I'm newer to the site, but not to keeping bettas (on and off for about 14 years). 3 days ago I took on what seems to be my most challenging rescue of all. I purchased one of the saddest looking male VT from a local Petco. I originally just thought it was a bad case of SBD and that his fins were so clamped down because he was so stressed. Greyson (I reluctantly have named him, not wanting to get too attached tot he poor guy) is still alive. I have been doing the epsom salt water changes with him and he seems maybe a bit better. His fins are so tightly clamped, he can't move them. Could they be stuck that way? Did he suffer some neurological problems? He fights to get to the top of his QT to take a breath and then hangs vertically. When not doing that, he lays on his side on the bottom of the tank. I have lowered the water level so that he can reach the top easier and have avoided feeding him in case it is SBD. His breathing is also very labored. Any thoughts on what this could be? I'm at a loss. Any suggestions, ideas or tips would be welcome. I'm trying to figure out how to get pics on this site, but am having technical difficulties. Thanks so much for any help :)
Maybe slightly swollen, but not too much. He's a big VT, but I've never seen fins that clamped that tightly together. You'd think if that was a birth defect, how did he ever grow into a good sized adult?
Have you noticed anything unusual about his poo? White spots, or white stringy poo? If not and he's pooing normally, he probably has an internal bacterial infection. Sadly, they're really common from pet store bettas who have been in high ammonia. The ammonia lowers their immune system so they get sick very easily.
In addition to his epsom salt, you may want to start him on Maracyn I and II. I doubt he'll eat since he seems pretty sick, but if he will, you might try Jungle Labs Anti-Parasite Medicated pellets soaked in garlic juice.
I hope he pulls through. I'm rooting for you, Greyson!
I got home from the pet store (without any new bettas) and I found that Greyson had passed away. At least I know he had clean water, was warm and loved when he passed. I was 99% sure I wasn't going to be able to save him, but I was hoping for a miracle.
Diagnostically, he never did pass any poo. So, I could never tell what may have been going on inside. I had been holding off on feeding him until today and it was a very small amount of my baby bettas' food. He didn't go for it at all. I just can not get over those tightly clamped fins. They looked fused together. I've never seen anything like it and I hope to never see anything like it again.
I think I'll go ahead and purchase some of the medicine to have on hand in case I need it right away another time. I'm sure this won't be the last time the soft spot in my heart allows me to take in "just one more".
Thanks everyone for all your help & good thoughts! They were much appreciated. I can find such a wealth of information through all of you that just isn't available through the normal research process. It's wonderful to find other people like me who are just as passionate about these wonderful little creatures :)
I'm really sorry to hear that, Gossip. :( But you gave him a loving home and clean water to pass in, which is more than can be said for those bettas still at the store. And yeah, it always helps to have Maracyn II on hand, especially if you rescue a lot of sick bettas. Even better, see if you can find Kanaplex. You may need to order it online, though, but it's a strong antibiotic that can be used in solution OR mixed with food and fed.
Yeah. Out of all those other betta fish, you chose him. He must've been so happy about that. You gave him a nice home, warm, clean water, and most of all, love! His spirit will be healthy as ever up there in the sky. May Greyson Rest in Peace.