It does not matter if they PAID for the fish or not and walmart gets credit for dead fish anyways - either way, they profit. ALL 17 of my bettas were sympathy purchases..
It's kinda hard to tell from the pics but weather it is fin rot or fin melt - either way, the best treatment is clean, warm water. I am not sure what causes fin melt - i think its poor water quality but not positive. Fin rot can be cured with just clean, warm water but many people opt for aquarium salt as it will help fight off bacteria. Lebron was correct with the 1 teaspoon per gallon, make sure its dissolved before adding the fish. It would be hard to tell with his fins smushed together like that but normally fin rot will produce a black outline around the infected area. Ammonia can also burn away their fins if the level is high enough
Not sure about the gills - can't really see them in the pics. Is it the gill covering that's red? If so, it's probably been burned by ammonia.
Is it red in the same spot as in this fish (who had an ammonia level of 8.0)? or is it actually the gills that are red..or are you talking about the beard (the part the males puff up)..It took me a while to realize the beard was NOT the gills
. If he is not gasping for breath, I wouldn't be too worried about his gills as I think they are supposed to naturally be red.
I picked up one tonight from walmart myself, as a B day present