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Operation Betta Rescue - 2 Weeks In

Ratvan

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Today is the 2nd week anniversary of my little Charity being "Officially" Open, I have always taken in any fish that I see that is suffering, not just fish but that is where my concentration is currently. 

They have been a massive help, they rely on me for everything. Since I've had them I have not had a day where I failed to get out of bed. It has been very stressful however but massively rewarding. So I thought today I would share the little ones that I aim to rehome in the next week or so. The first is going to be hard to see go....

Floyd - Oh Floyd, you need a better name buddy. Something to show the warrior that you are!  Floyd is the first set of pictures. I walked into my local Aquatics shop and found this poor poor Betta floating on the top of his tub. He was very stressed, cold shocked and had swim bladder issues. I woke up every Morning for the last 2 months expecting to see Floyd floating lifeless on the top of his tank. He stayed in the shallowest tank I have, fed hourly on live food and generally got so much attention. He has not and has gone from strength to strength, I popped around to his new home this weekend and he has a lovely home cycling at the moment, once the tank is finished cycling he'll be very happy. He'll be 2 doors down from me where I live at the moment which is a few minutes from my work so I can keep tabs on him. Z is taking him in, I need to work on S now for the smae, maybe take in Samphire?

Jefe - Picture on the left is him today, right is him 2 weeks ago. I got him from "Little Timmy", (not real name) Timmy got Jefe for Christmas. He was in a small unheated, unfiltered tiny bowl. He was a surrender, he was with his family for about a month. Again he was cold shocked as no heater in tank and its winter in UK. Also a lot of tail biting issues. He is a Delta Tail and I have had some serious Money offers for him. He is staying with me (ish) and will be going into the reception tank at work. This is because Jefe loves people and movement, usually fish tend to shy away from a lot of movement and this is why i place tanks in corners and on shelves. Jefe doesn't, he rushes the glass and shimmies away when watched. A right tart!

Khan -  I don't consider Khan a rescue, he was given to me in a severely bitten condition, essentially I believe that his tank should have had some more plants and top cover and this would have solved the issue (IMO). However the owner decided to give me the fish and the tank (20 Gallon Long - THANKS!!) so I couldn't really say no as this gives me housing for all of these 4 fishes. Again he seems to be a Delta Tail, no offers or Lasting Home for him yet. I have been speaking to people and have some interested parties but they seem weirded out by the fact I don't want money for him, just the fact he'll go to a good home is enough. 

Samphire - Well this guy, he was mis-sexed (thought he was a female) and he lived in a Sorority Tank with 15-17 Females. Yeah, he is clearly a male, and the females literally butchered the poor guy. When i came to get him, he was exhausted on top of a plastic plant being bitten by at least 4 other fish. Anal fin damaged (unable to straighten in water), Caudal Fin essentially missing (had to crawl), Dorsal Fin Gone,  not pictured that well but he had also lost his Pectoral Fin (unable to crawl...much). He is another fish that I was not expecting to make it through one night never mind the past few weeks. I've now had him for the same amount of time as Floyd, in fact they have been shelf mates for the past week or so. Oh god, setting up his home!!!!!! He lived in a Sump Tank in a tiny puddle (literally 1" of water) until his fins started regrowing enough for him to have a filter. I fed him by dropping the food into his mouth, he had so little strength. I moved him into a 3 Gallon tank when he got his fins, he is a jumper so after picking him up off the floor countless times. I got him a 5 Gallon with Lid! I am trying to persuade S to take him in. 

I've also taken in a trio of Baby/Juvenile Axolotl's, it was actually the tank I wanted (96"x12"x12"), I had planned to use this tank on my windowsill (massive window) to try and propagate some more Aquatic plants, but couldn't really do that and turf out these three. SO I have divided off a section for planting and have left the other section free for their home, once they grow a little larger I can remove the divider and plant the rest of the tank, I am concerned that they will eat the sand or gravel until they get a bit bigger. Meet Rikki Tikki and Tavvi, they are very cute and my first real experience of keeping Amphibians and especially young ones. 

 

Flloyd-before-after.jpg

Jefe-before-after.jpg

Khan-before-after.jpg

Samphire-before-after.jpg

Rikki Tikki Tavvi.jpg



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Great description Ratvan, and the before and after pics along with your stories make it go like a TV nature series.  Tell me if you will, what fish takes the least amount of environmental setup?  I'm a fulltime RV/travel trailer guy with no room--my trailer is only 23 feet.  What is the hardiest fish, and what would be a minimal setup to provide adequately for a fish.  Do fish get lonely?  Would I have to keep two fish to expect a fish to be satisfied? 

thanks, Bulgakov

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9 hours ago, Bulgakov said:

Great description Ratvan, and the before and after pics along with your stories make it go like a TV nature series.  Tell me if you will, what fish takes the least amount of environmental setup?  I'm a fulltime RV/travel trailer guy with no room--my trailer is only 23 feet.  What is the hardiest fish, and what would be a minimal setup to provide adequately for a fish.  Do fish get lonely?  Would I have to keep two fish to expect a fish to be satisfied? 

thanks, Bulgakov

Thanks, I spend a lot of time with my fish.

For limited space either a Betta (like I keep) or some of the Nano Freshwater species (Danio's, Tetra, Platies, Guppies, Mollies or even some Shrimp)(Neocardina species are good)). All the water parameters are in the same range for these. Temperature wise you want to keep at 76-81F, PH 6.5-7.5. There are thing slike White Mountain Minnows that do not require a heater but require a lot of flow (powerful pump/filter) 

Minimal set up for a Betta is a 2.5G tank, 15-20W heater (might not be needed depends a previous house of mine stayed at 79 all year long?). Bigger tank is usually "better" as it's easier to maintain the parameters. Filtration is possible through either Filters or Live Plants or a air stone could work in a small tank. I'm currently experimenting with some temporary accommodation at the moment (these are 1.5G Drinks Dispensers) I feel comfortable adding my fish to these as I perform water changes every day. These are going to be my shrimp habitats once they have cycled a bit more, i'll be adding fish to these in the next few days to jump start my shrimp cycle (need the fish poop). I would have added a picture but that'll mean i need to wait for an approval.

Small tanks do not have to be cruel as long as you are prepared to put in a lot more work. The three above cost me a grand total of £30 for the three. Most expensive were tiny 8W heaters (hidden in the wooden base) but to be fair I had all the electrics and lights sitting around so maybe £50 from new.

It sounds strange but it really depends on the fish and whether it gets lonely or not, if I was to buy a fish from a shop I would watch the tanks and see which fish takes an interest in me. I've been in shops (going to rescue) and the Betta's have swum to the front, you can bond really easily by talking, watching and feeding the fish. 

More than 1 fish really depends again, sorry.  You could go for the Nano Fish, these are all shoal fish (5-6 in 5G) so will stick together but generally lack personality. Or can go for a Betta and some Shrimp (Amano, Red Cherry Shrimp) or a funky Snail such as Yellow Rabbit, Mystery Snails and Nerites. 

Also note that I have a Betta (Kojin) who is currently 5.5 years old. Previously Geoff lived to be 8 years old. They can live  along time.

I wish i lived in the USA, honestly Walmart and Petsmart have a $1 per Gallon Sale every now and again on tanks. I have seen people picking up crazy things for next to nothing. 

Hope that helps, if you want to know anything else drop me a line

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Thanks Ratvan, for the detailed information.  I'll have a look when next at Walmart, and see what they might have. 

Bulgakov

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This is fantastic stuff Ratvan!  Informative too.  Bettas are wonderful fish.  Many years ago I rescued one from a Petco (or Petsmart, can't remember which).  He had been kept in a tiny plastic cup lined up with about a dozen others on a shelf in the store.  Once I got him home I transferred him to a 5 gal tank which I had previously prepared after researching the care and needs of Betta.  He thrived and lived a good long life 🙂  His name was Mordecai 🙂  

I just may do the same thing again someday.  

I love the name Mordecai, how did you come by it?

 

Edited by Ratvan

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