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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work in a pet store but the only animals we sell are bettas. I have taken over their care since I started working there since no one knows anything really about fish, whereas I've kept fish for years. Anyway for whatever reason it's been awhile since any have been purchased and I've noticed a couple of them are looking unhappy, I keep their water clean and I've tried adding a bit of salt to their water but they aren't perking up. One in particular, a red crowntail, just looks ratty now because he keeps his fins closed and his red has faded (his head area is like flesh colour). He still has a healthy appetite though, as do all the others. Is there anything I can do to help them?

They are in cups this size:
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd15/secretswimmer723/IMG_2694.jpg

Not the tiniest I've seen, but still too small.
 

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They could look less healthy for a number of reasons. Stressed bettas clamp their fins and look washed out. Since bettas are tropical fish, their colours look best in warm water. Fish fins are much like the limbs of any other animal and atrophy with disuse. Bettas kept in cups don't get a chances to exercise their fins and spread them out completely, so the fins start to look less full. Furthermore, the lack of stimulation can make them dull.

Most pet store bettas don't have the luxury of heated tanks where they have lots of room to swim around though. You could try putting cards or pieces of paper between their cups to minimize the stress they get from seeing each other, but I think the best you can do for them given the resources available to you is what you are already doing.
 

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If it's private pet store maybe you could persuade them to to use better, bigger containers. The containers are a business expense and a tax write off. Gallon critter carriers would be better and won't take up much space.
 

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If they won't go for gallon critter carriers for each fish, a divided gallon would still be half a gallon per fish. Or, if the store sells glass bowls (of the gallon +) variety for fish, see if they will let you put the bettas in those. That way they can sell the betta AND the tank at the same time. Frankly the cups are very unappealing and I think it is hard to sell a fish when they look bored/sick/stressed or it's just hard to see them in the cups.
 

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I must applaud you for your efforts. Given the limitations all LFS have with respect to keeping Bettas alive and reasonably comfortable, just knowing that you are both concerned for and taking great strides to care for the Bettas in your charge is wonderful to hear.

Keep up the good work :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He isn't eating today, I know it's a matter of time before he'll die so I might take him home and try to bring him back but I don't feel too hopeful. Other than heated water and salt I'm not sure what else could be done for him?


 

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You'd be amazed what heat can do actually. If I were working at a pet store, the first thing I'd try (and of course the answer may be no) is to run heating tape under the cups and attach a thermostat (I believe the reptile people use this). With heat and clean water daily, they should do pretty well, even in the small cups.

I'm a softie, so I'd bring him home, heat him up to about 80 F, and try and give him a chance ;) It doesn't look like he has any outward signs of disease except for malnutrition, but if he doesn't perk up you could try deworming (I'd be willing to bet that just warm water should perk him up considerably though, and no further action may be necessary).
 

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I've had really exceptional luck in reviving a box store betta with Lifeguard by Tetra. I talk about this product often lately but I've see it do more good that most products I've tried to help sick bettas. I hope he gets better. I have betta that looks like him.
 

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Subscribing, a nice tank with warm water should perk him up. Salt isn't necessary yet. I doubt he needs any medication, just some clamped fins and maybe some discoloration but in proper conditions he'll do fine. Also, divided large critter keepers would be a great change than those cups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
At the moment I don't have a tank to let him go in, so I have his cup resting inside a net in an aquarium so at least his water is warm. Didn't get to observe him much yesterday but now he is swimming around a bit and ate some thawed bloodworms. I'll see what I can come up with in the next couple days as a better setup for him.

I thought about the heating pad, I'm pretty sure they won't care how I set up the fish, but I know they won't pay for anything for them so I'll see what kind of low cost stuff I can get. The dollar store had a couple options for containers, I just need to be sure I keep it simple for the other people to sell them...the cup lids have barcodes and I don't think anyone knows the differences between them. There is an unused 5 gallon too which I thought at the very least it could be good for putting the ones that start withering in, I find they are fine for a couple weeks but some that are there longer start moping (none have gotten as bad as this one though).
 
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