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Old 01-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #1 
carbonxxkidd
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First rescue...he needs help!

So, a little backstory. I go in to Petsmart often, because it is about a 2 minute drive from my house and I have a lot of animals. The past month or so I've been in there even more often because I've been planning and setting up my betta sorority. Every time I go in there I see this little orange dragon scale boy who looks really sad. On Monday, I brought him up to one of the workers there and told them he was sick and asked for a discount on him because I'd like to take him home. They said that they can't sell sick fish, and he is actually healthy and active around feeding time, but they'd put him in back and to check on him in a few days. I called this morning and they said he was still there and is "all better." I haven't been able to stop thinking about this guy, so I went to Petsmart and paid full price for him - $10.70. I honestly think they put him right back on the shelf after I left on Monday, because he does not look any different.



I took him home and did an ammonia reading on his cup and it is VERY high! I'm thinking this is probably the main cause for how his fins look, but doesn't really explain the fungus I am seeing.




This is what he looks like now, still in his cup. I am slowly warming him up and am not really sure where to go from here. My first instinct is to put him in AQ salt, but I do have some medications (API Triple Sulfa, API General Cure, and Jungle Fungus Cure) and am not sure if I should use one of those instead. Any help would be much appreciated - I know this guy is going to be very handsome when he feels better!!! I have a 2 gallon tank all ready for him with a heater that keeps the tank 78-80. Please advise!

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Old 01-02-2013, 05:19 PM   #2 
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Well, after two hours of slowly acclimating him to warm water with NO AMMONIA, he is in his 2g QT tank.

I added 1/4 a tablet of Jungle Fungus Cure, because that is supposed to cover a variety of things. The tablets are 1 for 10g, so I figured 1/4 is about right for a 2g tank. I have plans to do a 100% water change and re-add the medicine tomorrow unless I hear from someone on the subject...

He is pretty much laying on the bottom of his QT tank but will occasionally swim to the surface for air and then slowly around the tank before going back to the bottom. I did manage to get him to eat one frozen bloodworm while he was still in his cup, but is pretty unresponsive to food otherwise. I plan on trying again every few hours.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:40 PM   #3 
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Aww! I hope he gets better. He's a cutie! Fungus clear sounds like a good idea to use for now.
I'm not experienced at all with fish illness so I cant really help other than
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #4 
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I don't see a thing wrong with him but clamped fins.. I wouldn't treat with meds.. but since you started finish the round so you don't breed something resistant. After that clean warm water and maybe some stress coat at 1 ml per 1 gallon might be helpful.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:48 PM   #5 
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The main thing wrong with him is it looks like there are little cotton balls stuck to the tips of his dorsal and ventral fins. He is very clamped, but it almost looks like the fins have melted together at the ends too. You can't really see his ventrals in the pics. His tail is also quite ragged. I'll try and get some better pics.

His behavior hasn't changed and still isn't eating anything. Hopefully he'll perk up by morning...

Last edited by carbonxxkidd; 01-02-2013 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #6 
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I'm at work right now, but wanted to give a little update.

This morning when I woke up and went to check on this little guy, he was swimming around his tank, and seemed quite alert! He looks more unclamped, but his fins are still melted together pretty bad...I'm thinking probably ammonia burns. I didn't have much time before work, but I offered him a frozen blood worm and he took it, swallowed almost the whole thing and then spit it out. He didn't seem very interested in a second one that I had cut in half, but I will try again when I get home.

I took a photo of him this morning, I will post it when I get home. Unfortunately the QT tank he is in is acrylic and terribly scratched up so it's hard to really see details, but you should be able to get a better idea of the fin damage. Stay tuned.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:51 PM   #7 
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Alright, here he is! Obviously he's feeling a little better. His fins look the same - notice the little balls at the ends of all of them. I gave him a 100% water change and re-added the Fungus Clear, I am going to use it for 4 days and then switch to AQ salt I think.

He still isn't eating, but is definitely more alert. I am hoping to be able to bring home some live daphnia for him tomorrow, I hope he will eat then. He has refused frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms and three different kinds of pellets (NLS, Omega One and Aqua Culture).
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:11 PM   #8 
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Well, I got him to finally eat some frozen brine shrimp! He ate quite a few, which is awesome. Unlike my other bettas he definitely took his time, moving quite slowly towards the food. He acted like he wasn't really sure what it was at first, almost scared of it, but once he tried some he decided he liked it. He still didn't make the effort to swim down to grab slowly sinking pieces that were below him though.

I did notice when I was feeding him that he is kind of twitchy and periodically rubbing himself (mainly his head and gill area) against his plant and the heater cord. I don't see any signs of parasites or ick, but I guess I can't rule anything out at this point. I did take a video of him after he ate so you can see what I mean by "twitchy." Of course he didn't rub against anything when I was filming, lol. He also tends to hold one of his pectoral fins against his body.

Here's the video:
Rescue betta
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:27 PM   #9 
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He really seems to be healing up well..

Swims a little odd imho but that much ammonia can cause lots of problems. Sometimes gill flukes are hard to spot.. try to get him to flare and look under neath.. if he's scratching something is up.. I mean ammonia can cause that but once he's in clean water that ought to stop.. IDK. Maybe it's still from the ammonia.

What color is his poop?
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:41 PM   #10 
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I haven't seen any poop yet, hoping since he ate today he'll have pooped by morning. His fins definitely look much better.

I tried showing him his reflection and he won't flare, so I'll keep trying with that. Hopefully ammonia poisoning is most of his problem. Poor guy, I'm glad I got him out of there when I did!

I'm going to keep updating this thread daily, thanks for your input! Hopefully I won't need to use any other meds on him...
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