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Old 10-03-2011, 02:51 AM   #1 
RobotFrog
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Rex the rescue

Hello, all. I recently got back into betta fish (again!) and I've been lurking here for some time. It saddens me that this has to be one of my earliest threads, but here I am.

Long story short, my sister was getting rid of her (neglected) betta, and I offered to take him in. When she first got him he was a vibrant red veiltail. According to her she'd kept him on top of her fridge in a half gallon container, changed the water MAYBE once a week, and fed him about the same. I'm amazed the poor thing has survived this long. Ok..enough sister bashing! I've had him for a few days.
I immediately got him into a 1g with AQ salt and stress coat. Not sure if it was the best thing but that's all I could think of.

He was dull brown-red but has colored up some, he's now reddish and has a green/gold shimmer.. I'm not sure if its fungus or what. His face and gills have a sort of "moldy" look. His fins are clamped, I think? He is mobile but it seems like his back end is stiff/deformed, there's been some improvement but not much. He's actually very active and has an appetite, he just looks like hell. Today I noticed he looks like he might be starting to pinecone... so I took him out of the AQ salt. I'm assuming epsom salt is the next step? I feel like the AQ salt was a mistake, so I'd like to know what I need to do to help him. He's a sweet little guy and I'm already smitten with him. Sorry if this is lengthy, I didn't want to miss anything!

I have some pictures so you have an idea, but cell phone cameras are terrible, sorry for the blurriness.

Housing

What size is your tank? 1g
What temperature is your tank? 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? Not yet, he's near a lamp for now to stay warm
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari freeze-dried bloodworms (only thing he will eat)
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 or 3 pieces twice a day (not sure if this is ideal, I'm used to pellets but he won't eat them)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress coat+

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

N/a

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? See beginning of post.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? ^
When did you start noticing the symptoms? ^
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've been using AQ salt,
Does your fish have any history of being ill? unknown
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1-2 years

How he was brought to me (look at that water!):


Day 2:


Day 3:


Right now:
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:13 AM   #2 
Pataflafla
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So far he seems to be improving immensely. Just keep up with the clean water.

If you're using the epsom salt for bloat/ swim bladder issues, I suggest using it for a full 10 days to makes sure he's not going to relapse. Freeze dried blood worms can cause bloating issues if the betta isn't used to eating them (or in this case eating in general).

To try and get him eating pellets, maybe try soaking some pellets in garlic juice? This will up his appetite, and if he eats the pellet(s) then the garlic will help his immune system and the balance of the pellet will lessen bloating/constipation issues related to a low fiber diet.

If you can, try finding some mosquito larvae to feed him. Live is generally best. To do this fill up a bucket or pan with some water and make it a little dirty, let sit for a few days, and check back. This will probably only work if it is hot outside like summer time or spring time. If you do find any, be sure to give them good rinse in treated water before feeding.

The gold shine doesn't look like Velvet does it? I know that can be a very nasty parasite.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:27 AM   #3 
RobotFrog
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Thanks for the quick response, I was hoping you'd be one of the first :D

The reason I ask about the epsom salt is because his scales *ALMOST* look raised. Would it be a good idea? The possible-pineconing is the most concerning thing :(

First thing I did was soak the pellets (I've been lurking here awhile! lol), he almost ate them but spat them back out. I havn't tried since the 2nd day though, so I will again.

And Velvet crossed my mind but I'm not entirely sure what it looks like, Google was not helpful. This is a pic of him with my desk lamp shining on him:
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:48 AM   #4 
Pataflafla
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That honestly looks like a sickly sheen to me. He'll probably keep it unfortunately or it may fade a little bit with time and clean water.

If his isn't pine coning, I'd hold off on the epsom salt or start him on half a teaspoon per gallon. He needs as much of the nutrition as he can get right now, but his system also isn't used to handling any sort of nutrients. The epsom salt should help his system keep moving.

Frequent small meals will help him tremendously. He does looks like he's improving very rapidly though, which is wonderful.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:14 PM   #5 
RobotFrog
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Alrighty :D thanks again. I got him to eat ONE soaked pellet, hopefully I can wean him off the bloodworms. He's still looking almost-prickly but he's not bloated and he's very active, so I'll just keep an eye on it for now.
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