Betta fish rescue from Wal Mart, SCARY bad condition!
I stopped at Wal Mart to get some dog food last night, and cruised through the fish isle to pick up some betta food. This particular Wal Mart usually has only 5 or so Betta's under the counter, so I stopped and took a look.
They had the usual tiny crown tail males with fin issues, but in one of the buckets I spotted what looked like a big dead plakat male. It was in a way a plakat... it's a giant, and a female! I thought "wow that's a shame" and picked the bucket up, and despite some serious fin rot and having almost no color she was very much alive and actually very active! I couldn't leave her so I took her home. I actually saved the receipt and felt like I would be making a return the next day. I felt really bad and had mixed emotions over purchasing her, but I felt like it was the right thing to do (I'm usually not emotional at all over a fish, I don't know why seeing that one bothered me).
I put her in a 1/2 full gallon container with Jungle fungus cure, tetracyclin, and some light aquarium salt. She just laid on the bottom and made her way to the top a few times for air as I watched her. I think the meds plus a good night sleep did her good because this morning she was up and swimming, and ate two pellets! I'm still worried and will keep an eye on her, but for now it looks like I might have saved her and made a good find!
It's possible she's lost so much tail she looks like a plakat, but she has the elongated body, and she is HUGE, easily 1/4in larger than my biggest crown tail male. I thought she was a male but I can see the egg spot on her. I'll get pics so long as she makes it thorugh the day, I don't want to jinx anything :) I already have another gallon of the treatment water prepped, and I purchased Stress Coat to use in the place of Aqua Safe (looks like a very similar product but Stress Coat has aloe).
I am pretty sure the females at my walmart are all PK. Only CT and VT males though. And they do have giants, or half giants/kings, wahtever you want to call them, but only females. I got one from there and she is HUGE compared to my other girls. She is a marble too Actually, when they first get in a shipment, they have a nice selection of colors to choose from.
Almost all my fish came from walmart and with the exception of the newest girl, all have made remarkable recoveries.
Lucky you guys then lol.. I live in a small town (my high school graduation class back in Phoenix, AZ was bigger then the towns I live in/near here.. >.<)
Our half-Walmart just started getting bettas in for the first time a few months ago- only have CTs and VTs, both males and females. Anything outside of those I have to order and have shipped here. I am so moving to Alaska now..
She has to be the TOUGHEST fish I've ever owned. Today she's moving around the tank like nothing is wrong. I took this pic, and about 6 more but couldn't get her to hold still long enough to get a really good one. You can still get an idea of how bad this is. She has no color, looks like a corpse but I can still see remnants of blue on her, maybe her natural color is just white but I'm thinking she's going to look quite a bit different in a week or so
Females can be quite big sometimes- she may of been a breeder and they decided to go ahead and sell her. With mass breeders, they don't always keep the prettiest ones to breed, just ones readily breedable.
But she definitely looks like a girl as I don't see a beard sticking out from under the gills.
As for coloring- you'd be surprised by how they can change. I got one that was light brown body with pink fins and a lilac shine to her.. she is now dark blue with dark pink fins. Yours will be a surprise! But yeah, females will lose their colors easily and quickly, especially when stressed.
You could probably get away with just clean water, maybe use 1 tsp of AQ salt with 100% daily water changes- just don't keep her in the salt for longer then 10 days.
The picture is rather bright, so it's hard to see any rot. I see some places where she is missing parts of her fin- but that could be from other fish, since unsure how she was housed prior to being put in the cup.
Does she have black edges to the fins? If so, are the crusty and seem to flake off?
Or are they white and cottony? Either of those indicate fin rot. If she is just missing parts of her fins, then it was most likely due to something else. If she doesn't have those signs of rot, then she doesn't need anything but just clean water- regular weekly water changes in her home tank would be fine.
The pic is pretty bad, and that's with the flash off. It is fin rot, her fins are entirely wrapped in white, and even her mouth had some on it. It's either fin rot or columnaris which is why I went ahead and added tetracycline to her water. It is on every one of her fins too, it may have started from serious fin nipping, but there was for sure a pretty serious infection there. Her attitude from yesterday to today has improved quite a bit! She now acts like my male King betta constantly moving and full of energy!
Does the white look sorta like cotton?
From what I understand columnaris is opportunistic in that it attacks the mouth and anywhere there may be a wound. OR does it look almost like slime? IF so it could be her slime coat.
It wasn't re growth or slime coat, it was for sure some form of infection. I'm pretty certain of this because... ITS ALMOST GONE NOW I got up this morning and she was swimming like CRAZY wanting fed. She's getting color back in her scales, and the white on her fins is nearly gone! I'm going to give her till Saturday and I'll try and get some more pics. A lady in town has a 10 and a 5 gallon aquarium for sale so I might just pick up the 5 gallon as a recovery tank and keep her in that for a while. OH and I went to the Seymour Indiana Wal Mart last night, they had one male crown tail and 3 very big females. They also are raising the price of female Betta's from $3.67 to $4.88 so it seems they may have realized that the larger females can endure more so they're asking for them possibly? That or their supplier is heavy into raising giants which I can see being the new trend, so these females are the stock they have on hand now.