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Old 10-30-2010, 03:12 PM   #21 
Oldfishlady
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Dang... no skeeters in Texas......mine are getting hard to find too I am North of you and that little frost we had the other day ended most skeeter larva...good thing the daphnia are still going strong.....the only live food left to collect naturally in the cold months...lol......
Good to hear one is eating, hopefully the other one will eat soon too.....
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:31 AM   #22 
acloudconnected
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Oh I wish I was adventurous enough to know where to start even looking for mosquitos. Usually we can't leave the house because of them... well I can because I am from South Africa where we are inundate with them, and somehow American "skeeters" don't like the taste of me one bit. They stay far away! My poor husband on the other hand... yowza! I believe he would like nothing more than to feed a few to our fish! haha

Also, no oaks near us, just live oaks and I've compared the leaves based on pics here in the forum not even kinda the same thing so I didn't use them.

I am going to keep updating right through to 10 days if I can keep them going that long. (So far everything looks promising!) I've been reading the archives of this diseases section and find it so sad that so few people follow up after they receive treatment advice. I need closure, and I am sure that y'all do too!

Day 4 Update on Red & Stumpy:

This morning I did another 100% water change, stopping them in a salt bath while I cleaned their bowls (2 minutes). I have been leaving bowls of water out overnight in preparation for the water changes so I can be sure that the water temps are roughly the same. The last few mornings I have noticed that their water had become super cloudy over night (Stumpy more than Red), but this morning both bowls were crystal clear aside from the poop (glorious poop!) at the bottom of both bowls. I am continuing to treat water with 1tsp/1gal aquarium salt in addition to the 2-3 minute salt bath (quarter-tsp/Walmart cup).

Food-wise we've been doing ok. Stumpy eats like there's no tomorrow I fight the urge to give him more than 2-3 bites. (Even though he is pretty emaciated... can he have more than this?) What I was super concerned about is last night after 2 q-tip heads (I cut the fluff off and make sure it's dander free) of shrimp brine his little belly swells up so much I fear he may burst, but in about an hour it goes back down to normal. I've attached a pic after his breakfast this morning two tiny pellets rehydrated in melted shrimp brine did this (Pic 1)

Red will not eat pellets no matter how small I make them. This morning I tried soaking them in Shrimp Brine to rehydrate them and he was not fooled. Refuses to take food from me, and waits till it falls to the bottom of his bowl where he sucks it in and spits out the pellet. He's pooping though, not as much as Stumpy, but he must be getting something in, if something is coming out right? He also bloats a little after feeding, but not even close to as much as Stumpy.

Red has lost a few strands of tail as you could see yesterday pieces were breaking off. He still looks pretty ratty today, but flares constantly... it seems any time he sees something red nearby... this morning it was a coke can... His right gill is still slightly open today, no improvement since yesterday.

Stumpy is quite active, swims around most of the day resting only briefly at the bottom of his bowl. He doesn't flare much, but I did give him a couple of minutes of mirror time last night and he flared up a storm with what little fin and tail he has. What I am so happy about is that today for the first time I can see a pupil in his eye in photos... They have been pitch black since I brought him home so I feel encouraged by this!

Here are their mug shots for the day. Taken right after their water change and breakfast.

Picture 1: Stumpy's tail and bloated belly. (If there is light behind him you can almost see right through him)
Picture 2: Stumpy full body shot.
Picture 3: Red flaring.
Picture 4: Red close up, also a little bloat although he really didn't eat much.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:03 AM   #23 
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Awesome...they already look better......

Try using a bit of fresh garlic juice on Reds food and see if that won't help stimulate his appetite any-you can just roll it around in the fresh crushed garlic and let is soak up a bit of juice

Feed small frequent meals to Stumpy-tiny bits 4-5 times a day if you want and the garlic won't hurt him either...

I use fresh garlic in my homemade food as part of a long term parasite control-it take 6 weeks to do any good for internal parasites

Any standing water outside and you may find mosquito larva-I have buckets outside that I collect rainwater in and the larva and other critters naturally happen-I net, rinse and feed daily from these buckets and some of the buckets especially out at the chicken yard are pretty nasty and seem to grow the best larva...lol......

Good luck and thanks for the up-dates..it is nice to know how they are doing
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:14 AM   #24 
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Excellent! I have dispatched the hubs to find standing water.. it's so dry here that I doubt we have any, but you never know! We've been making some repairs and we have a bunch of construction debris in our side yard until we're done.

I am about to run to the store to get fresh garlic and will run by a different Pet Store to see if they have frozen blood worms.

Stumpy's belly is already going down and he's working on another poop. I've seriously never celebrated any poop as much as I have theirs. hahah(May swing by Party City for some hats and streamers *wink*)
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:15 PM   #25 
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Well, I am back... did the garlic roll on some tiny pellets and broke out a few blood worms for dessert. Stumpy wolfed down the pellets as usual, but while he lunged for the worms, he spat the first mouthful out, and didn't even attempt the next one.

Red completely ignored all my attempts to feed him as usual letting the pellets sink to the bottom, and didn't even try and grab a worm. My hope was that he would wolf them down when my back was turned like he does with the Shrimp Brine but no... nothing.

Red doesn't look as emaciated as Stumpy does though, so I am not verly concerned... as long as he keeps pooping I know he's eating enough.

Both are still very active swimming around their bowls up and down, and not just sticking to the water surface. :) :) :)
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:56 PM   #26 
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Great to hear that they are doing so much better! It is pretty normal for some fish to bloat subsequent to eating brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are mostly fiber in the form of exoskeleton, so they're taking in a lot of material that is difficult to break down and pass through their digestive system--they're definitely great for constipation for this reason!

The blood worms should help, they have more protein and calories than brine shrimp and should be more enticing.
If he continues to refuse to eat, he might have internal parasites--they often cause loss of appetite. Deworming is not very harsh on fish and they usually respond really well to treatment even if they have a fairly heavy parasite load. If you decide to deworm, choose a dissolving tablet with metronidazole and praziquantel. I have had some success with Jungle's Parasite Clear.
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:38 PM   #27 
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hey, if you still have that tank and want to return it, you can! i had a bowl from petco that was $8, 1/2 gallon, that i was using for water changes until i found something in my house, so i washed it out and returned it :P as long as you clean the tank out and still have the reciept, and it's within the time limit (30/60 days, idk) they'll take it back. (i've even returned a half empty bottle of tetra safe start for a full refund before, haha :D)

oh, also gald to hear they're doing better! its great that you're working so hard to nurse them back to health :)
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:53 AM   #28 
effy
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This thread makes me really happy! i love how much work you have put into these two bettas, and im glad you are getting the rewards back you deserve :)
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:03 AM   #29 
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Best of luck!! Nursing a betta back to health is such a rewarding experience. Hope everything goes well.

Just keep up with the water changes and they should be fine.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:05 AM   #30 
acloudconnected
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Day 5: Red & Stumpy

Guess what?!? I got a bubble nest this morning from Stumpy! I've been wrapping them up at night for peace, to prevent my curious cats from staring them down all night, and a little to keep in any warmth that they may lose as we move into Fall temps in Texas. So this morning was like unwrapping a gift! It's not the biggest or greatest bubble nest I have ever seen on this forum, but it's more than one bubble and Stumpy made it so I am happy about that!

Food wise, I gave them both 3 small meals yesterday, but by the 3rd I could tell they weren't that into it, so today I will stick with 2 and then do 3 again tomorrow. I don't want to force stuff them, but they clearly need all the calories they can get at this point. Neither of them is keen on bloodworms, but they do eat the occasional one. Brine is Red's fave, and Stumpy will eat pellets and brine. This morning however Stumpy seems out of sorts.

I did the usual 100% water change followed by breakfast. Today I thought I would mix in some bloodworms with shrimp brine and some tank water pellets -- like a porridge -- and while Red was thinking about eating from the stick, and did eat a bunch once it came off the stick, Stumpy watched it fall slowly and languidly sailed down after a few pieces to slurp them up. I had quite a bit of clean up to do in his bowl though...

As far as activity goes... Red is flashing around his bowl and is really looking great and active today. Stumpy is floating near the top mostly, with all his fins flat and his um... "paddle fins?" are tucked against his body. Something isn't right with him... When I woke them up he was busy pooping and had built that little nest, and was swimming just fine. Since the water change he has been like this. They both have the exact same water but I added just a little more (temp matched) tap water to Stumpy's as his bowl is marginally larger. Do you think I should do a second change with him? I don't want to stress him out unnecessarily, but he is clearly not himself and hasn't been since this morning's change. I am probably just being paranoid.

Pic 1: Bubble nest! (There were more that had floated off when I moved the bowl)
Pic 2: Red is pretty much always all open like this now.
Pic 3: Stumpy see what I mean about being all slumped. He was looking more like Red's pic when I opened his bowl this morning (and last night when I wrapped them up).
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Last edited by acloudconnected; 11-01-2010 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Needed to label pics.
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