fins and tail look weird after healing (clamped fins and tails)

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fishlover

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Hi guys, I'm new to the Betta fish world and will greatly appreciate all the help I can get from all the experts. many thanks in advance.

My Betta got into a fight with one of the fish I had and it's fins and tail got all ripped up.

When they started to heal they look like all the fins and tail are glued together and not as soft as before.

Had anyone experienced something like this before? is it normal? will the fins and tail become puffy and soft again?
 

genie

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Re: fins and tail look weird after healing

Can you post pics. This doesn't sound normal-- dont panic yet-- I just can't say without seeing what you are talking about.
 
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fishlover

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Re: fins and tail look weird after healing

Here are the pictures...I've tried to take pictures but the betta doesn't want to stay still.
One is Before picture and one is After picture.
You can clearly see the difference between the shap of fins and tail.
The fins and tail wouldn't expand even I place a mirror in front of the fish.
 

genie

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Re: fins and tail look weird after healing

wow-- is that the same fish ??? Looks like clamped fins - maybe - if that is how he always swims now, with his fins held close to his body and not opened up. This is a sign of disease. What are your water parameters-- ammonia, nitrite & nitrate? I reccommend doing a partial water change 25%-50% after you test the water. Then you may want to look into medicating the fish.

Maybe someone else out there who has dealt with clamped fins can help you decide.

good luck!
 
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fishlover

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Re: fins and tail look weird after healing

Thanks Genie.
Those are two different fishes but I just wanted to show what it's fins and tail looked like before.

the water condition is fine, I just checked.

Everything was fine until I took the Dwarf Gouramis out; its fins/tail started to heal but it turned out to be clamped.
This is really frustrating...
 

COBettaCouple

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Re: fins and tail look weird after healing

fishlover said:
Everything was fine until I took the Dwarf Gouramis out; its fins/tail started to heal but it turned out to be clamped.
This is really frustrating...
Is a Dwarf Gourami what your Betta got in a fight with? Having the numbers that your tests gave you for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates could help to figure out if your Betta is in need of meds and if so, what meds.

It sounds like it could be clamped fin - in which case you'd want to treat your Betta with Fungus Clear - most pet stores and a lot of walmarts carry it. Does the following info confirm/deny the need for meds?


Bettas will go into a clamped fin position for a couple of reasons:

sickness - A sick betta may have clamped fins. This is especially true when the betta has velvet or other external parasites. This is also often true with bacterial outbreaks, but not always the case. Hence some sick fish may not exhibit clamped fins. Poor water quality or untreated tap water will cause bettas to clamp their fins. So check your water parameters and make sure they are OK!

fear - When being manipulated (netted, water changes, released in a new tank) bettas will clamp their fins temporarily. My feeling is that the manipulation makes them nervous and when bettas feel nervous their reaction is to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible. By clamping their fins, bettas look smaller and in a hostile environment, being smaller always works in your favor, because you are harder to spot, and may go unnoticed (hence not get eaten by a predator).

Now if your betta has clamped fins AND is not eating, it is a sign that he is sick
 

poefox

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I would suggest leaving him be for about half a day at least, don't try to feed him or do anything to him and see if he relaxes on his own. He might just be very stressed out. You might also want to have a look at the disease chart links on this particular forum and see if there are any other symptoms.

When I got Rusty (my former betta) he had clamped up fins and looked really odd at first but gradually unfolded when I left him alone for about a day or so. He didn't eat for about two days but finally did.

BTW: Gouramis and Bettas don't usually get along that well...sometimes they do but it's a gamble for sure, since they occupy a similar niche and are likely to be rivals for bubble nest space, food, etc. He might just have been freaked out by the gourami being around. However that doesn't mean he can't be sick; stress creates sickness sometimes. I hope he's just spooked and is well.
 

COBettaCouple

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poefox said:
I would suggest leaving him be for about half a day at least, don't try to feed him or do anything to him and see if he relaxes on his own. He might just be very stressed out. You might also want to have a look at the disease chart links on this particular forum and see if there are any other symptoms.

When I got Rusty (my former betta) he had clamped up fins and looked really odd at first but gradually unfolded when I left him alone for about a day or so. He didn't eat for about two days but finally did.

BTW: Gouramis and Bettas don't usually get along that well...sometimes they do but it's a gamble for sure, since they occupy a similar niche and are likely to be rivals for bubble nest space, food, etc. He might just have been freaked out by the gourami being around. However that doesn't mean he can't be sick; stress creates sickness sometimes. I hope he's just spooked and is well.
Excellent idea poefox. Being stressed out & clamped from stress/fear sounds very possible given his recent experiences, so hopefully that's all it is.
 

Butterfly

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And extra water changes for awhile is a good idea also.
Carol
 
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fishlover

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Thanks for all the replies guys.

At first the Betta and the dwarf gouramis just size each up and not really fighting for about two weeks. usually the Betta charges to the gouramis and puff up it's gills and fins/tail but that's about it. in the beginning the gouramis swims away but after two weeks it started to attacked the Betta whenever he sees him.

The Betta is eating normal and not scratching himself so hopefully he's not sick.

I'll leave him alone for a day or so and keep the light off for couple days and hope that will calm him down. I do have other fishes (sword tails, molly, neon)in the tank hope they won't bother him too much.

Is there anything I can use to reduce the stress level? I saw some aquatic salt in pet store claim to have that kind of function.
 

Butterfly

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I wouldn't add anything he's not used to having in the tank. After a day or two I do suggest an extra water change. This will make sure he has the cleanest water possible to rest and feel better in.
Carol
 

heatmisr

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It sounds like the betta and gourami are still in the same tank. you need to remove the betta ASAP. The gourami will continue to harass him and you may end up one day with a dead fish.
 
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fishlover

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The gouramis has been out of that tank since last Friday.

I'll try to change some water this weekend and hopefully he will be ok.

Thanks.
 

heatmisr

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Ok, that's good. I missed that in your responses.
 

nmwierman1977

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Yeah any type of Gourami and Betta's don't mix very well at all. It's kind of like putting 2 male Betta's together in the same tank. I don't know if you know this, but Betta's and Gourami's are cousins. So that is why they fought. They are both territorial, so you may want to keep them separated. I'm with the other's just a wait a few days and see if he calms down. I'm sure he was just scared out of his mind from what happened with the gourami. Good luck and I hope he feels better soon. Natalie
 
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fishlover

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I do know that Betta and Gourami are cousins and there are chances that they will fight (til death). The reason I tried to keep two together is I saw some where on the website said that Betta is usually the aggrassive one and if the Gourami is big enoug the Betta may leave it alone. the guy at a local pet store told me the same thing. but in reality is that the Gourami is much more aggressive then the Betta I got..maybe he's just a wuss..
Used to have Piranhas and I didn't have to worry about what fishes are compatible and what not; because anything other than Piranhas will be come food :

I'll do partial water change this weekend (going to use spring water for this time instead of tap water and tap water conditioner) and hope for the best.

The weird thing is that he is eating normally and swimming around instead of hiding; doesn't look sick at all.

I just hope his fins and tail got stuck together when they were healing, I don't want him to look like that for the rest of his life.
 

COBettaCouple

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fishlover said:
I do know that Betta and Gourami are cousins and there are chances that they will fight (til death). The reason I tried to keep two together is I saw some where on the website said that Betta is usually the aggrassive one and if the Gourami is big enoug the Betta may leave it alone. the guy at a local pet store told me the same thing. but in reality is that the Gourami is much more aggressive then the Betta I got..maybe he's just a wuss..
Used to have Piranhas and I didn't have to worry about what fishes are compatible and what not; because anything other than Piranhas will be come food :

I'll do partial water change this weekend (going to use spring water for this time instead of tap water and tap water conditioner) and hope for the best.

The weird thing is that he is eating normally and swimming around instead of hiding; doesn't look sick at all.

I just hope his fins and tail got stuck together when they were healing, I don't want him to look like that for the rest of his life.
Well, the pet store guy probably was trying to sell more fish or is ignorant of the fish they're selling to tell you that. If anything, the Gourami being bigger probably makes the Betta feel more need to be big (flaring & all).. one of the many "useful tips " the 'expert' at our local petco told us was that 4 female bettas would get along fine in the same tank.

I'm glad they're apart and the fish in his tank sound like they'd not be too hard on him, except i think neons can get bettas going and end up in trouble. Not 100% sure on that tho. I'd not use aquarium salt with the Betta, but maybe some stress related help like "Stress Coat" would be something to add if you want to, but keeping the water changes up and watching him for any changes is a good plan.

What do you use to treat your tap? You might be better off with treated tap than spring water since the pH could be different enough to change the tank pH & possibly stress the Betta & other fish.
 
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fishlover

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Well, the pet store guy probably was trying to sell more fish or is ignorant of the fish they're selling to tell you that. If anything, the Gourami being bigger probably makes the Betta feel more need to be big (flaring & all).. one of the many "useful tips  " the 'expert' at our local petco told us was that 4 female bettas would get along fine in the same tank.

I'm glad they're apart and the fish in his tank sound like they'd not be too hard on him, except i think neons can get bettas going and end up in trouble.  Not 100% sure on that tho.   I'd not use aquarium salt with the Betta, but maybe some stress related help like "Stress Coat" would be something to add if you want to, but keeping the water changes up and watching him for any changes is a good plan.

What do you use to treat your tap?  You might be better off with treated tap than spring water since the pH could be different enough to change the tank pH & possibly stress the Betta & other fish.

That could be the case...cannot trust all the 'expert' at local pet store. some of them really know the stuff but some of them are just like you and me.
anyway. I use Top Fin's water conditioner from Petsmart. been using it for few weeks now and all the fishes seem fine.

I'll just do water change first, hopefully that's enough to help the poor Betta.
 

COBettaCouple

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If you use spring water, I'd try testing the pH of the spring water to be sure it's close to the tank water.. I think when we got some spring water it was 7.5 pH
 

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The other thing too is that some fish have different personalities--some bettas are super aggressive--Rusty was--others are more peaceful. Gouramis can be the same way, from verging on psychotic to utterly timid. So it was a gamble, for sure.
 
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