's in his ten gallon now since Friday and after an initial adjustment period he's settled in nicely. He's building an enormous bubblenest now so I assume that means he's happy and has accepted this as his home. The nest building is keeping him so busy he's forgotten all about Phlox.    He's gotten used to his reflection and only flares occasionally for a moment.  He's also becoming very affectionate and comes to the top when I talk to him.  He is eating his pellets now without any spitting. It took Phlox a few days to get used to it too. He seems to be just fine now. He doesn't play as much as Phlox does but does nip fearlessly at the cup when I do water changes just like Phlox does. He seems to have recovered from his trauma at the store in the lava lamp a lot quicker than I expected.  Right now he does not have a heater (I'm getting him one on Friday) and his water temp is a little cooler than Phlox's, although still within safe range. I suspect he will liven up a lot after his water temp is warmer. That's what happened with Phlox.
The corner of his tank faces the TV and I noticed he does like to watch TV as most Bettas seem to...  ;D
I think I will keep him alone in there without tankmates as I agree with you his personality seems to indicate that it would be better for him. He will get a snail to help with algae cleanup. I don't think he will mind a snail.
Phlox is so playful and unaggressive I know he will love tankmates so he'll get some Otos or Corys and a snail.
 

chickadee

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Don't be too surprised to see Lava at least TRY to take a nip at the snail. All of mine at least gave it one go. Only Alexander had to have a second go at it and he had his youth as an excuse. It is mildly amusing to see the look on their face when they find they cannot do a thing to nip or intimidate the snail.

Rose
 
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