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Old 07-08-2010, 11:25 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Unhappy Would he recover? (rescue)


While I've never owned a fish myself, I've been reading about establishing a tank and fish care for about a year now. I still haven't made the leap yet though as I want to do things exactly the right way and have a happy and healthy fish (mostly likely ONE male Betta fish), and right now I don't have a lot of extra time.... However, coincidentally, it has come to my attention that my sister-in-law has one male Betta fish her school principal dumped on her last year that she couldn't care less about. I don't know how this poor, poor, poor fish has survived so long. I don't think the container is bigger than 1, maybe 2 gallon(s), ans she laughs about changing 100% of the water only every 2-3 weeks. Btw, I saw her change the water the other day and she scrubbed the plastic container with dish detergent before refilling it with tap water without treating it with conditioner; she denied it, but I saw her pour the water straight from the faucet and drop the fish back into the container, so what is there to deny. Obviously, no filter, no heater. That "tank" is next to the front door with terrible drifts, even though I mentioned to her twice that Bettas need to be kept in warm water.
That fish is in very bad shape; he's just a blob barely flotting at the bottom of the tank above the gravel. It breaks my heart.

I don't know how old he may be (I'd say close to 2 maybe?), how bad his health is, and how much longer he has to live.
Is it worth for me to invest in setting up a new tank right now?
In this specific case, could I use these products they sell to speed up the cycling of tanks?
Ultimately, would the 1-hour car travel stress him even more? How would I acclimate him?

I'm sure my sil wouldn't mind getting rid of him. But it would suck for me to put all this hard work and have him die on me; I know my 3 year old would also be heart-broken if we take the fish in and he dies!

Would love to hear your advice!

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Old 07-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Poor baby. I would definitely remove him from her care, if you can. What I do when I have to house a fish I'm not prepared to take is get a rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin--these are ideal for sick and weak fish because they are long and shallow. This gives the fish plenty of swimming room, but allows them to rest because they don't need to go far to reach the surface to breathe. They also are ideal because the clear plastic is slightly foggy, which means they aren't stressed out by their own reflection or things around them, and bettas prefer a darker environment. This bins are safe for heaters, and they are very durable and light for frequent water changes.

Because this fish is so weak, I would seriously advise against attempting to cycle a tank with him in it. Leave him in the bin and do regular water changes until the tank you've chosen for him has been reliably cycled using the fishless method. I'm assuming the fish would be in around 2 gallons of water--a 5 gallon bin with about two gallons in it would be great, or just a 2 gallon bin should be fine also. In this case you should do bi-weekly water changes, one 50%, and one 100%. These bins are only about $2-$4 a piece at walmart or target.

You should also get an adjustable heater, I use 25watt hydor theo heaters and am quite satisfied with them. This will allow you to raise the temperature of his water slowly so that he isn't shocked by the change in temperature, and it will keep the temperature steady.

Clean, heated water can do wonders for fish. However, if you suspect something is wrong, you should try to get some photos so we can help you diagnose and treat him if necessary. The most important thing right now is just to see how he does in warm, clean water.

Last edited by Adastra; 07-08-2010 at 01:54 PM.
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