It took some time but I finally convinced my mom to let me take her betta for a while. I am trying to make him better and improve his life, now I don't want to give him back bc mom kind of has a track record for neglecting animals. Not that she means to (she said she would buy whatever I needed to make Fishy better).
He is almost a year in her care, I think we bought him last April for her 50th birthday. Ever since getting him, she has never kept up on water changes. She only got a light for the tank in January when I brought her my old 3g so he lived in dark and he is extremely shy. I used to try to get pics of him when he was healthy bc he's this stunning apricot/purple dalmatian.
Mom thought he died one day but when she went home he had moved and then she contacted me to take him. So I went up to get the fish and his things, he was a pathetic little grey fish, soul sucked out of him. White chin, barely moving. I should have gotten a picture at her house before transport, it was discusting.
I had prepared a bottle of double conditioned water and crumbled IAL. But when I brought him home I added 2tsp epsom salt to his almost 1g of water. Mom said he hadn't been eating, and he was pretty skinny. I acclimated him over 2 hours to the new water but as he was floating in the cup of his dirty water (which stunk to high heavens) he colored up a bit to match the dark water, I guess. Overnight he drifted out of the cup and into the tank so I disposed of the stinky water.
The night I took him home I fed him frozen bloodworms and my goodness, I never seen such activity out of that fish in the year my mom has had him! I was elated. I'm hoping he just needs some good food and TLC now. I am keepig the extra epsom salt water, changing it about 25% daily (it's not a full gallon anyway) until he can swim better. Then I intend to reduce him to 1 tsp epsom salt when I can fill the tank to the top. When he has better energy I want to bring him to my desk so he can interact with my 2 boys (for a couple minutes at a time, to gain strength). I don't know. Mom has been asking about him, she thinks he can be better in a week. I want to keep the damn fish because even a death scare won't change her routine, I know it won't.
What else,.... Oh yes, when I showed Matt the condition of the fish as I stepped in the door he actually got sympathetic and asked if the fish was going to be alright. He heard me complaining about my mom's care of her fish but when he actually seen the state he got real sad. The whole night and next morning, Matt was asking if the fish was going to be okay!! lol there's hope for him yet, Matt that is!
So, after reading this ridiculous post, is there anything else I can do for the poor fish besides what I am already doing. I know his lethargy is caused by extreme chronic water conditions. He used to have a full apricot beard, now it's white. (I mentioned to mom when it was grey that she needs to step up water changes.. She assumed he was just getting old). Can anybody else see how frustrating my mom is?!?! (to impose this further, I was at her house for an hour and half, her cat had no water in her bowl but there was a carpenter bug dead in it. I picked it up and handed it to mom, she said "Oh I saw that earlier [which could have meant the day before, giving that the bowl was almost dry] and never got around to it"..
Besides saying call the SPCA you need to know my mom's track record, context and that she has severe depression and social disorders along with terrible health. I would never reccomend she get another animal but I need to help the one(s) she has now.