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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My neighbors moved about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and gave me their beta. The water he was in looked as if it hadn't been changed ever, smelled HORRIBLY of ciggarette smoke, and he was sitting at the bottom, barely moving. His fins are all tore up as well.

I quickly cleaned out the smaller, empty tank they had also given me, and set him in there. I treated him for fungus and ick just to be on the safe side. He started to do a bit better, was eating again, but not much, but he still stayed at the bottom of the tank only coming up for air. Sometimes at night, he'd swim around for a minute or two then sink right back down to the bottom and lay on his side.

At the suggestion of my cousin, I moved him into my 5 gallon tank (the one he originally came to me in) with some other fish, 3 sucker types, 1 mini crayfish, a platy, and I think 2 shrimp. They all get along great, but he still sits at the bottom slightly on his side, I think that is due to a bad fin maybe, but his eating has picked up and he swims around a lot more. The poor thing is still in pretty bad shape, and I've included a picture of what he looks like. I was wanting to know if there was anything else I can possibly do for him to make him better. He's lasted this long and slightly improving as the days go, but I'm just not sure anymore.

I guess I should also mention that he doesn't react quickly, or even at all at times, when I put my hand near the tank. All the other fish dart away quickly like normal, and he just sits there. And my Platy likes to eat his sun dried shrimp. So I've started putting enough for the both of them in there, but thought it was kind of odd.

 

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Keep up your care for him. Is his tail that short or is it the angle of the pic?

*EDIT: Nevermind. I looked at the pic again, and the red looks like fin regrowth.
 

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yeah .. what you described is sort of normal betta behavior if there's no filter or water movement to fight. They kind of react on their own terms and chill on the bottom or dance around for a few minutes. If he's eating, chances are he's healthy. If he's survived this long in stagnant water, he'll probably pull through. If he's in a betta bowl, make sure not to be too aggressive on full bowl water changes. betta bowls take forever to break in. Seed it with another tank if you can.

-Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sorry I would have replied back sooner, but was out celebrating b-day.

He's in a tank with a filter, so the water he's in now isn't stagnent, but what he came in was AWFUL! I can't bring myself to keep even a goldfish in a non-filtered bowl/tank. Doesn't seem right to me.

In fact, I'm not even sure if it's a he...his fins are so short and tore up, I have no way of telling right now. :icon_sad:

The sucker type fish, I can't remember the name of them for the life of me, it does start with an O though...ocly something or another (spelling I know)

That little red fin, is pretty torn up too, I'm not sure if it's regrowth opposed to damaged...:icon_sad:

Other than keeping him in a cycled tank, with other fish, is there anything else I can do for him/her?
 

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The betta is definitely a male. I can tell by what fins he has left, and there is no oviposter (egg tube). What I have seen in my own tanks with that particular betta coloration is that the red is fin regrowth. The fins grow in clear first, and then to red, and then usually back to it's original color. Just give him some time to come around. Sounds like he was in some pretty disgusting water for along time.

Sounds like the "little sucker fish" that you have are otocinclus (or however it's spelled)--or otos for short.

Oh, and happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
otocinclus YES that's it...yeah however you spell it :tongue:

So the red fin is a GOOD sign....well that's good to know. *wipes brow and lets out sigh of relief*

Once he's better, do you think I should move him back to a solitary tank? Or can I just let him stay with the rest of the fish? I've had NO problems since he's been in there and even that mean crayfish I have has left him alone. I'm not sure if when he's better though that he might start attacking the others.

thanks ann for the happy b-day too :D
 

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Yep, he looks like he's on the road to recovery! He probably had fin rot from the lack of clean water and that's why there's not much of them left (yep, he's a male though). That's a common thing when their water's not changed. Melafix and Pimafix along with clean water usually fixes them right up when that happens, but obviously whatever you treated him with for fungus did the trick as well (that's what fin rot is ~ a fungus). Good job! :biggrin:

If he's getting along fine with everyone in the tank where he is, I'd leave him in there. It'd be good for him mentally I think, so long as he's comfortable with it. Keep an eye on him to make sure that the other fish aren't nipping at his fins, especially after they grow back in a bit more. And watch for him getting aggressive as well ~ that's when he might need his own space. But every betta's different and he very well may love being in with other fish.

How long did your neighbors have him? Do you know? Bettas are usually about four or six months old when they're in the pet stores and they only live about two years or so. The mistreatment he got from the neighbors may shorten that a bit, but your good care now will probably counteract that somewhat. When they get older they seem to get more mellow, so he might not ever get back to being really aggressive.

The things you're feeding him ~ are they floating things? Bettas are top feeders, so maybe some floating pellets would make him stir up off the bottom more. I like Hikari fish foods and my bettas LOVE their floating pellets once they get used to them (have a couple of fish from a show breeder in New Jersey and he apparently fed them on live foods because it took a week or two to get them used to the floating pellets).
 

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I wouldn't medicate him; doesn't look seem like he needs it. On a betta forum, there were quite a few people who were having problems with dosing Melafix to their bettas.

I would keep him in there if he seems to like their company. I also feed Hikari Betta Bio-Gold. Most of my bettas have loved it and did well on it. Like CCT stated, bettas are top dwellers. Feed him meaty foods and not too much vegetable-based foods.
 

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Anne, what issues were they having? I'd like to know so I can keep an eye out for them. I've had nothing but good luck with them both, but you never know...

I agree ~ at this point, I wouldn't medicate him either. No need anymore. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. *blush*
 

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The members there had reported that it would semi- or permantly damage finnage; anything from curling fins to making them ragged and so forth. It was especially seen on VTs with especially long fins, HMs, SDs, and CTs.

There was something else that Melafix was doing to the bettas, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. I'll go do a search.
 

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Yikes! I'll have to watch for that. Were they overdosing it by chance? That's the only time I've noticed any problems (when I overdosed) and that was on a feeder/pond goldfish that was so far gone I thought it was just his time. Now I'm wondering...

Thanks for the effort, Anne! :biggrin: If you'll let me know which forum, I'll look for it on my own ~ don't want you to have to go that far out of your way. Thanks for the info so far, though! :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah I haven't medicated him since the first day I got him, I didn't use metafix though, I don't think. I used this dissolving tablet (Fungus Clear) for the fungus treatment, it's made for 10 gallon tanks or more, so I have to chop it up when I do use it, and then I used Ick Away to treat for Ick just in case. I did the same thing to Fishie, my other beta when I got him/her....and he is doing GREAT! Had him for about 6 months now.

Now when I do water changes, the only thing I use in the water is Prime, and I don't even mess with the water in the big tank that Tarzan is in now.

I feed him Freeze Dried Shrimp, the little beta food pellets (haven't used though since was told shrimp are better for him and I want to make sure he stays healthy for now, and live shrimp when I can talk my husband into letting me buy some. But lately he's been eating the tropical fish flakes I've dropped in for the other fish along with his other stuff. There are also a few shrimp still left in his tank, so once he's much better I figure he'll go after them eventually. Until then, I plan on breeding shrimp in his old tank so I can feed the other beta I have and him once he's much better.

I have no idea how long they've had him. I know they had him when I first moved in here and that was almost a year ago, but not sure if they just got him then or what. He was in one of those teeny beta bowls at that point.
 

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Freeze dried foods aren't the best of foods. During the drying process, most of the nutrients are lost, so the end product is simply a filler. Flakes aren't the best for bettas because they are mostly vegetable matter. Watch out for foods with that have wheat in the first few ingredients because they can cause constipation in fish like bettas. The Hikari pellets that we have already talked about are just about the most perfect food for bettas. Flakes and freeze dried foods don't meet the nutrional needs for bettas. One sign of a nutrient deficiency in bettas is a "snaking" swimming motion, finnage that seems to fade away for no apparent reason, and color loss.

CCT, I'll shoot you a PM.
 

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I just wanted to add...I had my 2 "old" Betta girls in a 5.5g with 2 guppy...feeding the Betta Gold to the girls, and Tropical flakes to the guppy...I lost both girls to Dropsy...I do think eating the leftovers of the TF that I feed to the guppy. I have 2 new girls, and the guppy eat Betta Gold...I'd rather loose the guppy than the Betta...by the way, I'm giving all the guppy (now 4) to a friend of mine today, so I don't have to worry about the guppy getting the correct food anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't do the flakes much more since I noticed he started eating them, but I was told to keep a variety of food around and not just keep him on one thing, this way, he gets all his nutrients or at least as many as possible.

I think I'm going to head up to the little pet shop here in town and see if they have any shrimp so I can start breeding for live food. I won't go to Wal*Mart here since they take horrid care of their fish, and I won't go to the Petco in South County either since last time I was there...ALL their tanks were being treated for Ick, I can understand a few, but ALL? The only other petstores around here are almost an hour away...:(
 

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What's the temperature of the tank? Bettas tend to be very quiet if the water is colder. It'll live, but it won't move much. My bettas are picky; they will only eat the hikari pellets. Any other betta food they spit back out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't let the temperature get below 75, EVERY great now and then, if I forgot to turn the light off after a couple hours, it'll get up to 85, but with the heater I have in there, it keeps it pretty steady. I'm having a hard time finding Flourescent (sp?) light bulbs in the wattage I need, so trying to work with the incandescent.
 
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