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Old 02-22-2012, 01:42 AM   #1 
freemike
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My family thinks I'm crazy and my journey so far into fishkeeping....

Right now I'm a broke college student living at home and inadvertantly started Betta fish keeping as a hobby. This is due two factors one is a dumb Walmart employe that told me they just needed a small container, fed once a week, and clean water (didn't recommend conditioner either). I also wanted pet I've always loved animals fur, feathers, scales, and etc. So due to my living arrangements and already having dogs that are "family" pets. I decided to get two based on the information the employee gave me. Well I got the fish home I figured the wal-mart employee gave me some mis-information. So I found this place got two 10 gallon tanks did the set up. I now own 2 hospital tanks due to me being a hard head and trying to accomplish cycles with the fish in. Not saying it's not possible but my blue Betta was just lethargic and fins started deteriorating fast over the last two days, and the red Betta was showing signs of fin splits to begin.

Last night I checked on my fish and I had made a mistake I had left the heater unplugged for the blue Betta after his last water change and shut off the bedroom heater for most of the day. His water was hovering around 70-72*. This due to the cycling process, fin rot, and some growth on his gills left this fish in bad shape. When I checked on him he swam by the filter and barely could escape it he actually got stuck needing a second effort to get free. I was like aww frick and hurriedly made a makeshift tank from a drawer out of a sterilite 3 drawer cart with low water and a heater. He seemed somewhat better in the low clean water. As far as the red one goes he has always been far more active, heftier, and just more lively in general. I checked him out and he has two tiny slits in his tail fin. So from what I learned with the blue Betta I figured he would be heading down the same path. I decided to leave him in the tank because he was being active, strong swimmer, and his same old self despite some mysterious discoloring that just popped up on his face and gills (possible ammonia burn?) in the 4 days. Some people say it may be his coloring but I had him three weeks before and he never showed this discoloration. I decided they both needed to get out of the cycling tanks.

So this morning everyone comes to me when I get up saying "why did you kill the fish," and "Oh he didn't make it through the night". I'm a little perturbed because it wasn't like I was doing this on purpose. I also didn't like how they acted as if they meant nothing. I check on him and yeah he still isn't so hot but his gills are still moving. He had stress stripes from seeing himself in the drawer sides unfortunately so I kept him under two towels to keep light out. I ran out and bought some aquarium salt and two medium pet keepers as soon as the Petco opened. I set them up this morning in their hospital tanks. I prepped the keepers and transferred the fish to their new heated hospital tanks/temporary homes while the main tanks cycle. The blue Betta after 15 hours in the new KK: His white growth on his gills has fell off I watched it progressively dangle more and more until he shook it off and I skimmed it out of the KK. His color has came back and activity has went through the roof and he awarded me with his first flare I've ever seen him do when he saw the red one next to him in the other KK tonight. There is a divider in between the KKs now. The red one is still doing good activity wise and his gills/face look to be healing.

Does anyone else's family think they are crazy? My mom told me she would just have let the thing died this morning. It's like they don't understand the investment of time I have in these guys. I know it's a 4 dollar fish, but seriously it's a lot more to me than just the 8 dollars that it would take to replace them. My family keeps telling me they're just fish and you can always get new ones. I want these guys to live they're my fish and the store doesn't have MY fish. Seriously for me tonight when the blue one flared at my red Betta after just this morning being pale with dark stress stripes from seeing his reflection totally made it worth it. I think the prognosis is looking for the both of them and hopefully will be returning them to their 10 gallon tanks in a few weeks when it finishes cycling.

Last edited by freemike; 02-22-2012 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:01 AM   #2 
Chesterthebetta
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I'm in highschool, and got a betta because my friend decided not to give me the guppy she bought for a photo assignment. "Oh its easy, bettas just need a small bowl, food and room temp water. It's ok" Yeah right. Now I have two betta. My first got sick, and my second I rescued because it was dying and sick in the pet store -.- I'm sure I'll acquire more. Did I mention I spent over $100 the last 2 days when my original thought was it would be under $20. Stupid people...... Now I'm addicted to them and want to help all the sick bettas :(
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:42 AM   #3 
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Mike, I so get the "they're not MY betta" thing. They come to be your buddies, very quickly, and are great companions.

My betta loves watching my housemate do his hapkido exercises, and follows him up and down the tank as he does his stretches and stuff. It's pretty adorable, and now my housemate drops past the tank to say 'hi' to Sid now and then. He's a really nice guy, but admitted not "getting the fish thing" until Sid won him over. Maybe helping your family get to know your fish as individuals (once they're well) might help change their minds?

I am sorry your fish are/were ill, but enjoyed reading your experiences and efforts to make them well. I even learned a couple things, so thanks for sharing. I hope your fish recover well and are with you for a long time to come.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:55 AM   #4 
freemike
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Originally Posted by Aus View Post
Mike, I so get the "they're not MY betta" thing. They come to be your buddies, very quickly, and are great companions.

My betta loves watching my housemate do his hapkido exercises, and follows him up and down the tank as he does his stretches and stuff. It's pretty adorable, and now my housemate drops past the tank to say 'hi' to Sid now and then. He's a really nice guy, but admitted not "getting the fish thing" until Sid won him over. Maybe helping your family get to know your fish as individuals (once they're well) might help change their minds?

I am sorry your fish are/were ill, but enjoyed reading your experiences and efforts to make them well. I even learned a couple things, so thanks for sharing. I hope your fish recover well and are with you for a long time to come.
Yeah they do truly have their own personalities. My red one Larry seems to be more of a tough guy than the blue one Joe. Joe hated me when I first got them having to their water changes and transferring him to the main tank that first week. He tolerates me now since he knows I provide food and that I won't keep him out of the water long in the net. That fish would get stress stripe every time I netted him for that first week. He still gets them occasionally now when being moved. Before though if I walked to the tank for even feeding he would get stress stripes and wouldn't eat till I left lol. Larry is like eh whatever dude do what you got to do lol.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:22 AM   #5 
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That's pretty much how it is with our red and blue boys - my VT Sid is red (turning blue?) and is so relaxed about everything - except being put in a smaller container, he really hates that. My daughter's blue HM is so, so stressy and stripes up about every little thing. He's a sweetie, though, and very friendly.

Larry is an awesome name. What fin types are they both?
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:28 AM   #6 
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They are both VT. Here's a pic granted they are no longer in that container. That is what the Wal-Mart guy said would be a suitable home. It's .25 gallons for each fish ick. I use it for holding when doing water changes and only put one in at a time. You can tell Larry while still active in the smaller 2 gallon KK is a little P.O'd at the tank size now as he keeps going to the corners and coming back to the front of it staring at me like "wtf dude" when I check on him.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:36 AM   #7 
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Awh, they're cute little guys. I really love VT's. Sid's my first betta, so maybe that's part of it, but I really do prefer them.

Gotta love that "wtf" stare. Which is kind of mean, lol. But it's funny.

I really hope Larry and Joe both pull through okay. Keep us updated!
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:53 PM   #8 
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oh golly i saw that keeper on walmart.com, and was like WHY DOES THIS SHOW A HALF GALLON TANK WITH TWO FISH IN IT
really goes to show you how little store employees seem to know about bettas, and all the misinformation people hand out. i would have been in a similar boat- i wanted to get my fish a half gallon marina cube but i'm glad i found out otherwise! cant wait to see your ten gallons ^-^
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:28 PM   #9 
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I'm kinda in your same position. Broke college grad, living at home. Except instead of two bettas I have 4 fish tanks ranging from 10 gal divided tanks to a 55 gal goldfish tank. I have gotten the "it's just a fish" comment before. I usually counter it with the amount of biology and ecology needed to maintain a proper fish tank. Fishkeeping is a much more scientific hobby than most people realize.

I don't think we'll ever stop hearing "it's just a fish." We just have to learn to shrug it off. Those people will always see a fish as a "decoration" whereas we see them as friends.

I hope your little guys can pull through. Your blue one looks just like my first betta, a blue vieltail from walmart.
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