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Old 08-21-2011, 02:49 PM   #1 
Grlacey
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Funny how these things work...

I posted a thread the other day about how within the next month I would be looking at purchasing my first betta. Well... about that.

Our story enters with my girlfriend and I headed to Barnes & Noble to buy a book. It was out of stock and we figured, for the hell of it we would troop next door to the petco to buy Skylar ( our Aussie ) a toy. When we arrived we browsed a bit and I came across the betta display. I ogled the little guys and gals for a while and actually, all things considered, they looked pretty healthy. Then I noticed something... each betta was in it's own little 'cubby hole' on a big three sided stand. I saw something in the middle and after carefully moving the display around I saw one sad little betta boy looking rather sickly and helpless in his cup on the floor. I called management, a man who shook his head and said that some kid probably put him there. He started to walk away and I was very concerned. I asked where he was taking him, to be met with the reply ' To our fish expert. He's probably taking his last breaths. '

P.S...? I am a sucker. I knew he was sick, even with my limited knowledge I know what a swim bladder is and I figured his was problematic because his buoyancy was really off. Dust clogged the hole at the top of his cup and he looked like he was 'gasping'. He could barely move. Something stringy and black hung from his mouth. His little fins were clamped and seemed tattered. Tearfully I asked the manager to hold the fish at the counter while I picked out a tank, some gravel, water conditioner, antifungal and a plant for the poor little guy. As far as I saw it, this little boy who had barely had a chance was going to die in a tiny cup, or worse( my imagination told me...) be dumped out somewhere. I figured if I could do something about it I would, even if all I could manage was to provide him comfort in his final hours.

Fast forward an hour and there I sat in my room, slowly filling his tank and bobbing this lethargic, lifeless little thing in it. I talked to him the whole time, apologized for human nature, and then slowly switched the water in his cup. He had looked so sick I thought he would die from the shock, but he held on like a little trooper. After a half hour I finally let him into the tank, where he settled on an Amazon Sword leaf. When I went to bed he was in the same place, and I sadly bid him goodnight and turned out the lights, expecting the pretty little creature to pass on as we slept.

At about four in the morning, though, something woke me up. A soft 'ping, ping' noise that wouldn't rest. I turned the light on to see that my sickly little guy was swimming! And not only swimming...diving, picking up little pebbles and blowing them at the side of tank closest to my head. As soon as I looked over, he puffed up and retreated to his plant. Because I was already up, I soaked one of the little pellets I had bought and he gobbled it up.

I went back to bed and rose at a more decent time to find he was still, seemingly, healthy and chipper. I gave him one more soaked pellet and he ate it with no problems at all.

I'm not sure if this little guy is a miracle or deserving of a grammy, but I could care less either way. Now, of course, I've run into the fact that I'm a complete novice and I could use someone to show me the ropes. (:

The tank I bought is 5.5 gallons. Since I figured it would be a short term thing, I just threw in gravel and one plant - amazon sword. (I've worked with various philodendrons before.) I don't yet have a heater or filter... recommendations? I'll also be getting a little thing for him to hide in, and I know I need to watch out for his fins but other than that are there better or worse decorations? How often, and how many pellets, should I feed this little one a day? Any suggestions on what percent and how often I should change the water? Do you guys have any ideas on varying up his diet?

I know I can look all this up, but I really prefer personal input! So thank you all for the time you took to read this. I took some pics and I'll include them below. Does anyone know what color/breed he could be classified as? Or a guess at how old he might be? He had no stickers on his cup... His name is Kimchi, by the way! (:

Kimchi





This is how I currently have the tank set up... I think it seems big enough. If you guys agree, then today I'll fit a little heater, filter and a hide out place... maybe another plant or two. ( is it okay to mix live and plastic? )



Also, if there is anything else that may be wrong that you lovely, experienced people can see from the pictures that I may not have noticed that I should be treating, please let me know! Thanks again!

- Lacey & Kimchi
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:01 PM   #2 
Sakura8
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Lacey, that's amazing! Welcome to the forum, by the way. But wow, that's an awesome story you have there. I thought it was so neat he woke you up the way he did. I'm glad to hear he's a survivor.

For a heater, I recommend Cascade or Eheim Jager but they can be hard to find. Next best bets are heaters that are adjustable from Marina or Marineland. Filters . . . well, filters are optional in small tanks. I have no idea what the best filter would be for a small tank but I've heard good things about the Red Sea Nano Filter.

Good luck with Kimchi!
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:04 PM   #3 
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You got yourself a cute little betta there! He's probably was forgotten, and had filthy water. Still, it could be something, so keep an eye on him. Never get plastic plants. They rip up the fins, but silk plants are safe, and It's ok to mix silk and live.

Good job!
And yes theRed sea Deco art nano blah blah filter is a good on, and it's for 5-10 gallons.
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:05 PM   #4 
LittleBettas
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GREAT STORY!!!

Congrats on the new friend also :D
The tank is a great size for a betta, and I know that he is enjpoing it!
I cant help you with heats, as I have AWESULluck with them (though my current marine one isnt doing to bad)
Filters, I currently have an old top fin in my 5 gal, it works great, but the fiters can be tough to find for this size
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Old 08-21-2011, 03:06 PM   #5 
freeflow246
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Aw, bless you for saving that little guy! He looks just like my Jalen, but with a tiny bit more black on his fins. Jalen looked pretty terrible when I bought him too.
I don't have tons of advice, besides that he should probably be fed around four pellets a day (at least, that's how much I feed mine). I give Jalen two in the morning at two at night, and fast him on Sundays. So far it seems to be the right amount.
I think that it should be alright to mix live and plastic plants. I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't be.
Good luck!
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #6 
Myates
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*wipes tear* silly lil fish story.. :)

I think they pretty much got you hooked on the filters and heaters. As for food, it varies depending on personal opinions and each fish. Some fish do great with a few very small meals a day, with one day of fasting, or two meals of 2-3 pellets each. In time you will see how much he eats in a sitting and can make a plan from that. And beware, they beg.. think of a lab puppy, food oriented. Trust me, he isn't starving lol. Variety is great for bettas, anything high protein. Pellets, flakes, frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp will be loved greatly. Freeze dried is a controversy, some say it isn't as healthy, some say it's just fine, nutrients-wise. But they do tend to bloat the fish, so either give one or two at a time, or presoak a couple for a treat every now and then.
Unsure how much % water change to do on a 5gal with a filter, I would suggest until you get a filter do 1 50% water only, and 1 50% substrate change a week. (either with a suctioning hose, or stir/dip method to get all the gook out of the bottom).
He looks a little young, definatly under a year I'd say, maybe 6 months-ish? Breeders will be able to tell more then me heh.

You have such a wonderful, handsome little guy there. It was definatly meant to be for you to find him, he's going to grow up, get stronger and be a very good looking fish. So you better show us some pics!
Thanks for sharing your story, and welcome to the forum :)
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:27 PM   #7 
Neil D
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I am so glad you rescued him!! He looks so deserving of it. *wipes tear*
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #8 
jman828
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That is a great story :) way to go saving a betta that would've otherwise died! For a heater I recommend the Elite 25 watt heater & Filter I recommend the aquaclear 20 filter because you can adjust it to a really low flow which is good for a betta :). (for 5-20 gallon tanks).
Best of luck!
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:58 PM   #9 
Jirothebetta
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Welcome to the forum! He really is a very beautiful boy and so lucky that you found him in time! I would love to see some pics. of him when he's up to speed and back in color. I'd say you found yourself a buddy XD
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:03 AM   #10 
Sakura8
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He looks like a cellophane veiltail or possibly delta, hard to say about the tail. He may marble up too. It's simply amazing what clean water can do for a fish. Oh, and yes, it's okay to mix plastic and live plants.
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