Surprise Betta Owner, Need Help Help

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by TryingToHelp, May 24, 2018.

  1. TryingToHelpNew MemberMember

    Some Backstory First: I've worked with animals before, but have never owned a fish. Very recently, my roommate moved out and accidentally left her Bettas here. She was unable to come back for them when originally intended.

    I've just gotten back into town yesterday, to find they still hadn't been picked up. It's been almost two weeks. While I was gone one of the poor things has died, and one of the remaining two isn't looking so great.

    I ran to get them food, and one is eating fine. The other one looks like it's struggling to get to the top of the water, and there's what I think are scale flakes all along the bottom of his bowl.


    Is this something I can help him recover through? Would it be more humane to just put him down?

    I'm determined not to let another one of the die if I can help it, they're my babies now. I need all the help I can get. What kind of kit do I need to help them live the best they can? I'm a student, so I'm on a tight budget, but I'll do what I can.
  2. Mazeus

    MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    Oh my that poor fish! Did she leave anything other than a betta in a cup, like water dechlorinator?
  3. PatientStars

    PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    ASAP- Go get a 5 gallon tank, a submersible heater, and a small HOB filter. You will also need a water conditioner to remove chlorine from your tap water. You can get some gravel for the bottom, and a silk plant or two to give him a place to hide and feel safe. Make sure they are silk, plastic plants will tear his fins up.

    Rinse the gravel and plants to remove any dust. Fill the tank almost all the way, treating the water with whatever water conditioner you get (pet store employees can help you find them, there are a lot of inexpensive options). Add the heater and filter and get it running. Float his little plastic cup in the tank water, and slowly add water from the tank to the water he is in. After at least 15 minutes (an hour would be better) of gradual acclimation, you can just tip the cup into the tank and let him slide in with the water.

  4. Xx_Gemstone_xX

    Xx_Gemstone_xXNew MemberMember

    I agree however if you do not have the means to care for him please find someone who does

  5. HipsterkipsterNew MemberMember

    PatientStars has a decked out plan for the longer run. Is your roommate picking up the betta fish?

    For a student on a tight budget, I'd prioritize getting the 5 gallon tank (or something equivalent/at least 3 gallons if your roommate will pick them up), water conditioner (like Seachem Prime), and a heater first. You'll need to make daily water changes until your roommate picks them up. If you plan to keep them, you'll need the stuff PatientStars recommends.

    If the betta fish is too weak to swim up eat, lower/take out some water and get it to eat before leaving to pick up a larger home for it. If your roommate left some water conditioner around, you should treat and pour in more water.

    With two bettas, it's double the cost. You'll need two tanks, two filters, two heaters, etc. For now, you can place the healthier one in a large (but not tall) glass container after you bring back water conditioner. Daily water changes for it as well.

    Are you planning to keep them?
  6. emmysjj

    emmysjjWell Known MemberMember

    You can also split the tanks or reform them.
  7. OP

    TryingToHelpNew MemberMember

    She didn't leave anything else, to her credit they're in the cups because she was prepping to move them. They just got placed in a safe place then forgotten at the last moment.

    She's stated she can come back for them next week, but I'm not inclined to give fish back to someone who would let this happen.

    I don't particularly want the fish, but I don't know anyone that wants them -- and I want them to be happy and healthy more than anything.
  8. HipsterkipsterNew MemberMember

    It's grand you replied. :)

    You can ask around the forum for someone who lives near you and willing to take in two betta fish after they've recovered from their dire straits. You might find that you enjoy taking care of them. I'm sure they'd be happy and healthy with someone who cares enough to save them rather than flush them.

    In any case, you can follow some of our suggestions to try and nurse them back to health. You can worry about a permanent home for them later. Ask questions if you have any; this forum is always willing to help. :)
  9. PatientStars

    PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    You'd be surprised how quickly bettas can grow on you! I got one a year ago as something to concentrate on after losing my mom unexpectedly. He started in a 3 gallon tank.

    I now have a 50 gallon, a 29 gallon, and a 10 gallon! Haha fish are addicting
  10. Td644Valued MemberMember

    Those poor babies! This is how I got my first betta Doug they do grow on you quickly. I wish I was in your neck of the woods and equipped to take them I absolutely would.
  11. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    The most urgent thing to me is getting the water conditioner and changing their water. Gradually. A bigger tank yes. Heater yes. But if they don’t get out of that nasty water soon, tanks and decor won’t help a bit. And they’re beautiful babies. All of the above is wonderful advice. Keep us posted? Please?
  12. OP

    TryingToHelpNew MemberMember

    Update on the guys:

    They seem to be doing okay right now, they transitioned super easily. The light colored one I'm still worried about him going up to eat consistently, so I'm leaving his water a little low for a bit. But the Blue one has always been a-okay.

    I'll get them some plants sometime super soon.
  13. Demeter

    DemeterFishlore VIPMember

    Glad to hear you're trying your best. I think the pale one has a spinal issue, you can see in the first pic how the spine doesn't going a straight line and he seems to tilt to one side. That could just be because he's a double tail, a specific type that is bred to have a deformity, hence the double tail lobes. Definitley get him something to rest on near the surface, that will help a ton.

    I think the blue guy will be fine so long as you keep the water clean, hopefully his tail fin will heal up given time.
  14. OP

    TryingToHelpNew MemberMember

    Oh man, I didn't know that fish got the short end of the vanity breeding stick too. That explains some stuff about him, I wasn't sure if he'd always been like that or if it was from being in the cup. I'll definitely try to find him a 'high chair'.

    Thank you.
  15. Td644Valued MemberMember

    Yeah some unfortunate things have been bred into them Dragon scales may be pretty but I'd rather not have a blind fish, same with some of those tails to they get so heavy poor little guys can't swim.
  16. PatientStars

    PatientStarsValued MemberMember

    They make really helpful little betta hammocks you could try. It's basically a fake leaf with a suction cup that you can stick to the tank wall about an inch below the surface. Also, my older betta loves to lay on the leaves of his silk plants, which are tall enough to reach the surface. Just a thought since you plan on getting them plants soon, too.

    You're doing a fabulous job for these little guys! Bravo!
  17. Gypsy13

    Gypsy13Fishlore VIPMember

    Thank you for the update! You’re doing well. I love all the toys available for bettas now. Keep on updating. Wishing you and your finbabies the best. :)

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