So, today my hubby gave me a call from work and told me that he "inherited" a betta from a previous employee who - about a week ago, quit his job without notice. My husband knows next to nothing about bettas, so he described the conditions to me, and the first thing I said was "CHANGE THE WATER AND KEEP AN EYE ON HIM UNTIL I GET THERE!"
Lazarus was in the filthiest conditions I had ever seen. He was hiding between some rocks (he may have been trapped under them for quite some time), and there was about a half inch of rotting food and fish crap on the bottom of the "tank".
The "tank", by the way, was a massive measuring cup with a bamboo plant inside it, and a bunch of huge rocks. My husband changed the top part of the water because he was afriad of shifting the rocks and killing poor Laz, since he appeared to be trapped underneath them. To make matters worse, the water was near freezing!
Laz was sideways, barely breathing, and has fin rot and cottony growths, but not nearly as many as you'd expect, given the conditions he was in. I think maybe the cold water did something there, but I really don't know how he survived or why he wasn't in much worse condition.
Now, I just found out that Maracyn products are BANNED in my region! I used to buy them at a LPS, but apparently they got caught and fined for selling them.
At the moment he's in a 4 gallon tank, with a touch of stress coat, some API fungus cure (according to the guy at the aquarium store - the best in the city - it's the closest equivalent to Maracyn that can be legally purchased in this area), a pinch of aquarium salt, and a nice Indian Almond leaf to cheer him up. He seems quite happy with the changes and he swims around, but I can't feed him because the previous owner overfed the little guy and his stomach is bloated like a marble!
I think maybe I'll put the girls next to his tank tomorrow to cheer him up. Lucky was very sick when I first got him, and when I placed him next to the girls, he perked right up and started making bubble nests!
Any advice is welcome. I hope you guys are having a calm and peaceful holiday season ... mine seems to be unusual thus far!