My mom wants a red male betta preferably a halfmoon or double tail or rosetail or feathertail eventually so I cruise the local stores on occasion.
Today I went to Care a Lot and asked them to please change their betta water bc it looked greenish (they only have 15 or so).
Then Petco was on the way home so I stopped in. And saw full scale betta suffering.
Of the 40 bettas, most were visually uncomfortable with their water. Several were squirming around thrashing, some were lying on the sides gasping.
I asked someone who turned out to be the manager if their water could be changed and I showed him 2 who looked awful -- gasping, lying on their sides flailing.
He checked with the fish keeper on duty and I talked to her too --"I've changed the water every day for the past 3 days and they get better, then they start looking bad again -- it just might be a bad batch. I can't see anything on them, and I checked their ammonia level."
I showed her 4 or 5 more 2 actually died while we were talking. I'd taken a bottle of Betta conditioner off the wall and offered to buy it and put a drop in every cup in case it was ammonia which led her to tell me about the ammonia tst.
She said that Petco policy is to only use. Water from the designated red barrel. But before that rule, she had always filled their cups from the cycled water in the community tanks.
I picked up a halfmoon king male who had literally gone from gasping to lying on his side and asked her to please try to change his water (he was HUGE).
So she did. She has 3fish tanks at home and she really had empathy for the fish. Seeing them die brought both of us close to tears.
"I know this probably harder on you," I said "bc you see them every day and to see a whole shipment be in such pain must be very difficult."
"yes ," she said "it's hard bc I don't know what else to do we're not allowed to just take bottles off the shelf and we're supposed to follow the red bucket protocol only, but I've used that water for the past 3 days and may be someone contaminated it bc they're all sick."
As she was talking she went against protocol and changed the king halfmoond's water with cycled water from the tank.
And changed several others that I had brought over from the display. 2 of them were already dead.
I noticed that the king halfmoon was no longer lying on his side and points that out to her.
"I'm just going to change all of their water.". She said.
"Oh thank you so much! I wish I cd help you but we'd probably get into trouble."
She changed water for at least 10while I talked to her using cycled water from the community tanks instead of the protocol bucket.
Several of them started looking better within a minute of the changes.
I made sure to tell her manager what a great job she'd done and to please put my comment in her employee file.