On 7/8/14 I found a betta abandoned in a Kroger parking lot. He was in an unmarked cup, sitting in a parking space opposite the space I happened to park. His water was over 95 degrees when I found him and raced home to try and save him, begging for help on the forum. After floating in a tub of cool water, and then room temperature water, the little fish made it back down to safe temperatures and stopped thrashing in his cup. He spent the rest of the day in the darkness, and only that night did I manage to get a good look at him.
What I saw was a terrified and emaciated little yellow veiltail male. He was clamped and pale and lethargic, laying at the bottom of his tiny, filthy cup and coming up only for air. But slowly, the fish was beginning to perk up a bit. When he was put in to float in his temporary tank, he began to move around his cup a little. And when he was finally released into the tank, he quickly made himself at home exploring every bit of it!
From some of the worst circumstances I can imagine, this little fish has risen beyond what I would have thought possible. He survived the hot sun and dangerous conditions of sitting in a parking lot. He survived being brought back down the 76 degrees rather quickly. He survived a filthy cup with disgusting black crumbles on the bottom of it, most likely fossilized poo considering how filthy the cup was and how clamped the poor fish was. But he survived. And he rose above it.
The name Phoenix was suggested for this resilient little fish, and everyone seemed to agree it was perfect for him. Here, I will be chronicling his recovery as he regains his color and unclamps those gorgeous fins of his... and eventually goes to his forever home.
The before shot: