The Bleeding Heart's Journal - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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The Bleeding Heart's Journal

Hello All,

I've been thinking about starting a journal for a while now, but today was the tipping point when I went to Walmart for rice and came home with not one but two sick bettas.

Before I didnt think I would have much to write about. My red VT male Fawkes and blue HM female Luna (yes both Harry Potter references) live in their divided tank with a moss ball each and besides occasionally catching a glimpse of each other in the reflections of the tank by the divider, live relatively uneventful lives. They'll each get a post devoted probably tomorrow or the next day depending how much time I have. I'm kind of obsessed with both of them to be honest! They really aren't anything special in the betta world, but they're mine.

Now my new rescues, and I can proudly call them rescues because I talked the Walmart manager into giving them to me for half price. $3 and change was well worth saving them from their filthy cups. I haven't decided if I'm going to end up keeping one, both, or neither of these boys, and for now they remain nameless, but I'm waiting to make those decisions once they're a bit more stable than they are currently.

The first is a cello male VT with some reds in his fins, that had such bad bloating that he was floating high enough in his cup that his left eye was exposed. I've started his epsom salt treatment and he perked up almost immediately. However he has yet to have a bowel movement and his default is still floating high enough that his back/dorsal fin are slightly out of the water. Hopefully that continues to resolve itself, but if not I'll have to explore other options of treatment like daphnia etc. At least now he is upright.

My second intake of the day is another male VT. I'm not sure what his coloring is since he is more yellow-grayish right now than anything else. Maybe leaning a little toward green? Well, his lack of coloration and generally dismal and sickly appearance wasn't what caught my eye. It was his lack of tail. Judging from the fish I see at that store and I assume he is related to, Id say a good 80% of his tail is missing and what he has left doesn't look to be in very good shape either. It doesnt look like rot and the edges are too clean cut to be biting... I'm not sure what happened to the poor little guy, but it was serious. He also seems rather small... He could just be younger or malnourished or both. He's getting AQ salt treatment at the moment but shoutout to Seren27 for volunteering to send me IAL for the little guy.

Today's new additions make 4 bettas and 3 tanks in the bedroom of my college apartment. If I told you guys that my friends, roommates, and boyfriend all think I am certifiably insane it would be a monumental understatement. My mom gets it but she's a couple states away and can't back me up too much. I guess my friends are supportive but none of them have ever really bonded to a fish as a pet the way that I have in the past and am currently.

My love for bettas started a long time ago when I was a kid. Over my life I've had probably about 10 bettas. My first was a dark blue VT named Ron that my mom brought home from her office because he'd been bought to replace a friend that retired. Then came Carolina, my only female I had previous to the one I have now. Her mate's name was Red (we briefly attempted to breed them when I was a kid because my parents kept aquariums), and then I had Swish. After them we took a break from betta keeping while I had young turtles. I still have three Red eared sliders and an eastern spiny softshell turtle, but they are a lot bigger now! Maybe I'll post a few pictures of them at some point as well.

A few other bettas intermittently lived on my kitchen table over the years before I went to college. I had two previous fish at school over the last few years, Gil and Holmes. Gil was one of the most beautiful fish I'd ever seen but I lost him to shock when my roommate tried to take him home with her to care for over a break. I didnt try again until this year with Holmes.

When I lost Holmes to a bacterial infection that I was ill prepared to dealing with at school, I went to Walmart to save one of the bettas there. That's how I got my boy Fawkes who, despite an unfortunate encounter with my boyfriend's (he was fish sitting while I'm home for winter break this year) sink drain/garbage disposal that messed up his fins, he's been doing great. I tried to then save my office betta, Pudge... Even brought him all the way home to my mom 2 states away, but he never fully recovered from the conditions he'd been kept in before I took him in. We were both very upset about losing him and I felt pretty bad about giving her the hope of a new betta friend after she'd just lost hers. So of course I made an excuse to go to a PetCo because I knew she would fall in love with one and that would be the end of it. So she has a baby betta now named Quinn that she sends me pictures of all the time. Im still not positive if its a male or female but Quinn is pretty neutral so I guess the name stays regardless!

I also recently got my best friend (I may also refer to her as my little sister) back in to the betta world by adopting a fish for her named Marble from Seren27's foster house.

So that's a bit about me and about my fish and experience to this point. If you read all of that then I appreciate it! In the next couple of days I'll post some updates on my rescues and my other two including pictures, but for now...

Until next time!
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post #2 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Fish Profile #1

So I figure I'll start by introducing the betta I've had longest:

Fawkes
Male
Red with "iced tips" as I like to call them (you can sorta see it in certain pictures of him)
VT
Bought from Walmart
Came home in late September/Early October

He had fin rot before but he's over that and also is showing regrowth since his misadventure with my boyfriends sink drain. He's come back from a lot in a short period of time, living up to his Phoenix namesake.

image.jpg
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post #3 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Well since I hate using my phone and having images sideways like that, Here are a couple better views of Fawkes

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Next up is my new girl

Luna
Female
her cup said HM but I'm not 100% convinced
Blue with some black spots on her fins
Bought from PetSmart
Home January 10th 2016

She's currently in a divided tank with Fawkes. They barely acknowledge one another even on the rare occasion that they notice each other through the divider. I made it myself with two pieces of craft mesh and it seems to work perfectly. Here she is and here is their tank so far. I've only had it about a week so its somewhat still a work in progress.

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post #4 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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And now for the "bleeding heart" part

I have a soft spot for bettas in need.. I always have, but only recently have I really been thrown into learning everything I can about common diseases. Consequently, I couldn't turn away from these boys when I saw them at Walmart. The assistant manager gave me each one for 1/2 off and therefore I only paid less than $3.50 for them both.

Rescue #1
Name TBD but it will probably end up being Alan, in honor of Alan Rickman's death and sticking with Harry Potter as a theme.
Male
VT
Cello? With some red parts and some iridescent parts to his fins
Came home with me yesterday, January 13th

Major bloat issues which are already somewhat better than pictured, but still very much present, though he does stay mostly upright now

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Rescue #2
Name most likely "Nearly Finless Nick" (Instead of Nearly Headless Nick? Get it?)
Male
VT? He kinda doesn't have much left of his tail but its a good bet
Yellow? I'm not sure if he'll color up a bit yet?

IMG_0379.jpg

IMG_0385.jpg
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post #5 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 06:40 PM
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*squeal* Fawkes has such a cute face! Adorable! Hope your two new ones recover. They sound like they went to the right loving home. :)
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post #6 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 06:55 PM
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I think Luna is a PK. Maybe. I tried to do a ray count on her photos but apparently they got blurry if you zoom in >< on the 2nd last photo though it's clear that she only has 2 rays. To me anyway. If someone can correct that that'll be great. Tail types on females is not my strongest suit.

Anyway. I like "Alan" :) sad to lose such a great actor. I think Alan is more pastel than Cello... Because his fins aren't transparent... But that depends on the lighting. 2nd guy is either pineapple (I don't even know if it's a real thing but people say it all the time) or a "banana yellow".

Merah (SIP) | Silhouette | Willow | Sapho | Nichi | Cypris | Cobalt
In loving memory of Serendipity
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post #7 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @BettaSplendid ! I'm not sure if the two new boys are going to stay mine, I may end up trying to adopt them out eventually.

Thanks for the opinion Olivia! I didn't think she was a HM but I'm terrible with female tail types too... I saw her at the store and I couldn't pass up that beautiful deep blue color! However it does make it really hard to get a decent picture of her with the black divider

Both the new boys have some coloring up to do... Though yeah Alan is more pastel in the body but his fins are rather transparent... I'm not deciding that one yet lol. Pineapple is interesting.

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post #8 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Updates for today!

We'll start with Alan.
He pooped a little bit today but I dont think whatever is up with him is over. He's acting very similarly to the betta I attempted to rescue from his disgusting prison of a tank at my work a few months ago. His name was Pudge and I was not able to save him... This time I'm better prepared. Alan doesnt seem to be as excessively buoyant as he was before his bm but he still will float up when he stops trying to hold himself in place. That or he sinks all the way to the bottom on a slight angle... If that doesnt improve I'll have to consider other causes of swim bladder issues, like parasites or infection.

Here he is! I took one with a flash so you could see his few lines of iridescence.

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Next up is Nick. Nothing's changed with him, still pretty skittish but he's always wanting food. That part he's got figured out. He knows exactly where his food shows up. He just seems... odd? Easily the least social fish I've had. Could have a lot to do with whatever happened to him that took his tail from him. Hopefully he gets a little more trusting.

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post #9 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Since my only responsibility on Fridays is a single class, I guess I will post a quick update!

Everyone seems to be doing well. Luna minds her own business while Fawkes continues to glass surf along the side of the tank where I'm pretty sure he knows the two rescues are. His tail and ventral fins are showing even more regrowth and I couldn't be happier!

As for those rescues, Alan seems to be doing better even than before. He seems better able to swim normally now. After doing his water change today though I found a weird, lightly colored, stringy thing floating in his tank... At first I thought he had suddenly turned to tail biting because he heard me say that I'm going to fast him for a couple days to clear out whatever Walmart had been feeding him, but his fins are all 100% intact. Maybe it was a worm? Or it was just because of crappy food? Who knows but whatever it was is gone now and he seems better off because of it.

Nick is pretty much the same. I'm going to increase the temp of his tank to 80 or so to help that tail of his. His water change went well too, though he still kinda worries me. I dont know what it is but he never flares, never seems interested in Alan (I even tried floating him in his tank with no luck)... Maybe he's depressed?In any case I'm sure he'll perk up eventually.

Oh in related news I'm thinking about applying for a second job at my local PetSmart. I could use the employee discount and maybe could help some of their bettas go to good homes using this forum.
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post #10 of 317 (permalink) Old 01-15-2016, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so now I'm becoming a really nervous fish mother... Fawkes had fin rot a couple months ago and has been showing really good regrowth, but I think I'm seeing pin holes and I can't really remember if they've always been there or not... He's gorgeous and all I want is for him to be healthy! I think they've been there but it doesn't make me any less nervous about it...

Just a side note, but I just want to thank everyone on this forum because I don't know how else I'd be able to express my concerns about my fish or my love for the sick ones with out it. This is a community of like-minded people and I love being able to talk about my fish.
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