Updated!!! HELP! Severely damaged Betta from filter

Aseriesoflightning

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HI there- slight backstory and hopefully not a sad ending. We have had our betta, Colonel, for about 3 months now and he has been doing great. Eats like a champ, water parameters are perfect, and he’s always bubble nesting. He’s in a 3.5 gallon with a filter and heater. I noticed a lot of brown algae (I think it’s called diatom) in his tank so I cleaned it thoroughly but I didn’t put back two of the plants because the algae was all over them and I didn’t have time to get them cleaned. He’s never had any issues with the filter, and I’ve never seen him go underneath of it. I keep the flow on it pretty low since the tank is small. The other night I came in and couldn’t see him, low and behold he was underneath the filter, horribly stuck to it. I thought he was dead but when I unplugged it he started to struggle to get out. He got himself free after a couple seconds but he literally has no fins. Just his front two. No tail, no dorsal... Only his pectoral fins are not damaged and his pelvic fins are just slightly damaged. Everything else is GONE . Somehow he is still alive and swimming. I started right away with some melafix to prevent any infection since he’s still hanging on. He hasn’t eaten in 2 days, and he is breathing heavily from his gills. I adjustEd filter to the lowest setting, and adjusted the gravel so it kind of blocks his access to it, and I put two new plants in front of it.
Any suggestions on how to help him? He’s lasted this long with such severe damage I’m hoping he just needs a lot of Tlc and he will recover. He was doing so well be fore this freak accident and he had amazingly beautiful fins, my son is so sad that he got damaged like this. We had a rough time with our first few fish and this one was doing so well we hope we can save him.
 

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jkkgron2

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If he’s breathing heavily then he’s probably stressed (no surprise their) You could try lowering the water level and turning off the filter so that he doesn’t have to swim far to get to the surface and he won’t have to struggle against the water flow (even if the Filter is on low)
 

jkkgron2

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If he’s breathing heavily then he’s probably stressed (no surprise their) You could try lowering the water level and turning off the filter so that he doesn’t have to swim far to get to the surface and he won’t have to struggle against the water flow (even if the Filter is on low)
 

jkkgron2

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Not sure why it double posted sorry!
 

PascalKrypt

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The fins themselves getting destroyed is not the end of the world but he has huge open wounds where they were torn. That is bad news - it is rather hard to prevent infection in such large wounds when the fish is weak.

Keep your water superbly clean. To the point of doing a paranoid amount of water changes, maybe twice daily 50%.
Get some indian almond leaves or other tannins source and personally I would dose with methylene blue straight in the tank as well, mild dose (one teaspoon for a 3.5 with a 2%-ish solution should do, or until the water has a faint blue-ish colouring).

Put an air stone in the tank and turn off the filter. Lower the water level as stated above.
 
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Aseriesoflightning

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jkkgron2 said:
If he’s breathing heavily then he’s probably stressed (no surprise their) You could try lowering the water level and turning off the filter so that he doesn’t have to swim far to get to the surface and he won’t have to struggle against the water flow (even if the Filter is on low)
Ok- I also have a hammock in there that’s he’s been laying on. Won’t lowering the water level affect the heater being able to heat the water? How would I account for that? It stays at about 78.
 

Kfrussell

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This exact thing happened to my betta about three months ago and it was so upsetting. I really hope your little guy survives. I would definitely recommend the indian almond leaves, and I would also be carefully using the melafix. I put in a big clump of duckweed to help him stay near the surface (he liked to sit in it even before the accident). I also cut up a fish net and rubber banded it over the intake for the filter to prevent future incidents. Bettas can live for up to two weeks without food, so while I would keep offering it to him, I wouldn't panic about it just yet. Just don't let the uneaten food sit in the tank. Praying for your little buddy to make it
 

jkkgron2

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Aseriesoflightning said:
Ok- I also have a hammock in there that’s he’s been laying on. Won’t lowering the water level affect the heater being able to heat the water? How would I account for that? It stays at about 78.

Couldn’t you move your heater a bit? That shouldn’t effect the temp unless you don’t have it fully submerged.
 
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Aseriesoflightning

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UPDATE

So I lowered the water level, but kept the filter on low and used LEGO’s and gravel to block his getting to it but to still allow the water to flow. I turned it off for a day but the water got gross in just a few hours so I improvised. Good news is he started eating a few days after the incident Although I have to feed him the smaller pellets because he can’t seem to get the bigger ones into his mouth for some reason now, and he’s growing back his dorsal and analfins already!! Unfortunately he developed a case of Popeye a couple days ago in his left eye, but I have continued to treat with melafix and daily water changes and it has reduced drastically already. I’m not sure what happened, he might have injured himself on something because it was only in one eye, but he’s healing. He has stayed fairly active, so we’re hoping he keeps improving.
 

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