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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello! I was encouraged to post a journal here- i found this forum a few weeks ago when I was doing research for my summer project, that is, a philosophy book on fish (well, on consciousness and the problem of other minds/human + animal relations)...I actually was first inspired for the project when I wrote a paper last fall based on one of my (and my first) bettas-my lovely Rousseau...

Anyways, around that time another of my fish died (resultant of the 3+ hour car ride back home once university ended for me) which hit me really hard...my mom had also basically adopted my two other betta fish at this point as they were in the kitchen and under her care.
(1) Nietzsche; a HM, always a more reserved, strange boi-when i first got him i thought he would die because he was swimming funny
(2) John II ;the namesake of my book project and named after my first EVER fish I got when I was 7. he was a red VT just like my current John, anyways John the 2nd is a real trooper ...didnt even mind an excursion to my university philosophy conference when I was presenting my paper on him! Handled the field trip (6+ hours + 2 more in the car) with no signs of stress or aggression, a very friendly and pleasant man...both have grown FAT and huge under my moms feeding
Anyways so my friend gave me her old 10g (my first ever real proper fish tank) and my original plan was to set that, actually try my hand at aquascaping (before that i had only had bamboo and a scraggly plant i had bought and it died within 3 days) so i bought a baby betta from Petsmart, they refused to sex it for me, so i took a more gender neutral philosophy name and went with Aristophanes - This was about a month ago and Ari was still completely colorless and grey with her baby stripes when i first got her, super super tiny with only the tiniest bit of red shimmer on her fins. I had noticed a few weeks prior that they had started selling babies, and after the slow and painful deaths of Rousseau and Karl Marx (I had personally watched Karl slowly lose his color, stop eating over the course of weeks, and then, convulse and die one evening) I couldnt bare to see anymore death ...i wanted to raise a baby. so behold Ari ...

Unfortunately, the 10g my friend gave me was too big for where I wanted to put it (and the only place I really can). My living situation is complicated right now, I’m living back at home until I move to a new continent for law school in September...my mom is not impressed w my newfound hobby and did not want me to set up my tank anywhere else, so im forced rn to keep Ari in my 1gal - i know its not enough even tho she still is tiny and gets lost among the sword plants and bamboo. i recently added back some hornwort too (watched her eat a stem and almost choke when i first got her) and the tank sits on my bedside table right under the window, so always lots of light and a stable 73-76 degrees. i want to move her to a new tank that i could actually (kind of) aquascape a bit, and i wish i could make the 10g work...(rn its sitting in the trunk of my car hiding)-ive been wistfully going to pet stores and looking at the rocks and such, i love the idea of using hamster tubing/clear pvc piping for tunnels and hides, and id wanna have lots of plants and simple, monocolored rocks...i could even make it a sorority (tho boys still have my heart) all of that would probably help with my motivation for my project too! Alas, i dont think thats in the books for now-my goal is to at least find ari a bit bigger of a tank soon, and (maybe) get more plants and find a small hide-i really like those floating logs but theyre like 20$ at Petsmart-ridiculous! Ive seen people make them out of hair curlers...also saw some cool things at the dollar store that would make for cool decor, like a makeup brush holder (like where u put eye liner in and stuff) its transparent plastic with smooth edges and large circular holes to swim through) -thought it would look cool with a darker, minimalistic style tank

Side note; Nietzsche (have had him for 10 months now) has started nipping his fins, probably because since my mom has taken over feeding him (the kitchen is her domain) his fins and coloring have blossomed-he had always looked sickly before and i guess he got annoyed with it finally-anyways im going to change his water and add more plants and put him in the vertical 2.5gal but i want to add betta fix to help with his fins, would anyone suggest that? i read somewhere that bettafix doesnt actually do much, or that it can make it harder for the fish to breath...also is it safe for plants? i also have some aq salt but i know i cant use that for plants

photos

1) Nietzsche before he ate his fins :(
2) Ari when I first got her beside my finger nail for size comparison
3) Ari when I first got her, showing her pale coloring and baby stripes! (Shes a lot darker and blue-er now, will post photos soon):




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Very good artificial. I think at this time and until you can set up the 10 gal. Ari will do just fine in a small environment. However I always recommend at least a 5.5 gal. for any betta since the tank can be filtered and heated with out any problems. This way water changes aren't stressful for my boys. I have seen baby betta in Petco and Petsmart but they have always been sexed and had full color. To sell something that tiny and not be able to tell the sex is just criminal In my opinion. It's like taking a Kitten away from it's mother at one week old and saying well they will either make it or not.

On your other question about Nietzsche 's fins I never recommend Betta Fix unless it is the last resort. Using almond leaves and water changes will produce the desired effect on him. I always takes a while to grow back fins but the best medicine for him is clean treated water. Make sure the tank is cycled and do 25% water changes twice a week and put in an almond leaf. This way your not using chemicals he is not use to that will stress him out even more.

Good luck with your charges and keep up the journal. It makes interesting reading and I would be interested to also find out if Ari is a boy or girl.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! I am embarrassed that I cant keep Ari in a bigger tank right now, but I am working on it rest assured. When I move to England she will probably go to my bestfriend who will have room for the 15gal or he wants to get a bigger tank sometime in the future...or i’ll find a way to ship her to England with me, and then be able to have as big a tank I want mwahaha-shes a sweetie. and i say sweetie because now its very apparent shes a female (white ovipositor visible) but yes a month ago she was too small for me (untrained eye) to definitely know, and Petsmart here in Canada has a new policy where they will refuse to sex any animal in their store...dont really know why when the sexes are “listed” on the tanks and cages already?


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The reason they don't sex the fish is because people will come in and ask for a male or female and the untrained clerk doesn't know the difference. Then when it gets obvious they didn't get what they wanted they go back on the store with a law suit. So they will not sex their betta. When the shipping cups come in from most breeders they are sexed and the cup marked. If they buy from a local breeder they get unmarked cups or bags. In the older betta it's very easy to tell the sex on sight. But babies as young as you got with no color and no other tell tail markings they won't even try. All they know is it's a baby betta. For that matter they don't even know that it's a baby betta or guppy.

She is there for you to study and enjoy. treasure every moment you can with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Came home today and found Ari swimming strangely-she cannot keep herself submerged (but has been exerting much energy attempting to swim to the bottom only to float back up) and also is struggling to remain upright-she looks paler and her tail is clamped...she is also extremely bloated (her stomach looks white and huge). I'm trying not to panic and chalk it up to overfeeding-I have been feeding her a lot of freeze dried bloodworms the last two weeks, and I have noticed in the last few days she has been looking bloated. I am going to give her a 100% water change tomorrow-plus maybe skip a day of feeding and see if the bloating goes down. I added the hornwort back yesterday, could she be eating that and having digestive problems as a result? I know constipation can affect the swim bladder which explains her erratic swimming...she ate fine this morning and seems to have plenty of energy despite the erratic swimming I came home to. I'm just paranoid...reminds me too much of Rousseau and Karl :(

Nietzsche will also have a new tank + water change tomorrow-really hoping that clears up his fins. Might move him back to my domain (my bedroom) so my mother cannot complain about anything haha.
 

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Sorry Ari is not doing well. If fasting doesn't help you might post a thread in Diseases and Emergencies with photos and the section sticky.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you! Ari is about the same today-still looks pale and clamped. But not as bloated. Water temperature is also a stable 80+ which is great, I always struggle with drafts and such. Decided to skip today as well and feed her tomorrow (with the 100% water change, couldnt do it today, work went longer than expected ect. ect.) Will post pictures tomorrow! I really want a good picture of her but shes so small and I stupidly used black gravel so its almost impossible to see her sometimes let alone get a good picture.

On the upside I did get a picture of my moms beautiful boy Blush. Hes huge. Biggest boy Ive ever seen. I keep telling my mom to move him to a bigger (proper) tank and tried showing her all the research I’ve accumulated on Betta care-but she says that its “bad to change their environment”, I’ll keep working on her...



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Do you have anything other that freeze dried for Ari? I don't know if you saw my answer in my thread on feeding, but many believe that feeding too much freeze dried contributes to bloat/constipation. Reconstituting is supposed to help, though. I haven't feed freeze dried in years so can't really comment with knowledge.

I feed a variety of frozen, live, NortFin Betta Bits and Fluval Bug Bites. The latter is pretty small; almost too small for my Giant gene Betta.

Blush is lovely!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you!

I do have pellets that I have always fed to my other fish, they just sink quickly and were too big for Ari when I first got her (very cute with her swimming w a big pellet but stressful for me to watch when i realized she couldnt eat it). That being said, I think I will stop feeding her the freezedried and try to get her back on the pellets IF that is what is causing her SBD. If shes better by tomorrow after the two days of fasting I think its safe to say it was the blood worms.


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Have you tried flake foods for her? Flake floats longer and is easier for them to bite off. I know that a lot of people here feed pellets and don't know why. I always recommend the Omega One Betta Buffet which comes in both flake and pellets. It is a complete betta diet. No fillers. I also recommend the Bug Bites, and North Fin. These are complete mixes with the best nutrition for betta. With the Omega One I feed flake food to all my betta and have never had any problem with bloating or any other stomach problems with them.

I feed live food to my boys also but only as a treat.

With the size of Ari unless you get very small pellets she may have trouble eating them. that is why I would consider flake for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thats an interesting idea-I'm hoping soon she'll look more mature, I've had her for more than a month now which would put her at 3-4 months old, is that normal? Altho I did notice she no longer can fit behind the thermometer the little fatty.

I am afraid I've spoiled her a bit, feeding her bloodworms for the past few weeks-tried to feed her flakes today, she did not approve. The bloating has lessened, but it is still there. Her color is still pale and stress stripes strongly visible (where there weren't any last week). I'm starting to think that it was not the bloodworms necessarily that caused the sudden bloating and SBD, as I had been feeding her bloodworms for a good week or so before noticing any symptoms. The day I noticed her issues with swimming were when I first put a branch of hornwort in her tank-the bamboo and amazon sword have been great, but as soon as I put the hornwort in (and more the following day) was around the same time I was noticing her symptoms. I originally took the hornwort out of her tank because I noticed her eating (and choking) on it when I first got her. What if she has been eating it and that is what has been causing her gastronomical problems? It has to be food/stomach related, as water is perfect, temperature is perfect, and she is still active, alert, just struggling at times with SBD-plus can tell she seems uncomfortable at times. Anyways the hornwort got the boot-for now at least-I regret buying the bunch in the first place as its multiplied (with the help of Flourish) and now have to fit it all into the 2 gal I bought for my unexpected addition...

Howard Roark (Howie for short) is my new guppy...my mom found him unwanted in a classroom at the school she teaches at. School is out for summer now and that meant no one wanted to take the "class experiment" home-my mom thought he was a betta fish so "rescued him" for me. He's definitely not a betta, but was living in >liter of water in one of those betta starter containers they sell-the water was opaque with filth and completely green (see my other thread for pictures)-I am still shocked by how resilient the guy was, he looked completely fine once I put him in a new home. Got him a 2gal, and going to get a sponge filter for it...temperature is a nice stable 85+ and plenty of hornwort which I have now watched him eat with no problem. I really hope he survives, I mean, if he's survived this long in the tank he was in, surely with my dutiful care I can keep him alive. By winter he'll be in a proper 10gal with proper heater.

Nietzsche seems to like his new home. He's not the most expressive of fish, a slow moving-confident boy, a lil flaring...but I do hope his fins grow back! They looked raggedy for so long, and then when I moved him home I was so impressed to see how beautiful they looked. I think the socializing he gets in the kitchen does make up for the lack of plants I'm 'allowed' to have in his tank (my mom draws the line at bamboo, thinks hornwort looks like an "ugly weed" and the vertical shape of his new 1.5gal doesn't allow for a lot more variety)

Going to start putting pen to paper re: my research very soon! My goal after all was to start in July.
 

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There is a cumulative effect with freeze dried...from what I've read and been told my long-time aquarists mentors. I would continue with the flakes. Since she has only been fed FD she is not "spoiled" but doesn't recognize flakes as food. This is more common than you'd ever believe when they are only fed one food. Offer the flakes or pellets and if she doesn't eat them remove with a turkey baster. She will not starve herself to death.

My Betta also nibble plants like Anacharis and Hornwort. I've often wondered if it's like dogs eating grass to counter digestive upset or to add needed fiber? Can find no correlation between plant eating in Betta and constipation, SBD, etc. It was most likely coincidental.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ty /: will keep trying with the flakes, I think she may have eaten some today. She looked so bloated today though (see photos) I wasnt sure if I should even be feeding her/:

Howie is looking well! Enjoying his new home + ate a few bloodworms today :)



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I have a difficult time telling egg bound females from bloating. You might post in another section and ask which it might be. I can alert indjo (who is a long-time breeder). He is having some connection issues (he lives in Jakarta) so it might be a day or two.

Are her fins always clamped? Is she pooping?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ty for all ur help!

her fins are very clamped. cant tell if shes pooping (black gravel). at what age do females start producing eggs? Ari is still a baby for the most part, her coloring hasnt really come in and she cant be more than 3 or so months old/: it wasnt something I considered. i finally decided to post in the betta emergency section, it seems to have gotten that serious
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Havent posted much but felt I should update if anyone cares to read this!

Ari’s bloat has gone but now she is kind of lifeless and still looks very sickly (clamped fins no color lethargy). I am attempting radical tank upkeep to fight it and even gave her back some hornwort today (no chance she could get tangled in it and drown right? she is very small still but shes a betta, they love/know plants?) I miss her liveliness and energy, always so fiesty and happy to come see me when I came in. I also read a disheartening thread on this forum about the “baby betta” fish u buy from ur pet store usually dont survive to adulthood because of how delicate the needs are compared to adult fish ect. ect. i just dont know /:

Howard Roark is doing great though!! Hes a very goofy looking boy so I’ve taken to referring to him as Howie. Im happy to see his scales look to be healthier (when I first got him his scales looked almost transparent). He eats the bloodworms very well, and is becoming less afraid and skittish. Just today he started swimming towards my hand when I was feeding him!! Its been a week but I’m really pleased, I was sure he being a guppy and living all alone he wouldnt survive, but he has and he seems content. Even swims over to see me. Although for some reason all the hornwort I put in his tank has died, even though I had kept healthy for 2 months...could it have been him eating it? Or I guess I could have over fertilized...very likely as the bottle doesnt have a reliable measuring tool outside of the cap and 1 cap = enough fertilizer for 20g ect. Regardless bought a whole new bunch today and split it, putting a small section in Ari’s tank, and the rest in Howie’s (heavily planted) so we’ll soon find out who the real culprit is.

? I also bought him a very cool toy I had been meaning to pick up...one of those colored hamster tunnel pieces. I read online of some girl making a really cool betta tunnel from some for her tank and i thought that was a really unique and cost effective way (only cost me 2$) to provide a little hide, vs. some sharp looking house or castle ect. Im not sure if Howie will swim through it though, I figure bettas are more that type of fish but we’ll see! Here are lots of pictures of Howie (more clear than the last, though make no mistake, hes still a fast bugger) and last is the hamster tunnel I bought-I hope it stimulates his mind a bit too.
 

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Glad things seem to be doing better for you. Finger's crossed Ari makes it. Was pleased to see your post in D&E. Perhaps if you can get her to eat frozen food of some sort or soak the freeze dried in a vitamin like SeaChem Vitality it will help.

Was researching another thread and went to the Tetra site. They say freeze dried Bloodworms should be fed only as a supplement to a main diet. I had no idea. :dunno:

When I have time I am going back to see if that's what they say about all of their freeze dried products.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
When I originally bought them the package said freeze dried bloodworms are excellent for "conditioning"-which seeing as Ari is just a baby I figured it would be good "conditioning" food for her to grow. That being said, I'm starting to reconsider if it really is the bloodworms that caused all these problems, as I've still been feeding them to her + flakes (not that she really ate yesterday) and the bloating is gone. Now she is so small and depleted looking. Found her lying (on her side) today which scared me, breathing heavily-water parameters all seemed normal but I put her in a new QT because I was worried she couldn't make it to the top of the tank (she can barely swim, doesn't seem to have the energy/float power) so am keeping her in about four inches of water so she can breath...I'm worried this is the beginning of the end. Could it have been possible the bloating was the result of some egg problem which has now sickened her? She will be watched all night, not sure if she will eat though, I wish I could take her to work with me tomorrow to keep a better eye on her. I really want her to make it-unlike with my other bettas; Karl and Rousseau, I knew how to care for her properly from the start, and put a lot of thought and research into it; she is such a sweet girl, she doesn't deserve to suffer like this.

Howie cheers me up though, he is just the cutest thing...if Ari does survive, can a male guppie and female betta survive together in a planted 10g (the one I have saved for the fall)? Not that I was seriously considering it, especially with Ari so sickly, just something to think about. I know the 2g is too small for another guppie, even if I was considering giving Howie a friend (and I'm not)-he really is doing super.
 

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I am so glad Howie is doing well. And, yes, male Guppies can live with either male or female Betta. It is a much touted myth that male Betta will see them as another Betta and attack. I've had them together for years and the ones that didn't get along with male Guppies also didn't get along with anything else.

In the 10, you could have 3-5 male Guppies in addition to a Betta. It could also have some dwarf Cory for the bottom or a Mystery Snail. They are so pretty with their various colors.

*****************************

Have you tried frozen for Ari? I feed any ailing fish frozen or live.

Babies are so fragile. I asked two friends who breed Betta for their thoughts. It is not unusual in baby Betta to weaken and not recover. Both also mentioned that freeze dried is not good for them as a steady diet; not enough nutrients. They require live and frozen to do their best. One friend, who no longer breeds, believes two things are why PetCo and PetSmart babies have such a high mortality rate: Improper nutrition and not enough water changes.

Best of luck with Ari; I know what it is like to watch them weaken. But another Moderator, Veloran, says: "As long as the fish is fighting then so will I." That's my theory, too. Then I know I did my best for them.
 
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