First rescue betta - any advice welcome!

hazyvonne

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Well, it was bound to happen. With 3 tanks already in my house, I now have my first Betta. I was in my local Petco to pick something up for my dogs and took a stroll through the fish section. I overheard two employees talking about how the Bettas in the back look about ready to die. So I couldn’t help myself - I just straight up asked them if I could have one of them for free. My quarantine tank is empty right now, so I’d be happy to take one off their hands. To my surprise, they immediately agreed. They asked me if I wanted to choose, and I said, nope just pick one (now I wonder just how many they had back there ).

So here’s Sam. According to the little cup he came in he’s a Stars and Stripes male (hence the name). He was mostly lying on his side on the floor of the cup, so I could barely see him. I went home, and set up my quarantine tank. It’s a 10g that is usually bare bottom with fake plants. So I quickly threw some stuff together that I had in other tanks. Some leftover sand, rocks, wood and live plants. It’s not a very pretty aquascaping job, but better than that stupid, tiny cup. The tank has both a heater and a filter. The filter sponges were kept in another tank so that I could set up the quarantine tank at a moment's notice and have a cycled tank.

What do you guys think? Looks like a bit of fin rot to me? As I said I never had a betta, but he probably shouldn’t be that thin, I guess? I already started “making” baby brine shrimp so he’ll get those as soon as they start hatching tomorrow (as well as other food of course). I do have Maracyn and para-cleanse at home as well as aquatic salt, but didn’t want to overwhelm him right away. I figured just being in clean water will be nice for him right now. Any advice?
 

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Wow, he is horribly thin. Did they not feed him so his cup would stay clean?? Glad you rescued him! Some food and fresh water is a good start. I can’t advise on the fins or meds but we have much more knowledgeable people than me on the subject here who will probably jump in.
 
Ahhh, I have a 10 gallon I want to devote to another betta. I need to actually make a decison, wether I want to spend the time and money. It would be a rescue. I wanted chilly rasboras in that tank but oh well. I guess plans change…

In terms of Sam, he’s super cute. Super skinny though, like Endlers said. I would just give him a great diet and hopefully he colors up nicely for you! Excited to see any progress!!
 
Sam made it through the night. He nibbled on a bit of food. But only seems to want food that's on the floor. Probably what he's used to from his cup. He had a few bites of BugBites pellets yesterday and this morning ate a frozen bloodworm that I wriggled in front of him. Look at the color of his fins though. I'm surprised at how quickly that happened. Thank you, everybody, for your kind words and advice!
 

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His gills look sooooo sore 🫣 keep his water super clean, catappa leaves are supposed to be really good for them too. If he pulls through he's going to be a stunner! Keep us updated on his progress please 👍🏻
 
His gills look sooooo sore 🫣 keep his water super clean, catappa leaves are supposed to be really good for them too. If he pulls through he's going to be a stunner! Keep us updated on his progress please 👍🏻
I know. I hurt every time I look at him. I already did a small water change today to keep everything as pristine as it can be. Just ordered those catappa leaves. I had never heard of them but looks like the shrimp in my other tank might appreciate them as well. Thank you for the tip!
 
Sam update: he's doing better. He has discovered a taste for baby brine shrimp. He had absolutely no clue what to do with them at first. I used a pipette thing (don't know what to call it - like a small turkey baster) to put them right in front of him - but nothing. Then one time he turned when I didn't expect him to turn and I messed up and blasted him in the face with them. I'm pretty sure he ate the first one by accident. But he's been crazy about them ever since :angel: I enticed him to eat a couple of blood worms yesterday as well. He's not interested in flakes but nibbles on pellets when they're on the floor. I've ordered some NLS - Thera+A food, that has been recommended to me. Still doing daily small water changes to keep it pristine. He swims around the tank a fair bit, but completely ignores that Betta hammock I got him. His gills still look horrible and his fins still look clamped. Now that his body is coloring up a bit I think I can see some more ammonia burn. But overall I'm happy he's doing as well as he is 😊
 

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Another small update. Took a couple of pics with my macro lens - look at his poor little face 😢
He's been very interactive though - not something I'm used to from my other fish. He swims right up to me. He's now decided he loves bloodworms and will chase them as they sink to the bottom. He's gaining weight and no longer looks like he's starving. It's the ammonia burns and missing scales that worry me now. But I also understand that I'm probably a little too impatient here - it's hard to imagine but it's really only been 5 days. And in that context - and comparing to the first pictures I posted here - it's actually amazing how "good" he looks.
 

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Another small update. Took a couple of pics with my macro lens - look at his poor little face 😢
He's been very interactive though - not something I'm used to from my other fish. He swims right up to me. He's now decided he loves bloodworms and will chase them as they sink to the bottom. He's gaining weight and no longer looks like he's starving. It's the ammonia burns and missing scales that worry me now. But I also understand that I'm probably a little too impatient here - it's hard to imagine but it's really only been 5 days. And in that context - and comparing to the first pictures I posted here - it's actually amazing how "good" he looks.
Yes it is. His body is pinking up nicely.
 

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