My sister’s betta-Will hopefully post post progress


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Aug 16, 2021
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So my sister had a betta, and since she never asked me for help with him so I assumed he was fine. He… was not. Hardly 2 inches of water, cloudy, and sad. Shes past the age of needlessly killing pets, and i have taken custody of the fish until she is deemed capable. I dont have money for another tank for him, but the 2.5 gallon will hopefully be good until i can buy a bigger one. Im getting the filter off Amazon in about a week to hook up to my air pump, and will do as many water changes as possible to try and fix the cloudy water. Hes a charming little character named obby, he flared at my female before i put a folder between their tanks. My female is three years old at this point and hardly interested in such a small male, but he will hopefully get bigger. I added some of my real plants and took out the fake ones that crowded her tank, so now there is plenty of swimming room. Are there any recommendations on how to fix the water until i can get the filter? I want to make sure he is happy as a clam while we wait. The first two pictures are from when i first saw him, and the second is after giving him some water and a small water change. Yes, i posted this to Reddit so they are the same pictures lol


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Aug 23, 2021
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UK (south Wales)
Lots of water changing is always good ;)

After that story I was expecting the fish took much less healthy, maybe your sister was forgetting to feed him quite often which while not necessarily a good thing thing long term, maybe the ammonia was kept down; the "tank" may well be cycled, but will only support a small bioload that limited by lack of extra surface area on filter sponges, and lack of flow to provide the bacteria with oxygen. And perhaps the water has aged and gone acidic which will help with ammonia toxicity. And I expect the cloudiness is algae which is also dealing with the pollution.

I would say you should buy a testkit to check for ammonia but I agree the priority might be a filter and a bigger tank (perhaps you have a test kit for your own tank?). When you manage to upgrade the tank, I think it might be best to transfer any substrate without washing in tap-water (I theorise tap-water quickly rinsing isn't as risky as we think, but I wouldn't risk a life with that theory). Somewhere on this site I remember someone posting an article that suggested frequency and size of water changes for Betta tanks of various sizes with and without a filter.

Not yet had one myself - but Betta seem indestructible I must say. Which is bad because that's why people think they are doing fine when they are actually being abused. Hopefully your sister will learn something from this....
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Jul 16, 2013
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Oxfordshire, UK
Looks like you have things well in hand and already planning better things for this betta with a new filter and hopefully a bigger tank at some point in near future.

Don't be too hard on sis, its not the first time and certainly won't be the last time we hear of folks doing this, all we can do is try to educate them the error of their ways and show them that there is more to this hobby than just adding water to a tank.

Keep up the good work.

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Jul 22, 2020
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He's a very pretty betta! Thanks for rescuing him, sounds as though you have things well in hand to get him on the road to recovery. I agree with @Myraan that he looks in pretty good condition, under the circumstances!

@Ch4rlie is also right. As tempting as it can be to come down hard on someone for something like this, it could also be a very useful teaching opportunity.

Will be watching the thread to see your progress with him! Thanks again for taking custody and working slowly to improve his situation, since slow and steady is the way to go with a neglected tank, so as not to shock the fish. I wouldn't worry about clouding in the water since there's no filter yet, just focus on gradually exchanging some old water for new, and testing the water, especially for ammonia and nitrites. Feed sparingly of course. You've got this! :)

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