I thought it would be interesting to log my feelings on the new little one I brought home this past Monday. I told myself I wouldn't get another Betta for at least a year, but when I saw a little true red VT with obvious signs of swim bladder disease struggling to swim @ the pet store close to my work, I changed my mind.
I had an extra long lunch this day, and somehow managed to find my way into the local pet store closest to my work. While there, I couldn't resist looking at the Betta's. As I was glacing, I noticed some movement on one of the top shelves. There, in a cup labeled "Male VT" was a little red guy struggling to swim on his side, it was quite apparent that he had Swim Bladder disease; not only that, but what fins he hadn't lost to Fin Rot were ragged. I cringed at first, and then my heart started "bleeding" (so they say) when I saw the look on his face as he was trying to swim. I had to go back to work, but he occupied my thoughts for the next four hours I had remaining at work, I knew what I had to do.
I wasn't sure he would survive the night; but I figured I would take him home and, at least, give him a few moments of rest in his final hours. I went to Walgreens, bought some epsom salt, and then went back to the pet store. When I got there, I carried up the smallest critter keeper I could find, a net and thermometer to the register and went back to get the little guy and pay. I first carried out my supplies and grabbed a sweater I had laying around in the back seat of my car. I wrapped his cup in it, carried him to my car and made the 30 minute trek home. I was sure if the stress of being transported didn't kill him, that the hike up the two flights of stairs to my apartment would.
I kept him wrapped in a sweater the whole time, until I made it into my apartment. I placed his cup on my dryer and slowly raised my sweater, expecting to reveal a dead fish. However, he was still alive, and struggling to swim! I got up and immediately started acclimating him to a stress coat/ epsom salt mixture. He seemed to perk up immediately, but I still wasn't getting my hopes up.
After acclimating in and putting him in the small critter keeper I had bought, I wrapped the tank in a towel, to keep him warm, and tried to go to sleep.
I didn't sleep well at all that night, opening up the towel in the morning was almost the equivalent of opening a present on Christmas.
I was delighted to see a fish, very curiously peering at me from the top of the critter keeper that morning. He still had a slight "bob" to his swim, but he was swimming and no longer wasting energy struggling.
Excited by his progess, I go to Petsmart after work to look at larger tanks for him.
The lady who is usually there when I come recognized me, and noticing the tank and heater in my hands, asked if I had gotten another one. I replied "Yes" and told her about him. "What, did you feel sorry for him? was her only reply. She tried to convince me that he had a bacterial infection, and tried to recommend BettaFix to me. I shot her down, repeating my question about the heater I had in my hand.
I left frustrated, and anxious to get home and see if he was still doing well. After my whole encounter with the Petsmart lady, I decided to take some pictures and post them on bettafish.com, to make sure I wasn't missing anything I should be treating him for. I got a lot of lovely replies, validating my instincts.
I did a 100% water change with stress coat and 1 tsp epsom on this day, even though he still wasn't bloated, to be on the safe side.
Waking up to find Remedio stronger than ever! I was delighted by this, and figured it was time to move him out of the laundry room, and into the dining room. I thought a little stimulation would do him good.
After work I went back to petsmart and bought a 1 gallon tank and a 25 watt Top Fin water heater.
I was so excited to see that Remedio had blown a few bubbles in his hospital tank in my absence.
I set up the 1 gallon tank with regular tap water and the heater. Planning to test out how well it warmed the water and make sure the water placed in it didn't smell terribly of leeched rubbed after a night of working. I figured the poor dear deserved it, after all he had been through.
I did another water change, but this time with just plain stress coat as an additive. I felt the epsom wasn't needed, since he wasn't bloated anymore. I made plans to feed him his first meal the next morning.
I had planned to feed Remedio his first meal this morning.
Using New Life spectrum pellets, I placed three in the palm of my hand, dipped my finger into his tank water and attached one to my finger, (The same thing I do for Bowie). He was still too unsure of me to eat right from my finger, so I shook it off. Two of the three pellets floated, and the other one started to sink, but he raced to catch it, hungry boy didn't miss a bite! After his first meal he did a little "S" dance, so cute!
I figured I would leave the new tank with the heater set up while I was at work and check it when I got back from work again, to be safe.
When I got home, I took a picture, to mark his progress. I notice the area at the bottom of his anal fin, that was black when I first brought him home has cleared up nicely.
I poured some of the water out of the new tank I wanted to put him in tonight. But, after both myself and brother detected a rubbery smell to the water, I'm not going to risk taking him out of the critter keeper tonight. Going to continue covering his tank with a towel at night, to keep in warmth, until I figure out what to do about the heater situation. I'm also going to buy a plant to make his little home a tad bit more comfortable when I go and raise heck at petsmart about the heater tomorrow. :-p
He had another three pellet meal this evening, since he hadn't bloated from his meal this morning. Gobbled up those pellets mightly fast, in the same way he did this morning.
Using only stress coat with his water change tonight, getting optimistic that his fin rot will clear up on it's own, with clean water now. I figure I'll decide if I want to use AQ Salt on Sunday.
Concerns: He still hasn't pooped, since his homecoming I'm hoping his meals today will help with that.
I had one fish like that and had an empty tank at the time so decided to try to give him a shot at recovery. He was so ragged I called him Brillo. He turned out to be one of the most gorgeous fish I owned.
I have a feeling that Remedio will have the same outcome with all of that TLC you're giving him. Good luck.
I returned the heater and purchased another one online, which should be here tomorrow.
And I'm sure he'll enjoy the extra room. I haven't put him in there yet, since I still don't have a heater, and think it would be unfair to give him all that room just to take it away when I need to test the heater to see how it'll work in that size tank.
It's not a permanent home, but it'll do until he's out of the woods with the fin rot.
Originally Posted by kfryman
I hope the fix that heater. Also nice to see that he has been improving on his conditions. I hope he enjoys that 1 gallon!