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Old 04-25-2011, 05:08 PM   #1 
Kaitou
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Unhappy Unintentional Betta Momma

Hai! As the title suggests, I've become the local betta rescuer at my place of work.. we've got about 500 folks working in my building, and some who think that they know how to take care of a betta (or rather, bettas can take care of themselves). So far I have had four.. one has since passed: he was so ill that, while I was able to bring color back to his scales and fins, the deformation to his mouth was irreversible. He stopped eating the ground-up betta pellets I would hand-feed him every morning.
Anyway, I'm still caring for three.. each has his own 2.5 gallon tank with a running filtration system, heater and shrimp-run cleanup and disposal unit (I still do 25-50% water changes once a week, depending on how much the shrimp leaves behind), and each has improved immensely. Elvis went from a greyish wraith to a white-and-blue beautiy with white/blue/red/green streaked fins and is quite energetic (and what a pig!).
King Louie I'm a bit worried about still.. his water was so full of ammonia and his fins so tattered, I was afraid he wouldn't make it, but now he's a gorgeous indigo with red and indigo fins. However, he just.. well.. 'sits' there, for lack of a better term. He drapes himself over the decorations that are closest to the surface so he doesn't have to put forth much effort to surface, and I never see him eat. I've put him in a smaller 1 gallon tank because I'm afraid he may drown (don't laugh!! LOL) in his laziness. He's been with me for five weeks. What could be wrong with him?
Zen was named such because he was such a calm little thing.. he would slowly explore his tank, inspect the decor, tickle the shrimp (yes, tickle.. he would drift over top until his bottom fins would touch the shrimp's antennae and watch the poor critter zip across the tank, then follow and do it again).. now he's prone to fits of tearing across the tank in an almost spastic manner. I changed his water earlier today, but he's still doing it.. when I was feeding him, he had such a massive twitch that he actually spat his pellet out. THAT was when I really started to worry. I've also noticed the ends of his fins are starting to look a little frayed.. I tested the water and everything is in the neutral or 'safe' range. I've had him for three weeks now. Any ideas?
Help!
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:06 PM   #2 
Pekemom
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Hi, Kaitou~ I'm afraid I don't have good answers for you. I'll let the experts chime in. But I wanted to say how caring of you to nurse these poor fish back to health. They're lucky you are in their lives!
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:09 PM   #3 
Neil D
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Some fish are known to be 'spazzy' when the temp is too high. Check that. Or maybe they're happy in a good home...
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:29 AM   #4 
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"twitching" can be a sign of parasites or a reaction to something..Have you added anything new into his tank?

and..Welcome to the forum!
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:40 AM   #5 
Kaitou
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hm.. I did house a corrie catfish for about an hour.. the owner had put it in a tank with a mean betta, who had torn all its fins off.. I wonder if that had caused some residual stress. I had never seen a betta hide from another fish before, but Zen had stuffed himself into his shrimp's cave for a good five minutes until I was able to transfer the injured corrie elsewhere.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:09 AM   #6 
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Welcome to the forum.....

When a fish is kept in poor conditions and suffer ammonia burns during the healing process they can develop scar tissue especially in the gill area and this in turn can cause breathing problems and oxygen exchange issues-depending on how bad/much scar tissue the fish may always be somewhat lethargic or laid back

In your filtered tanks I would increase the water changes to twice weekly 50%...1-50% water only and 1-50% to include the substrate by vacuum or stir and dip method to maintain water quality

In the unfiltered tank-twice weekly water changes...1-50% and 1-100% to maintain water quality

Both fish could benefit from a 10 day treatment IMO
The lazy one needs Epsom salt and the spastic one needs aquarium salt

Epsom salt 2tsp/gal along with 100% daily water changes for 10 day while in QT, water temp 76-78F
Aquarium salt 1tsp/gal along with 100% daily water changes for 10 days while in QT, water temp 76F

You can float the small QT containers in the heated tanks to maintain water temp for the 10 day treatments

If you have tannins to add all the better of either IAL or dried Oak leaf

Pre-mix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add the proper amount of salt and tannins-shake well before use and use this water for the 100% daily water changes.....

If you have access to mosquito larva-offer them-most fish will always eat live foods...nutrition is really important part of the healing process to build the immune response and overall health....

Good luck and keep us posted......
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:25 AM   #7 
Kaitou
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All of my tanks are filtered.. even the 1 gallon. I think the whole stagnant water in a vase thing is a bunch of hooey. Who would want to sit in a vat of stinky water for a week?
I took a closer look at Zen and noticed a patch of off-colored scales on his head. It looks like he borked his head when stuffing himself in the shrimp's cave, so I'll be adding a dose of melafix to his fresh water. I usually do add a bit of aquarium salt with each water change anyway.. they seem to enjoy the feel of it on the first day. And all tanks are maintained at 76 - 78 degrees. Where can I find dried oak leaf?
Elvis is his same old endearing self, dancing about when he sees me. I swear he was a puppy in a past life
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:49 AM   #8 
Neil D
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I swear my betta was a sensitive guard dog. He's always patrolling the very front of his ten gal and always comes up to greet me.
Glad your fish is better though...
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:09 AM   #9 
Kaitou
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Elvis is an odd one.. he's small, so he's still a young'un (I'm assuming). If he were a dog, he'd be wagging his tail and sitting on his hind legs in the begging pose. Oftentimes when he grabs a bloodworm that's curled up, he chases it in circles (with one end in his mouth)
On a side note, what is the best brand of bottled water to use? I've been using the expensive betta bottled stuff (the water in my apartment is extremely hard.. even filtering it leaves it at dangerous levels). I would still use a dechlorinator, etc. but the pet store brand is starting to put a strain on my budget.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:56 AM   #10 
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Hmmm. I'm not sure, but for sure don't use distilled water. No nutrients in it. I think any bottled water should be okay, but once again, not sure....Good Luck!
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