I've had all kinds of pets in my life, dogs, cats, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. but I never figured myself for a fish person. I mean...you can't even pet them! That was before a few of my co-workers began keeping betta fish at their desks.
I found myself constantly going over to their desks and talking to the fish. I mean the kind of baby-talk you give to a cherished pet or a cute toddler.
After visiting 7 different pet stores I finally found the ONE fish that seemed to 'speak' to me. His body is a dark blue and his fins are a lighter blue with red running through them. My husband called him Burple. I told him that was the dumbest name for a fish I'd ever heard, but the name stuck.
Right now, I have him in a 1 gallon tank with large tiger-eye like rocks and an ivy.
Things have not been easy for me...so much drama for such a little fish.
I bought him on Saturday, March 20th and put him in his new 1 gallon bowl, with conditioned water on Monday, March 22nd.
On Tuesday, March 23rd he was happy and flitting around and had blown a lot of little bubbles and pushed them into a pile. That was cute.
When I got him I noticed that the very edge of his anal and caudal fins were slightly darker, I thought it was natural coloring at first. But on Wednesday, it looked like the area had expanded a little.
I thought he'd squeezed it under a rock. I have smooth rocks in the tank rather than gravel [he seems to like rooting and hiding among them]and I had heard a clink as he actually managed to move on of them. That seemed to startle him and he flitted away quickly.
I gave him a 50% water change that night and again on Friday night before I left for the weekend. The black area looked a little larger and Burple seemed a little...sad? mopey? sick?
I went to Petco and talked to a worker there who said it might be fin rot she suggested a medicine and my getting a heater for the water. She recommended one with a temperature preset so it would shut off when it hit the right temp.
Monday, March 29th I came to work to find a much happier Burple. He'd even been blowing more bubbles *^_^*
Before I left for the day, I gave him a 100% water change, installed the heater and dosed the water following the instructions on back.
The instructions said to put in 1 drop per 16 fl. oz. There are 8 oz. in a cup, 4 cups in a quart and 4 quarts in a gallon...so that would meant 8 drops. I transferred Burple over and left for the night. The instructions said to continue this treatment for 3 days.
The water temp was a nice 76 degrees, my baby was warm and soon would be on his way back to health.
On Tuesday, March 30th I came to work to a nearly dead fish!! I almost burst into tears.
I couldn't believe my eyes, he just hung there in the water at a nearly 45 degree angle he wasn't moving or anything. I desperately tapped the side of the bowl 4 times. On the 4th tap he stirred a tiny bit, but not very much.
I did an immediate 50% water change and reread the instructions for the medicine...had I overdosed him? but they still said the same thing.
By the end of the day I changed out his water 100% and I removed the heater [I didn't know whether it had been that or the blue tinting that had been the culprit...maybe I'd fried him??] Once the water was clear, the true damage became apparent.
The blue water combined with his blue coloring had made it hard to see him properly. Burple was now a mottled bluish gray. I've seen such dull coloring and listless expressions on some of the betta at one of the Walmarts I'd gone to while looking for a pet.
On top of that his fins looked like they had been partially dissolved!! It was touch and go there for the rest of the week but we made it with many 50% water changes.
By Friday, April 2nd he looked a lot better and had begun eating again with a voracious appetite. He hadn't eaten anything Tuesday or Wednesday and only gave his flakes a quick suck and spit on Thursday. I gave him a 100% water change before I left for the weekend. I left wondering if he'd survive the weekend.
Yesterday, he seemed right as rain. He'd blown a few bubble and was flitting around his tank almost like normal. For a while he could only flit around for a few moments before sinking down to the bottom to rest.
In future I'm planning on giving him 100% water changes on Monday's and Friday's and then 50% during the rest of the week.
One of my co-workers said that my frequent water changes probably contributed to his illness, but then again she only changes her fishes water bowl every 2 weeks. I still believe I did something wrong with the medicine or the heater.
I'd like to set up the heater again but am worried that I'll do Burple further harm. I have a thermometer on the outside of his bowl I'm just afraid to leave him over the weekend without supervision.
If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I want him to healthy and happy for a long, long time.
I have a 2.5 gallon and have to do water chAnges twice a week. I don't know about the medicine. Do you know what it's called? How much were u feeding him when he was eating normal? What were u feeding him also? When u say blue water do u mean the kind u buy in the bottle at the pe store? Ive Never read what kind of water that is but Most of us recommend tap over bottled water because ofthe nutrients the bottled water lacks. There are lots of different opinions on treatments for an illness. I personally do the salt baths and add salt to his tank alog with water changes. Iwouldnt leave a sick fish at work. I would be tooafraid I couldn't keep a good eye on him. My bettas are 24/7 fish and they know it n
I don't see how a heater could cause anything like that - usually when the edges of a betta's fins are unusually darker it means a form a fin rot. I can't remember if it's bacterial or fungal, but you could treat either with aquarium salt or some medication like Maracyn. Unless it's not getting worse, in which case you shouldn't have to do anything. Adding a little salt to the water, though, would promote fin regrowth if they're still a little tattered. Just dissolve it into the water you're adding to his tank during a water change to avoid any direct contact with the granules as it may burn your fish.
I would place the heater back into his tank just to make sure the temperature remains constant. I can't see the heater being the culprit, but once back in the tank just be sure to monitor the conditions. In the meantime, I'd just keep the tank warm and dark to let your fish recover, and in due time he should be back to normal - if he's not already, that is.
I gave Burple a 50% water change today and yesterday and I noticed more uneaten food debris, so I'm going to cut back his feedings to every other day. I have also reistalled the heater. Right now the temp is 78 degrees. Thankfully I'm at work all day so I can check the thermometer every hour or so.
His fins are ragged and I still see a little black, probably because I didn't use the medication I bought for the full three days. However, I'm not going to use the blue medicine again, his reaction to that was scary. Aquarium salt?? Okay, I'll give that a try...I should probably test the water too. Any recommendations?
I need to transfer my pics off of my camera and as soon as I do I'd be happy to post pics. I even managed to get a little video clip!
For testing your water parameters there are a number of methods you could exercise including: test strips, liquid test kit, or your local pet store. Test strips aren't usually advised because they tend to be far more unreliable than the liquid test kit. Though the liquid test kit does cost more, it allows you to test every parameter necessary, and last an incredibly long time. The API freshwater master test kit I have now advertises over 800 tests. If you're on a budget, however, your local pet store will usually test for free (or for a small charge).
Otherwise, 78ºF is a good temperature and I'm glad to know your betta is doing better. I look forward to your pictures and / or video.