Feb 18, 2008

Buying Bettas from a Pet Store

Alright... so we all know how tempting those rows of little cups can be - and sometimes in our eagerness we concentrate too much on the colours and finnage and forget about things like health. I always pick the most active, colourful betta I can find - and yet every fish I have ever bought from a pet store has gotten ich. For that reason, I've decided to add salt to the water of any new fish for at least the first week.

Some signs of a healthy fish:
-Bright colours - an unhealthy fish will often get pale and develop stress lines (horizontal lines from nose to tail)
-No signs of disease - keep an eye out for clamped fins, cottony patches, ich, damaged fins and anything else that seems out of place. Last time I was at a pet store, most of their bettas had fin rot (i.e. edges of fins are red or black, there may also be holes in the fins or they'll look deformed). If you're looking for a rescue, make sure the fish isn't too far gone to rescue. Things like fin rot are usually cured with clean water, but things like columnaris (cottony patches) are fairly fast killers and contagious.
-Look for one that's active - swimming around, but not darting around (darting is a symptom of ich and a few other things)

And... good luck ^^

If you go to PetSmart, I don't know if this is all of them, but the one near me has blue water in the betta cups for some reason... I suspect it's ich meds, but if that's the case then why do all my fish get ich? I'll try to remember to ask someone next time I go - and if anyone else finds out before me, please tell me.


Linsun11 said...

The blue comes from Methylene Blue, a med they add to the water that supposedly helps prevent diseases. Doesn't do a very good job when the water isn't changed for 2 weeks, apparantly :P

Ocean said...

I bet it does make them live a little longer without the proper care, though... long enough to get sold, and have a proper water change before they get sick, hopefully.