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Cat: Harry. Bettas: Aeneas, Artemis, Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Saturn, and Vulcan
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! I’m Jane, and I’m a 26 year old nurse from the Boston area. I have eight bettas, all in their own tanks. Seven boys, one girl.

I was cycling my tanks when I learned that a former colleague’s cousin told him that she was going to flush her betta down the toilet alive if she couldn’t rehome the fish. Couldn’t have that! So I got her that very day, and stopped the fishless cycle as it was only beginning anyway. She’s a little Cambodian female who I called Artemis. She’s spunky, curious, friendly, and even the non-fish people in my life think she’s a cutie.
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I went to a LFS to get some Seachem Prime. I was pretty upset by the betta display. There was one fish in particular. His water was a murky brown, and stool/uneaten food had together congealed into a good sized ball. He had severe SBD, and was buried in the pile of stool, thrashing and thrashing to get out but couldn’t.

I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I had heard that a fish in cycle was a lot for a beginner (had a betta as a kid, he lived to be 7 amazingly but I did not know a thing about cycling or proper back then-my 3 gallon tank for him was seen as super luxury). Wondered if it was worth trying. Reached out to Reddit and Facebook groups, which encouraged me.

I went back for him. I noticed next to him a gray betta, floating at the top. Thought he was dead. Went for a closer look and he began to move a bit, gills panting hard. I went to get that little blue crowntail, but the manager wouldn’t let me take him home due to his illness! Managed to get away with getting the one I had thought was dead that day though, alongside a third tank. Named this little one Aeneas. He has chronic SBD but is so colorful now; I call him my rainbow fish.
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The next day I was able to go back for the other betta, who I named Vulcan. He was so sick. Couldn’t swim at all for three days. Didn’t eat for five. Had three separate infections. Stick thin. On the third day, I noticed some abdominal swelling but thankfully he avoided full dropsy. Each morning I would hold my breath a little walking up to his tank, wondering if he was still alive. A friend via a Facebook group helped so much. After two weeks in a breeding box, methylene blue, and antibiotics, he recovered quite a bit! He has chronic SBD, and it’s fairly bad, but he can swim normally for decent stretches of time, eats, and even blows a bit of a bubble nest!

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(in the first picture, his jar water had been cleaned and he was waiting for me to finish preparing his tank) I then cycled two other tanks fishlessly with used media. I got a gorgeous delta tail paradise betta who I named Saturn. He is fancy and he knows it! I never knew a fish could be melodramatic but he sure is. I once removed him from his tank to re-scape it. He flared at me the entire time in the cup. Literally. If I looked away (or he thought I did) he would stop. He also won’t eat from my hand if I get home from work after 10pm, as if angry that I took so long to feed him!
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The next day I got another betta, this time from PetsMart. That was tough. I wanted to take them all quite badly. But chose based on which one was in the worst shape yet most likely to make it. This was Janus, a red crowntail who looked like a Cambodian at first. He healed like Superman from his ammonia poisoning and SBD, but has dwarfism. His proportions are a bit unusual, and he is half the length of the others despite being mature (builds bubble nests, hasn’t grown at all in the time I’ve had him).

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No plans for more, but life had other ideas! I went to PetsMart for plants. There I saw a gorgeous dumbo rose gold male, coloring I have loved from being a kid, but in really sorry shape. His gills were badly inflammed, bleeding. He was marked “Clearance, 80% off” with no returns accepted. Clearly they knew he was dying. I initially left but couldn’t get him out of my mind. Got him right before closing, and got a tank at the very good Petco near me also right before closing (shoutout to the guy who helped me that day-he was so nice and helpful even though it was so late). Named the betta Cupid.
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Sadly, despite intensive treatment, Cupid was too far gone. He passed away the following day. His gills improved a lot, but not enough. (He is alive in that picture, but it was about 2 hours before he passed). He is my first and so far only fish loss. He is buried in a flower pot, and next spring, I will plant a pink flower in his memory there.

I cycled his tank. At the other Petco near me (not the really good one), there had been a king betta who I was really torn between when I got Saturn. Decided if he was still there once the cycle was done, I’d get him. He was! And that’s how I got Jupiter. Jupiter has the same coloring as a betta imbellis and is equally insane. He once leapt into a filter output despite parameters being 0,0,5, pH 7.0 (use a buffer admittedly), temp 79.8, plenty of hides. He had a huge bubble nest and it is thought he may have been looking for a girlfriend! Actually couldn’t find him ages and was worried he had leapt out and the cat had gotten to him. Was amazed and very grateful to find him alive when I took apart the filter despite knowing it was impossible he was sucked in. He split his tail fin and lost some scales, but healed totally within a couple weeks.
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All was calm and bright. I planned one more tank in another room where one would go well. Cycled it, and as I finished, I heard about someone near me who was getting rid of their “complete ecosystems”. Two bettas. Had not planned on two more but how could I leave the other one?

Got a black orchid named Pluto and a red crowntail named Mars that day. Pluto developed acute columnaris within 12 hours of me getting him. He had a tiny spot on him that I didn’t love the look of the day I got him, but gave him a day in clean water to see. Came home from work, and he had two huge lesions, bright red gills, and was panting at the bottom. With Furan-2, other antibiotics, and methylene blue, he recovered! He’s a very active, inquisitive little guy.
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Mars is the ultimate Anger Fish ™ and his name suits him! He has normal activity, coloring, appetite, and builds a bubble nest. But the lad is always flaring! Gorgeous actually-he is a stunning fish.
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So I have eight for now and am capping at eight, at least for now.
 

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Cat: Harry. Bettas: Aeneas, Artemis, Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Saturn, and Vulcan
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all! I am lucky-they are great little guys (and gal!). I am in the process of seeing if I can convert their tanks to the Walstad method. It’ll be a gradual transition but I think it’ll be great for my ones with chronic SBD especially.
 
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