HELP! Bettas fought!

  • #1
We just got 2 amazingly beautiful bettas imported from Thailand on Tuesday.
One is more of a short finned white with blue, purple and pink spots all over him and the other is a beautiful pinkish purple with huge white pectoral fins. They were in a divided 10 gallon tank with a handful of baby mystery snails.
Long story short Mr. Pectoral fins somehow got over to the confettI covered looking ones side.
It couldn't have been for more than 5 minutes as they are in the area between my living room and kitchen that my teeny apartment likes to call a hallway but I pass by it constantly whether to go to the bathroom or pass from/to the living room and kitchen. I can see it from either the living room or kitchen as well. Mr. ConfettI pummeled the life out of Mr. Pectoral Fins.
His one pectoral fin is shredded to practically nothing. His other pectoral fin is okay. He has open wounds all over his head and face area. The rest of his beautiful fins are tattered and torn as well. We put him into a breeder box. Same tank.
I treated with API Melafix as it is all I have on hand that is in any way a treatment. I dropped a large Indian Almond leaf in the tank as well. He is laying at the bottom of the breeder box. Still breathing. Can manage to swim when he needs to.
The tank has a hob filter with a sponge on the intake and since the fight I put a little net under the waterfall part to help make the water more stable and not throw him around which it isn't. He only moves when he wants to. The output on the hob is gentle enough that it isn't effecting him at all. It is heated to 78°F. I also have an air stone that happens to be on the other side with Mr. Confetti.
What kind of medication can I get to help give this guy a chance. He is listless but not lifeless. It is a mesh breeder box so the photos won't be great. I just want to give him a chance. I'm genuinely heartbroken over it.
This was supposed to only be a temporary home and I thought for sure that the homemade divider I prepared was secure and they wouldn't be able to get to each other. There's a good 3.5 inches of divider above the water line so I don't think he jumped it but all I know is he ended up on the other side and got his butt kicked. I was waiting to set up a 5 gallon for Mr ConfettI bc he's technically my daughters and was going to go into their room on their desk under their loft bed.
Again, I'm heartbroken over this so please no trash talk. Everything happened so quickly. From the time my fiance told me he ordered them from Thailand (without my knowledge) and the time they arrived (which I was also not aware of until I answered my door and was handed a smallish box.
My hot water heater broke and took days to get fixed so I was stuck with freezing cold water, so I foolishly thought they'd be okay like that for a while until I could prepare some relatively warm water for the other tank and do a short cycling.
My fiance means well but he just threw all this on me and didn't try to help me prepare in any way. Today was supposed to be the day that they got into separate tanks but now my biggest concern is trying to help Mr. Pectoral Fins recover. Mr ConfettI cannot get to him. There's no way. I even placed the almond leaf next to the box so it would be almost impossible for them to see each other.
Also, I have them in a tank with a LED light bar. Should I shut that off? Could it stress him more? Should I place it on the blue setting? Any helpful info would be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance everyone. As mentioned above I have and dosed the tank once with API Melafix. Should I stop using that? Should I continue using that along with other medications? If so, what kind of other medication/s should I be using? Before and after shots. Before was taken when he was still in Thailand.


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  • #2
I would just make sure you keep the water clean for him while the fins grow back. I don't think you should really medicate because it'll prob stress him out more. I'm just going based off what I learned with bettas. Its only like 3-4 years of owning them but they do a good job of recovering as long as u keep the fed and water clean.

Maybe leave the light on for like 3-4 hours in the afternoon? Unless you see some sort of fungal infection start then I think you'll be ok
  • #3
What a stressful situation for you all!

I don’t know whether this will work for your guy but it’s what I’ve done for my fin rot/fin nip bettas and an Endler who was on deaths door missing a big chunk of flesh and scales.

Small tank minimal flow (filter is key to keeping clean water) heated
Gravel and silk plants
Aquarium salt
rooibos tea (organic, pesticide free, no caffeine or additives)

20% wc daily

See how they’re doing on an hourly basis.

And absolutely no melafix, get that out of the water.
  • #4
Oh my, he got his tailfin well and truly kicked. I agree with Addictedtobettas. Clean water, daily water changes, and no medication before it's needed. And anything with -fix in name usually means it has tea tree oil in it, and it's harmful to labyrith organ. I hope he'll be ok. And good food, and don't limit it too much. Getting better and growing fins is tough for body, so he'll need lots of energy and protein. Within a reason, so water quality isn't compromised.
  • #5
I am sorry to read that this happened to this little guy The very best thing you can do for him right now is keep his water as clean as possible and give him time to heal.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks everyone. Is the almond leaf okay to stay in the tank?
  • #7
Personally I would hold off on heavy-duty meds as the people stated above, do daily water changes and keep the temp up and stable.
Feed good, quality foods. Live or frozen foods in addition to quality pellets. White mosquito larvae, brine shrimp and daphnia are the best.
Put an air stone in the tank or some other way to create surface agitation so the better is well oxygenated and the fish has less of a need to gulp air and the gills are strained as little as possible.

Tannins are very good, they work antibacterial and the fish tend to really like it. In fact I would toss in a few more until the water is dark.
Don't use salt, labyrinth fish can respond really badly to salt if you are unlucky.

Something I would also add if there are open wounds is Methylene Blue or Methylene Orange, or some weak fish med that contains them. Both these substances work anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, have no side-effects and are very well tolerated by fish to the point were even strong overdosing doesn't harm fish (not that you should do that, just pointing it isn't a burden on the fish).

Don't feel guilty! You clearly tried your best with this set-up and accidents happen.
  • #8
Thanks everyone. Is the almond leaf okay to stay in the tank?
Yes the almond leaf will be helpful for him sorry that happened.
Rose of Sharon
  • #9
Sorry you are going through this!

Almond leaves are great, clean water, and some Seachem Stress Guard if you can get it. Keep him warm (80 to 82 degrees if that's possible).

My little guy's a tail biter , and I am always surprised at how fast he recovers when I stick to these 3 things.

I hope he recovers quickly!!!!!

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