I'm really worried about my beaten up Betta - Please help

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Shaggybert

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Well, OK. It's not actually my Betta. My girlfriend got it about 6 months ago, and kept it in her small tank (40ish ltr I think, with Neons and a Plec.). Until recently.

A couple of weeks ago, she got some dwarf Puffer fish (which we have sinse found out was a very bad idea).
Pretty much straight away, they started bullying the Betta. They have nipped off almost his entire tail, and a lot of his dorsal fin.

Yesterday we transferred the Betta to my tank (120 Ltr, with Silver Sharks, Clown Loach and Pictus Catfish), hoping that he would be happier there.

I know that it has only been a day, but he is looking more miserable than ever. He is literally just floating around in the tank. Sometimes, just laying against the filter inlet. Although he is more than strong enough to swim away from it. His dorsal fin is looking even more tattered than when we put him in, and he doesn't seem to be taking food. We even thought that we saw one of the Loaches having a go at him, although it may have just been curious.

So basically, what the **** can I do to make this fish happier (or at the very least make sure that he survives).

Thanks in advance

Phil
 

nmwierman1977

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Do you have any extra tanks that you could put him in by himself? A hospital tank maybe? You will have to most likely have to medicate him for his damaged tail and fins with either Maracyn 2 or Furan. Those are antibiotics for damaged fins and fin and tail rot. If you have a hospital tank it would be best to do it in there, so the other fish don't have to medicated too. Natalie
 

chickadee

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If you cannot afford a 5 gallon tank for him NOW then go and get a Kritter Keeper of at least 2.5 gallons and a 25 watt heater and a small filter like a sponge filter or get ready to do daily water changes.  He has got to get away from those fish.  You have him in with some of the worst fin nippers there are in both tanks.  The fish you have in your tanks are very aggressive and not to be trusted about a fish like a betta with long flowing fins.  He HAS to be taken out right now, even if it is a brand new bucket with a heater in it.  (It HAS to be heated)  He may not survive with injuries that bad but you could get some Maracyn2 or Furan2 to keep the fins from becoming infected and to help him to heal.  Don't worry about a light he is going to need the rest.  He doesn't need gravel but coud use a small flower pot (clay one so it does't float) (new, never used for a small cave to rest in and has to have an airstone to put oxygen in the water.)  If you decide to put him in this tank, he will need daily water changes of at least 75% to keep the ammonia down, do not take him out of the tank to do a water chang as it will stress him.  

Please let us know how he is doing...he has to be taken out of that tank!!!

Welcome to our forum.  It is a fine place to go to find out about fish and their care.  We will try our best to help you get the little one fixed up.  

Rose
 

nmwierman1977

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BTW, welcome to fishlore!   This site is the best if you ever need help. Natalie
 
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Shaggybert

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Hello

Thank you both so much for your very quick replies and excelent advice.

I will get my girlfriend to look into getting a hospital tank tomorrow (it's now half past eleven in the UK, so unfortunately I can't do it now).

How long would she have to keep him in the hospital tank for? Are we talking weeks or months?

Thanks again, and I will keep you posted on his progress.
 

Peter243243

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The tank needs to be cycled first.
 

LZ Floyd

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Greetings Shaggybert, welcome to the Betta site.

Cycling a tank is the way to go.  But in the event of an emergency, such as this case appears to be, getting the Betta out of harm's way is more important, IMO.  If the Betta is a target and unable to escape nor defend itself, it needs to be isolated.  What will take the place of cycling the tank will be daily water changes.  Replacement water should be heated to the tank temp (approximately 83 degrees) before the replacement begins so as not to further stress the Betta. 

We wish you the best of luck with your GF's Betta and hope all turns out well.  Keep us posted.

Mike
 

chickadee

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They do not have the time to cycle the tank or the betta will be killed by the aggressive fish in the tank. Doing massive water changes will take the place of cycling until the filter can take over or they can look into getting a large tank for a permanent home and cycle it. but for now they need to get that betta out of that tank!

We are unfortunately maybe talking at least weeks and probably months for the amount of fin damage you are talking about to heal. If his temperature is kept at about 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) and Maracyn2 or Furan2 is administered to him he may heal quicker but the problem is you are going to have to add the medication to each water change in the replacement water so as not to dilute the medication in the tank, since he is in a non-cycled tank that is going to waste a lot of medication. You cannot use Bio-spira as it cannot be used with medication so the only recourse is to use the medication and just add it with every water change but only according to how ever much water you are replacing. If you are replacing a fourth of what it says the whole dose would be then use 1/4 tablet no more. They can be overdosed and then there are problems. I disolve a whole tablet in however many 30cc measures that it says that one tablet treats gallons and use 30cc per gallon in the tank.

Rose
 

AesSedai

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Shaggybert

I would NOT wait until tomorrow to remove the Betta from the tank.  It will be a miracle if the little guy can recover from what he's been through.   Betta are tough lil fish though.  Betta get depressed as well as sick physically.  I feel so badly for him.  I know he's afraid...

Can you find something clean and glass (with no soap residue at all so rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and a container that's never had any chemcials in it) to keep him in until tomorrow??  Maybe a large glass bowl with a light over it to warm the bowl or whatever you use and a thermometer inside of it so you can monitor the temp.  Needs to be 80 degrees (or whatever temp Rose mentioned if she did)

You may want to use the water from the tank he's currently in and if it's not warm enough, slowly (a degree every couple of hours I think) raise the temp to 80.  You could start with clean and conditioned water that matches the temp of the tank he's in now too.

Be sure to put an upturned strainer/colander or something similiar over the container as Betta jump and will jump to their death.  I cut slots into a paper plate and taped that to the top of the 2 gallon glass container I'm temporarily using. Also, Betta need to be able to breath air so be sure whatever you use to cover him has lots of holes in it or he'll suffocate.

I hope, hope that you get him out of that tank ***NOW***  however you can manage it.  Surely there's a clean glass something or other that's never had chemicals in it in a cupboard? 

What's his name btw?  I'll keep him in my thoughts...poor guy

It's so good that you're trying to help him.
 

0morrokh

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Just to make it extra clear the Betta can NEVER go back into either of the tanks or he will probably be killed. You could just get a 5 gallon tank which will be the Betta's new home, or if that is not possible at the moment use a Kritter Keeper or I guess even a plastic bucket, anything you can stick a small filter and heater in for the moment. So, you don't really need a separate tank as a "hospital tank", the Betta just needs to be separated from the other fish immediately. I would recommend buying the actual tank now if at all possible. Let us know how he is doing.
 

chickadee

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Yes please keep us up to date on his condition, we really do care about him.

Rose
 

gammerus

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poor little dude, hope he makes it along ok.
 
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Shaggybert

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Hi Guys

Thanks again, so much for all of your help and advice.

His name is Tyson (well, he is a fighting fish after all). and he has now been segragated from the other fish.

Unfortunately, he has not been medicated as yet, as the local fish shop advised we use MELAFIX. But I will take it back to the shop 1st thing tomorrow and get a replacement.

My girlfriend is geting a second tank, but this will probably be for the Puffers, as the Betta was happy in the original tank before they arrived.

Does anyone know what fish would be potential tank mates for the puffers?

Cheers again

Phil
 

LZ Floyd

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Melafix doesn't have a very good reputation around here.  How's Tyson doing?

Mike
 
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Shaggybert

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Well, he is obviously a bit distressed (but then, he always looks grumpy).
He is at least eating, and he is away from the other fish so isn't getting nipped anymore!

Keep you finger crossed for him!
 

LZ Floyd

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Eating is a good thing and not getting nipped up is even better. We're certainly keeping our fingers crossed for you and Tyson.

Mike
 

chickadee

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Puffers are sometimes considered a one species tank kind of fish...they are bullies.

The only thing to watch in the other tank is the Neons can also be nippers...if they have not ever done it okay, but just to have you on your gaurd.

He is going to need some serious healing though so I would get him through the medication period before putting him back as Tetras are weird with medications.

Rose
 

AesSedai

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I'll definitely keep my fingers crossed for Tyson. I'm soo glad you aren't going to use the Melafix. You must have seen the warning posted here. Rose will be able to tell you what to use if you aren't sure (I'm not sure either). I'm soo glad he isn't in a frightening situation for him anymore WTG
 

gammerus

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I forgot about the puffers. How long has she had them? The are brackish fish and get along with very few species of fish. My boyfriend just got one after doing 2weeks of research and I can tell you that they do not belong in a freshwater tank with tetras, Maybe she could trade them in for some other fish.
 
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