Injured Betta... The Problems Never End

  1. Jen514Ab Member Member

    hey guys- so upset today. I was out for a lot of the day and came home to find my betta laying on top of the filter output sponge (I have a fluval spec v and use a sponge to reduce the flow of the filter). He was still under the water.. thank god. But just barely. After making noise and moving the sponge slightly I realized he couldn't get down on his own. So I removed the sponge and let him into the water. However he is injured... I think from trying to get himself down after getting stuck up there. When he got back into the tank he was not using his right pectoral fin at all :( a few hours later he is back to using it but is still not as spunky as he was. Which is understable considering the injury.

    I am worried. Seems like he's recovering though. I know what stress can do to a fish. This is my second betta and I feel like it's been nothing but problems with both that I've had. I know they are touted to be "beginner fish" but I find them to be very sensitive.

    I added another Indian almond leaf to the tank and a bit of stress coat. Anything more I can do for him to make sure he recovers well and without stress? I just did a tank clean and water change yesterday. Tank parameters are good... no ammonia or nitrites. I put the sponge back on the output but lowered the water level as I had done previously so he cannot get on top of the sponge. I will look into another way to modify the filter flow however after this incident.

    The only issue I have is a fungus on my driftwood ... which despite removing it from the tank and boiling it again... seems to be coming back.

    I feel like I am the Debbie downer of this forum... but it's been one problem after another since i started fish keeping. And I am a very OCD and careful person who does research... I don't know how the average person does this without issues.
     
  2. Sen Member Member

    What does your tank setup look like? Does your betta have places to hide in, decorations that won't damage his fins, natural/artificial lighting that isn't too strong, stuff outside the tank to look at so he doesn't get bored, etc.? The tank temperature you've listed on your profile is a liiiittle bit on the higher side for bettas--I've heard that 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for them.

    Plenty of fish owners just don't think much about their fish, so the fact that you're worrying over your betta says a lot about how much you care about him. :) Sometimes this is what comes of being a betta owner--they're definitely sensitive (my delta tail is such a prissy fishy) so don't feel bad about mentioning these cases to us here.
     

  3. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    I would replace the filter with a small internal one. This on is less than 15$
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  4. Sen Member Member

    I can vouch for this filter; I have one in each of my small tanks. Quiet, easy to clean, and with a filter output that's gentle enough for both my fish to play in it without getting injured. My crowntail even sleeps behind the filter sometimes.
     

  5. Aster Well Known Member Member

    Are there visible signs of injury?

    I would either raise or lower the water level to make sure he can't get stuck up there again.

    The Spec V has a built-in filter, it would be hard to replace.
     
  6. Jen514Ab Member Member

    Thanks everyone for your input! I think perhaps I worry too much about a fish. My tank setup consist of wood and two real plants. Anubias variety. I used to have more little Anubias but they died. I think because they were very small and the fungus on the wood got all over them. I am waiting for the fungus to clear up to get more plants. I also have two marimo balls. There is also some Indian almond leafs on the bottom and one Indian almond leaf clipped on a suction towards the top that is his bed which he uses every night :) it's very cute.
    As far as the tempature goes... yeahh I know it's a bit warm. That would not be my choice. It's just that it's summer and that's the temp with no heater connected. I don't have an AC in that room and even if I did put it in... I wouldn't leave it on all day every day which would cause more temp problems I think .. in terms of fluctuations. So that is not the temp I would keep during other months of the year when using a heater.

    As far as outside the tank goes... I mean he's in the living room. So there is typical living room stuff around... sofa, wall unit, tv and he can see around all sides of the tank. There isn't too much natural light. I leave the tank light on for about 5-6 hours a day. It's the light that comes with the fluval spec v. So it's pretty bright. Which is why I don't like to leave it on all day... not only Bc of the fish but Bc of algae too. I also leave some ambient light on in the living room so that he's not in the dark all day while I'm at work.

    He was swimming a lot more this morning .. almost like normal and even ate his 3 pellets. :) Last night he wasn't interested in food. So he's getting better. Speaking of food.. how much do you guys feed your bettas? I've read mixed things on this. I am feeding him Ocean Nutrition Betta Pro micro pellets. 2-3 of them twice a day? Can I do 3 and 3? Sometimes the little guy looks so hungry you would think I was starving him.. he goes for the pellets SO fast that he gobbles up 2 at the same time very often.

    In terms of visible injury, he has lost a little color on one side of his body... the side where his fin was injured. Looks like what people describe as a "stress stripe" maybe?

    I did lower the water level so he cannot get in top of the sponge. I've looked into other ways to baffle the output and apparently I can put a small piece of sponge inside the tube before hooking on the noozel. So I will try that next.

    Thanks for your suggestions everyone regarding the filter but I would really prefer not to put on a different filter simply because the fluval spec is designed so specifically to fit the way it is that putting on another filter would not allow me to put the lid on that comes with the tank which is cut out to accommodate the light that comes with it etc. and adjusting all those things is kinda of like ... why did I get the fluval spec at all you know? Waste of $ if I am going to change all those components. For now I have two more options to try to reduce the flow.
     
  7. Jen514Ab Member Member

    Just looking into the filter you guys suggested.. it looks like its possible for it to fit in the back compartment of the Fluval spec where the big sponge currently is. If that's the case and I wouldn't have to change anything else that is definitely a good option for me. I will try a few more baffling tricks for my filter.. and if they don't work, I will definitely keep this one in mind. Thanks for the suggestion!
     

  8. Jen514Ab Member Member

    Hey all- just an update on my little guy... he seems back to normal behavior wise. Swimming around like normal and eating well also. He does have visible signs of injury though... he has a large area of one side of his body that is missing color. His whole body was a vibrant blue before and now it's like some color on one side is gone.

    This is on the same side with the formerly damaged fin (which now seems to be working normally). So this is obviously due to the incident. Any idea what exactly is wrong here ? Can it be treated? Fixed? Will it heal over time? See the pic attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Aster Well Known Member Member

    That's weird, his scales may have been injured somehow, but it doesn't look too bad. Best thing to do is to help his body recuperate on its own: high-protein nutritious food, clean water (daily WCs), stress-free environment.

    I have a Spec V as well and I'm not sure how well that filter would work. If you did replace the filter, it probably wouldn't be able to pull water from the whole tank and only filter from the little compartment.
     
  10. Jen514Ab Member Member

    Yeah I actually looked at the filter yesterday in Petco and it would be too big for the back compartment of the Fluval Spec. I will just try to baffle the filter differently. Do you baffle the filter on your Fluval Spec V? If so, how do you do it?

    So you think I should do daily WCs? My brother has a fish tank (a 36 gallon though) and always seems to advise against such frequent water changes because he feels it stresses the fish more... but frequent water changes always seems to be the advice of people on this forum. Maybe I can increase the water changes to twice a week instead of once a week?
     

  11. Aster Well Known Member Member

    I do baffle mine, I pulled the output nozzle off and stuffed a piece of sponge in the tube. It works pretty well!

    As long as your tap water matches your tank water, frequent water changes shouldn't be a problem.
     
  12. Jen514Ab Member Member

    I just did that as well.. with the Sponge inside the filter... its working well for me. Does the surface of your water move at all? I worry that I baffle it too much. When i first set it up the water's surface was moving a bit... now its not. The same used to happen to me when I put the sponge over the nozzle. At first I saw water movement.. and then after a day I didn't. Just wondering how much baffling is too much. I had less sponge in there at first... but the fish looked like he was having trouble swimming in the direction the flow was coming out.

    Also just curious.. how much do you feed your betta and how often? I dont wanna over or under feed this guy. He's acting normal again since the incident. Also.. I think the damage on his scales is healing... maybe its just wishful thinking on my part =) lol It looks like the scales aren't as dark anymore and are matching his blue color a bit better.

    Thanks for your replies!
     
  13. Aster Well Known Member Member

    It moves barely, it doesn't really break the surface though. Because of the lack of surface agitation, I get a layer of biofilm which is unsightly, but if I try to adjust it any my betta starts getting blown around the tank :(

    I feed him 4 NLS pellets daily. They're on the larger side, 1mm. What are you feeding?

    Good to hear he looks better!
     
  14. Jen514Ab Member Member

    oh ok... yeah I have my water's surface moving a little now. Seems if he goes right near the filter outflow he gets blown around.. but other areas he's fine. He also seems to intentionally go to that area and swim against the current... like he's a on treadmill lol. Does that mean he likes it? or do you think that is stressful?

    I am feeding him the Ocean Nutrition Betta Pro pellets. I've been feeding 3 twice a day. when I feed him he eats two at a time... he acts like he's starving. lol.

    He is definitely healing.. his scales that were formerly discolored are almost bad to their regular blue color =)
     
  15. Jen514Ab Member Member

    oops.. meant to say .. **back to their regular color