Luckily, my nearest Walmart has opted not to sell live fish anymore, but occasionally Dwarden3 and I will go to the next town over to check out their betta fish. We went last night and I found a beautiful orange veiltail with a sad case of fin rot. I have the medicine and supplies necessary to save him, but unfortunately am limited by tanks. My current betta lives in a 2.5 gallon tank and I have an empty half-gallon hospital tank available. Dwarden3 has an empty 1 gallon Critter Keeper available. I don't think either of these are good for a fish long term, but they might be ok for a few weeks until we get paid and can upgrade to a bigger tank. Once orange fish gets healthy, I could divide a ten gallon for him and Mr. P. I do not however have a heater appropriate for one of the hospital tanks and won't be able to purchase one until Tuesday at the earliest. Part of me really wants to save this fish and the other part feels it is irresponsible to do so when I don't have all the right supplies on hand.
Additionally, the females at Walmart were in even sadder condition. The males came in on a new shipment, so at least they had clean water, but some of the females were in filthy water. None of them had any noticeable color they are so stressed, and I spotted at least one case of severe columnaris. I really wish I had the funding to get them all and that it was practical for me to do so. I'm a college student so I move around a lot, and Mr. P and his 2.5 gallon are manageable for me right now. My living situation will change in August. I am renting part of a house off-campus instead of living on-campus, so I could possibly have a more permanent aquarium.
How do you all deal with the pain of seeing bettas in poor condition? Do you think it is feasible for me to save orange fish, or maybe one of the girls? Maybe I could stabilize-and-float the Critter Keeper in Dwarden3's ten gallon to keep orange fish warm while he heals. What do you think?