Help Torn Betta

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Bernbrit, May 15, 2018.

  1. Bernbrit

    BernbritNew MemberMember

    Somehow my betta appears to have gotten his fins stuck in our filter or something. He was just fine this morning and now his fins are shredded/completely ripped off. I have moved him to his own 1/2 gallon tank with clean warm water. He seems to be really struggling to balance, especially when holding still but is able to swim around. He looks awful. Is it possible he can recover? I don’t want him to be suffering terribly :(


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2018
  2. Crafty Cichlid

    Crafty CichlidWell Known MemberMember

    YIKES! He had a bad day indeed! Good news is, bettas can recover. Bad news is, it takes time, and is frustrating. What tank was he in before, and what is he in now? Who are his tank mates in the larger tank? A half gallon tank is usually too small for a betta, and will still need filtration, and frequent water changes.

    In my experience, bettas heal better when they're able to swim around, and having slight current will give him something to swim against. My recovery tank for my sorority is a 5g with low flow hiding spots, and a "surfing area." The ladies seem to want to swim into the current when their fins are torn. It increases blood flow, which promotes healing.

    Moving bettas around a lot is not good for them, so careful not to do it too often.
  3. OP

    BernbritNew MemberMember

    Right now I have him in a half gallon because that’s what I had around but I could get him in a bigger one. I was worried about current because he doesn’t seem like he can balance well right now, but maybe he can. He is upright when he is swimming but I didn’t know if that hurts? When he’s not swimming he is flat right below the surface or nose down. Usually he is in a 10 gallon tank with 4 rasboras.
  4. Crafty Cichlid

    Crafty CichlidWell Known MemberMember

    The half gallon should work for now, and so should the rasboras, as long as you've never seen them nip at him. With him moving slow, and a fresh injury, it might be better to keep him separate for now though. It sounds like his swim bladder got injured in addition to his fins/tail; it's a reasonable assumption, if he was fighting to get away from the filter intake or something.

    What many people recommend for bettas with decorations involved, is the nylon test. If a decoration will snag/cause runs in nylons, it will tear at the betta's fins if he gets stuck.

    For now, keep the water clean, moving and at a constant temperature. If you can float a plant, that won't snag his fins, do that for him too. It gives him the option to lounge near the surface to gulp air, while also feeling safe in the cover of plants. If the flow is low, you won't need to anchor it, if it isn't try to anchor it in a low flow area.

    With a small tank like that, 50% daily water change. If you're able, use airline tubing to siphon water in and out. If not, just do your best not to tossle him when removing/replacing the water.

    If it seems like it's taking a long time to get him back up to speed, you might research salt baths. Be careful that you don't do more harm than good though. Also scour the threads for posts/articles for swim bladder injuries. I've mostly kept semi-aggressive to aggressive species, so most of my injured fish turn up dead before I can help them, or are just too hardy to show injury/illness until they're beyond return; that's left me with little experience convalescing fish. Others will likely come along to help too, but it might take some time.
  5. Crafty Cichlid

    Crafty CichlidWell Known MemberMember

    I'd stay to try to help more, but I've got to get to bed. I work early mornings.
  6. OP

    BernbritNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much!!!
  7. Crafty Cichlid

    Crafty CichlidWell Known MemberMember

    You're welcome, and welcome to the forum! There's a lot of info here for the curious and determined of mind. Hopefully you find answers faster than not.
  8. Aquafina

    AquafinaNew MemberMember

    Adding Stress Coat can speed up his healing process. Maintain water changes very carefully and you should start seeing new fin growth in a couple days. Give him shallow water or a leaf hammock to rest on so he can easily reach the surface for air. Good luck, I wish him the best!

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