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Old 03-01-2010, 12:40 AM   #1 
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Help...this fish is suffering

After buying my second Betta Mangku half out of pity, half out of admiration, he seems to be acting strange.... I think Mangku`s story MIGHT explain his situation so here it is:

I went to the pet store and took a look. And became incredibly depressed: there were only two Bettas left, both red, and it was obvious that they had not whatsoever been taken care of. In the tiny containers they sell the Bettas in the water had gone down so that the there was only two and a half inches left for the fish. They hadn't cleaned it so of course there was a DISGUSTING amount un-eaten food floating around - so much so that i could barely see the fish. I knew by then what i was going to do. But i needed to sleep on it.

So i went back the next day. The second i picked up his container he went thrashing around cazily and i could barely get a look at him. But i bought him anyways because i was just so upset at his condition. Well i named him Mangku, meaning dragon for his color and fiesty-ness, but the second i set him in his new tank - which i monitored closely - he barely moved. He barely eats - ignores flakes and pellets and only takes blood worms but that`s not good over long periods of time. He likes to sit at the bottom of the tank and just glide along the bottom. When he decides to take a swim it almost appears as if he is struggling to swim in any direction, (up, down, side to side) - but there are no marks on his fins. When he does swim it is sharp, erractic movements. This poor fish is still suffering and i won`t give up on him because he`s clearly been through hell already. Please help - he doesn`t deserve this.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #2 
Join Date: Sep 2009
I can't stand how they're put in those small containers and most of them aren't cleaned out and left in their poopy water for weeks or months. Did you acclimate him before you put him in this new tank, meaning; did you match up the temp of the water he was in with the temp of the tank water? Floating the cup in the water helps slowly acclimate the fish so they don't go into shock. Is he showing any stress stripes? He could be still very stressed out and just getting used to his new home after being in a small cup. Whats the temperature of the water and what size tank is he in? Could you also take a picture of him?
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:41 AM   #3 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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He may just need time to adjust, but until then if he is struggling you may want to lower the water level so it is not so hard for him to get air, get the water temp up, turn off the light, hold food until he settles down, the less stress the better IMO.

It is sad how these awesome fish are treated in some fish shops, poor water quality is the biggest killer and/or destroyer of fins. The small containers are only meant for temporary housing but the least they could do is make the needed daily water changes.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:53 AM   #4 
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Poor fish. He is very lucky you rescued him. I agree with what OFL and BFC have said. Lowering the water level will help him get air better.. especially if he is having trouble swimming. Warming him up will help too.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:03 PM   #5 
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i did acclimate him, right now he is in a smaller tank while i get the larger one all set up - it's a 2 gal with the temp reading at 72-73. I know this is abit low but i have no heater in these small tanks and i have two other Betta's who are so far doing great in these same temps.

you say not to feed him for awhile?

i will lower the water level for him, he is in an area where there is not too much traffic and his light source not too bright.

i did notice that he has a few white-ish lines around the top of his body but they are so faint he could have had them before.

*also, there are no tail bites that i can see but his top fin is knotted at the end. it was this way when i bought him - will that cause problems?

thanks for all the advice!!
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:26 AM   #6 
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I think I MAY understand the "knotted at the top tail" part. I know some betta's tails start curling at ammonia levels (and evidently mainly the top tails succumb to this). So it could only mean he's been stuck in that ammonia pit for so long, his tail has been damaged. It's sad to say it's permanent, but health wise, he should be fine. Mine has been faring just fine with it. It gives him a bit of uniqueness and specialty, IMO anyways.
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