View Full Version : Rescue Betta in bad shape...

05-04-2009, 05:48 AM
Went to Wallymart to do the monthly shopping and found that some jerk had taken one of the males in the cups and put it in with another male then crumpled up the cup and tossed it under the shelf. I gotta store worker to separate them and other than some ragged fins they seemed ok. This is the SECOND time I've found someone had done this. Anyway, like I said, they'll be ok. I did find another male Betta that was NOT doing so well. He's absolutely beautiful too. He's a veil with a deep purple velvet body and deep red fins. His problem is this: He lays on the bottom of the tank, his body sideways but his head upright. He swims very little, only enough to get a gulp of air. There's no outward signs of injury though his dorsal fin's a bit frayed (could be part Crown) and it's curly. Same with the lower pelvic fins, they seem to be curly. His pectoral fins are normal and he seems to be able to locomote with them but like I said, only enough to get a breath. We've been treating with Melafix in case it's bacterial but he has no wounds or open sores. No spotting like ich, nothing. Today I decided to add a bubbler to circulate the water a little as it was cloudy from the medicine. We've been changing the water a little at a time, daily. He got caught in the slight current caused by the rising bubbles and tumbled over and over and seemed completely unable to right himself in the water so I pulled the hose out immediately but he started to have what looked like a seizure!!!! His gill plates flare drastically and swam in darting loops in the water. Then he just stopped and laid on the bottom, barely moving his gills. He would attempt to get to the surface for a breath but couldn't. I helped him up a couple times so he could gulp air and he did. I then moved him to a shallow bowl where he could get air more easily. He can get air on his own now but only in VERY shallow water. We knew when we took him home that we probably weren't going to be able to save him but I don't want to give up.

Anyone have any ideas what could be wrong with him or what we can do to help him?


05-04-2009, 08:34 AM
It could be 'swim bladder disorder' often caused by overfeeding or lack of variety. (remember a betta's stomach is about the size of it's eyeball). You could try fasting him for 24-48hrs, next take a cooked pea & peel it , feed him some on end of toothpick & check if he goes toilet; clean water also very important and temp should be about 76F - 82F to help raise their immune system.
Just read this on http://www.healthybetta.com/fish-swim-bladder-disorder
Good luck

05-04-2009, 10:11 AM
It does sound like the swim bladder, and nzgirl has given great advice! Sometimes the swim bladder can get injured, which may be the case here. The curly fins might not necessarily be a problem. Some of mine developed the curly fins with age...

05-04-2009, 10:27 AM
I agree with the above. Also keep him in very shallow water so that he can easily reach the surface and not have to struggle and use energy.

05-04-2009, 11:48 AM
I think your doing everything you can for the little guy. It could be swim bladder and it could be the result of shabby water quality where he was kept. Try the pea idea to help him out. Keep the air bubbler going at as low a rate as you can to help oxygenate the water, since the meds tend to reduce oxygen content.

I have an adoptee of my own now from where I work. 2 young ladies brought him in tank and all. He was on the bottom barely moving and gasping. I did the quick tests for the obvious chlorine mistake and in my testing found the water was drinking water cold. Even though I knew it would shock him, I had no choice. I transferred him to a cup of dechlorinated water out of the stores tap which was much warmer. Found out they left him in the front room near an open window and the temp in the room had gotten around 65. I made them dip their finger in their water then ours and explained a betta's needs to them. I put 4 drops of betta fix with him and didnt have much hope, but he is a fighter and pulled through. We only adopt out returned fish, so I took him so he wouldn't have to go through that again.

Anyway those bettas are fighters, keep the water clean and lightly bubbled. Good luck :fish:

05-04-2009, 10:11 PM
He seems better today... keeping the water clean and shallow as I have been. He's more active, swimming about, and NOT laying on his side when resting. So there's improvement and hope.


05-04-2009, 11:36 PM
Great news! They are resilient little guys!thumbs2:

05-16-2009, 06:17 AM
Ok, I wanted to give y'all an update on how "Lucky" the WalMart rescue Betta is doing. He's still in the hospital tank. His fins and colors are glorious and he's eating like there's no tomorrow. BUT he still seems unable to control his swim bladder. We're keeping the water shallow but it's difficult for him to get to the surface at times. The tank is being lightly airated with an airstone and some hornwort strands to help with water quality. We change the water every other day and medicate with Melafix. He kind of sits on his tail on the bottom, head up, or he'll lay on the bottom with the majority of his body upright and the back part kind of sideways.

Has anyone seen a Betta like this? I'm really starting to believe that he's got a birth defect. I'm open to sugestions on fixes. He will NOT eat blanched peas, tried that already.


05-23-2009, 01:27 AM
Lucky is still getting stronger. He was actually able to hold his depth without much effort. Still keeping him medicated and well cared for. Still keeping our fingers crossed.


05-23-2009, 01:32 AM
Lucky is still getting stronger. He was actually able to hold his depth without much effort. Still keeping him medicated and well cared for. Still keeping our fingers crossed.

Good luck with him.thumbs2:

05-23-2009, 02:38 AM
Best of luck with him. I really can not think of much else you can do for him. I think you are doing great! I look forward to the next update!!!

05-23-2009, 03:10 AM
if he is still doing well and improving, I wouldnt change a thing! seems like you gave him just what he needed, keep up with the water changes and treatments and he will hopefully be back as if nothing was ever wrong thumbs2:

Best of luck!

05-23-2009, 05:37 AM
I hope he fully recovers!!!!

He's so LUCKY :) you found him.