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Old 09-23-2011, 10:35 AM   #1 
CalvinWill
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Talking This new guy changes everything.

I have been a betta "owner" for almost 10 years. I've always had a jar or bowl or small tank hanging around with a $2 blue vieltail sitting in unheated, untreated water on my kitchen table or in my office. I wouldn't win any "owner of the year" awards, but most of them have lived about 2 years, aside from 2 that died within 3 days. (I blaim wal-mart.)

My "last" betta died about 6 months ago, and I was done with them. I put my tank up and didn't really miss it.

About 2 months ago, my girlfriend and I went to PetSmart so she could coo at the guinnee pigs. While we were walking out, the bettas on the endcap caught my eye. Typical boring vieltails. Blue. Red. Dirty blue water. 2 or 3 dead.

I moved a dead female's jar from the first row and tucked it in the back so people didn't have to see her. Behind her spot was the smallest betta I had ever seen for sale. He was just over an inch long with fins, and was white with a rew red spots on his fins. He was not doing well. He just sat at the bottom of his jar and swam "away" trying to hide from any fast movement. I looked at him for about 10 minutes. I felt bad. I wanted to help him. I wanted to see what he would look like if he got bigger.

I was a betta owner again.

I took him to the counter and when his barcode was scanned, the lable read "HalfMoon - $8.99". I've never spent more then $2.99 on a fish. This little guy was already nickle and diming me.

I took "the most expensive betta in the world" home and starting digging around for my 1 gallon tank. I set it up, plug the bubbler and light in, toss in a Tank Buddy, and let it sit for about an hour. I dump my rescue project in the tank, and then take my girl out for dinner.

The next morning i check on the little guy and, to my suprise, he is still alive. Not only that, he is swimming around, eagerly exploring his tiny home (that i'm sure felt huge to him). He looked at me, chased my finger, and looked like he was saying thank you.

He wouldn't eat pellets or flakes. I don't think he recognized them as food. I went to the store and picked up some bloodworms and 2 ghost shrimp to clean the food that had accumulated on the bottom. After about a week he was eating flakes and pellets with a bloodworm snack from time to time. The Ghost shrimp keep the place tidy. Everyone gets along.

2 months later, this still unnamed fish has won my heart. He looks so excited every morning when he sees me. Him and his shrimp friends gobble their food and then set out to play in the bubbles. He has retained much of his whiteness, but is taking on an almost translucent blue tint. The red spots on him are bolder. His fins are filling in.

I have been researching bettas and want to do everything I can to make him as pretty and happy as possible. I've never seen a betta like him. His coloring and personality make him the favorite fish i've ever owned.

I've started doing 50% water changes every few days. I am getting a 5 or 10 gallon tank this weekend with a heater and filter and even some live plants.

Most importantly, i've decided to breed him. I am several months from starting that, but I am researching and reading everything I can on proper betta care.


Here is a picture of this guy. I am calling him "M-1" for now. Any idea what his color or patern is called? Does he look alright?

(i've yet to get a picture of him flaring. The pictures where he looks blue were taken with a very bright flash)
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:43 AM   #2 
BlakbirdxGyarados
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Thanks so much for the story! It's great to hear a good turn-around anecdote. =)

Firstly, welcome to the forum.

He looks like a blue marble Halfmoon... Based on the pictures, I'm guessing he changed from one color to another, pretty much?
Which picture on the collage is the most recent? If he's now light blue, I say he looks a little raggedy around the fins. But if he's active and seems healthy, he should be good otherwise!

He's gorgeous. :)

Edit: I just saw the note you added in parenthesis... I just woke up, so sorry if I'm asking questions when the answers are right there. :P
If he hasn't changed colors from the time you got him to present day, then instead of marble, he might be a tricolor betta. Based on his markings, though... I say once he's in a bigger home with the better accomidations, he'll really change colors fast. He looks a lot like how my first male was when I brought him home. (He happens to be a Halfmoon, too.) Jade went from white with slight red and blue spots to all navy blue with deep red fins, fringed with white. Like a completely different fish.

Last edited by BlakbirdxGyarados; 09-23-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:02 AM   #3 
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The largest picture and the pictures with the flash (bright blue) were taken in the last 2 days. The other picture was taken about 3 weeks ago. between that time he spent 2 days with a red claw crab that I was told would clean the tank and not bother him.

My crab was a jerk. "M-1" thought it was the most interesting thing. The crab didn't want the attention. I returned the crab and got the ghost shrimp.

What can I do to help his fins regrow and get fuller?

What is recomended as the best pellet food for bettas? Right new he mostly eats tropical betta flakes, and i know that is not ideal.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:40 AM   #4 
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Awww such a nice story and handsome guy! Welcome!

As for his fins, Stress coat+ is highly recommended to help regrowth of fins. Plus, it's good for his slime coat and conditions the water.
Anything with high crude protein % is good for him. I found my flakes have more then my pellets, so I alternate them. New Life Spectrum I've heard real good things about. As well as frozen blood worms and brine shrimp are excellent. Especially if you want to condition him for breeding.

Can't wait to hear more about your adventures in the times to come!
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Old 09-23-2011, 12:46 PM   #5 
BlakbirdxGyarados
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I second what Myates said. Stress Coat+ is great for healing fins. My other HM had a huge rip in his tail two days ago. It was halfway headed yesterday, today it looks good as new. I also added 1/2 tsp of aquarium salt to prevent any fungus growth while he heals. It's not necessary, but it's good to be safe.

A lot of users feed Hikari pellets to their bettas every day, replacing one day a week for frozen bloodworms.
Personally I give my bettas Tetra Color+ Flakes one day, then pellets, then frozen Mysis shrimp, Aqueon brand flakes, ZooMed pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, etc., and it circles. I inherited quite a bit of different foods given that I work at a pet store, but I love having a huge variety to work with... If I find one of my bettas doesn't particularly like a certain food, I have a lot of backup.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:14 PM   #6 
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Beautiful story! And what a gorgeous betta! Nice save! You should name hime River or something. It's up to you. I loved the story! Best of luck to you and your betta! :)
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #7 
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That was such a great story to read! I'm sort of like you, I had a couple bettas in the past, but I didn't know any better and kept them in unheated cups with just gravel. I thought they were so boring. Now I have 3 in 2+ gallon tanks and you can really see their personalities come out when they're in an environment they love. They're so fun to watch and you end up talking about them all the time!
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:41 PM   #8 
CalvinWill
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Update:
I've spent so much time researching Betta's, tank conditions, breeding, plants, and everything Betta related. I am slowly making changes to my little guy's habitat.

I am not able to get the 5 gallon tank that I want to move to yet, but I am doing what I can to make his 1 gallon more enjoyable.

I removed his old spiky plants that I think might have had a bit to do with his ragged fins. I replaced one with a small silk plant, and the other with a Marimo ball that I split in two. I am not advanced enough for live plants, so i hope the Marimo will take care of the minor algae problems i used to have.

I am doing 50% water changes every other day and got some Seachem Prime as a conditioner.

My question: Earlier a couple people mentioned Stress Coat++ to help with his fins. Should i still get that or is the SeaChem Prime enough?

Any other tips/suggestions?
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #9 
Micho
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Stress Coat will help with the healing of fins. I believe :D

Marimo moss balls are easy plants, they'll usually collect debris up so once in awhile take them out of the tank and rinse them, squeeze them gently and try to roll them into a sphere like you're playing with Play Doh, it'll help maintain their spherical shape.
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:11 PM   #10 
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To my understanding, Seachem prime is a water conditioner (removes chlorines, ammonia, heavy metals, etc) whereas Stress Coat+ is both a conditioner and a medicinal treatment...it'll help the healing of torn fins, replace the slime coat and reduce stress. So using it a mass amounts (it has to be like half-the-bottle mass amounts) isn't recommended as the slime coat will be too thick.

This is just what I've gathered from reading tons of threads, but I'm not sure how accurate it is. What I do is use Prime to condition my water for water changes and every now and then I'll put a drop of Stress Coat (I have 2-5 gallon tanks) in it.
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