She's about 1.5" which is roughly the same length as the other two bettas.
I'm pretty sure Alex is a female. During tonight's water change, I got a better look at her under full lighting and took some pictures with my real camera. My wife pestered me to put a plant in there, so I yanked an artificial one out of the 29G and put it in there, which Alex will take with her when she goes back to school.
My experiment with my 7.5W heater was an abysmal failure. After 24hrs with the heater on and in the tank, the water got to a scorching 97F. I'm pretty sure the teacher has better things to do than fiddle with a heater (like watch 20-someodd 4yr olds), so the heater will stay here.
I included a color corrected version of the first picture I took, just because it's amazing to me how much her stripes have come out in the last few days.
It looks like a juvi to me..IDK someone else can comment on that. I'm not good with baby betta stuff. I've never raised one. Also looks like from the first pic maybe Velvet :( Definitely bad rot. Imho, that betta won't make it if you send it back to school without some serious educating and changes by the keeper.
There are ways to do water changes that won't cause stress like this.. I'm on my phone so it's hard to copy.. I can't get it to work. If you go to the thread in this forum marked 'female betta with half eaten head'.. Skip photos if you have a light stomach.. And down a ways in quotes I wrote about how to make large water changed
I'd been meaning to read that thread, but got distracted by my own fish :)
Edit: Ok, read the thread.
Here's my process for water changes:
1) Fishbowl and 1G Minibow sit side by side in the same area for a day
2) Dissolve AQ salt into minibow
3) Scoop fish out into a 12 oz solo cup, which gets sterilized with boiling water after each change. (The cup gets quickly rinsed out in cold water to keep it from melting the cup)
4) Mix the new water to dissolve any remaining salt crystals and fill fishbowl up halfway, reserving about 1/3G of water to acclimate. Put StressCoat+ into the fisbowl
5) Add ~1oz of the new water every 15m for about an hour
6) Unceremoniously pour poor Alex into the bowl after an hour of acclimating to the new water. It seemed like pouring is probably as stressful as netting, plus it saves me from having to stick my net in boiling water oen time.
7) Refill the 1G Minibow and put both tanks back on their table under warm air
Callistra, I think that this is what you were talking about for the water changes?
"To do a water change, use a little cup like a plastic solo cup - this cup must be only for him and have never been used with soap or other chems. Scoop him up in this cup (keep him in the cup about 1/4 full of water - it doesn't need to be much because he won't be in it for long) and leave him in the cup while you change his water. To do the 50% use a turkey baster - dedicated only to him that has never seen soap or chems - and drag it through the gravel and try to suck as much of the poop out as possible, in addition to 50% of the water. Use a thermometer under the running tap to get it to be the same temp as the water that is normally in his tank. When the thermometer says the flowing tap is the right temp, fill back up his tank. At this point, add the conditioner (dose for how much water you change - if you change half the water you add half gallon worth of conditioner, If you do a 100% water change dose for the full gallon change). Float his plastic cup with him in it in the new water. Slowly add a couple tablespoons of the new water into his cup every 10 minutes for at least an hour. Finally, dump him in gently but try to get as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. When you do the weekly 100% you will do mostly the same thing except empty his tank fully and rinse everything in it very well under warm water but never use soaps or chemicals. Once it's fully cleaned/rinsed you can refill it and repeat the cup/acclimate phase."
[sorry for the misquote]
Everything that you're doing, Sagat is good as you're going to get as far as 100% water changes, and I can say that I wouldn't do anything different.
As far as the velvet thing, if you are positive that you are not seeing any gold dusting, then it's most likely iridescence.
The stripes that you are seeing (as far as horizontal stripes go) are stress stripes, but that is to be expected if a fish is sick. You may not see her full coloring until she has been properly cared for for up to a month, simply because she is so accustomed to poor water quality it may take her that long to 1. feel better and 2. become accustomed to GOOD HEALTHY CLEAN water. I think the stripes that you are thinking of are verticals, which a female will start to show when she has eggs and she is ready to mate. (Please do not quote me 100% on that, as I've never bred bettas before, but I did a little research last year and I remember that was one sign a female is ready to mate).
I'm glad that you got a plant for her. I'll bet that it will help her to feel safer to have covering, and the silk plant is perfect, as it definitely won't harm her fins in any way, which unfortunately is always a possibility with plastic plants.
Sorry for my hiatus, I was dealing with home stuff. How is Alex doing today? Any better? Has she started to swim better from the swim bladder thing? Any better?
Last edited by Fishehgobloop; 01-03-2013 at 02:36 PM.
No worries. Life has a way of keeping things busy :)
Alex seems pretty stressed, since her horizontal bars are more visible than yesterday. I'd thought horizontal bars were a female-only trait, since I always see them on the females at my LFS, but in retrospect, that might be because the females are always stressed from being kept sorority-style.
My son fed Alex this morning after a night of fasting, except that he fed her two pellets, which caused her swim bladder to go out of whack again. I thought she was building a bubblenest, but after watching her today, what I think is happening is that she can't swim down and ends up gulping lots of air as a consequence of being stuck on the surface, then spitting out the bubbles.
It's been a harrowing 24 hrs, watching her float around, but she's currently sitting in her solo cup waiting for her acclimation period to end so that she can go back in her bowl and go to bed.
On the bright side, I saw some real pelvic fins today, instead of the little nubby ones she's had forever. She still has black spots all over her fins, but the band of black at the edges haven't changed, which makes me wonder if that's her natural color. Hopefully there'll be some fin growth in a few days to help clarify the mystery :)
Female bettas I've noticed do tend to show their stress stripes a lot faster than males, but I have males who will show stress stripes. A lot of my males will, however, just lose their coloring if they get stressed. It, as always, depends on the fish. Some bettas are more dramatic than others. Though in Alex's case I would say it is because she is sick that she is so stressed out. Which is normal you just have to do everything you can to help her feel less stressed, and you're doing an excellent job thus far. If you want, you can add 1/4 to 1/2 a dose extra of the Stress Coat for her and see if that helps ease the stress.
For the swim bladder problem, if you have unscented, undyed Epsom salt available, you can give Alex a "salt bath" when you change her water. Epsom salt is a good treatment for swim bladder and constipation (which both generally show the same symptoms of bloating, having trouble swimming, laying on the side, etc.) In a separate cup than the one you keep Alex in, dissolve 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per gallon in warm water, wait till the water is the same temperature as the water that Alex is already in, and put her in there for 15-20 minutes. You can do this a couple times a day. Also, make sure you do your best to monitor her poops, so you may want to remove the substrate from her tank.
If she's showing signs of new fins elsewhere, then keep up with the daily water changes and AQ salt. Hopefully the rest of the fins will start to show one way or the other what's going on with them. If you aren't seeing any more deterioration in the fins, then it just may be the coloring of her fins. I have a blue betta whose new fin growth has scared me a few times because it looks black when it first starts out but then in a week his tail is all healed. (He is a notorious tail biter, so I've gone through this a couple different times).
I've been worried about stress, so I opted to just withhold feeding and keep an eye out for constipation. Give that she's already showing stripes, would adding an epsom salt bath on top of daily water changes and AQ salt add further stress?
I know SBD doesn't kill, do it seems wiser to let nature take it's course.
Today's picture update! Alex's pectoral fins are coming in nicely, and it seems like there's 1cm of new, transparent growth on the anal and caudal fins