happyworld - Woman Buys Fish “Rotting” At The Store But What Happened Next Is Amazing

    Joy Victory
    We’ve all been in a grocery store like Walmart and seen the brightly-colored fish in aquariums sitting on the store shelves. A popular choice is the the Siamese fighting fish, or betta, because they’re so vibrantly colored. Bettas normally live two to three years, but there have been a few cases of bettas living well into their teens if they’re in the right environment. And for one poor betta fish in Walmart, it appeared that his days were numbered.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    Victoria Schild was shopping one day at a Walmart, picking up a few groceries without any idea what she was about to encounter. Then she came across something that just broke her heart — a dull fish confined inside a tiny cup of tepid water, shoved to the back of the store shelf behind prettier betta fish. Its body had turned a sickly pale and had literally started to disintegrate and rot away. Things were looking dire.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    When she picked up the fish’s cup, pieces of its tail began to float to the surface. The poor little guy’s body was literally wasting away before her very eyes. What would you do in her position? On the one hand, she didn’t go into the store to find herself a pet, and this fish most certainly wasn’t an ideal new roommate. She could have just kept on shopping and never give the fish a second thought. Or, she had another option.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    Schild knew she had to do something, and do something fast given the fact he looked like his days — even hours — were numbered. “I felt incredibly sad for the little guy and decided that I didn’t want him to die in there, just rotting away,” Schild told The Dodo. “I was 95 percent sure he was going to die that night.” Even if he didn’t make it through the night, she wanted his last days to be lived out somewhere other than a disintegrating cup on a shelf.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    She searched the store for a large, spacious fish tank, and brought it home – win or lose, at least she knew that she had tried to help. Things were still really touch-and-go, but Schild wasn’t going to give up. “When I got home, I started researching everything that I possibly could to help him recover, and probably within a week of clean warm water, medicine and basic care he started getting better!” Schild said.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    After just a week of recovery, the betta started to improve by leaps and bounds. His tail started to grow back, and he began to slowly swim around his new home, no doubt grateful for the chance to thrive that he had been given. Just days before that he was literally rotting away on a shelf in a Walmart store. Now he was free in a much larger space and thrive in his new environment. And that was just the beginning.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    About four weeks after taking the sickly fish home, he is now almost completely unrecognizable from the sickly fish that she first me. “I was really surprised,” she said. “I knew that, underneath it all, there was a beautiful little fish. But what won me over was his will to live and his spunk.” She knew this fish needed a very special name, and settled on Argo — an homage to his sail-like fins. Victoria said she’s still in shock.

    Facebook / Victoria Schild
    “Now he’s an amazing little fish,” Schild said. “I love watching him swim around, leap for food, follow my shadow and just be a cool little guy.” This just goes to show that every life has value — whether it comes from a shelf in a Walmart or anywhere else. “It’s unfortunate that people dismiss bettas,” Schild added. “With just basic care and a proper setup, they are great little pets to have. I hope Argo’s story can bring awareness to the plight of bettas and other fish in pet stores. We need to be their voices.” And the coolest part? She’s not the only one who has done this before…

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    Reddit user Astilaroth also found the near-dead betta fish, but this time at a pet store. Much like Argo, things weren’t looking good for the fish, and it was lying listless at the bottom of a tank. Not wanting to “reward” the pet store for keeping the fish in such bad conditions, she said she offered to take the fish for free. If it was going to die anyway, what was the harm in asking?

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    “The poor beasty is in horrible shape,” Astilaroth wrote. “It was kept in a large community tank without any cover, with bright lights and many other species. Not cool for a territorial fish which has vulnerable fins that easily get nipped by curious species.” Not only that, but it was also suffering from fin rot, which is a bacterial condition that is almost always caused from environmental issues. What were the symptoms?

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    In the early stages of fin rot, the edges of the fins will discolor, appearing milky colored on the edges. As the infection spreads, small pieces of the fins die and begin to fall off, leaving a ragged edge. Over time the fins become shorter and shorter as dead flesh continues to slough off the affected fins. The affected area may become red and inflamed; with bloody patches appearing as more tissue is eaten away. In other words, it’s not good news.

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    Astilaroth knew what she had to do and placed him in a quarantine tank with a salt solution to help him heal. “This little tank would be his home for the next couple of weeks,” she wrote. “I floated it in my larger heated (shrimp) tank for warmth. I dosed this 2 liter tank with 6 grams of salt and eSHa2000 (an all-round medication for fish, which I don’t think helped a lot. The salt is key though!). Did a 100% water swap with a new dosage of salt every 1 – 1.5 days.” Did it work?

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    Actually, the betta wasn’t improving in the beginning. His fins began to fall off, and he didn’t eat for a week and a half after she brought him home. Everything that rotted, fell off. “This is as bad as it got,” she wrote. “At this point I put him on an ultimatum and started looking into humane options to end it. Not much fish left.” He was pale, his fins were rotting off, and he wasn’t eating. Can you blame her for thinking that the end was near?

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    But then almost two weeks in to this rescue mission, something changed. The little betta began to perk up and started eating again. “Since the rotting had stopped and I could stop with the salt, I decided it was time for a better home,” she said. “I filled a 15 gal (60 liter) tank halfway, and added plants and leaves and hiding places.” He seemed to be making progress, but could he overcome all of his adversity?

    Reddit / Astilaroth
    Yes! Almost immediately, his fins began to regrow. One month after his rescue, the betta had regained some of his characteristic bright color instead of looking pale and sickly, and even had some short fins that continued to grow. Now he’s back and better than ever! And much like Argo, his story reminds us that fish are just as important as any other animal — they may be small, but they’re mighty!

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