You know when you say you want another betta? Yeah...I'm regretting saying that since Merlin is sick with something (you can see my post in the Emergencies Diseases forum). Hoping it's just body slime infection and not columnaris. I just don't like seeing him so lethargic and all around sad looking. I can't lose my little guy who's helped me get through so much! I'm not saying in the future I won't get more bettas, but seriously, fate, life whichever of you likes picking on me: Leave my little guy alone; do not take him away from me anytime soon, that's just too cruel, even for you!!!
I know many of my friends think me a bit odd for caring and worrying so much over a fish, but hey! I lost Beta very suddenly and I certainly don't want a repeat of that, it was a hard enough blow as it was.
When Herbie passed, I entered a state of depression (though I didn't realize it at at the time). I wanted people to be with me, and I got upset when they didn't seem to want to hang out, yet when I was with people, I wanted to be alone.
Many nights I cried myself to sleep, unbeknownst to my room mate. There were even times I balled my eyes out only minutes before she returned to the room, but I never showed it. I put on a smile, even though I was broken. I'd lost my best friend after all.
It took several months of constant strain from classes, work, and just my crappy life, but I eventually had an emotional breakdown one morning...I couldn't stop crying no matter how hard I tried, and the words just kept ringing around my head: I'm a failure, worthless.... Amazingly, I did call my mother and she reassured me that she was proud of me and everything I'd achieved thus far. Even so, I didn't attend classes that day, and amazingly, my room mate didn't know about my breakdown (I hid in my bed, the top bunk, and managed to keep my breathing normal when she was in the room, I just told her I was ill).
I'm not sure how I realized it, but I needed something to care for. Sadly, I was limited to either a fish (which I was wary of getting) or a plant. I liked the idea of a plant. I wanted a particular type of cactus (can't even tell you what type, I've only seen some cacti and I like the looked of one in particular).
So I went to Wal-Mart spontaneously (can't tell you how many days after my break down though), and I went to look at their plants. I was disappointed that they didn't have the cactus type I was looking for. All of theirs were bound to harm a nosey kitty, whereas the type I was looking for hadn't appeared as harsh. (I know some plants are fuzzy with stingers, I wasn't looking for that type either).
I found myself in the betta section then, and I was determined to take home a fish that was active in his cup, not sickly looking. Beta had left his mark, and I didn't want my inexperience to kill this new fish. I looked through all the bettas, and I was starting to become disheartened, none of the fish seemed very active. That's when I saw this blur of red in one of the cups. Bending down so that I could get a better look, that's when I first saw Merlin. He was full of spunk and life, and I knew that he was the type of fish I was looking for. I grabbed the other items I needed first including a 1 gallon critter carrier, a plastic plant, a moon cave, and some gravel. I walked back over and gently picked him up, but he still went berserk. I wanted a better look at my new friend so I lifted him up to eye level only to see the most pissed off expression a fish has ever given me, if he could speak, I'm pretty sure he would have been saying "WTF?!!!"
I couldn't believe this was the little guy I had picked out. I REALLY liked him now! If that wasn't a sign that he was full of life and spirit, I didn't know what was! I almost named him Hoodoo, having been listening to CCR's "Born on a Bayou" but I thought of the television show, Merlin, and decided that he was like Merlin...guess that made me Arthur...wait a minute!
At my dorm, after acclimating him, I let him out of his cup, and honestly, that first moment of being in his new tank, that's one of the few times he's ever looked extremely happy! He flared up, but not aggressively, and swam around his new, slightly larger home, and I felt really good about bringing him into my life.
Little did I know, my little guy wasn't as hardy as he seemed.
First he went through a bought with external parasites, then as soon as I took away the aquarium salt, he'd go downhill, lose his color, and that's when I learned that he was the type that needed the salts, and I started to panic. How could he need the salts if they could ruin his kidneys? What was I supposed to do?
I did find an answer though. I started using the least amount of salt possible, and it worked! As long as a little bit was in the water, Merlin flourished! It was a great relief to me. What would I do without my little glaring betta?
We did have some issues with filters, me learning that long finned bettas did not do well with filters at all, so for awhile, he was filterless when he was in his 3 gallon half-moon tank. Then I purchased him a different tank since I didn't like the half-moon, and to my surprise when I put him in the new 3 gallon, Merlin hadn't liked it much either. Plus, the new filter that came with the tank had a low setting that didn't disturb the water as much, so I could leave it on for short periods of time and Merlin would be fine.
Things were going fine again at home, since it was summer break, Merlin was no longer in a high traffic area, which he seemed to like, but then I came home one day and he was tremendously happy to see me...too happy. I had a feeling he missed being able to keep an eye on me 24/7, and that's when I bought him a room mate...Dragoon.
Yeah...so maybe I misinterpreted his expression, but he eventually adjusted to Dragoon's presence and he knows he's still the top betta, getting fed first and his treats first, not to mention being greeted first when I enter the room.
So now we've come full circle, where we're at right now, my lovable grump of a betta ill, and me worried sick that he won't make it. I don't want to lose him. He really gave me the betta bug to begin with, and he's just such a special fish...I know all fish are special, but he's my special little guy and I don't like even thinking that there's a remote chance that he's going to pass anytime soon...
I remember those times BettaLover and I know all to well what you have been threw, and as your bestest friend I have faith that Merlin will be just fine and if you start to doubt me remember when you were getting Lucky? I will have faith for the both of us if needed because if two fish that everyone says should not be together are together and are happy and getting along then Merlin will be just fine
BettaLover1313's Pets VI-Lucky: His Story Thus Far
Merlin perked up a bit after yesterday's water change. Physically he doesn't look any better, but he's moving around more and he doesn't look as pathetic. Waiting to get some more from the one topic I have open before I start any treatments.
How to describe this dog...hmmm....well, he's lovable, clingy, bashful, a couch potato with some energy, and just an all around great dog!
I honestly didn't look at Lucky when I first went to the pound. Having done the research, I know that Pit Bulls can get along with other animals, but the fact remains that they are bred to have some animal aggression. I actually was looking at a female "farm dog" as the animal control officer called her.
I brought my mom along the next time, and she wanted to see the white with brindle spots male...we were sold the minute he came out. Something about him, whether it was the fact that he reminded us of Herbie, or just how sweet and gentle he was, we couldn't stop thinking about him when we went home. He had to pass one more hurdle though-seeing how he reacted with cats. Renji was not going to be put in the basement again, not after a year of being upstairs, and only put downstairs at night since he got up to a lot of mischief then.
Both the female farm dog and the Pit Bull mix passed, leaving us with a hard choice. Which one do we get? Granted, it wasn't too hard after the Pit Bull had leaned against me the previous night of his own accord. It wasn't a "I'm tired" lean, it was a "I'm yours" lean. I came home that day with the Pit Bull mix.
I tried calling him several names we'd come up with the night before: Chance, Buddy, etc. It wasn't until I got to Lucky that his ears perked up and he looked at me. I called his name several times, and it was clear that this dog was to be called Lucky.
My mom and I learned quickly that Lucky was a cowardly puppy. He was scared of things that moved suddenly, new things like new stairs or cars scared him, all around, he wasn't a brave dog. That being said, when he met new people, if they moved to fast, he'd cower a bit, but he didn't bite, and once they started petting him, Lucky thought that they were his new best friends. The best part? He got along with Renji, wanting to play with the cat (Renji doesn't typically like playing with Lucky though, every once in awhile though).
Car rides are something he will do, but Lucky gets a bit motion sick, much to my disbelief after having a dog that loved riding in the car. I did find that if he hasn't eaten, he tends to enjoy the rides more though, and he absolutely LOVES going to Pet Smart and getting to waddle around the store with me when I pick up items for the fish, cat, or him. People always comment on how: beautiful, handsome, or pretty he is, and people DO recognize him as a Pit Bull mix too, but they don't care, which makes me even happier.
As I mentioned above, Lucky is pretty clingy, and he has destroyed much of our house items in the beginning including my MP3 player that had been in my computer bag (amazingly, he didn't destroy that)! He's slowly getting over his separation anxiety, and he let's you know how much he missed you when he greets you at the door, whining and tail wagging as he tries to sniff you all over while also trying to lick you if you bend down to pet him.
When we took him to the vet the first time, she estimated that Lucky is about a year old (kind of creepy how we seem to get dogs around the same age as the number of months the previous one has been gone from our lives). He was neutered at the vet's as well, luckily a grant paid for most of his surgery from the pound for our county.
Though not completely trained in many areas, Lucky is very smart and looks to me or my mom to see what we're trying to get him to do. We're still working on his pulling, but he now has a harness making it easier to control (tried a gentle leader but he scratched himself up pretty badly trying to get it off and I didn't want him to do that again).
He's a really sweet dog whom I love very much. My mom has even told me that when I do move out, I'm to take him with me, making him my dog. I can kind of understand her thinking, she's become a bit of a cat person since she spent so much time with Renji, and I'm actually really happy she'll let me take him with me whenever I do move out. He tends to stay near me more and, I hate to say it, listens to me more than my mom too; behaving more when I'm at home while he tries to get away with things when she's by herself with him.
All in all, I love this adorable pooch, who didn't fill any of the holes the last ones left, he just made his own little place in my heart and eased the pain of not having a wet-nosed, loving friend in my life.
BettaLover1313's Pets VII-Dragoon: His Story So Far & End of BettaLover1313 Pets
Merlin is looking much better today after giving him the treatments recommended by those who posted in my forum topic. Thanks again to everyone who posted and helped me out! I had to fast him today though after noticing that his belly was a bit swollen, and it's almost back down to it's normal size. May have to have a fast day every week. Dragoon still seems to be doing really well, so I'm happy that he's still healthy and that Merlin seems to be on the path to recovery!
You all know that Merlin gave me the fish equivalent of "I miss seeing you all the time, I'm feeling lonely!"
So to Pet Smart I went with my friend AlphaOmega666, and she picked out Sushi, while I was severely torn. The betta I really wanted I thought was injured (you all know that story, if not, I'm sure you'll see it one or two pages back), another was a beautiful blue and white betta, and then AlphaOmega666 showed me Dragoon, and I was torn between the two bettas. What decided it was that the blue and white flared at Dragoon, who was oblivious to this fact and swimming around happily. He was the type of betta that could get along with Merlin. The two wouldn't flare too much at each other, and that's what I wanted.
Sure enough, I brought him home, set him up in quarantine in his little 1 gallon critter carrier, and while Merlin flared away, Dragoon simply lounged on the leaf hammock he'd been given and enjoyed all the space he'd been given. What really made that moment special was he looked me in the eye and had a look that said "Thank you".
As he adjusted to his quarantine tank, he did flare back at Merlin every now and then, but most of the time, he just ignored Merlin. Merlin, of course, gave me an accusatory glare of "This isn't what I meant/wanted!!!"
By the end of the week though, both boys were in their separated 5.5 gallon tank, and though they can see blurs of each other, they really don't flare much at all. (Dragoon seems to think flaring means "I'm happy to see you" or "Feed me now!").
In the 5.5 gallon I soon learned the real difference between long fins and plakats...plakats are little torpedoes!!! No longer was Dragoon a lazy, lie in the hammock fish. With all the room he had, he shot around his tank and only stopped to come to the front and say hello whenever I entered the room.
Ugh!!! I wake up this morning, Merlin is back to being bloated, and some of his scales were starting to rise T-T. Why? Just why?!
Went to the store with AlphaOmega666 and bought Omega One Betta Buffet for my boys (no more flakes for them) and some General Cure API in case the Epsom Salts that I had at home don't work.
Dragoon has been isolated in a one gallon tank since he hasn't been showing any signs of sickness (hoping it stays that way) while Merlin, who was also looking like he had some white/grayish slime on him got the 5.5 gallon all to himself with the heater.
Dragoon loved the pellets...Merlin is being finicky. He will spit them out and then he'll realize that that's all he's getting and eat it then. Really hoping he gets better. He does have an appetite, he's just being picky.
Okay! You'll all be relieved to hear that Merlin was just constipated, the epsom salts helped him to poo, so I was actually very happy to find a big surprise on the top of Merlin's cave (I think he heard me when I was saying I needed to see his poop when he was in his cup).
Yeah, this is what I found this morning.
Fed both boys a couple pellets (twice now, and last time for today) and Dragoon just crunches away at them happily, while Merlin spits them out, realizes that he wants it, and swims after the falling morsel, then spits it out again, and repeats the process until it's on the bottom of his tank, then he will lose interest. If he doesn't eat them tomorrow morning, may try cutting the pellets in half (they're really small so I don't know why he's being so picky).
Merlin was much better this morning, flaring at his reflection, and his pectoral fins were actually un-clamped. Hoping he's feeling better and really on the mend now. Just in case, him and Dragoon are both back in the 5.5 gallon tank and in the epsom salt for one more day. (Dragoon's stomach looked a little big, so it's why he's going back in too. His poo was okay since he pooped in his cup while I was cleaning the tank XD).
Well, I'll be heading off to work soon, but before that I need to let the boys into their tank! I'll try to update tomorrow!