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Old 03-29-2011, 01:55 PM   #1 
Gia
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Rescued betta

Hello everyone!
I am new to this forum and relatively new to betta ownership. I have had many different types of fish in the past including african cichlids, discus and other relatively "picky" fish.
Currently, in my time throughout the day, I have decided to rehabilitate and rehome the many bettas that are suffering at the hands of ignorant box store employees. The two females I rescued three weeks ago are very happy, healthy and thriving. The male I found on Friday this past week is doing better, however he has me a bit perplexed.

At first he sat at the bottom of his fully cycled 1.5 gallon (I know it is small, however this is strictly for quarantine and rehabilitation purposes.) There is a sprig of foxtail growing with him, and the substrate is Pro-Carb Z with three washed, non-toxic, decorative, flat river stones. There is no filtration or bubble stone due to work restrictions, however I have been doing a 1/3 water change daily with rested tap water (air cured for 1 hour) that is treated with Stress Coat, Stress Zyme, and brought to tank temperature with a seperate submersable heater. He is fed Aqua Culture Betta pelleted food. I think he is eating, though I have not been able to catch him actively feeding. There is feces on the bottom of the tank.

Here is his behaviour currently:

He will rest on the bottom with his bottom fins out, then casually swim to the top to breathe, swim about a bit at the top and bump into the sides (carefully) take a few more breaths then either slowly sink to the bottom or swim slowly down.
Physically, his musculature is atrophied and his spine is slightly curved, however I think this is less pronounced than when I first rescued him. His coloring is good with no fin rot, bloating, body sores or discolorations etc.
HOWEVER, his pupils look to be permanently dilated and red/reflective (like a cat in the headlights at night.)

I think he is blind!

How can I help this poor, beautiful survivor flourish in my environment? I can tend to him about 9 hours a day every day (he is in my laboratory right now since I am in the process of moving.) In a couple of weeks I will be able to take him home if I need to.

Thank you to everyone who posts, and PLEASE.....if you have any harsh criticisms about the size of the tank or the lack of aeration, please contact me privately and spare the good folks on here your vehemance.

-Gia
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:08 PM   #2 
fleetfish
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If he is blind, there are a few things you can do to make his life better:

- Use a shallow container such as a rubbermaid storage bin and fill it only half way so that he can reach the surface easier.
- Any sharp objects should be removed from the tank, including decorations.
- Substrate is optional, although with my blind bettas I stayed away from it just in case they hurt themselves.
- Silk plants are preferable over real plants since they are easier to remove and clean, though you can still use real plants.
- Always feed him in the exact same area at the exact same time. He will eventually learn to find his food.
- You might want to cover his tank with dark cloth as red eyed bettas are extremely sensitive to light OR you can darken with water with Black Water Extract.

Taking care of blind fishies can be difficult, but it's worth it :) Hope these tips help out somewhat. And welcome to the forum, good to have another member!
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:08 PM   #3 
turtle10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gia View Post
Hello everyone!
I am new to this forum and relatively new to betta ownership. I have had many different types of fish in the past including african cichlids, discus and other relatively "picky" fish.
Currently, in my time throughout the day, I have decided to rehabilitate and rehome the many bettas that are suffering at the hands of ignorant box store employees. The two females I rescued three weeks ago are very happy, healthy and thriving. The male I found on Friday this past week is doing better, however he has me a bit perplexed.

At first he sat at the bottom of his fully cycled 1.5 gallon (I know it is small, however this is strictly for quarantine and rehabilitation purposes.) There is a sprig of foxtail growing with him, and the substrate is Pro-Carb Z with three washed, non-toxic, decorative, flat river stones. There is no filtration or bubble stone due to work restrictions, however I have been doing a 1/3 water change daily with rested tap water (air cured for 1 hour) that is treated with Stress Coat, Stress Zyme, and brought to tank temperature with a seperate submersable heater. He is fed Aqua Culture Betta pelleted food. I think he is eating, though I have not been able to catch him actively feeding. There is feces on the bottom of the tank.

In a tank that size you should be doing two 50% and one 100% water change a week. You can't have a cycle without filtration, so your tank is not cycled, which is okay.


Here is his behaviour currently:

He will rest on the bottom with his bottom fins out, then casually swim to the top to breathe, swim about a bit at the top and bump into the sides (carefully) take a few more breaths then either slowly sink to the bottom or swim slowly down.
Physically, his musculature is atrophied and his spine is slightly curved, however I think this is less pronounced than when I first rescued him. His coloring is good with no fin rot, bloating, body sores or discolorations etc.
HOWEVER, his pupils look to be permanently dilated and red/reflective (like a cat in the headlights at night.)

I think he is blind!

How can I help this poor, beautiful survivor flourish in my environment? I can tend to him about 9 hours a day every day (he is in my laboratory right now since I am in the process of moving.) In a couple of weeks I will be able to take him home if I need to.

Thank you to everyone who posts, and PLEASE.....if you have any harsh criticisms about the size of the tank or the lack of aeration, please contact me privately and spare the good folks on here your vehemance.
There isn't anything wrong with the size, though most say 2.5 is minimum, it just requires proper water changes. Because he is blind, the smaller size may actually suit him better.

-Gia
+ what fleetfish said
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:05 AM   #4 
Gia
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Thank you

Thank you for your responses. I worked with him yesterday and this morning on going towards the motion on top of the water (a new paintbrush with a pellet of betta food on the end of it - it stays there with surface tension at the top of the water and I can move it around to position it for him)
He is more vigorous today, and I have increased the water changes to 50% every other day including gentle siphoning of the gravel and plant.

I will keep posting about Keller's (recently named) progress. His two fellow rescuees are Cherry (red flag tail(?)) and Derby (a plain little striped female with a slight bluish tint to her tail).

Take care everyone!
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:12 AM   #5 
turtle10
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Glad to hear he is improving! But I have to let you know that at least one 100% water change is necessary weekly because if you never do a 100% and just keep doing 50%s the ammonia keeps building up.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #6 
Gia
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Thank you for the reminder turtle10 on the 100% water changes.
Is there a schedule you would suggest (M-F) that I could do to optimize the water changes?
It will be another week before I can take him home and get him an aerator.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:12 PM   #7 
turtle10
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M-100%
T-
W-50%
T-
F-100%

I would do a 50% over the weekend.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:07 AM   #8 
Gia
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100% water changes on tanks

OK.....near 100% change done on all 3 tanks.

Keller (blind red/blue-green crowntail male) was a bit stressed, and I was wondering whether it would be better for him to come out of the tank in ato a cup with tank water as I am changing it versus staying in as I siphon the substrate and plants and leave just enough for him to stay upright in?

I have been aging tap water....do I still need to treat it with a dechlorinator/stress coat?

Also, interestingly enough, the two females are showing colors and doing flaring at each other through the tank walls. Is this super stressful for them? It is primarily Derby (striped female half moon (?)) to Cherry (red flag female).
Please let me know since I can swtich Keller and Cherry if this is not good.

Thank you!
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:18 AM   #9 
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I found this post very helpful is there anyway someone could optimize a cleaning schedule for my bettas I have them in mason jars I at least want 1-3 days off cleaning tanks I don't really have the money to supply anything bigger although soon I'm getting beanie baby boxes instead. Please don't criticize me this is all I have to work with for now. And he beanie boxes are the biggest I can get.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:27 AM   #10 
turtle10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan View Post
I found this post very helpful is there anyway someone could optimize a cleaning schedule for my bettas I have them in mason jars I at least want 1-3 days off cleaning tanks I don't really have the money to supply anything bigger although soon I'm getting beanie baby boxes instead. Please don't criticize me this is all I have to work with for now. And he beanie boxes are the biggest I can get.
In something that small you can't take 1-3 days off, you can't take any off. Not trying to be critical, but beanie boxes are too small to be an acceptable home.

In something as small as a mason jar you should be doing daily changes, 100%. You really must get something bigger, then cannot live in something as small as a beanie box or jar. One gallon absolute minimum, though at least 2.5 is recommended.


OP, when changing Keller's water, cup him while you do the changes. He can stay when you do 50% if you would like, but for the 100% changes he must be cupped.
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