Hello everyone, I'm new here.
After a bit of research I bought a 5 gallon tank with a filter and heater, cycled it, then bought a betta who has been with me for about 2 weeks. He's a beautiful friendly little thing.
Last night when I got home from the hospital (I'm a med student) and checked on him he was fine, but then an hour later when I looked again his tail and lower fins were damaged. Long, thin sections of the them had been torn off as if he had been in a fight! One piece was actually still attached at the bottom and was dangling behind him, but has since fallen off.
It's made me really sad, I'm really attached to the little guy. I've been wracking my brains trying to think what could have caused it... he has soft live plants, smooth gravel, no tankmates, and I don't *think* it was the filter...I'm out of ideas!
(oh, i should add that he had a photo background on his tank, but could see his refection in several parts of it and would spend a long while flaring his fins and attacking it...could he have bitten himself in frustration? I've removed the background now.)
Is there anything I can do for him to help him heal? I do frequent water changes and gently rinse the filter media in old tank water, so the water is crystal clear. I read that some people add aquarium salts...should I do that? I'm in the UK and the only local pet store is 'Pets at Home', and to be honest I don't think they know what they're talking about most of the time so I'm hesitant to ask for advice.
I'm just worried he's in pain or he'll get an infection. I don't care what he looks like as long as he's healthy and happy.
Please advise... Thank you :)