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Old 06-01-2011, 11:53 PM   #1 
newf
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New betta and have some questions.

I would like some input on how to help this tiny guy. I got him a three days ago against my better judgment from Walmart. I have never bought fish from there, but when I saw this guy stuffed in the back of a shelve in the dark, in water that was so thick with gunk, I could not leave him there even though I know buying him just contributed to Walmart selling more fish. He was so thin, that I did not think he would make it through the first night here. I wasn't expecting to buy another betta (already have one half moon in a five gallon tank). I had the Marina Cubis just set up on my desk aquascaped just with plants to look at. Since that was already set up, I purchased a heater to keep him warm, and he seems to be doing much better than the first day I brought him home. He is eating well but won't eat any pellets. He loves the blood worms and the shrimp I am crushing up for him. He is very tiny about half the size of my pinky finger. The water is in good parameters, so I would like to know if there is anything else I could do for him to help him in his recovery. I have added salt to his tank as well. I have added some pictures so you could see how he looks.

Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.

Oh, and hubby has named him..Chi Li (Chi like in eye and Li and is Lee)

Housing
What size is your tank? he is in a temporary marina cubis tank with live plants
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? blood worms, shrimp, he doesn't like pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day morning and night.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? every day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25% each day approximately
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

Symptoms and Treatment
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? water changes and food.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? bought him like this.
How old is your fish (approximately)? unknown
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:02 AM   #2 
youlovegnats
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Hahaha, I like how his bottom lip kinda juts out there. awww he's a cutie! Good for you for being his knight in shining armor! His fins look like he was in a fight! :O
Poor dear...It looks like you've done everything that you can so far. Take good care of him! Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:09 AM   #3 
Sakura8
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Oh, poor guy! He's definitely got fin damage and ammonia burn on his gills, among other things. If he's that small, I'd say he's a juvenile, no more than maybe four months old?

What brand pellets are you trying to feed? Right now I am having a similar problem with my new girl from Petco and I believe it's because her mouth is so small that even betta pellets are too big for her. I'd estimate she's probably the same size as your new guy. She'll eat the freeze-dried bloodworms but only when I'm not around (she's soooooo shy) but I can't feed her those forever. So what I did was buy New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula .5mm Sinking Pellets. They don't sink very fast at all so that's not an issue really. These pellets are so small that they are almost like sand. Give him a teeny pinch, about six pellets and see if he can fit those in his mouth. Also, these pellets are high in protein so they seem to be more appetizing.

For the fin damage, either get some aquarium salts from your petstore and follow the instructions for that or use a product like API Stress Coat that has ingredients to encourage a healthy slime coat and fin regeneration.

With a little extra care, I think your guy can pull through and I hope he does - he's got a really charming expression on his face. But dang, Wal-Mart, ever hear of a water change????

Edit: Sorry, only scanned the first and didn't realize you already had salt in there - bravo!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:29 AM   #4 
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I feed my other betta Hikari, which I crushed up smaller for him because like you, I thought they were just too large for him to swallow. He did eat some of it the first day, but after he got a taste of the shrimp and bloodworms, he refused to eat the pellets at all. I will get some of the food you suggested tomorrow and try that with him. I had not heard of it before. I assume that Petco or Petsmart will sell it.

One question, do you use the stress coat and the salt at the same time? Or do you use it separately?

Thank you for the help, I really appreciate it:)
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:42 AM   #5 
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I bought my New Life food at my Petco. Stress Coat is a water conditioner that can be also used as a stress reliever. Its main purpose is to detoxify chlorines etc. but because of the added aloe vera, you can also add it into the water any time a fish is stressed or shows signs of injury. As a water conditoner, it's 5ml per 10g during a water change. As a stress reliever, it's 10ml per 10g any time. So I would think if you used it first as a water conditioner when changing his water, you could probably use the salt too.

If you don't want to buy another water conditioner, I don't see any reason why you couldn't continue with Prime.

Hikari is, I believe, the smallest betta food on the market, but some bettas are just too tiny! Hopefully the higher protein in New Life will help him. Hehe, it sounds like he's realized he's on to something good with his new home and he's going to make the best of it with bloodworms and shrimp. That's a betta for you. Only a few days in a new home and already he's being a brat.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:17 AM   #6 
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Omega One pellets are also great for little mouths, I use them with great success.

My one thing to add...
Be careful with the salt in your live plant tank. Im not sure what's in there, but if it cant stand brackish water, they'll melt and die.

The salt should be 1tsp/gallon, btw. Using less is ineffective.

Also, are the shrimp frozen/live? Freeze-dried is very low in nutrients and protein, so stay away from those unless theyre a treat. Using live or frozen foods will help this little fellow pack on the pounds...er..ounces..and the other betta can eat them happily, too.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:32 AM   #7 
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PewPewPew, freeze-dried foods actually are very nutritious. Freeze-dried bloodworms are low in protein, yes, but they contain many other nutrients that fish need. Here's something I wrote for another post. I'll paste it here.

With respect, I really don't understand the fuss over freeze-dried bloodworms. I think they are fine and have more than enough nutrition.

In his book, Freshwater Aquariums, aquarist David Boruchowitz writes:
"Freeze drying is a process in which water is removed under low pressure and low temperature that preserves much of the original nutrition and palatability of food organisms."

In her book, Aquarium Care of Cichlids, aquarist Claudia Dickinson writes:
"Freeze drying retains much of the original nutrition and taste appeal, but in a much more convenient form."

Neither author says anything about them causing bloat.

David Boruchowitz has been an aquarist for over 60 years and is the editor-in-chief of the magazine Tropical Fish Hobbyist. Claudia Dickinson is a life member of the American Cichlid Association, where she serves on its board of trustees and managing editor of its publication.

It is based on this information that I feel freeze-dried foods are fine. Whatever deficiency freeze-dried foods are lacking is made up in a variety of foods. Feeding a variety is the most important factor for good nutrition.


There's nothing wrong with feeding freeze-dried foods. True, they should not be used as a staple food but I really believe you could give one worm a day and do absolutely no harm. As it is, I'd certainly reccommend at least three times a week just for the sake of variety.

Again, PewPewPew, I mean no disrespect at all. It's just, as a fan of the show Mythbusters I like to bust myths when I can. And this freeze-dried food one has been going on long enough.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:00 AM   #8 
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Thank you for the information. I will try the other foods as well. I do have freeze dried foods as well as frozen foods we feed the fish in our larger tank. I will try him with the frozen foods as well. We do have stress coat here already, so I put some in his tank last night. He seems to be doing much better this morning. He ate very well and is really interested in watching what is going on around him. He still won't eat the pellets, but ate the blood worms and shrimp like crazy.

I will keep an eye on the plants. I am not sure the name of them, but if they start to go awry I will take them out. He likes to rest on them, so I really don't want to take them out unless I have to.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:04 PM   #9 
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Well, I bought the New Life food today, and he ate several of them, so that is a great. He still prefers the bloodworms, but at least I now know he will eat those pellets. They are much smaller than the Hikari pellets. He also had some frozen shrimp tonight as well. He is much perkier than he was yesterday. I actually saw him swimming down to the bottom of the tank tonight. He hasn't done that since we brought him home. I covered one corner of the tank so he has a dark place to hide, and moved his resting leaf there as well. He seems to enjoy it as he is laying on the leaf and looks rather happy and content. I am encouraged by all this. I am hoping he continues to improve. Again, thank you for all your help with him:)
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:13 PM   #10 
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I hope Chi Li continues to improve as well. He sure is a cutie. Don't hesitate to post for more help if you need it.
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