Okay so i work in a retail store and a few weeks ago (beginning of November) we got in a shipment for the holidays of the whole 'betta in a vase' thing. The managers refuse to let us feed them or change their water so they're just sitting in this stagnant nasty water and starving so bad they're devouring the roots of the plants..
Well today i was given the task of filling (not changing) the water of the ones whose levels got low and feeding them some generic tropical fish flakes. Of the dozens of bettas not one of them were healthy, they all appear to have fin rot (or what i understand fin rot to be, torn spiky looking fins) but there were two who had it so bad that their fins were almost completely gone.. One of them was worse than the other, I'm posting pictures of him. And what did my manager tell me to do with them? Flush them, even though they were still alive. I wanted to backhand her! So i took the vases into the bathroom and put the fish in small plastic baggies i happened to come across and took them home. So essentially i stole the fish, aren't i a rebel?
Now here comes the 'i need help' part. I haven't had bettas in a very very long time, and I've never had to deal with fin rot. I want to give these guys the best chance they have.
Seeing as how this was completely unexpected I'm making due with what i have, which is very little. I went out after work and spent my last 30 bucks on two small 8w heaters for each container i have them in (all i had available was two 1/2gal vases, but i get paid in a week and will be buying them real tanks then) and i bought some T.C. Tetracycline.
Now the dosage is geared toward a 10 gal tank, so i just sprinkled maybe a half a tsp into each vase, set up their heaters, and have a floaty thermometer in there so i can monitor the temps. The water temp is at 80deg right now and he seems to be moving around a lot more.
Now my question is, where do i go from here? Is there anything else i can do for them (besides getting bigger tanks)?
Sorry for poor quality, all i have is a camera phone ><
Good for you for taking on these babies in need!! I'm not sure about the meds but I would maybe try aquarium salt, 1tsp per gallon. It'll be easier on them than stronger meds. Try that for a while and see if there's new fin growth. Otherwise, keep their water pristine! In 1/2 a gallon you should be changing it daily, especially with a salt treatment. Hopefully more knowlegable members will help you out, but this made me smile. Good luck!!
I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I didn't try to help them :( it just baffled me that she told me to flush them. It's the stores fault that this happened to them! But I'm gonna do everything in my power to get them swimming normal and happy again. But as for the aq. salt thing, everything I've read online says that it only treats mild fin rot, that extreme cases like this require stronger meds. But again, you can't believe everything you read online lol. I'll give the salt a try once I get paid if this tetracycline doesn't to the trick. But one other question I have is how do you tell when the fin rot is gone? Just when the fins start growing?? And also Ive heard the term 'clear growth' used on here in some fin rot recovery threads, what does that mean?
I would've done the same thing if someone told me to flush them. It's appalling :/ And yes you're right. Hopefully the antibiotic works. I'm not familiar with it or the dosage but with the frequent water changes that are needed when using medications its easiest to keep them in smaller containers. Do they have trouble swimming? If so you may want to consider getting something more shallow so they can easily reach the surface for air. I've seen shoe box sized Rubbermaid containers that would work perfectly. It may be easier to dose with something a little bigger. Maybe get a new 5 gallon bucket and sanitize it and use that to fill and put in the proper dosage and then split it between the fish? It may take a while to see new clear/white fin regrowth. Just make sure you continue treatment as long as the directions say. After treatment make sure to keep the water very clean and then I'd start using the aquarium salt for a week or so to help the healing and also to help with any other issues they may have from being in such horrid conditions.
So sorry, I guess it's just my age, but I would go right over to the HR department, use my words and express how the treatment of a living creature be it a fish or what ever is causing a caustic and un safe work environment, and that the manager told you to commit an act that is causing you great distress.You truly don't have to be put in a position where your being forced to do that. Stress that your feeling " bullied "
that will get there attention.
The pics aren't too clear but its either fin rot, ammonia burns from the water never being changed and it burnt their fins off or they could of bitten them off due to stress. The best thing for them is clean, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt if you want. If it is fin rot, the tetracycline should help but I have heard if your water's PH is on the high, it's not so effective. Suppoedly its also less effective if misxed with AQ salt. No idea if that is true or not
Is there a black outline around the ripped part, like this?
Well it's looking like the other guy might not make it, he's breathing very softly and is just floating kind of cocked on his side :( he's not responding to food at all or movement of the bowl. I tried putting him in a shallower container And put some clean Luke warm in it with a small bit of the old water with the tetracycline in it. I'm hoping it's just that the water is too warm for him, it bumped up to 85 during the night :( both of them did, but the pink guy is doing substantially better, he's breathing normally and is just kind of coasting at the bottom of the bowl. *sigh* would I have been better just leaving them be? (without meds&heater) I can't help but feel this is my fault :'(
No, it's definitely not your fault. They've been under a lot of external stress and their immune systems are probably shot. Even with ideal treatment, at this point it's not shocking that one wouldn't make it. Just try to keep them comfortable. And remember that you tried your best, and you go those fish out of those nasty vases and gave them some love and care.
... The managers refuse to let us feed them or change their water so they're just sitting in this stagnant nasty water and starving so bad they're devouring the roots of the plants.
Originally Posted by nerobella
... would I have been better just leaving them be? (without meds&heater) I can't help but feel this is my fault :'(
No no no -- it's not your fault. In fact, you did "good." You tried to help them when they were in obvious distress, and it sounds like you might be able to save the pink one, even if the other doesn't make it.
As for the managers, could you try talking to the store manager or the district manager? It seems to me that they'd want to protect the store's merchandise. And dead fish certainly aren't going to be popular with customers!
Or, if you can't do speak to someone -- when you refill the water levels, would it be a problem to also carry a bucket and dump at least some of the old water into it? This would allow you to refill a larger percentage with clean water.
Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 11-18-2012 at 12:11 PM.
I've tried talking them into helping them. They just don't care. I tried to get them to let me feed the poor guys after week 1 of starvation. Today when we weren't busy and the managers weren't around i changed the water on a couple of the guys and gave them some water conditioner to make the tap safe.
But as for the blue guy, my cousin named him Kevin, he seems to have improved a smidgen while i was at work. He's no longer on his side, he has managed to get himself up right and to the bottom of the bowl on occasion. He's still coming to the surface for long periods though and isn't doing a whole lot of moving at all (besides the up and down from surface to bottom once every few hours and the tiny fluttering of his gills). But i noticed one of his tiny side fins up by his gills is almost gone. It's just three thick spikes with no tissue in between. Still can't get him to eat, but im hoping he'll come around. Later tonight i'm going to take a turkey baster and change some of his water to keep from stressing him too much. I'm going to wean him off the tetracycline for now and see if that helps as well (25% water changes a day and not adding more meds)
As for the pink guy, i'm calling him Lazarus, he's doing great it seems. I got him to eat some freeze dried blood worms a few minutes ago which he wouldn't last night so i'm thinking that's good. But i also noticed on him one of his tiny fins by his gills is split in half. There's still tissue between the spikes though. Just not in the center part.
I also turned off both their heaters and have them here on my computer desk so the heat from the computer monitor is keeping the temps at about 70-71, or should i plug them back in and just keep them at the 80-85?
I can't wait until i get paid friday and can get some real aquariums.