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Old 12-29-2013, 08:06 PM   #1 
summersea
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Summersea's Betta Life Journal

After ghosting around everyone else's journals, spawn logs, and day to day posts I decided I wanted to create a journal to show my journey with my Bettas. Most people in my life don't understand the addiction I have acquired - to bettas. So this, at least, can serve as a place to share to perhaps a few individuals who understand this craziness called Betta Love lol

So to start I should probably introduce the boys in my life - fishier than most but gotta love them teehee. I can only upload one pic per post so each of my boys will get their own post. I will start from my first and move onward.

My first two boys are no longer with me but have helped me learn so much that I can't leave then out. My very first Betta was Blu-bo a male HM. I had no idea what I was doing with a Betta but my sister had an empty 1.5g tank with a filter and heater so I thought "what the heck" and went to my local PetsMart and came home with the beauty below.

Blue-Bo is what started my love for these fish. He had such great personality! But my ignorance caused heartbreak. I didn't understand how often to change his water and he developed fin rot. That is when I found this forum. I read that clean "warm" water was the best for him so I cupped him and put in warm water. Unfortunately I didn't have a thermometer and used warm-to-me water. Plus had no idea about acclimation. So when I put Blu-Bo back in he went into shock and didn't survive. I bawled my eyes out! But I was determined to do better the next time. I spent hours researching on the forum to figure out Bettas before buying my next boy.

SIP Blu-Bo!
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:28 PM   #2 
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I then bought two boys within days of each other. One to use the tank vacated by Blu-Bo at home and te other to my tropical community 29g at my work. I had read where some Bettas can do well in a community tank so I wanted to give it a try.

My next boy was a VT named Fabio (which ended up fitting his fin growth to a T). I bought him from a LFS and put him into my 29g at work. I made sure to add him last and to stock the tank with smaller fish that would not be aggressive towards a Betta (so harlequin rasbora, rummy nose tetra, and cories). When I chose Fabio it was between him and this gorgeous dragonscale HM but the dragon was flaring at weeny thing and Fabio never flared. Since I was going for a laid back community fish, Fabio was the one!

Now I work as a high school teacher so I brought Fabio to my classroom with 2 weeks to go before the start of school. I wanted to give him plenty of time to adjust before students came back. During those two weeks Fabio and te other fish did great. Unfortunately, when the students came back Fabio and my community schools were stressed out by all the movement in what had been a very quiet classroom. I kept a close eye on them with the hopes very one would adjust. I noticed Fabio had nip marks (from self biting or other fish I wasn't sure) but kept on. One day I found one of my harlequin rasbora without an eye an that cinched the deal. I turned out the lights am kept the tank covered until I could set up a divided 10g at home.

So the next day I brought Fabio home and another Betta (because what else was I to do with a divided 10g but get ANOTHER boy lol). Fabio seemed to flourish in his new tank. His fins grew like crazy and he was always active and swimming.

Then, suddenly, I lost Fabio unexpected. He had been fine that morning - did his usual happy "feed me" dance and ate all his food. When I came back from shopping 4 hours later I found Fabio laying on his side ona plant user the filter current, struggling to breathe. I quickly cupped him to get him closer to air. It was heart wrenching to watch. He would struggle to get air an then drop like a stone. I searched for something noticeably wrong on him and then for similar symptoms on the forum but he was gone in under 20mins.

Again, I had lost a boy but this time I had no clue what happened - still don't. I miss my lil happy dancer. SIP Fabio!

The pic below was of Fabio right before he passed - long fins and all!
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:57 PM   #3 
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As I said before, around the time I got Fabio for my work tank I also got a new dt boy for home. I let my nephew pick out and name this guy. Since he was a reddish purple like a rasberry my nephew decided Razz would be the best name. And it stuck.

Now the decision to get Razz was hard. My mom lives with me (more like room mates as we split the bills but anywho...) and we had both gotten very attached to Blu-Bo. More so my mom because the tank is in her office where she works from home. It took a while for her to warm up to Razz but he now has her wrapped around his double fins

Razz seemed to flourish over night. His fins grew almost instantly and he bulked up like crazy. For weeks he did wonderfully. Until I decided I wanted to upgrade him to a bigger tank.

I had read where cycling tanks of 5g and under was not necessary and sometimes not stable. So I bought a 5g hex tank and set it up. Te intake in the filter had very wide slots so got a nylon sock and used that to cover the intake. Them acclimated Razz to the tank. At first things seemed to go well. Razz was flaring and exploring. But then his in the back of his tank. I just thought it was him adjusting to new surroundings and didn't think anything of it.

When, 24 hours later, Razz was looking pale and was gasping at the bottom of the tank I used the test strips I had available and checked the water. Everything was off the charts! I freaked out because the way Razz was laying reminded me of when I lost Blu-Bo. I quickly cupped him and had him floating in his old tank to make it easier for him to get air. He was also a bit bloated so I did an Epsom salt treatment. With the help of several members of the forum (including lilnaugrim and MattsBettas) I finally got Razz back to his usual self. It took several days before I thought he was out of the woods and a couple weeks for him to act his usual, active self again.

Unfortunately, the bad water conditions also had a negative effect on his fins. Within 48 hrs of moving him out of the 5g, most of his fins had disintegrated. I felt absolutely horrible. After resetting up his tank I decided that if he was happy and healthy in his 1.5g I wasn't goin to mess with him any more. Plus, my mom was threatening my life at this point if I lost another Betta that she had gotten attached to

All of this occurred in the middle of October. Razz is now growing back out his fins but try will never be quite as beautiful as the were at first.

In the pic below, the top photo is Razz several weeks after I got him. The bottom pic was a couple weeks ago with his fins showing some growth.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:22 PM   #4 
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Next up is my little CT male that I purchased when my attempt I keep Fabio at my school aquarium failed. Since I had to purchase a new tank for Fabio I just HAD to look at the bettas! lol

Sitting in the back of the shelf was this little light blue CT male. His gills appeared to have ammonia damage as they stuck out but his little grumpy face won me out. So, of course, home he came!

I am a bit of a SciFi geek. As such, I watched a series called Warehouse 13. The grumpy, old keeper of the warehouse was named Artie. This fit my new little guy so well that he was bestowed the same name. Not to mentio Artie is pretty easy for my 3 year old nephew to say ... unlike some of my other fish names

I was amazed when pink appeared at the ends of Artie's fins almost immediately while acclimating to his new home. It never ceases to amaze me water clean, warm water does for these guys!

Unfortunately, permanent damage had already been done to his gills while in his little ammonia filled PetsMart cup. His gills permanently stick out (I think it is called hyperplasia of the gills) and he has SBD issues with easy bloating. He is not an overly active boy and loves to spend most of his time lounging on one of his silk broad leaf plants. He recently acquired a little snail friend (to combat an algae problem I am having) but he pays it no attention.

I just love my little grumpy gills!!
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:43 PM   #5 
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After I had my royal screw up with the 5g and Razz I was hesitant to use that tank again. But I set myself down and did a lot of research. I found out, again mostly from help from members of this forum, that you can and SHOULD cycle a 5g. So I decided to do my first fish less cycle of a tank. I purchased an API master test kit and was religious in testing the tank once I had it set up and going. Since I seeded the tank with filter sponge in the intake (which also helped buffer the flow) my tank cycled in just 4 weeks.

I was ecstatic to be looking at buying another Betta. Again I went to PetsMart. This time a Snow White delta boy caught my attention. He had two spots of black on him and he was very fiesty in his cup. I been looking at threads on marbles and though it would be cool to see if his black spots amounted to anything. PKU he looked so healthy and alive! So home came Blizzard, my fast moving snow looking betta!

I kept a close eye on the little guy. After my fiasco with Raz I was scared there was some sort of curse on the tank (silly I know but still...). But he went right in and acted like he owned the joint. Flared at me all the time and was always cruising around his tank. He was such a little think with so much attitude!

About 5 weeks later I lost Fabio. For some time I debated whether to just give Artie the whole 10g or if I wanted to get another Betta. Of course, as all Betta addicts are want to do, I gave in and bought a new boy.

That meant Blizzard had to be moved in with Artie since I knew he had passed quarantine. About a week prior to this Blizzard had started nipping his fins. I don't know why but when I moved him the self inflicted damage continued. I have tried everything from baffling the filter heavily to filling his side of the tank with a ton of hides.

Unfortunately, this is still an ongoing problem and likely something I will be writing future posts about *sigh* silly fish.

Anywho, here is Blizz. Top is a week after I brought him home and bottom in tonight.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:58 PM   #6 
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Last but not least we come to my newest boy Nero.

After I lost Fabio I wasn't sure I was going to get another betta. I was heartbroken by his loss and not knowing what caused it.

But I am a sucker for little betta faces. So when I went in to PetsMart on Black Friday (and I had to stand in line - never thought that would happen at a pet store, even on Black Friday lol) I went to search the Betta Section. When I got there I was disheartened. There were only two boys that didn't have some sort of fuzzy disease (not sure if it was a fungal infection or possibly columnaris as I am sooo far from an expert it isn't even funny). I couldn't take one home that day as I still had shopping to do. So when I came back that Sunday, one of the little HM boys was still there. He was more lethargic than before and had a touch of fin rot but I decided to take him home anyway.

Now I won't lie, I wasn't overly enthusiastic about this guy. He was so pale as to be almost see through and he didn't really speak to me. But since I had made up my mind to "replace" Fabio I really wanted to bring home a new boy. Plus he was on sale so - yup he made the 30min trek home

When I got him home my mom was also unimpressed by his appearance and just gave me "the look" - you know the one, that says I need Betta Annonymous meetings. Anywho, I floated his cup in the 5g and was amazed. In less than 15 mins his colors had already started to darken. After acclimation and 5 hours in his new home you wouldn't even recognize him! Turns out he is a gorgeous little dragonscale chameleon who is so iridescent that he always seems to be changing colors depending on how the light hit him.

I quickly became attached to my new guy. I was always taking pics of him. I was amazed how he seemed to keep getting darker!

About a week and a half in I started to notice these white dots in him. I immediately look at Betta diseases and posted in the forum. Sure enough, my little guy had an ich infection. It wasn't very bad but when I looked back through my pics I noticed he had some dots from the beginning I was just still too much of a newbie to notice them.

I immediately did a water change and slowly raised his temp to 88F. I also added 1tsp of AQ salt per gallon. The recommended amount was 3 but I have a live plant in there and don't want to kill it. Within 3 days the dots were gone. We had a minor flare up but he was clear within two weeks.

Nero, so named after Nero Wolfe a mystery detective - for his mystery of colors lol, has been my healthiest and fiestiest fish ever since. And, don't tell my other boys, but he is also now my favorite. Kind of a Cinderella story lol

Below is a progression in the changes of Nero. Top is store cup, next is 5 hours later, next is 1 week later, and bottom is after a month!
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Last edited by summersea; 12-29-2013 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:12 PM   #7 
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So now you know the story of my Betta Madness. I love all of my boys and it is a constant learning experience (which, as a teacher, I love!). I think I will be sticking with my 4 boys for a while - unless tanks go on amazing sale...lol

Today is the one month anniversary since I brought Nero home so I will finish by posting a pic of him today playing with the roots of his plant. He is such a silly boy! Hop everyone has a great night!
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #8 
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So today I took some updated pics of Razz today. I don't think his fins will ever be the same but at least they are growing!

I wish I could say the same for Blizzard *sigh*

Even though I have given him a ton of hides and have baffled the filter flow, I can't get him to stop biting or get any regrowth. I have seen several threads that have suggested using Stress Coat with Prime to induce fin growth. I already use Prime but think I will stop and pick up some Stress Coat on my way to feed my horses today. Maybe that will help Blizz out!

I have also been fighting algae in my 10g. I want to get a Nerite snail but my PetsMart is currently out (and I have been extremely disappointed in the store - so much so that I put in a customer complaint). I have also heard that Java moss balls can help out compete the algae for resources. Just have to find time to travel into the city to the LFS to see if they have any snails and cheaper moss.

A thought that came to me today was wondering I floating plants might help make Blizz feel more secure and less fin nippy. I am propagating some elodea in my 29g tropical tank at work (so I don't have to keep buying more each year forte one experiment by students use it for). It isn't very busy but seems to be growin quickly (or was before Christmas Break - hope it is still going strong!). Not sure if that would be helpful or not...so many things o think and worry about with fishies! And I thought my 3 horses were tough work lol

Anywho, here is a pic of Razz from today. Love my stubby, tubby DT!
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:05 PM   #9 
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all of your boys are so pretty! I'm super sorry to hear about your fishy losses, I know how you feel. I'm still not over the passing of my blue CT Sasuke 3 years ago, but I decided to try again and am head over fins in love with my two boys.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:49 PM   #10 
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Happy New Year!!

Confishus - Thank you for the sympathy. I know many here understand the loss of a Betta. Probably better than most in "The Real World". I hope 2014 brings good health to your 2 fishies!

Speaking of 2014 I must be a bit cliche. I have made a resolution or two in terms of my Betta Boys. It is rather simple really. I just want to keep then alive and healthy. Not much to ask for ... right?!

On top of that I have been reading other journals and have evolved a fascinated with the idea of sororities and NPT tanks. As I read more and more I become further intrigued. The idea of a mini-ecosystem, if you will, warms my inner biologist (as I am a biology teacher lol). I am still so new to aquariums in general and bettas specifically it is more of a pipe dream right now. But definitely something to keep and eye on. If I can find a gently used 10g+ tank with stand at a yard sale or something...well I would be doing more than research lol

As is all four of The Boys are doing well. Razz was particularly feisty today and flared at me at dinner time before deciding to eat his pellets. Might have something to do with his bubble nest! I love when my boys build me a bubble nest.

Speaking of which, Nero has yet to make me one He is healthy now with just his gimpy pectoral fin (I think that is the name of the longer fins that hang down under his head...) to show for his time in a PetsMart cup. Hope he makes me one eventually!

Blizzard is still blizzard. I have started adding Stress Coat with his Prime during water changes to try to encourage fin growth from his tail biting. He hasn't done any biting the last few days but not getting my hopes up. The minute I think he has stopped for good he will start it back up again - such a lil turd lol!

And even though it is the start of a new year, Artie is still wearing his same old Grumpy Gills face. But it is so grumpy I just adore it!!

Well, that's all for my first post of 2014. I wish everyone a safe and happy new year! And hopefully Artie's grumpiness will put a smile on your own face to start the year off right!
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