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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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My Crippled Fish

He says HI.

I've found myself with a new fish. I've had anywhere from 1-11 bettas at one time since '02, males and females. I've gone down to 1 fish at a time, living in my 10 gallon. I had one guy, Riot, living in that tank a couple weeks ago when my girlfriend and I went to Wal-Mart and ended up by the betta cups. Now, I work at Petsmart and am very good at avoiding the little fishies, but I had an enabler with me this time...

Several fish were in poor condition, and this one sad creature seemed to be the worst off. He was pale and crooked at the bottom of his cup, gasping for air that he just couldn't seem to get to often enough. I set him back down sadly, but kept coming back to him. He came home. The cashier stared at him, puzzled, and when I said "yeah, he's sick," she was shocked and almost horrified, asked loudly "and you're going to buy him?!" as if I was insane. Perhaps I was, because for the first two or three days, I was almost positive he was going to die.

I put him in a breeder box in a 2.5 gallon tank, which I filled shallow so that he was living in an inch of (medicated) water so he didn't have to work too hard for air. I gave him a plant to lay under/rest on, and for thenext few days, every time I checked on him, I had to watch his gills so I could see if he was breathing. Then one day, he was more upright. Sadly, I lost Riot quite suddenly after more than a year of him being healthy and happy. I couldn't toss the new guy in the 10 gallon for fear he wouldn't get himself to air properly, so I bought him a "Betta Condo" meant for 4 bettas (came with removable dividers I never put in), attached it to the front of the ten, and watched him improve.

You can kind of see his crooked shape.

The tank (w/ Spaz on top). You can see his little "condo" in front. It's meant to house 4 bettas. Grr.

He's stronger and can swim properly for a while, but he's still a crooked, crippled fish, and he takes lots of breaks and kind of hovers vertically now and then. I don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable leaving him in a ten gallon for fear he'll just wear himself out. So now I'm trying to figure out what I might put in the rest of the ten gallon... I'm thinking either another male... a few African Dwarf Frogs (which will be easier to keep without a betta stealing their food)... try a trio of females (and yes I am prepared to keep them separately if they one day decide to kill each other)... or four fancy guppies, which I have never kept. Thoughts?

He also needs a name. I held off on naming him, because I thought he was going to die. I wanted a "V" name and came up with Vertigo, due to his apparent inability to stay upright, but now that doesn't seem to fit so well. Hmm. So if anyone has any good V names for a crooked fish, let me know. Sigh. I like the basket cases, lol. He's the second half-dead betta I've gotten from Wal-Mart, and then there was my poor Psychedelic who had to go to the vet for his cancerous tumor... and now a gimp. Oh well. He's a fiesty little beast now that he's feeling better. Threatens me every time he sees me, and when I point at him to tell him to behave, he just increases the intensity of his threats

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 11:15 PM
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I think you should name him Sunshine...because he is a little ray of light and hope. I love gibbled fishes. I think Sunshine would be a wonderful name for him. Or you could name him "Vane" like a weather vane...because they stand straight and tall through all odds.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 11:18 PM
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He's so cute... I can almost see personality in that first picture. It made me giggle.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 11:30 PM
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I know you wanted a V name, but how about Igor? (yes I stole that from the goose movie 'Fly away Home')
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 11:20 AM
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Vertigo suits him!
Other "V" names.... Victor, Valiant.

For the rest of the tank...
a Gourami would be nice, maybe a Mickey Mouse Platty, Ruby nose tetras are cool. I have a 10 gal and a 55 gal FW and a 65 gal SW. For the 10gal, I like to have a larger fish - and then a school of something else.

Do you have an algae problem with the tank in front of the window?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 01:15 PM
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mine has a friendly pair of 5 year old zebra damsels and a 5 year old catfish...all have outlived the bettas that have lived with them. my Bud loves his little fishy friends...he plays with them constantly
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 06:35 PM
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Aww...what a wonderful story. At least you are giving him the happiest time of his life and have rescued him from the **** that is the fish section at Wal-Mart. Congratulations on your new addition! He is too cute!

I think you should name him Vito. That name always makes me smile (I'm a fan of the classic gangter flicks), and actually means "conqueror"...suitable for your new crooked little friend.

Good luck with him and please keep us updated on his progress!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 06:39 PM
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I'm so glad you rescued him too. He is a cute little guy!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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I have an aglae problem because someone once gave me some najas with some green hair algae mixed in, and I have never gotten rid of it The window isn't really a problem because the back is covered up, so the tank doesn't get much direct sunlight.

I can't name him Sunshine because I've had a fish named Sunni, and I think it's too similar. I'm still thinking for him

I'm really partial to bettas, so I'll problem end up getting 3 females or another male... I've tried considering so many other options, and I always come back to my favorite

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2006, 07:02 PM
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Well, good on you for your good intentions!

I think Vertigo is a fine name. Poor little guy looks like he has rickets. Whatever the cause of his problem, the fish supplier should not have shipped him. It doesn't surprise me that Wal-Mart has a substandard supplier, though.

He will probably be fine in his own small tank if he doesn't have to contend with a strong filter current. If he misses some of the food you drop in for him, having a small snail like a ramshorn (NOT a Colombian, they get too big) could clean up leftovers.

However, I'd try and avoid "rescuing" fish from places that don't care for them properly, it only encourages them to buy more to replace the ones they sell and you can't save them all. In places other than Wal-Mart, see a manager or the owner and tell them you find their care standards lacking. I know if I see poor pet care in a store, I will not shop there again and I'm not afraid to let them know.

I've tried this tactic in Wal-Mart since it seems to be common for them all to have horrible conditions for their fish but my words have always fallen on deaf ears. They don't seem to care that they sell sick and dying fish, or keep them in the same tank with incompatible tankmates. They also give out horribly inaccurate care information because their "pet department" staff has no knowledge of fishkeeping. I have to just stay away from their fish tanks entirely, otherwise I get dirty looks from the employees when I tell them their figure-8 puffers are infested with ick and they shouldn't be keeping them with Senegal bichirs because the puffers have nipped away all the bichir's fins and NO, it is not a good idea to sell someone a pacu for their 20-gallon tank since pacus grow to well over 20" long, not 10" like their tank label says.

I have refused for years to buy any pet-related product whatsoever from Wal-Mart and I always tell others to do the same because I figure if enough people quit buying from them they might rethink their whole "pet sales" idea and just stop if they aren't making any money at it.
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