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Old 03-12-2013, 03:47 PM   #1 
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Help, I have a lil rescue and don't have much knowledge

So, I have a rescue fish who is simply in need of some help and I am limited on my knowledge.

He isn't too old to my knowledge and when I first got him he was in water that literally would curl hair from the smell alone and was almost pinkish with dirt and was frigid on Friday. No idea when he was last fed or anything and all he was doing was floating at the top on his side, gasping.

I immediately, (after letting him acclimate to the water temp change) moved him along with what water he came with, into a fresh bowl of conditioned water treated with melafix. He stayed on his side and wouldn't do anything unless I moved the bowl which caused him to swim about before going back into his sideways float.

Sunday I did a 50% water change with conditioned and treated water, I was worried I would stress him with a 100% water change that fast since he had been in filthy water for so long. He at that point was swimming a bit more but still floated on his side at the top when left undisturbed.

Today after work I came home to find him looking a bit better. He is no longer floating on his side but he still refuses food.I did give him a 100% water change today and he now reacts to my finger shaking in front of the glass or over the water by swimming about before floating at the top again.

Please if you have any suggestions or comments PLEASE feel free to say so. I am worried about this little guy and want to help him as much as I can. He is jet black and it fades into his fins this bright brilliant orange color. I feel bad that he had been so poorly treated and jumped at the chance to help him but my knowledge is limited and if I am doing something wrong or can improve feel free to tell me! Thanks so much. Pics will come soon.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:53 PM   #2 
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Two basic rules . Keep the water Clean . Keep the water warm, Between 78- 82 seems to be the most popular opinion on these forums.
Below are some great stickys on Betta care. Good luck with you new finned friend =)
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:07 PM   #3 
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Melafix is not good for bettas. It contains an oil (tea tree oil, which is antiseptic) which coats their labyrinth organ, which they use to breath oxygen. I would not use that product again and would change his water to remove it, ASAP.

Bettafix is a similar product, though watered down. Some say the use it with success, others say don't. I personally do not/will not use it with mine unless there is no other option for me.

We need to know how big his container is, if/how it's filtered and heated, how often and how much water do you change, what additives do you use and what sort of water. We also need to know how often and with what you feed him.

Sounds like SBD, with swimming/floating probs. Maybe try epsom salt. I believe it's 1 tsp per gallon, pre-dissolved before addition to the container, added in increments, so not to shock him. When you do water changes, only replace the epsom salt per the amount of water you swap out, and make absolutely sure the epsom salt is 100% pure, no additives, perfumes, dyes, etc.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #4 
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Thanks so much for the responses!

All I have right now is a small 2.5 gallon bowl because that was all I could think to buy (I was basically given him in a small mason jar of the nasty water) and I wanted to go online to do research before investing in something fancy that may or may not have what my lil guy needed.

What size bowl or tank would you recommend?
Do you place gravel with yours or leave it bare bottom?

I picked up a thing of basic betta pellets or what looked basic to me. Is there something healthier I could use or that would be better for him? He just kind of stares at them and doesnt even bother to try and take a bite. I think he was fed fish flakes (when he was fed) but I heard those aren't good for bettas and I didn't want to repeat what his previous owner did to him :(

I will pick up a heater tomorrow at work and just warm his water a bit tonight before I go to bed. I will also trash the melafix and look for betta fix, I might water it down even more and add it with the predisolved epsom salt you recommended. I should have some of the pure epsom salt, if not I can pick it up with the heater.

Here is my baby boy, I hope he starts feeling well soon.

Does swim bladder go away on its own or should I be worried? Thank you so much for the links and information, both of you!
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #5 
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I don't see any belly bloating..

Here's some general info on keeping bettas:

Bettas need to be kept in 2 gallons minimum. In these twice weekly water changes of 50% and 100% are needed. Bettas kept in 1 gallon containers live an average of about 2 years compared to double that+ in larger containers. The 1 gallon would need 3 weekly water changes of 50%, 50% and 100%, and even then they will be subjected to ammonia.

The 50% changes the betta can be kept in the bowl and use a turkey baster to remove half the water and as much of the debris as possible. For the 100% you need to remove him - scoop him out with a plastic solo type cup and set aside while you thoroughly rinse the bowl and gravel to remove the debris. Then he should be acclimated to the new water by floating for an hour while you slowly add a couple tablespoons of new water to the cup every 10 minutes. When you release him, try to let as little of the old cup water back into the tank as possible. All water changes should use same temp water, matched to running tap using the in tank thermometer and the water needs to be premixed with conditioner before adding it to the betta tank. If you don't already have anything, you can use gallon water jugs from the grocery store - rinsed thoroughly in hot water but no chems.

Bettas are tropical fish and must be kept at a temp between 76-82, with 78-80 being ideal. The temp must be stable and not be dipping or jumping around. In a 2 gallon you can get an adjustable 25w heater. Any new heater should be tested for 24 hours in similar size container with in tank thermometer to make sure it will hold a constant appropriate temp between 78-80F. Then the betta must be acclimated to higher temp either by floating in a cup inside the main already fully heated tank for an hour, or by adjusting the heater to increase the temperature of the tank no more than a degree per hour and 5 degrees per day.

Flakes aren't good nutritional value, and especially with something this small they muck up the water quickly causing excess ammonia. You should look for a good quality pellets whose first two or three ingredients are whole fish, not fish meal or wheat. He should be fed two small meals a day (how many depends on the pellet you pick up) and one fast day a week.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #6 
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He is a beautiful fish!! I'm new to this as well, so am not much help, but hope he improves! Just curious - where did you get him? Sounds like he wasn't taken care of before he came to you.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:43 AM   #7 
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Just realized even though it is a day later I can still just post on my old thread...still getting used to this whole forum thing.

Thank you Callistra for posting here and on the other thread I started. And thanks as well to Osromatra and BettaGurl79 for all of the help and information!! Wasn't expecting responses that fast.

And thanks, Meinsk, I rescued him from a friend I know that had found him I believe at walmart a while back and was complaining that she was bored and didn't want him anymore and he was basically just dying in a little jar of water. He has been touch and go, clamped fins and floating at the top of the tank this morning but after I got him in a new, heated and treated tank he seems to be doing much better. He actually is swimming around and doesn't float to the top.

I think the heated water is working wonders for him :)

Last edited by mjscooter; 03-14-2013 at 01:59 AM.
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