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Old 06-19-2011, 04:46 PM   #1 
Loryen
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Exclamation Betta With Back-Problem (PLEASE READ!)

I never really noticed it, but I have a Betta fever of 104!
I really need everyone’s help urgently, so please read!!!
A week ago, I went into my LFS and saw something crazy. In a tank, full of angelfish, was a plain, red, veil-tale Betta SWIMMING AROUND WITH THE ANGELFISH! Immediately, I panicked, and urgently told the pet-store guy about it.
Well, he said that that Betta had serious back-problems, and couldn’t swim properly. So, he had just put him in a proper tank so he could scoot around on the bottom. Sure enough, he was scooting around on the bottom of the tank, struggling to swim around, but very much alive.
I watched him for about ten minutes, and by the end of those ten minutes I was in love. “Talia,” I told myself, “you don’t have the space, the money, or the guts to deal with another Betta- especially one who’s just going to die.”
Well, the next day, I found myself in that pet store. There he was, scooting around, looking at me with that funny little face. The thing about him was that even if he couldn’t swim, he was very much alive. Part of me doubted that he would die quickly. He seemed totally healthy, and really alive and interactive.
At that point, I wanted him so bad. I left though, reminding myself that I didn’t have the money to pay 150$ on another Betta set-up.
Well, the next day, my friend called me and told me that she had a spare tank. Her Betta Sumi had just died, and she didn’t want another tank.
I picked it up, telling myself that it would come in handy, trying not to think about the guy who couldn’t swim. When I went back to the LFS today, I was convinced. I need that Betta!
So, now, I need your help. The tank I got is TEMPORARY, as it is a drum-shaped 2 gallon, small and not very pretty. It is quite tall, though, about 12 inches, and it won’t have very much floor space (8 inches?)
Do you think this tank will qualify?
Of course, I can always get another. What I’m REALLY worried about is the fishy.
Will he die in the next month or something? And if I do get him, will I have to take care of him differently from any other Betta?
Help needed urgently. PLEASE REPLY!!!!
Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:18 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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When you say back problem...what do you mean...is he deformed in some way or is it more buoyancy...can you make and post a video so we can see what you mean....

The 2gal should be fine without a filter, however, if he is having swimming problems you may want to keep the water level low to help him get to the top without having to struggle so much until we can figure out what is going on....I would also go ahead and add Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) 2tsp/gal in his water...he may need this on a long term basis...what is the water temp and is he eating.....

I would also cover the top with plastic veggie wrap to retain the heat and humidity for the labyrinth organ.....
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #3 
Loryen
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Well, he's still at the petstore, so I don't know all these things. I don't have a video of him, but I'll try and explain.

He has a hunchback, and I assume that is what is causing his problems. He'll try and swim upwards, but he just sinks back onto the ground. He is totally mobile though, and scoots around using the gravel to support him.

Thanks for the tip about the salt. I'm sorry, but what is Epsom Salt? I've never used salt with my fish, so I don't really know how. Can you get it at a petstore?

Will keep the water level quite low. Do you think, though, that this will give him too little swimming space? Well, I suppose he won't be swimming much :p

Thanks!!
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:23 PM   #4 
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epsom salt you'd get at a pharmacy or pharmacy section at most stores. make sure you get the plain unscented, no added colors type
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:55 PM   #5 
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Oh, okay, thanks!!
I lowered the water level in the tank. Does anyone have any idea if he will die or not? Has any one here had a betta that had back-problems?
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #6 
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I would ask if he's eating well and spend some time observing him. You'll know better after watching how he acts. And also ask how long he's been like that and what kind of, if any treatments the owner has given him. If he's only been like that for a few days, then it's possible he hasn't had time to develop the probems that may come with back issues. Beyond that, it's anyone's call. If he eats and moves well and doesn't seem to be in pain, and you're willing to adjust your habits for him, I'd say he could make a good pet. But he may need bottom feeder food if he can't rise to the surface easily. And a lot of plants that have broad, flat leaves to lay on if he does get any higher off the ground. He sounds like a little charmer though, a real fighter.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:53 PM   #7 
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I agree with the above post. If he can't swim too high, then lower water is a must. Just like people, fish and other animals can be born with abnormalities. Possibly ask the fish store if he came in like that, or if something happened while he was there that caused it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:15 PM   #8 
Loryen
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Well, he eats totally fine, but I do have to feed him live blackworms. This is because he can get them down below, and that's what they fed him in the petstore. Yuck! I don't like the idea of feeding live worms to my fish, but I guess that's what I'll have to do... oh, the things we do for our fish.

Interesting post, Sakura, about the plants, because that's what Muffin has been doing. I have a plant in there with thick leaves, and I notice that he rests on it like a little bed :) So cute!

His fins look SUPER ripped though, almost to the point that they are in ribbons. That's something I need to work on immediately. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:19 PM   #9 
Sakura8
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Just ripped, not fin rot? Aquarium salt, then, and tannins. Wonder if the angels picked on him?

Feed the worms with tweezers. That way you don't have to actually, you know, touch them. *shudders*

It sounds like the pet store took surprisingly good care of him considering the odds of their making a profit off of him. That's great. In at least a few of my pet stores, he would have been put down instead of anyone making an effort on him.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:08 PM   #10 
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Yeah, they were really good with him. Aparently, they feed live worms to all there bettas (so that's why they wouldn't eat pellets!), and personally, i think that's the sign of a good petstore.

Muffin is doing well... I've slowly been adjusting him to freeze-dried blood-worms. Believe it or not, he actually made a bubblenest!!
Wow, and I though that he wouldn't even be able to get to the surface!!!!

Yes, he has no fin rot, just completely torn up fins. I'll be getting some aquarium salt soon. Just wondering, what are the doses for a partially filled 2 gallon (more like 1.5 gallon) tank?
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