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Old 12-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #1 
Pataflafla's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
Ratchet's Progress (Billions of Pictures)

Figured I'd take advantage of this new thread option to start a journal on Ratchet's progress through life... since I've got so many pictures of every stage and all.

I got him on June 1st, and 11 at night from Walmart. I walked back to the fish section and saw a pathetic little crown tail just sitting listlessly in his cup. right then I decided that I could totally handle a betta since it had been years since my last pair. I could have chosen from quite a selection of pathetic ones, but they all had more color than him. He was just a tiny little grey betta, one that no one would be impressed with. As soon as I looked at him closely, I was smitten. He could care less about me, but I wanted to heal him.

I bought a 10 gallon, the decorations and a heater that night while my sister bought a giant, green female. I posted in the morning about how to help Ratchet since he was completely listless and breathing so heavily.
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Oldfishlady came to my rescue and instructed me to clean water and time. Of course she was completely, 100% right about this and by day two he was already improving immensely.
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Soon he was out of quarantine/hospital tank and gaining strength by swimming in 5 gallons. I made sure he had plenty of tall plants and resting areas since he was so weak when I got him. As his health improved, so did his personality. He had such a fire to him and such sass that I could watch him for hours without noticing. He was starting to look healthy as well and his fins were starting to grow. His body, unfortunately, didn't follow the growth of his fins so he looked pretty disproportionate.
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While he was improving, his neighbor (My sister's female bought at the same time as him was going downhill. She unfortunately passed from dropsy despite our efforts to save her). Ratchet didn't seem to take notice since he could care less about her and was more interested in stuffing his little tummy.
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Soon, he got a new neighbor in the form of Iorek. As soon as he saw Iorek, there was electricity between them. They were destined to be mortal enemies. I've never seen Ratchet so intent of flaring all the time over any other male. He truly believed he had a chance of winning, should he ever get loose, against Iorek, who was easily twice his size and quite healthy.
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Eventually, I divided the 10 gallon once more, so it was now in three sections. At first all went well, but Ratchet (His attitude ever worsening, fitting his namesake) soon decided that he was unhappy. Instead of dealing with it or just becoming listless, he took matters into his own "hands." He began to tail bite. At first I though it was just a tear from one of his plants. I dismissed the first bout and continued letting him live in the divided 10 gallon. It was the second occurrence, as well as catching him in the act that forced him into solitary life.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #2 
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Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
In solitary life he was much happier and stopped biting his tail. He was in a 1.5 gallon tank for a little while as Mirage took his place in the 10 gallon. He let his tail grow back some, but it was slow since the water was too cold for a comfortable range for him (He prefers 80s for whatever reason). I decided that I would upgrade his tank to a 2.5 gallon, get him a heater since winter was well on its way, and get him some new decorations. the tank, once all set up looked gorgeous and fitting for him. I put him in once the temperature was up and he had acclimated. As I released him, he had to bite every plant and bubble to show it who was boss, as per his usual style.
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I had to be at work by 5 in the morning, so I got up at 3 to get ready and didn't think to check on anyone, not wanting to disturb their little fishy dreams. Work kept me much later than I had planned, unfortunately and I was late to get home to feed everyone. I immediately went to my room so my boys wouldn't be hungry. I looked into Ratchet's tank and was horrified. Something was terribly wrong with him. He wouldn't eat his food, he was clamped, and he was staying in one corner, slowly sinking. I immediately checked the temperature to make sure the heater wasn't malfunctioning, but the temperature was still at 80 like I had it set to.
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After cupping his as quickly as I could and changing the cup water, I started him on epsom salt treatments. I changed his water twice daily and redosed the epsom salt at 2 tsp/gal. He didn't improve as much as I would have liked with that, but I gave him some time. I felt so terrible for unintentionally poisoning Ratchet. I thought I was going to lose him on the second night. his black face was turning white and his scales were turning black. By the third day the tips of his fins were turning completely black and falling off. Thankfully he started improving when the black fell off.
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I ordered an Eheim Jager after a suggestion from this sight. It took about 2 weeks to come in due to holidays and weekends, so Ratchet loathed his temporary homing of a half gallon hospital tank in the mean time and bit his tail a little bit. At this point I didn't care, just as long as he was healthy and alive. I tossed everything the day after the heater came in so I could make sure everything was working before being out a way to keep Ratchet warm. I also bought live plants for him since I planned on tossing everything in the tank. I wasn't going to take a risk.
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I got the tank set up and ready to go after quarantining the anacharis and moss ball for another week. everything went well and I introduced Ratchet. He immediately went to the moss ball and rubbed himself all over it (Made me think of a cat rubbing up against stuff). I guess he liked the texture of it or something, but this was his first venture into live plants since I've had him. Very soon though, his aggression resurfaced. Those anacharis stalks had to learn who was the boss of the tank. On a few occasions now I've seen him grab a stalk and tear off a chunk of it. He then dances over his victim with such glee that it makes me think that in a past life he was a serial killer of some sort. His behavior towards his plants and the manly female behind him only cement in my mind the fact that any spawn from him would likely be piranhas.
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He's still on the mend, but at least he's still alive now.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:12 PM   #3 
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*claps* that was a wonderful story!! Wow, this little guy has been through ALOT in a short while.. Glad he is on the mend.. He sounds like he has the best character ever, love it :)
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:18 PM   #4 
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He sure is pretty!
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:18 PM   #5 
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Location: Lake Havasu, Arizona
He's definitely made it clear to me that I should be more attached to him than anyone else. He wins me over every day with his grumpiness in the morning. He'll flare at me if I'm not fast enough giving him his breakfast or if I look at him and he wants to be left alone. I do love him though, grumpiness included.

Hopefully he won't be through anything more for the rest of his life.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:22 PM   #6 
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I love that there is a story behind it all! You did great with this guy!
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:11 PM   #7 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
I love your descriptions of Ratchet's personality. You've got yourself a character there.

And I'll say I'm not used to these new sections so when I first saw the title of this down at the bottom of the home page, second to the last, I thought it was the memorial section still and got all sad. o.O
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:31 PM   #8 
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What a story he has. Quite the personality he's got and you seem to love every bit of it, even if he IS grumpy :)

I also have to add, his spotted fins are really cool.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:56 PM   #9 
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I think his fins are neat too. He's got a white dot on his face that I always mistake for ick. He seems to readily get that with major switches, so I always have to do a double take, and then he flares at me because I dared look at him with concern.

Sakura, if he had passed, I don't think I could post anything if he were to pass away. At least not for a few days.

This site has saved me so many times with getting everyone healthy again.

Thank you for everyone's help on here, I would be completely lost without it. That and I've been adoring the Rant thread recently. I've made so many friends and learned how to help my bettas so much thanks to everyone. I'm sure my boys and Sabino are all very appreciative of everyone as well.

I'm fairly certain I'll keep updating this throughout Ratchet's life, or at least until his tail heals up.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:59 PM   #10 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Pata, I'm just so relieved that it WASN'T the memorial section. I thought, "Ohmigosh, this is just what Pata needs on top of everything else!" Whew! He's just such a character and I love hearing your stories about him attacking his plants.

Long live Ratchet!
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