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Discussion Starter #1
I have been given the classroom betta to heal. He was pretty bad off when I got him. I honestly thought he was already dead.

He was given to me on Tuesday (3 days ago). At that time his condition was:


  • listless/laying on the bottom of the tank
  • having difficulty swimming to the surface
  • white/gray patches on his head, chin and side
  • breathing hard and fast
  • red gills - maybe swollen?
  • a large open looking sore on his side, behind his pectoral fin, running from the front of his dorsal fin to his anal fin
  • no use or movement of his ventral fins
He was kept in one of those plastic "betta boxes" that came in a betta kit from the big pet store. I think the teacher was using bottled water with him (Dasani) and was feeding him flakes. He had no heater, thermometer or filter - only a plastic plant and some gravel.

I moved him to a 1/2 gallon glass fish bowl with no gravel. I gave him tap water conditioned with Prime and added aquarium salt (+/- 1 teaspoon/gallon) and some Clout. I moved a thermometer from one of my betta bowls into this one so I could keep an eye on the water temp. I put him under the halogen light in my kitchen with a light towel shading the bowl from the intense light. The halogen will heat the water to 80 degrees.

At the end of Day 1, he had not eaten anything. (I tried a few pellets and bloodworms) His color was almost completely red again. There were a few grey spots and the sore looked nasty but not infected. He was swimming very little, but also very lopsided. He was breathing normal and his gills looked much better.

Day 2, I talked to the teacher. She mentioned that the students took turns taking him home on the weekends. She suspected they over feed him because the water was usually cloudy on Monday when he came back. She also said she has seen him swim lopsided before I took him. I suspected either swim bladder disorder from over feeding and/or internal illness.

Since he was having problems swimming to the surface, I moved him to a glass bowl with straight sides so I could use shallower water but still give him room to move around. 100% water change with tetracycline added. I also put his plant in with him. It is just floating on the surface but it gives him somewhere to hide. He did eat 1 bloodworm and part of a pea.

Day 3, he is a little perkier but not quite 100%. He isn't eating today. I don't think he has had any poop. He looks like he is getting ich now. He has white dots on his chin and eye. I did a 100% water (conditioned with Prime and aquarium salt added) change adding tertacycline and clout.

He is still swimming lopsided; he doesn't seem to use his ventral fins at all. His little pectoral fins are swimming so hard and he is almost going backwards. He is laying on his tummy now instead of his side. But he is still on the bottom, hiding under his plant.

I haven't checked his water for ph or anything else, since, honestly there probably isn't more than 2 cups in there. I'm afraid to add more as he has such a hard time swimming to the surface if it is deeper.

I sure would appreciate if someone could assure me that I am doing the right things for him, or point me in a new direction. I know it's only been a few days, but I want to be able to tell the kids in the class something on Monday.

If you made it this far, thank you for bearing with me and reading.
 

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he sounds like he is VERY rough shape and is VERY stressed =[ all you can do is keep him warm, and in dark quite area with no light, hold feedings and make sure is water is SUPER clean, like change water daily clean and of course aquarium salt. That teacher should be given a talking to for being a apart/allowing animal abuse in her class!
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I think the best you can do for him is to keep the water clean and warm and just feed him 2 pellets in the morning and 2 in the evening. If he's bloated, fast him for a few days and see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much. I have been lurking for several months gleaning advice and help from other posts for my other bettas.

I have 2 bettas of my own, each in a 1 gallon bowl. They are also former classroom fish but were taken much better care of. One was in my classroom last year and the other was in my son's. His teachers gave the betta to me to take care of when it was clear that the school was too cold at night for him and the administration would let me put a heater in his bowl. The poor guy was sick when I got him but recovered nicely. In fact he is a fun little fish that jumps for food when he sees me.

But this newest addition is so sad. I'm posting a picture of him. He is laying on the bottom of the bowl with body in a odd twisted shaped. You can see the sore spot on his side. It is white now. It looks much better than it did when I got him (it was red and inflamed) now it just looks like it has no scales.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A follow up: Red went back to the classroom after a week with me. I went out of town and felt he was better there. He looked better and was a little more active but not 100% The teacher took him home. She said he did well for a couple of days and then he died.

Thank you for all the help you gave me in these thread and in others that I read.
 

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yea agreed with goldfish they are a little easier to take care of. in a classroom you dont know how much a betta can get stressed really easy. it might like attention but its hard. also how old are the kids? if they are small and they can get to it then they could have done something im not saying they did, they could have put something in it that dissolved or something that you just couldnt have seen or they could have just been tapping on the glass and that could stress a betta out fast. BETTAS especially should not be kept in a classroom too many people or too much attention isn't good for one betta unless it likes attention and doesn't mind. also you will need a lot of plants.!!!

all that will make one happy betta:D what do you thiink?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't think that teacher will be getting another fish on her room. THe kids in there are 1-3 grades, so 6-9 years old.

Another problem at that school is that they love their salt water aquariums in the administrative office, but don't care about the fish in the classrooms. They take care of the aquariums. But wont let the teachers put heaters in the betta bowls. They turn the heat down low overnight and on weekends. That's how I got one of the fish. He was too cold and got ich. He is doing great now.
 

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Err, yeah, I'd say DEFINITELY not Goldfish. If they can't take care of bettas, Goldfish are even worse. They NEED at LEAST a ten gallon tank that's heavily filtered, which from what I see, they don't give that to the betta, so why would they give it to a goldfish?

Glad the teacher won't get another fish... the same rule applies to everyone. If you can't take care of it, don't get it. It's also good to see that you've rescued a few :) I'm sure THEY'RE much happier now.
 
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