Journey Of A Fishy – A Betta Rescue Story


We’ve all seen the sad commercials for abused dogs and cats. Videos of sad puppy faces, matted hair, filthy garbage everywhere, all moving in slow motion back dropped to Celine Dion “In the arms of an angel”

Sad Dog

Most of us have a momentary pause in our lives, feel a little remorse say something like

“How could anyone do such a thing” and move on with our lives.

That’s not to say we don’t care, it’s just we’re so busy in our day-to-day lives with work, kids & bills.

Besides it just a commercial, so we easily detach ourselves from the reality.

But What If;

  • You were confronted face-to-face with a situation and you just couldn’t look the other way?
  • It was just lying there not moving, barely breathing, near death?

Would you help?

“Hell yeah, of course I would!” I’m sure most of you would shout.

But what if it was just a Betta Fish?

I was browsing the /r/bettafish subreddit the other day and came across a post about someone who did just that…Saved A Fish.

“Astilaroth” a redditor who posted what I thought to be a truly amazing post, I just needed to share it with you all. I was blown away by the compassion that was shown by “Astilaroth” and the effort she took to bring this rejected betta fish back from the brink.


Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”


Journey Of A Fishy

Lying there on the bottom of a community tank, barely moving, hardly breathing and near the brink of death. This large community tank was full of fish that obviously took great joy in nipping away the long vulnerable fins of this poor betta.

Of all places you might expect to see this unfold, a child’s bedroom or a new fish owner you wouldn’t expect to see this at a pet store! But that’s exactly where this horror was unfolding.

Journey Of A FishyWhen Astilaroth saw this she immediately offered to take the betta off their hands for free. She didn’t want to “reward” the store in any way for the way they care for their fish. They agreed and Astilaroth took the betta home and began bring this guy back from the brink.

How To Save A Betta Fish

How To Save A Betta FishQuarantine Set Up:

  • 2 liter tank
  • 6 grams of salt
  • eSHa2000 (an all-round medication, which didn’t seem to help a lot.)
  • 100% water change, new dose of salt every 1-1.5 days.

The little tank would be home for the next few weeks. To keep the quarantine tank warm it was floated in a larger heated (shrimp) tank. The quarantine tank was dosed with 6 grams of salt and eSHa2000. A 100% water change was completed every 1-1.5 days, with a new dose of salt.

If you look close you can see little black bits on the bottom of the tank. These are small bits of fin that have rotted and are now falling off.

Everything That Rotted Fell Off – 1 ½ Weeks after The Rescue

1 ½ Weeks after The Betta Rescue

In this photo you can see just how bad it got. The betta is incredibly pale; the body has also been impacted by the fin rot. He is not eating even though Astilaroth has been offering different food almost every single day…


“At this point, I started to think of humane ways to end the suffering. Not much fish left” Astilaroth.


Hope – 2 Weeks After The Betta Rescue

2 Weeks After The Betta Rescue

Soon after everything that had been rotting fell off, he slowly started to eat and perked up. Now that the rotting had stopped, the salt treatments could stop and he was ready for a more permanent home. Astilaroth moved the betta into a 15 gallon tank, filled halfway complete with plants, leaves and hiding places.

Regrowth – 1 Month After The Betta Rescue

1 Month After The Betta Rescue

Soon after the rotting had stopped and he was eating again, the fins started to grow back. Also look at the difference in colour, no pale discolouration.

Final Form – 2 Months After The Betta Rescue

2 Months After The Betta Rescue

Now you can see what his final form will look like. You can see beautiful red streaks in his ventral and caudal fin, and the rest of him is a metallic blue. With these long flowing fins it’s easy to see why other fish might nip at them.

The photo quality may be off, but wisely Astilaroth did not want to scoop him out just for a photo. He’s been through enough.

If you are interested in keeping a betta please do your homework to ensure you understand how to care for these fish.

For a great community of people willing to help check out the /r/bettafish or check out our other posts about the betta fish.



By | 2017-04-27T09:01:21+00:00 September 4th, 2015|Betta Fish Care|Comments Off on Journey Of A Fishy – A Betta Rescue Story

About the Author:

Jack Dempsey has over 20 years of experience with freshwater aquariums, his goal is to help beginners avoid the biggest mistakes when getting started. If you find something helpful please share it on your favourite social network. If you need help with anything send Jack a question.