I picked Brutus out at Petco because he was the ugliest, meanest looking betta there, and his silverish/black coat looked rad like chainmail. He was also the only "King Betta" and I was immediately enthralled by his larger size.
When I got him home, after a few days his underside/fins started turning red and his sides and head more blue as he got stronger and healthier. He had a terrible near-death jumping out experience Friday and I feared for the worst; that my bad-boy Brutus would succumb.
However, he just ate! A TON. He ate for the first time since Friday morning, and it swimming rapidly and energetically through his quarantine tank, he seems to want to get out. It's shallow, so that he can swim up for air (and now food!) because his back fins are almost entirely gone. The area that looked fluffy and like his scales were falling off is no longer red and seems to be healing. I think now that it was not dropsy or a fungus, but maybe just damage sustained during his kamikaze adventure. All this progress after only a few days following YOUR suggestions.
I just wanted to give all who offered me support and advice A HUGE THANK YOU! I used all of your advice and have learned so much from this forum. I won't be going anywhere and look forward to making new fish friends. Here are some photos of Brutus BEFORE his jump. You don't want to see him now...I'll post some after he's all healed up too - bet you won't recognize him. His coloring is beautiful now and he's getting bigger, he's about 3.5 inches right now. Once I get paid he's getting a bigger tank and more plants.
he's not quite this big, the curve of the aquarium distorts him =]
You'll see him again. Hopefully happy and healthy once more. Again, thanks a million to all. I'm so relieved. I'll keep up treatment for a few more days, and then get him settled in his tank. He seems easily stressed right now and seems to absolutely hate light so I think he needs some more recovery time.