Pectoral fin injury?

Jendayi

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I was moving Romeo out of his tank into a cup so I could do a water change. I got him in the net, and while transferring him to the cup he flipped out of the net and onto the counter. I tried to grab him as quick as I could, but of course he was flopping around and freaking out. I got ahold of him after a few tries and plopped him back in his tank. Now he isn't really moving his left pectoral fin at all. He is swimming using his right, and holding the left close to his body. I have seen him flutter the left one a bit, but then sticks it right back against his body.

Have I crippled my new baby boy??  :'(  :'(  :'(

Cujo never did anything like that and I was completely unprepared. I feel so terrible, stupid newbie fish owner!!
 

Phloxface

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He could be just sore on that side, maybe bruised. Just keep his water very clean and warm and give it some time. There is really nothing more you can do at the moment. Just wondering, why do you take him out to do a water change? I just vacuum the gravel and change the water with my fish in there. I never take them out unless absolutely necessary.
What size is your tank? If it's so small that you need to take the fish out I would advise getting at least a 5 gallon tank and leaving the fish in while you do weekly water changes.
 

genie

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I agree with Phloxface. He is probably ok, and just needs some time. I also never remove my fish during a water change unless I have to do some major maintenance. It is stressful to the fish to move them.
 
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Jendayi

Jendayi

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He is in a one gallon tank atm. I am aware that this isn't optimal, but it is only temporary. There is no gravel, only a nano filter and a silk plant. Since I am not attempting to cycle such a small tank, he gets 100% water changes and I clean the inside of his tank with a sponge.

My 5 gallon tank is cycled and waiting for Cujo to move back into it. But he's not going back in until his fin rot is under control. So for now he's in a 2.5 mini-bow with a whisper filter and a silk plant. Romeo will go into the mini-bow when Cujo vacates.

After that, I don't know if I will get another 5 gallon or just leave Romeo in the mini-bow. Having been on this site for over a month now, I realize that most people here think that 5 gallon cycled tank is the absolute minimum size for a betta to be happy. But I must say that Cujo seems perfectly happy in his 2.5 gallon, and I'm sure Romeo will be fine there, too.

Romeo seems to be using his fin much more now, so I probably just over reacted.
 

genie

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I also have a betta in a 2 gallon, which isn't optimal, but it is his home. You probably did over-react but it is understandable, I would've freaked too. Good luck with the waterbabies.
 

COBettaCouple

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Hmm.. it does sound like he might be sore there.. if there's no tears or anything, in time he should be back to normal there. It might be ideal to give each Betta 5 gallon or more, but a 2.5g fits the 1" per gallon guideline and if you & Romeo are happy with it, then cool. Sounds like you're keeping up with the more frequent water changes that a 2.5g gives.

The change that I'd suggest is in how you remove Romeo from his tank. Nets can injure or tear Betta fins. You'll want to 'herd' him into a cup, then take him out. Carefully empty some of the water and cover the cup with something. A container with a sealing lid is great for this. you can cut small air holes in the lid for him to breathe while you clean his tank and not worry about him jumping out of the cup. (which we've had happen)
 
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Jendayi

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I kept their sad walmart betta cups with the lids. I cleaned them really well, of course. So those are what I use. I will try that method, seems a bit more foolproof (which is good for me).

What I read to do elsewhere was to put some of the tank water in the cup, pour the rest of the tank water out thru the net, and then the fish goes into the net. Then just plop the fish in the cup. When I return him to the tank I just pour the cup out thru the net and plop back into the tank. Obviously Romeo found the flaw in that one...

He seems completely back to normal. I think he was probably just major freaked out, like me.
 

COBettaCouple

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Glad to hear he's back to normal. He may have been doing it out of stress even but you got him calmed down and relaxed now.

I think netting bettas is one of those bits of misinformation that floats around the web.. it can be done without incident, but i'd hate to be one of the incidents.

Our first Betta Mario taught us to always lid the container. He got impatient while sitting in a cup in his tank waiting for the water temps to equal and jumped out. Surprised us because there had to have been 4" to the top of the cup and the tank lid was down. Even our platys get impatient - one time while cleaning their tank thoroughly I had the 4 of them in a big bowl on the bathroom sink counter. Walked in for some reason and right as I did one of them jumped out of the bowl and onto the counter. I scooped her up so fast and put her back, that i'm still not sure which one it was. LOL. so even they get a cover now if they ever need to be taken out. Lucky for her I walked in then, because I wouldn't have heard her in the room. These fish! LOL
 

Phloxface

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I use a plastic measuring cup which is ONLY used for the fish to gently scoop my fish up in the rare event I need to remove them. I hold my hand over the cup to prevent jumping and keep the fish in the cup while I do what needs to be done. I cover the cup with a clear piece of a CD cover. No net ever touches my fish. Nets can tear fins and scales, scratch eyes and they rub off slime coats and leave the fish open to bacteria infection and finrot. Most Bettas are so easy to catch in a cup there is usually no need to ever net them. Most of mine will just swim in freely with no effort on my part. Other types of fish are fast and skittish and need to be chased everywhere with a net. If only they knew it would be so much easier for them to swim into the cup.
Fish do get VERY stressed being removed from their tank. My females get MAJOR stress stripes when they are removed. That's why I'd rather have a bigger tank that doesn't require me to take them out and stress them, plus it's much less maintainence.
 

genie

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a ladle from the dollar store works too, since the handle is longer than a measuring cup. I had to chase Lila all over with a measuring cup, she was ****. Spike went in fairly easy though. At petsmart you can get a "fish scoop" but it is just a ladle, maybe a little deeper.
 

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JendayI said:
Cujo never did anything like that and I was completely unprepared. I feel so terrible, stupid newbie fish owner!!
Don't beat yourself up over it, we all make mistakes.

When I had bettas, I was returning one to his tank after I'd cleaned it, and he got out of the net and fell on my dirty dorm room floor. I started screaming and was all freaked out and couldn't figure out the best way to pick him up. Panicking, I just grabbed him...and then I dropped him again!! I finally got him in his tank, and he just sat there. I felt horrible and thought I'd killed him...but he still lived for a couple more years!
 

COBettaCouple

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Bonochick said:
Don't beat yourself up over it, we all make mistakes.
How true! Romeo threw you a real surprise and he's now alive & fine, so you did good. If you feel bad about it still, then give him a bloodworm and look at how happy he is.
 
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Jendayi

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Well today Romeo is back to his big bad self. He's flaring his little heart out at that mean ole turkey baster sitting outside his tank, the nerve of it I did his water change earlier and sucked him up into his little cup without any incident. His tail is looking better and the tear seems to be healing. At this rate he might be ready to go into the cycled 5 gallon before Cujo's tail ever heals...

Thanks as always for the advice and support. I'm glad these little fish can somewhat tolerate my newbie mistakes... :
 
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Jendayi

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Ok, this is just so funny I had to come back and post a pic. I moved the turkey baster from one side of the tank to the other, to give him a rest from flaring at it. But he just started in on the other side...

24.jpg


Mean ole turkey baster! > lol
 

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