One more introduction before I get back to what I need to be doing...housework ugg. Procrastination is unfortunately a trait of mine especially when rather do something else like write about or photograph fish.
I happened upon Hope one day while out looking for plants for my tanks. It is always dangerous when you go in looking for something else! I stopped by a different Pet Smart than I usually go to. It is a brand new store, very nice and a bit smaller so easy to get in and out. I am not usually a big fan of Pet Smart fish because they typically have not been in the best conditions around here. There are exceptions of course. Sterling my EE is one of them. He was very healthy but got him on a shipment day. That day I looked through the bettas as usual. I was frustrated in seeing a dead one right off the bat. Don't let me find a dead betta on the shelf at your store or I will be visiting you. The females always seem to be neglected more. It seems not many people want them. I have several females and love them. They are just as feisty and full of personality as my boys. Sometimes their colors are not as vivid and obviously their tails are shorter but unique in their own way. I looked through them all. The waters were awful. Each fish looked very clamped and dispondent. I saw another one on the top shelf in the back. She was laying on her side and oh my goodness the water looked like pond scum! I am not even joking. It was a brownish green. I have never seen anything so bad. A thick residue of algae or something filled the bottom of the cup. I was livid and thought great here is another dead one to give to the manager. I picked the cup up and to my great suprise the fish was not dead but jumped to the top of the cup as screaming "get me outta here!!" This was unexcusable to find a fish in this condition. I immediately got a clerk and said "this fish need a water change NOW!" I would not give up on her until she did either. The clerk just looked at me with those deer in the headlight eyes. She said "well usually only the manager changes the waters". I said "well how often does that happen because obviously this one has not been changed in don't know how long". "Oh every week" she said confidentlly. "Plus we are so busy there is not time to get to water changes today". 4 people in the store including me and 2 clerks. Hmmm too busy? I relented that this fish had to have action now. I couldn't even tell what her color was it was so bad. Eventually the girl caved and went to the sink. Obviously she had not changed a water in her entire life as she fumbled around for cups and asked other girl what she could put fish in. Good grief. She finally found something and filled new cup with water. As she started to add the fish I reminded her "you are going to put dechlorinator in there right?" "oh" she said grabbing a few chemicals and randomly dumping in the cup. She said the cup on shelf very proud and said "ok here she is" and walked off mumbling. Well the poor fish sank to the bottom of the cup. I thought oh my goodness they have killed her! After a few minutes she finally recovered no doubt from probably shock of clean water and I'm sure different temperature. She was a dragon scale halfmoon female. Very unusual black with white dragon scales. Her eyes were silver and she had a little tint of orange in her fins. Her head was very abnormal though. I hadn't seen anything like it. It almost looked like a spine deformity. The clerk said "so do you want her?" " No one wants the females. They are really dull looking". Yes I am taking her home. I absolutely was not leaving her there. All I had at home was a half gallon quarantine tank but I figured that would sufice until I could get her a bigger tank. Anything better than that cup of death.
I got her home and treated her with a methylene blue bath. I then added Aquarium salt in her tank and gave her an IAL. She was a feisty little thing and just seemed so grateful to have a home. I did some more research on her deformity. She is actually called a spoon head. It is a spinal deformity. From pictures you can see how the top of the head slopes down towards the mouth forming a spoon shape. I figured her deformity would have also made her much less likely to be adopted. That plus being female and in the cup of death could have ended it for her but she had HOPE. So that was her new name. Some while back I started giving my girl fish 2 names. Silly I guess but a lot of them are given names that are the fruits of the spirit from the book of Galations in the Bible. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience.
Every fish deserves a Chance
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