Jump to content

Hello, my friend left me two Bettas HELP!


Recommended Posts


My name is Lily, my friend just moved and out of nowhere left me his two Betta fish. A male and a female, both in a glass bowl without anything else. 

I have never had fish and do not know what to do, I am writing here looking for help.

I realized the female was clearly being attacked by the male so after reading some web pages I moved her to another bowl and bought them some stuff for their bowls. It have been 4 days since my friend left them with me. 

Now, I am worried for their health, they do not look like the colorful and healthy Bettas in pictures. Can you please give me your thoughts?

The female is the red one, I named her Lady, she have almost no fins. The male is the yellow one, I named him Boy, and his fins look weak. 

After moving them to different bowls both started acting normal and finally showed their personality, they are lovely fish and now I want to give them a nice life. (But again, I really don’t know how).
I bought them some Catappa Indian Almond Leaves (I read it is good for their health) and I also bought API aquarium salt because I read it might help them heal… but I am scare of messing up, it sounds like there are many ways to do things wrong and they might die if you do not know what to do. 

Should I use the salt? How? Would it really help them? Or should I do something else, or anything at all? 

P.d: After reading more, in the last few days I have been preparing to get them a 5 gallon tank each, but I will do another post with that topic later, for now, please help me with the concern I wrote above.







  • Like 1
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum @Lily!

Preparing a 5 gal tank is probably the best you can do for them, maybe forget the salt, because that is mostly meant for treating illnesses.

A female bettas fins are naturally shorter than the males.

Indian Almond leaves were probably the best thing you could do for them.

Keep us posted on how they're doing!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's possible you have two males. There are many varieties of bettas, including long and short-finned types. So the fact that the red one's fins are short doesn't mean it's a female. The fighting between them also doesn't tell you whether you have two males or one of each, because males are know to fight with each other, and and males can be very aggressive with females. That being said, keeping them apart is necessary, whatever scenario it is. 

I would avoid salt or medicine at this time. Regardless of what fish stores or other experts tell you do not use melafix or pimafix. These are not good for bettas.

Do you have a dechlorinator or water conditioner? Have you learned about water changes? Are you feeding them VERY lightly? What type of food are you feeding?

Getting them both into 5 gallon tanks will be good for them. You should invest in a couple small heaters, since they will very much like being a bit above room temp. The ones from walmart are fine (Tetra brand I think), the smallest wattage or tank size they have. It's not your only choice, and I don't prefer walmart over pet stores, I'm just making you aware that they have them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you have never kept fish before. Have a read up about tank cycling it will help you understand how to keep those fish healthy in the long run.

This is a link to popular explaination.



Do you keep house plants Bettas are great fish for growing plants out of the tanks so maybe look at some luckily bamboo while you're catching up on your fish studies.

And keep asking questions even if they sound silly. We all do from time to time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lucky part is that if you're going to be left with fish and no idea what to do with them a betta is a good fish to be left with. They are pretty hardy which is why so many people get away with keeping them in such bad conditions.

Did you end up getting the 5 gallons? How have the fish faired?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi @Lily, Welcome to the forum, sorry you've come her in an emergency type situation. I currently feel your pain, but in a different way. I'm taking care of 4 sick Betta I took from the pet store. As @TheSwissAquaristsaid you can take a look here for some ideas:

A COLOSSAL IDIOT walks into a pet store....(an illustrated tail - intentional misspelling- of woe)

Also members like @Matilyn who recently joined is willing to help out other Betta owners


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clean water and the IAL and Salt will do them wonders. If your "friend" just handed you to them in a bowl it probably wasn't "cycled" likely they were kept in other tanks. I would (like me on my other thread) do either daily or every other day water changes since their bowls are small, feed them high quality food (just a little, their stomachs are the size of their eyeball) and when you redose salt you only dose as much as would have been lost in the water (because concentration does not go down) So lets say they're in a gallon bowl and you put in a half tablespoon of salt, if you do a 50% water change you only put a QUARTER tablespoon back in. (just an example). You are very nice to do this for them- with time, clean water and the other things you've mentioned they could recover very well. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
whoops! my bad!
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...