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Old 11-14-2012, 08:08 AM   #1 
ClassicCharm
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Heating dilemma for a special needs fish

Very long story short, I have a fish whose entire caudal end is non-functional. Basically, her entire back end seems to be paralyzed. She is able to swim a little (forward only) using her pectorals and getting a little wiggle going through her body from the front. She is very active and eats well, and otherwise seems to be in pretty good shape. She can, however, only live in an inch of water in order to breathe.

SO. I have a new little set-up for her (which is obviously not acceptable for your average fish, but is working really well for her). She has a half-gallon container that is about 3 inches wide and 10 inches long which is perfect for her as she can have walls fairly close on either side incase she needs to prop herself up, but a nice distance to get some exercise (I'll post a pic when I get home tonight).

Here's my issue: Because the water can only ever be an inch deep, I have NO IDEA how to heat this thing. There is not enough water in it for a submersible heater. I don't think using a lamp is optimal because there will be quite a bit of fluctuation when it gets turned off at night. It has been at room temp (~68-70 degrees) so far.

Any suggestions? I want to do right by my old lady fish :)

Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:51 AM   #2 
Wendyjo
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Get one of the flat ones that are not adjustable - that's about your only choice. As long as your room temp stays stable the tank water will as well.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #3 
Perseusmom
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A heating pad under the tank but you would have to keep a close eye on the temp of the water till you see how warm it gets.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:58 AM   #4 
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You could also try a light and then put a towel around at night to keep the heat in Just in case the heat pad or other options get too hot with such a small amount of water.

Its really cool of you to be taking care of a fish like that and making her quality of life good, not many people would do that. I saw a little guy at walmart who looked to have a similar problem but wasn't sure what I could do for him so I didn't bring him home, I've regretted it since :(
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:12 PM   #5 
paloverde
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Hi, to add to all of the good advice that has already been given, could you place the bettas special tank into a larger vessel of water that has a heater in it.that way the water in the bettas tank can be safely heated...it would look a little ghetto...how very kind of you to attend to a oldie!
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:06 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendyjo View Post
Get one of the flat ones that are not adjustable - that's about your only choice. As long as your room temp stays stable the tank water will as well.
I have never seen a flat heater before. Where can I get my hands on one of those?
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:10 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemaki09 View Post
You could also try a light and then put a towel around at night to keep the heat in Just in case the heat pad or other options get too hot with such a small amount of water.

Its really cool of you to be taking care of a fish like that and making her quality of life good, not many people would do that. I saw a little guy at walmart who looked to have a similar problem but wasn't sure what I could do for him so I didn't bring him home, I've regretted it since :(
Thanks :) I've had her since she was young and she's got a great little personality. I don't see any other option than taking care of her :)

I've seen symptoms like this before in sick fish- when they clamp their tail fin, they don't move much through the hind end, but they will loosen up once they're healthy. I took care of this girl like I would a sick fish (qt, frequent water changes, frozen-thawed food), but she's not clamped and she hasn't regained use, so I think it's permanent!

It's always hard to know what to do when you see unhealthy ones in shops :(
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #8 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paloverde View Post
Hi, to add to all of the good advice that has already been given, could you place the bettas special tank into a larger vessel of water that has a heater in it.that way the water in the bettas tank can be safely heated...it would look a little ghetto...how very kind of you to attend to a oldie!
Thanks :) That is typically how I care for sick fish in qt tanks. Unfortunately, because the water level of her container is so low, it won't stay upright if it were floating. I can't take the chance of it tipping, filling, and suffocating her.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:32 PM   #9 
aemaki09
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They have the flat heaters at petsmart and petco. The brand at petsmart is zoomed, not sure what it's called at petco but just saw it there today.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:46 PM   #10 
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Yeah, you can get them at petco and petsmart - they are usually geared towards small tanks and bowls and typically are 7 or 10 watts.
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