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Old 06-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #1 
underdebate
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A fishy etiquette dilemma

Hi, forum!

Last night, while over at their place for dinner, I got asked by my neighbour to babysit their betta while they went on vacation for a week. I was more than happy to accept; our neighbours are absolutely fantastic people and we all try to get together for dinner or drinks every Friday or Saturday evening. Now, I sort of knew beforehand that their betta wasn't being kept in fantastic conditions-- they've seen my boys and were amazed at the size of their tanks, so, you know, I knew what I was getting into.

I got introduced to their boy (and I've forgotten his name already, yeesh), and saw that they were keeping him in one of those decoration betta-keepers with gravel and a plastic plant. He's in pretty bad condition; from the brief look I got at him, I noticed he was severely bloated, lethargic, and might have fin rot. From what I know, he's been overfed and kept in poor water conditions, aside from the fact that his little keeper is barely more than a litre of water. I said that I could try fixing up his fins a little while they were gone-- mostly because as soon as they handed him over, I intended to treat him for his bloat and rot-- and they said that would be awesome.

They won't be leaving for a little while (a week or two?), but I've been thinking about how I'm going to accomodate the little guy while he's here. The thing is, I don't have any more heaters or keepers for him-- they're all currently in use-- and I can't, with good conscience, keep him in that tiny little cube, let alone expect to TREAT him in that much space. If I dumped out the gravel and plastic plant, it might work, but I can't heat such a small amount of water.

I have absolutely no problem going out and buying him a 1 gallon tank/keeper/bowl/whatever I can find and an accompanying heater and thermometer, but I don't know how that would look when I gave him BACK-- like, hi, I fixed your fish, and also by the way I put him in a new bowl and got him a heater (and you have to change his water at least twice a week now please)? As I said, they're really great people and close family friends, and I know the only reason he's getting mistreated is because they don't know any better. But I don't know how to do this without coming off as pushy and rude.

Again, money is not the issue-- I mean, heck, if they GAVE him to me I'd gladly buy him everything he needed. (It certainly wouldn't be the first time I'd spent half my paycheck rehabbing a sick betta.) I just don't know how to approach this in a.. socially acceptable way, I guess. Advice?
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:14 PM   #2 
teeneythebetta
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Originally Posted by underdebate View Post
Hi, forum!

Last night, while over at their place for dinner, I got asked by my neighbour to babysit their betta while they went on vacation for a week. I was more than happy to accept; our neighbours are absolutely fantastic people and we all try to get together for dinner or drinks every Friday or Saturday evening. Now, I sort of knew beforehand that their betta wasn't being kept in fantastic conditions-- they've seen my boys and were amazed at the size of their tanks, so, you know, I knew what I was getting into.

I got introduced to their boy (and I've forgotten his name already, yeesh), and saw that they were keeping him in one of those decoration betta-keepers with gravel and a plastic plant. He's in pretty bad condition; from the brief look I got at him, I noticed he was severely bloated, lethargic, and might have fin rot. From what I know, he's been overfed and kept in poor water conditions, aside from the fact that his little keeper is barely more than a litre of water. I said that I could try fixing up his fins a little while they were gone-- mostly because as soon as they handed him over, I intended to treat him for his bloat and rot-- and they said that would be awesome.

They won't be leaving for a little while (a week or two?), but I've been thinking about how I'm going to accomodate the little guy while he's here. The thing is, I don't have any more heaters or keepers for him-- they're all currently in use-- and I can't, with good conscience, keep him in that tiny little cube, let alone expect to TREAT him in that much space. If I dumped out the gravel and plastic plant, it might work, but I can't heat such a small amount of water.

I have absolutely no problem going out and buying him a 1 gallon tank/keeper/bowl/whatever I can find and an accompanying heater and thermometer, but I don't know how that would look when I gave him BACK-- like, hi, I fixed your fish, and also by the way I put him in a new bowl and got him a heater (and you have to change his water at least twice a week now please)? As I said, they're really great people and close family friends, and I know the only reason he's getting mistreated is because they don't know any better. But I don't know how to do this without coming off as pushy and rude.

Again, money is not the issue-- I mean, heck, if they GAVE him to me I'd gladly buy him everything he needed. (It certainly wouldn't be the first time I'd spent half my paycheck rehabbing a sick betta.) I just don't know how to approach this in a.. socially acceptable way, I guess. Advice?
Tell them the problems he has can only be solved using a heated bowl and doing the frequent water changes. Tell them he could go back to being sick if kept in his previous conditions. Good luck.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:20 PM   #3 
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My only problem is that I'm the one who offered to fix him up; they don't even know he's sick. I think they genuinely like having him around, but they have a family dog and two parakeets, and the fish is not really the priority-- he was bought because their daughter wanted a 'cool-looking betta fish' and now, of course, she doesn't even look at him. (This isn't me throwing stones, because I know how it is and my family was EXACTLY like that when I was younger-- the impression people are given of fish makes them a lower priority. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm also not accusing them of being bad people just because they don't know what they're doing.)
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #4 
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Cool

sounds like just keeping him in clean water for a while will do more good than he as had in a while..... A one gallon clear plastic container at wallmart is 3 bucks.

Jeff.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:50 PM   #5 
Perseusmom
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Dang I would just nicely tell them why their fish was sick and that he might die if they dont change the way they are keeping him. They just may not know the best way to keep their Betta healthy. I am sorry I dont care how good of a friend they are I would tell them like I said very nicely and polite not pushy or anything and if they themselves are a good friend to you they would not be offended and if so well dang its not your fault and you may always feel bad about it if you never say anything. Best of luck to you !!!!
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:08 PM   #6 
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You might upgrade the poor betta to a larger, heated tank, and when your neighbors return you could give them the whole apparatus, with betta much improved in health. There's no need to confront anyone, but it sounds as though they just don't know how to care for their fish; you could take this opportunity to educate them on what's required for fish flourishing, and then leave it at that. You would be showing them a better way and taking the first step for them, but then "the ball is in their court."
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:29 PM   #7 
underdebate
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Thank you for the advice, everyone. :) I really appreciate the varied opinions and I'm going to try to take it all into consideration when I deal with this. I'll probably end up buying a small keeper (like the 2 gallon ones for reptiles-- I have a bunch of my boys in those) and heater and just giving it to them when they come back; that way it won't take up too much space, but it's big enough that I can feel comfortable recommending weekly/bi-weekly water changes. (If they ask I'll probably also say I had the heater and keeper lying around-- that way it won't seem like I went out and spent a bunch.)
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #8 
teeneythebetta
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Thank you for the advice, everyone. :) I really appreciate the varied opinions and I'm going to try to take it all into consideration when I deal with this. I'll probably end up buying a small keeper (like the 2 gallon ones for reptiles-- I have a bunch of my boys in those) and heater and just giving it to them when they come back; that way it won't take up too much space, but it's big enough that I can feel comfortable recommending weekly/bi-weekly water changes. (If they ask I'll probably also say I had the heater and keeper lying around-- that way it won't seem like I went out and spent a bunch.)
Good luck. I think you're awesome for this. This betta's life is going to be so much better now :')
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:35 PM   #9 
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Hey great idea about saying having those things laying around !!!
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #10 
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I say donate one of your old heaters and buy yourself a new one! That way you could just say you know your house is too cold for bettas so you set him up in a bigger tank that you could heat. Then when they say "well, your house seems to be the same temperature as ours-what temp. do they need?" you can tell them.
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