Our betta, Toby, was abused before we got him. Our friends kept him in a 1 liter container and did monthly water changes! When we got him, he was very pale (almost white on his fins and white on his body and head) and I think was sick. We just did nothing but feed him goldfish flakes(which was what they gave us) and started doing weekly water changes. We were just petsitting for them during their vacation. When they got back, they said we could keep him. By then he had red colored fins and an almost black body! It was amazing! We upgraded him to betta food within a week, and upgraded him to a 1 gallon tank with heater before winter. He must have had fin rot at their house as his fins are very ragged with a bit of new growth. There is not any more new fin growth. I never noticed this until we got another betta, but Toby does not have gills! When he flares, there is nothing where the gills should be. They're just gone! So my two questions are:
1. Has anyone heard of gills disappearing and if so, how does it happen? Could it be because of poor water quality?
2. How can we promote new fin growth to make him look better?
We've had him since early June, and other then being slightly sedentary compared to our other betta Ares and the problems noted above, he is normal and healthy. I cant believe we saved him!
Sorry about this HUGE post.
Here are some pics.