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Old 12-07-2018, 01:20 AM   #1
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Importing a Thai Betta - The experience

Found beautiful fish, bought fish, already knew I could pick up the fish from the local to me trans shipper. Pick up fish - perfect plan...



Discuss payment method with seller - had weird response from seller's email to use a 3rd party ID verifyer which was to involve me to load a new program and allow it to take control of my emails and, etc. NO!

Told the seller NO, I could wait for the delays in communication. He agreed it was annoying and it was not a problem.

Had a good communication exchange.

Wait...

Emailed the trans shipper.

There were a couple issues which ended up meaning instead of like a 5 miles extra drive to pick up fish from the trans shipper it would be about 50 min. to 1:15 min. drive each way. Understandable for the particular personal circumstances.

The fish was to arrive Dec. 2 at least that was my understanding. Trans shipper corrected me it was to arrive 3rd.

Then called the trans shipper about the probable time to pick up the fish. I was told I would be contacted.

At the end of the evening Dec. 4th, got a contacted/ text about the fish arrival. It was too late to go get the fish I worked the next day all day. So arranged to pick him up after work the next night.

Got all the info on pick up and got the fish. He was packed in new water with Prime and IAL extract. In a box as if it was going to be shipped and a heat pack to keep him warm. I was told he was looking pretty good getting better color. A solid specimen.

The trans shipper gets a shipping label and the fish. So the TS doesn't really know what the fish should look like.

I realized it didn't look like the fish I bought and discussed this with the guy had picked him up from. He offered to assist and contact the seller about the wrong fish. I told him I would let him know after the next days work.

So here is the fish I got. It was a very different looking fish than the purchased fish.





After a bit of time in the QT, he started to get a bit of color in the rim of his tail. Bluish sort of.

Then I noticed a mark on his head which seems similar to the purchased fish.

So I email the guy I picked up the fish and told him the similar places, which could be the same fish. Or maybe it's brother????

After a couple hours it seemed his body color was transitioning a bit more towards light blue.

This morning his body was light pale blue. Dec.6

This evening his body was a bit more light to medium blue. Fins still super reddish.

It is a dragonscale body - white base in the metallic scales.

So I am waiting on how the fish recovers. He seems pretty curious and is swimming around. There is moss and a plant. I added Epsom salts as well.

Worried for his health either way if he is the same fish or not.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:37 AM   #2
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Hmmm, fingers crossed on colour!
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:06 AM   #3
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I've been reluctant to buy a betta online for this exact reason. Not much you can really do if they did send you the wrong fish. I have read that they do fade and will completely change colors during shipping so let's hope that is all it is.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:39 AM   #4
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Doesnít look like the same fish to me.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:22 AM   #5
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His reddish fins are lightening up just a touch more - with new food and a 60% pwc, maybe.

Funny story, I once bought (in a store, probably 5 years ago) a white Betta with 2 red circles on him, think Betta that looks like the Flag for the nation of Japan - I was excited thinking about such a striking color patterned fish, lol. And after a day or 2 he was all white. Joke was on me. So traveling and stress can be hard on them, of course.

But it barely looks like it could be the same fish. Still thinking possibly a brother fish.

The PLAN seemed ideal. Get the fish fast, to minimize the travel stress...

My DD asked if I would ever buy another one from Thailand. Maybe, but maybe I will need to go there to pick him up myself! LOL

The person I know in the fish club gets imported fish all the time. Maybe this situation is unusual. The person helping the TS says they have like 50 Bettas, many shipped. He thought the tail looks slightly off.

Throwing this experience out there was both to give a heads up and also to see how others experiences have been if any. I really haven't heard the bad parts from people at CAS club and I know of a few who order in fish.

```````````````

So in recapping the COST...
30 for a little fish
5 for shipping to trans shipper - and I dont know what the usual fee is, I would guess 15 maybe for shipping 5 or 10 for handling?

anyhow 35.
and and hour and 45 min drive
gave the guy $15 for caring for the little guy - the heat pack and boxing and insulated box, etc.

So $50 dollars - a fools folly perhaps. Birthday fish gone wrong?!?

The pic of the fish I thought I purchased was a color combo/pattern/looking fish I had always been wanting. Looks similar to the Petco Bumblebee fish which I might add costs about 20.00. But the wysiwyg - what you see is what you get, for real.

The traveling really does seem to be hard for the fish. I am disturbed about it. About it in general, and personally for a fish which is not looking good and may not be MY fish. I had already accepted the higher cost for the opportunity to keep a fish which I really liked.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:45 AM   #6
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Seems way off colour to me. Maybe is just the travel stress.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:41 AM   #7
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I'm sorry you had this experience. I would be willing to offer a helping hand. I could watch my pet stores for one similar and send you pics. If you want it I would be willing to buy and ship the one you like. I have yet to see one of that color pattern though. I see the more common bumblebee betta like you mentioned.
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Old 12-08-2018, 04:02 AM   #8
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I'll also keep an eye out for that color
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:46 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. I appreciate the care.

I don't need another for now. This one has me working extra to try to get him better, if he isn't fine right now and just a different fish/color after all!!!

Today I tried 3 different pet stores and found no IAL or extract. I had to work out of town and will get to the other lfs tomorrow or Monday where they usually DO have IAL.

What I did get was a medium size Mopani wood, and some Stress Coat.

Tonight the Betta was slightly less red fins, again, a touch lighter color like yesterday. It feels like when you see the tooth whitening commercials, day 1, day 2, day 3...

I will try and get the pics loaded. Still feel like I would be shocked if the fins turned to the yellow in the sales/original pic.

Tomorrow I plan to online order a few additional botanicals and will use some for this new Thai Betta, because I have a new surprise small paludarium build coming up. Also tap one of my hobby friends in a not too far away town who usually has lots of some kinds of leaves like banana, IAL, Guava and Mulberry leaves, maybe some Alder cones, too. Haven't talked with him for awhile so not positive I can get a hold of him, sometimes he's away for work or family.
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Old 12-18-2018, 03:04 AM   #10
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Didn't end up getting any online botanicals, I am going to wait until after Christmas. Hectic right now.

It's been a few days of just coasting along and at a point the fish turned from all white pinkish to medium, then after a couple days from the last discussion it seems the fish has yellow tinted but mainly orange red fins and the correct color body.

Had been adding Stress Coat and the water was pretty slimy feeling and the fish not seeming too happy about it.

He has been getting fed a couple types of pellets Hikari Bio Gold mostly trying that, then Micro pellets too. A couple times tried some defrosted frozen food.

The fish seems to eat a bite, seems a little bit interested and then really doesn't seem to eat it.

I have started trying to feed the little guy in the big cup. It is good because I can watch him eat the food. Tonight I tried the frozen defrosted Brine shrimp with spirulina. He ate a few bites and then a few more. He had a little bulge in his stomach.

Sorry about the pics sideways.





The stuff in the bottom of the cup is the Brine shrimp, and the tannins from the Mopani wood is tinting the water.

Just to show the fish at least so you can see the color and it is in no way yellow - a hint of yellow in the orange but not this.

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Old 12-18-2018, 06:55 PM   #11
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Hmm, yeah - I wonder if a colour camera lens or high blue lights were used??
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Old 12-18-2018, 07:36 PM   #12
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After staring at the pictures for the last 15 mins I am seeing some similarities. The dorsal fin looks to be the same shape and also has a little of the black on the leading edge. The tail fin has a little of the black on the end in random spots and does look like it very slightly fades to whitish and back to yellow/orange. Does it have the black scales on its head like in the picture?

I also noticed like Delapool has that it seems like they have enhanced or just better lighting. It also looks like they have a white background which will also affect color of fins a lot. Try better lighting and a sheet of paper behind it next time you take a picture or look at the fish.maybe its a fish from the same batch as the original listing but not the actual fish shown? Either way it is starting to look a lot better and I think its still a pretty fish.
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:01 PM   #13
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Found a couple days ago that the Betta has tail fin rot. One night it seemed a light colored spot/ small bit the size of a pea. Did 100% pwc. Then the next day wasn't seemingly any better. 1/3 pwc. The next day was much worse. 75% pwc add salt and Epsom Salt.

Not better yet. Will probably use medication.

Water is good condition I guess the stressed out little guy is really just pretty weak.

Will reduce amount of water to about 2 gallons from 5ish. I previously added a heater and then later a air bubbler too.

I know he didn't really like pellet food much, but seems to be more interested in eating it a little.

At this point if he would have been healthy I would have given him dewormer food by now. But I am not sure at this point with his immune weakness and needing to use meds.

Exasperated for this little guys troubles and the whole importing experience in general.

Had intended on putting him in a Fluval 6.6G Edge I had in the closet, cycled media from another tank. Rethinking it will be easier to treat him in the tub. :/

Planning to bleach the tub and rinse, of course extremely well and then again to hope kill off any other bad bacteria. Will leave just a couple plant strands for his comfort, maybe pick up a Betta Log for him to rest in. Be more of a Hospital tank now.

When these things happen it always feels like I never want to go through this again!
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:44 PM   #14
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Fingers crossed! Any better? Yeah, even at auctions can get bad experiences with these transported fish.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:22 AM   #15
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Not worse tail degradation... so maybe that is better.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:28 PM   #16
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Have been starting again feeding the little guy in the cup, which keeps the water pretty clean. His eating is picking up as well. Leaving him in there for about 30 min to an hour to let him eat all he wants.

Marine Cuisine and Brine shrimp spirulina loaded, frozen defrosted.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:44 PM   #17
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Fingers crossed! Not for the first time it crossed my mind that our fish eat better than we do
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delapool View Post
Fingers crossed! Not for the first time it crossed my mind that our fish eat better than we do
And that they're training us.
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:43 PM   #19
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Don't they train us well!
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:11 AM   #20
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A little update...

Been doing a 100% water change with Epsom salts and Aquarium salt every other day. With adding Prime each day as well as most of the other days with a 50% water change.

Feeding in the cup too, so the leftovers do not turn to ammonia. Been doing a feeding of some pellets too before the water changes so he doesn't think he only gets special food and refuse to eat pellets. It seems he is beginning to eat them more eagerly.

Honestly every day I go look at him I wonder if he will be floating dead. He is very much a weak looking fish, not a hearty one.

Still determined to help him get better, spent $14 (over priced from the lfs) for his medicine. For a fish which doesn't look like the one I ordered. Feeling annoyed about it overall now.

If someone asked me today, I would NOT recommend importing a Betta. It seems like there shouldn't be an issue in doing so but I would much rather see my fish before I buy him I feel (today anyhow). This has been much more trouble than it was worth by far.

My local store Betta fish is doing great ($20 cause he is a Dumbo). Not weak looking and loads of personality.
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