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Old 02-08-2014, 05:44 AM   #1 
Cotton19
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Post Cotton's betta journal

Had I figured out how to start a journal sooner, my previous 3 threads would be here too, but for those interested, they shouldn't be too hard to find. Besides, after a couple months, they needed updating anyways. I will use this space to sum them up, and tie things together. Now that I have been on here a while, and keep coming back, if anyone likes my stories, or more importantly my fish and their pics, I will start adding any friends that are interested.

My love of fishkeeping came out of nowhere, and it was all because of my first betta Buddy. He was a veil tail that picked me, and I was fortunate enough to have a 10 gallon in my basement when I got him home. Almost 3 years later, I have literally every space and plug outlet at my disposal occupied by different fish and aquariums. I can't imagine having any other types of pet, and refuse to think of a life without fish.

Two recent developments made me do something I would prefer not to, but it was the most likely way to achieve good results, so I went this way, and thus far things are going well. First, my rescued half moon male Rocky had a return bout with fin rot, and second, after 3 months I can finally say with certainty that my "baby betta" from PetCo is a female, because with full coloration, I was able to spot a definite ovipositor. Next, my largest VT, BB moved into my 55 gallon community tank, because he was the only one who is a strong enough swimmer and tough enough customer to fit into my semi aggressive tank. Thus far, he has established a couple of previously unclaimed territories and hiding places, and he looks different enough that he isn't being harassed by anyone. I really enjoy seeing his starburst color brightening up the tank, and I do have my 2.5 gallon hospital tank for him if things were to ever go wrong, not my first choice, but a safe backup, which is important.

Rather than moving Rocky into the hospital tank, which has a cheap heater with no settings, he moved into BB's old place, where there is a good heater that can keep the temperature steady while I get him healthy (again). I had bought him from a different petsmart than I usually shop, and will never again, because the fish were mostly in horrid conditions, him included. After walking out of the store empty handed, just this one was in the back of my mind as I continued my holiday shopping next door, and so I had to go back and save him. I am quite proud to say that he is grateful for my help and company, because he is the only betta I have owned that likes to be pet (just one gentle finger along his side, I know he is not a dog). If all goes according to plan, he has that nice 5.5 gallon all to himself. He quickly blew a nice bubble nest within hours of moving in to show his approval.

Now as fate would have it, shortly after I noticed that KC is a girl, I was on my way to my regular petsmart to get some meds to treat Rocky to go along with his salt baths. While in the store, for the first time in my 3 years of regularly shopping for fish, a female betta caught my eye in a big way. Knowing enough that a sorority needs several members, and having a planted 10 gallon to do so, this beauty and 3 others that I picked out meticulously came home with me. The girls appear to be in good health. If I had been wrong about KC, this would not be a happy story, but seeing as her behavior is fitting right in, so far so good. In the first couple days, while establishing their pecking order, there are a couple nipped fins, but no bodily damage, and they do appear to be bonding for the most part. More than any of my other fish, I can use advise about the girls, because this is my first venture down that path. Anyhow, that is a good start on telling my story, and there will be updates to come.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:33 PM   #2 
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Sounds like you have quite the interesting bettas! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:36 AM   #3 
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After three months of fairly uneventful, happy fishkeeping, the last week was the biggest rollercoaster I have been on in my three years of it. Getting the bad news out of the way first, my attempt at a sorority did not go well at all. The stress of determining the hierarchy was too much, and I had my first awful bout with dropsy. The tank was fully cycled for over a year, and I tested the water myself, and everything came back in normal ranges, as it did at petsmart when I brought a sample with me to double check. Like a lightning bolt, within 48 hours, my growing female "baby betta" KC proved to be the weak link, and was the first to catch it, and succumbed to it quickly :( I had gotten her out before any pine coning had occurred, but it was too late, because despite medicating, the next day the other girl who was getting chased the most had a full bloated belly and was lethargic, and two of the other three had symptoms. The would-be queen, Belinda, is so far doing pretty well in the hospital tank, but the others all went back to petsmart, because as much as I liked the short time I had with them, I was already too sad about the only girl I had for more than two weeks, KC, to watch the rest of them pass away. It was minor consolation to read that it is such a hit or miss proposition to get a sorority tank to work, I will try again someday, especially if Belinda recovers.

The best cure for the bummer that bad news brings is some good news, and my trip to the Walpole MA petsmart (the only one I will mention by name, because I have had the best success there of the three in my region) went spectacularly. I have been looking for a green betta for the three years I have been keeping fish, and after the heartbreak of my worst disease, I have the elation of finding my dream betta, who happened to be a "dragonscale" plakat. He is my new avatar, and the cover of my bettas album. I will be showing him off on an unprecedented level in due time, once I learn how to do the photo links in here. I had always had success taking 24 hours to quarantine, and then begin a slow drip acclimation, but after my recent loss, this will be several meticulous days at the very least, probably two weeks before going into the 10 gallon that the sorority was in to ensure that it was stress, and not a bacterial cause that started the dropsy. My year old albino bristlenose pleco Lucky is fine in that same 10 gallon, which leads me to believe it was the stress, but I used some API general cure in there anyways, because my two hospital tanks are both full, one with the sole female betta, and the other with my fat paradise fish Al, who got caught behind a filter (again, three times in the year and a half I have had him, but luckily always with me around to save him) and has a small cut that is healing up nicely.

The same trip to petsmart yielded a rubber lip pleco, my first of that kind, and it was so healthy, alert and active, I only took about 6 hours to acclimate him and send him into my 55 gal community. It is already more sociable towards me than my 2 year old male bristlenose pleco Dusty, who showed a ton of interest but no hostility to the new roommate, leading me to believe its a female, because he chased my other male BN Lucky to the point where I moved him out. The new rubber lip is a little bigger than Lucky, so I don't anticipate any problems, and I love the friendly demeanor. Speaking of the community, BB fit in well, and wasn't visibly struggling with the current, but showed a little ragged fins, so now he is in a divided tank with a gentler filter, doing just fine. Rocky is also doing well, blowing the biggest bubble nest he has ever done in his comfy 5.5 gallon home to himself. What a crazy week, I hope the next update is just names for my happy new fish and pretty pictures.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:40 AM   #4 
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:55 AM   #5 
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This is Belinda (for now), the last of my sorority, but despite the white spot (ovipositor?), some of the signs point to me having bought a male marked as a female that scared the life/health out of the other girls... again, mildly relieving to know it wasn't exclusively my fault, but a horrible way to find out. The ventral fins appear to be thicker than the others had, and possibly a "beard" when flaring. I had heard of the possibility of that happening, but also that it was pretty rare. I have been looking for reasons I failed, so I could learn from them. As long as this is a healthy fish, I am happy to have it, and I will take more pics to ask some of you experts on here if this suspicion is correct.
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Old 02-14-2014, 01:04 AM   #6 
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After watching some youtube videos trying to see one thing, I found something else: Belinda is just that, a female, but a dragon scale plakat, which now explains the significant edge she had over the other girls. I won't be trying a sorority with her again either way, unless I somehow come across a breeder with enough females of her kind that they all have a chance with each other. As for my "green" male plakat, who I was on youtube doing research to try to help, I was fooled again into buying a sick blue betta with a green distress color; that's how I came to fall for Rocky, and is why I most likely have bought my last petsmart betta. I had a gift card, so I took another shot there, and appear to have gotten one out of five bettas in good condition. He had ammonia burns/poisoning, and seems to be developing a fungus near his gills. He never made it into a tank, I am still quarantining him, siphoning out the waste, and doing the best I can, but he isn't eating. If I can't save the new one, I will admit defeat, learn my lesson, and just get another plant, maybe a snail for Rocky's tank too. I need a better paying job, so I can utilize the resources on here and get my true green betta from a reputable breeder someday. Until then, I am happy with Belinda, BB, and Rocky, and hopefully the new one too.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:49 PM   #7 
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Today is mercifully a good update; things were getting too uneven for my tastes. BB is just about healed up from some ripped fins (new pic up: BB looking thrilled), and is making my 2.5 gallon hospital tank his own, until I decide whether or not to divide the 5.5 gallon for both him and Rocky. Rocky's fins still look a bit rough, but he is active, otherwise healthy, and blowing big bubble nests, so I will keep an eye on him. Belinda is a wonderful fish, by far the healthiest betta I picked up from Petsmart, and has the majority of her 10 gallon to herself, but I was pleased to have a good reason to divide a portion of it.

My second rescue, a ds plakat who I have named Tricky for letting me believe he was green, has shown that he is very tough and wants to live. The store I bought him from seems to change the water regularly, but overfeeds them, because there were pellets on the bottom of too many cups, which led to ammonia poisoning/burns in at least Tricky's case. I got him home, and he then quickly developed a fungus near his gill on top of that. Honestly, I was preparing for the worst and just trying to make him comfortable, using the meds I have in alternating patterns, but after several days of lying listlessly and not eating, he started to pull through. I was able to keep his cup clean (why did I wait so long to buy a couple turkey basters to clean small bowls/cups?) for a couple weeks, and his fungus appears to be gone, his appetite is back, and he has upgraded to a 1/2 gallon bowl with an anubias in it for him, propped up at the surface with some "blinders" and a divider in the end of Belinda's tank. I went overboard this time to make sure there is no visibility between the two fish, because stress was the first factor that I have been guilty of underestimating, with KC (SIP) before. It is hard to believe that this is the same fish, he has come so far in this short a time. If he still looks this good and healthy after a few weeks in the bowl, he will get the roughly 3 gallons he is divided in, and I will find a way to make the divider less see-through. Happy, healthy fish, always what I like sharing about
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:36 PM   #8 
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I'm glad things are going well!
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:12 AM   #9 
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The same day I got my first betta, my girlfriend also got her first, and despite the simple name (Mr. Fishy), he lived a good long life, playing kickball with his snail tankmate for over two years together, until he finally got through and finished off the snail. He had fought through various illnesses, and always came back, but the past few months he had developed a tumor, and she was unable to treat it. He passed away this week, shortly after finally killing the snail, guess with his life's work complete, it was his time; after all, he was over 3 years old. SIP Mr Fishy.

Today was a practice in good fish karma: I can't stand an empty tank, and I have over 30 fish, so I didn't want her only tank to be empty, and I chose to give her my HM betta Rocky. He was living in the same size tank here that she has, and her setup was ready and waiting for a good fish. From the day I rescued him, she has really liked Rocky, so I made the somewhat difficult decision to give him to her. She will do well by him, because she did well with Mr Fishy. She has been very supportive of my fish keeping, so I felt it was only right to make sure she still gets her enjoyment out of it as well.

The upside is that Belinda no longer has to have her 10 gallon divided, because I upgraded Tricky to the 2.5 gallon hospital tank (for now anyways), and BB is doing well in his 5.5 gallon again now that he is all healed up. This is one of those times I wish my paradise fish Terry wasn't so aggressive; if he had fit in with the other two in my 55 gallon community, I would have another 10 gallon for Tricky when I am certain he is fully healthy, but then again, I would have already put fish in there long ago.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:11 AM   #10 
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No news has been good news, all my bettas are doing well, and Rocky is doing well with my girlfriend. Hope everyone else is having good luck with their swimming friends.
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