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Old 11-04-2013, 11:10 PM   #1 
CocoFish
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Smile A Recovery Journey Journal For Panda The Betta

11/4/2013

Panda Comes Home

So I ended up discovering the betta world when I felt I needed a small companion for the new studio apartment I just moved into. The place definitely needed some life since I live alone. There was a no pet policy that came with the lease, however, the tenant did allow me to have fish when I asked. So long story short, got my first betta fish "Smokey". He's was a typical blue moon double tail betta I found at PetSmart. He had a few tears in his fins but I knew he would perk right up if I took good care of him. So I got him the bettabow 2.5 gallon, which comes with a light and a filter. Also got a submersible heater, and in no time he was making bubble nests and that's when I just fell in love with the world of betta fish. To learn more about betta fish I started doing some research online, and of course, stumbled unto this forum. (And I am so glad I did!) A month later I upgraded Smokey to a 5 gallon Fluval Spec tank (in which he's still adjusting to).

Panda was not a planned purchase (even though I do believe that deep in my heart I did want to get another betta). I walked into a local Petco today in my hometown while visiting my parents. I was just curious to see what things they had to offer, and of course, to look at the pretty bettas...but buy another one? Oh no, of course not, haha. I was doing so well, looking at all the bettas, most were relatively healthy, at least, a lot healthier than the ones at the Petsmart in the town I currently live at. And then there he was (or she, I'm not even sure right now). Panda, the doubletail plakat, was looking straight at me. What really struck me was his face. It was so cute, and small. I took his cup down to take a better look at him. He has some black around his face, that kind of reminded me of a Panda. Even if his markings might change (which I feel they might), the name resembled his cuteness perfectly. Haha.

The poor baby's left fin is all torn up though. And I noticed he looked sick, even though he was very active and dancing for me in his cup. He has bright reddish scales on the top of his head (like a cut or rash), and I'm scared he has finrot and that it has spread to his body. At that moment I knew I had to take him home. I couldn't say no at this point. I have to take care of him. How could they let him get to this point? Infuriated, I got some black sand, an ornament and a live aquatic plant and immediately made a plan to use Smokey's old 2.5 gallon tank as Panda's new home.

At this very moment I am warming up some water in a bucket for Panda. I have already put conditioner in and let it sit for a few hours. I heard 24 hours is best, so should I wait the full way through? For Smokey, I accidentally put him in too soon when I first got him. He turned out fine, but I don't want to risk it with Panda if he is sick. This poor baby is still in his cup. Like I said, it wasn't a planned purchase but I couldn't just leave him there at the store.

Also, may I ask for everyone who reads this journal to please help me figure out what diseases Panda has, and how I can help him. I'm new to the betta world so I don't know how exactly all the diseases look in person, and I need all the help I can get so I can get him healthy and strong.

Lastly...is Panda a boy or a girl?? I feel like they mislabeled him (or her) as a male.








Last edited by CocoFish; 11-04-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #2 
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Panda looks like a male to me. Reminds me of my Viserion. They have a pretty similar body shape.



^I need to get an updated picture of him. His fins have grown out and he marbled, so now he has splatters of red on his fins.

As for what disease Panda might have, I don't really see anything. No fin rot. I would need a clearer image of the spot on his head, but from the pics, it just looks like a natural pattern. It is fairly common for bettas to have darker heads than the rest of their body. The only other thing I can think of is that it could be an ammonia burn, but that is not too serious. Clean water would be all he needs to heal from that, but you should be doing that anyway.

Overall, he doesn't look too badly off. He is a little clamped from being in a cold cup, but he should perk up once he warms up. :)
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:47 AM   #3 
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Panda looks like a male to me. Reminds me of my Viserion. They have a pretty similar body shape.
Thank you for taking a look at Panda's photos and trying to figure out what he has! Viserion is adorable! The reason I thought Panda was a female or has fin rot is because Petco labelled him as a doubletail male plakat, but from all the images I've seen Panda didn't resemble a plakat to me. So may I ask what type of betta fish is Viserion?

Also, I believed he has fin rot because if you look at the top of his head he has reddish sore looking scales, and his left fin is tattered and torn. His gills also look a little closed up. Right now I am warming up his 2.5 gallon tank, and I'll probably go out to the store in a bit to grab him some aquarium salt.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #4 
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Viserion is indeed a male doubletail plakat. The doubletail genes in him gives him a shorter than most singletail plakats as well as a broader dorsal (top fin). That is probably why Viserion and Panda don't look like typical plakats. Plakats are short finned bettas, as opposed to the long fins like the one in your avatar.

A most typical plakat would look like my koi boy Raijin:



If it's an angry red sore, then it's most likely ammonia burn or an injury. Good water quality will prevent it from getting infected and it'll heal in no time on it's own. Same with torn fins. He does not look like he has fin rot because his fin edges would look black or grey (sort of "burnt" like) if he did. Clean, warm water will prevent fin rot from developing. Don't worry; betta fins are delicate and tear easily, but it grows back with proper care.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:23 PM   #5 
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If it's an angry red sore, then it's most likely ammonia burn or an injury. Good water quality will prevent it from getting infected and it'll heal in no time on it's own. Same with torn fins.
I currently have his tank at 78 F and gave him half a tbsp of aquarium salt to help heal him up so hopefully he'll start recovering soon. (He hasn't been very active.) :/
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:41 PM   #6 
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11/7/2013

Hello everyone! So Panda's been home with me for a few days now, and I thought I should post an update and let everyone know how he's doing.

I currently have him in a 2.5 gallon bettabow tank, with a small heater in which his water is consistently at 78F. There is one plant in the tank, and a ceramic pot he can use to hide in that I found from Petco. I used black sand for the tank, and treated the water with a bit of aquarium salt (about half a tbsp) to help Panda's healing process.

However, Panda hasn't been very active, and I'm not sure if it's from the move and new tank syndrome, or he just doesn't feel well. He mostly sleeps in the top left corner of the tank (where the corner of the filter is), and he kind of hides there most of the day. I haven't see him eat as of yet. I tried putting two pellets in the tank yesterday but he was not very responsive. I changed 20% of his water out yesterday and am planning on changing 50% tomorrow. I hope he starts to feel better soon...

Panda when he first arrived in his new home.



And a clearer image of what he currently looks like. He's still clamping and you can see the ammonia burns on his head.


Last edited by CocoFish; 11-07-2013 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:51 PM   #7 
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11/8/2013

Good news! Panda seems to be feeling better and is full of energy today! He's been very friendly, coming up to greet me and following my finger, and he swims around excitedly to get my attention.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #8 
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I'm seriously thinking of re-naming Panda...Casper. He looks like a little ghost fish to me. (He stood out to me in particular because he was a little awkward looking in comparison to all the pretty, fancy bettas in the shop. I thought he was adorable though.) Plus, I think the name suits him better.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #9 
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So I officially re-named him Casper! It suits him a lot better, I can sing the tune in my head. Casper, the friendly ghost...fish! So I've had Casper for about five days now and I noticed he loves to sleep in funny positions. Smokey, my blue double tail half moon, tends to just sleep on a leaf on top of one of the plants in his tank. But Casper...



Ummm...yeah. How is he balancing like that? And is that even comfortable? Haha!
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:52 AM   #10 
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Uh... Does he do that all the time? Can he swim upright properly? It does look a little strange...
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