Anyone that has been bitten by the betta bug knows that whenever the opportunity presents itself to buy a new fish that it must be taken :)
I currently have a 10 gallon sorority tank, a 5 gallon with my male crowntail, a 2.5 gallon with my delta male, and my newest addition to whom this thread is dedicated to (2 gallon with my new veiltail boy).
I was home from college for spring break and my mom had asked if there was anything in particular that I wanted to get while home. Naturally, I asked the obvious question: Can I get a new betta? While I can only manage my 2.5 up at school due to my busy schedule of being at the barn on the daily (horse person right here), both of my parents are at home taking care of the rest of my tanks. I was expecting my mom to say no, but she surprised me and said that I could, but I needed to take it with me to school. No problem I thought, I had a keeper at home that would be very easy to transport on the 5 hour trek back up to school.
I had to buy betta food at our local Petco, so I ran in and of course started looking at the bettas on the shelves. The most recent shipment in had some very eye catching bettas: a white delta male with black spotting, a purple and red mottled double tail, along with many others. In the long run, I decided not to get any bettas that day, thinking that I just wouldn't have the time up at school to properly care for another one plus the one I already have up there with me. My mom had some other stops to make, our last one being Walmart. I had nothing to get there, so I wandered over to the fish section (all I ever really do in Walmart). I braced myself, ready to see at least 6 or 7 cups of dead/dying/sick betta fish just sitting on the shelf by the paper plates and cups. However this time there were none to be found, in which I was partly relieved. I walked over to where the tanks were, just to see how bad the conditions were that day. Before I even got there, I passed by the sink area and noticed something just floating, almost lifeless, in a cup stuffed in the corner on the racks over the sink. I turned back around and looked closer, only to see a very ghostly white veiltail betta struggling to breathe.
His gills were very red and inflamed, he was missing a ventral fin, pieces of his tail were sitting at the bottom of the cup along with huge, gross looking balls of mold. Yes, that's right, balls of mold. The way he was gasping for air reminded me of someone who was not prepared for a 5k race, but ran in it anyway and got completely winded. It broke my heart just looking at him fighting for his life. I had no idea how long he had been there, but he definitely was not staying there.
Needless to say, as soon as I got home I set up his 2 gallon keeper with some plants, a cave, gravel and warm water. I installed a heater as well. After I acclimated him to the water, I added him to his new home. He continued to gasp for the next few days, being that he was breathing in that toxic waste for who knows how long. He was very skittish, fleeing and hiding whenever a loud noise was made or someone approached his tank. He also did not eat for a few days, and I began to worry. Would he even survive?
I am now happy to say that he is doing loads better. His color is now very apparent (deep maroon fins with blue/green streaks, a very deep sand colored body and a white face mottled with sand colored blotches). He is now eating the betta pellets I feed the rest of my fish, he is breathing normally, and now swims to the front of his keeper whenever he sees me :) He may not be the most gorgeous betta out there, but the fact that he held on for so long in those conditions makes me treasure him even more. It usually takes me awhile to think of names for my bettas, so his name is currently pending!
Oh and of course, pictures soon to come! :)