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Old 05-25-2010, 08:30 AM   #1 
lastbook87
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Russell the Rescue

My new Petco rescue is presenting something of a challenge for me. I haven't had a ton of rescues, but the ones I've worked with have just been general fin rot, sometimes very advanced, and a few that looked near death but just needed some fresh water and a few days before they perked right up. But my new boy, Russell, is presenting a different set of worries for me. The first picture is from Saturday, which is when I got him home, and the bottom one is from today.





And yeah, I know the lighting is different, but his colors really do look that different--especially the red/maroon. So that's a good thing. However, the pictures really don't show off how skeletal the poor thing is. I'm currently feeding him a mixed diet of flakes and pretty finely torn up freeze-dried bloodworms. He eats like a horse and would be gorging if I let him, but he's not having any digestive problems (poops regularly, etc). Should I just keep up the current feeding schedule and trust that he'll put the weight back on? I tried to get a picture from overhead to show off how stick-thin he is, but they ended up being pretty pictures of my gravel with a fuzzy black shape above it.

A lesser concern for me at the moment is also the way he's swimming. Probably because he's in such generally bad condition, he does have some trouble getting around, but that's been slowly improving. What's weird is that about a third of the time when he tries to dart forward, he ends up bent at a strange angle with his head down and his "butt" up at the surface of the water. He doesn't have any other troubles with balance, and doesn't have a constantly bent spine, but it's just... odd. What I'm really hoping for is anecdotal evidence from someone that they've had a fish recover from something similar, but any insight into the condition would be greatly appreciated.

I'm not treating him with anything special at the moment--just Stress Coat and aquarium salt. Temp is set at 80, and he's in a 3-gallon tank. I've been keeping the lighting on for eight hours a day, though he obviously gets whatever light I have on in my room as well.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #2 
Zenandra
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Poor little man!! Great job for rescuing him!! As for the feeding it's really better to feed a high quality betta pellet instead of flakes. The best food out there IME is the hikari betta bio-gold pellets!! Also freeze dried foods tend to cause constipation, and should only be fed as a snack, not a stable diet! It would be much better to feed thawed frozen bloodworms, but even those should only be every 2 or 3 days!
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:57 AM   #3 
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Aww, poor fishie :( But he's gorgeous, I love that ripple of red he has, and how he looks so spikey!
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:20 PM   #4 
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Ah, the betta pellets were something I tried, but it didn't work very well for the poor guy. I have no idea what size the ones I use are, but even when I break them into a few pieces or try to crush them without turning them to dust, he just has a hard time keeping them down. It's not a matter of him being over-full, because this happens any time I try to feed them. I wonder if maybe they're just too hard? He has this undignified (and kinda sad way) of lunging at the surface to get food or air, and it makes me think he might not be able to swallow very well in general. But thank you for the bloodworm advice--I don't have a way to get frozen ones, but I will pull back on using the freeze-dried ones. And I will pick up some of those Hikari Bio-Gold pellets the next time I'm at the store for him and my others. :)

He's even better today than he was yesterday, so I'm very hopeful about his chances. Using his tail a bit more, swimming more, and not just resting on the plants at the top of the tank. It's all lookin' good.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:21 PM   #5 
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I am no expert, but something comes to mind. If he is eating and pooping normally and regularly, could it be some sort of parasite? Perhaps a worm? Worst case scenario if this is true. I doubt it, but it just came to mind.
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:58 PM   #6 
lastbook87
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Sigh... Bad news. Russell was doing better, but I changed out his water last night, and this morning, he was really lethargic and wouldn't eat. When I got back from work, he was dead.

I knew when I got him that he was really bad, but I'd gotten more attached to him than almost all of my other fish, so it really sucks. Bah. I guess I'll take him back to Petco tomorrow and pick myself up another rescue--hopefully I'll have better luck with the next one.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:27 PM   #7 
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Aww, I'm so sorry :( You tried. That's life :(
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:46 PM   #8 
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I'm so sorry!
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