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Here is a horrifying account I received in my email of just exactly what happens when these are sold to unsuspecting people.
"On Monday a colleague brought a vase with a peace lily to my office and said, "I think my fish is dying!"  It was given to him as gift 5 weeks ago and the instructions were not to feed the fish or do anything with the water, and that is exactly what he did... nothing.

I couldn't believe the horrible condition this betta was in.  His body was entirely white, except an orangish color which covered the dorsal part of his body.  His body was completely emaciated, just horribly skinny and almost contracted.  He was laying on the bottom of the vase and I only saw him struggle once to get to the surface for air.  The only fins that he had the strength to move were his ventral ones.  The other fins were stuck together and laid flat and useless.  Both eyes looked huge.  I felt so sad for this betta.

My first thought... euthanasia.

My second thought (which came 10 seconds later) can't kill the fish, it's not in my nature or training.

I am a new betta mom myself and only for about 6 weeks, so I need your advice on what I should do...

So, I'm thinking with this fish that he's got a number of big problems... horrid water conditions, fin rot, popeye and ????velvet (what is that orangish color on his back?). No "grains of salt" seen.  Also not swollen as in dropsy.

I immediately did a 50% water change with aged water that I always have on hand with NovAqua, Amquel and Aquarium Salt. I was afraid to do a 100% change, as I thought the difference might be too shocking for him.  I threw in some FD bloodworms and as the co-worker was taking him away, he named him, "Lucky"... as in he'll be lucky to make it through the night.  I got a call a couple hours later that Lucky was swimming around a bit and had eaten the bloodworms (no kidding... I guess he is a little hungry after 5 weeks...geez!).

I asked the co-worker to leave Lucky with me for a while, so he dropped him off today.  This fish looks kind of scary to me... big eyes and skinny pale body and contracted fins... sort of like he's dead.  I did a 100% water change today and added NovAqua 1cc,  Amquel 1cc, huge pinch of salt and 1cc of Rid-Ich, basically everything I have on hand in my office.  Before I put him back in the vase, he ate FD brine shrimp and FD bloodworms.  When I put him back in the vase, which I estimate to be 1.5-2.0 gallons, he just floated for about 60 seconds, not moving anything but his gills... I thought...I've killed him with clean water!! Then he just perked up and started swimming around the bowl, even trying to use his stuck-together fins!  Amazing what a change in water chem can accomplish!

Looks like he may live and I can tell that he once had long beautiful flowing blue fins with red tips.  So... what should I do for Lucky now to heal him????

Just so you all know, Lucky survived thanks to the loving care of this betta-lover. 
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Last update:
  March 23, 2009 10:27 PM CST Pet Sites

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