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Old 12-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #1 
NoodleClaw
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Adopted betta, torn up fins. Help me I'm a noob

So today we took home 2 bettas from an elementary school. The teacher was under the impression that they were 2 females and were ok to live together. They are actually 2 males and one of them is really beat up (fins are pretty much shredded).
They are now in separate containers, but I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to help the one that is so torn up. Is there risk of infection or anything?
I have attached a photo of the poor guy.
Please help, I'm kind of a fish noob.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #2 
callistra
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There are some threads in the care forum that talk about tank size, water changes, temperature, adding conditioner and food. I would look into all of that. http://www.bettafish.com/forumdisplay.php?f=30

Basically I would keep in a minimum of 2.5g with an adjustable heater and in tank thermometer. If the room you're keeping him in never drops below 80F you don't need a heater. Water changes will vary depending on the size of the tank. Also if you have a larger tank (5 gallon plus) you can choose to use a filter and cycle the tank and do less frequent and smaller water changes, but you don't have to). You can use tap water as long as the PH is below 9 but you will need to condition it with something like Prime. When you do water changes you will want to make sure the water remains the same temp and you want to cup your guy and acclimate him to the new water slowly by floating the cup in the new tank water adding a couple tablespoons every 10 minutes for at least an hour. He will need a good quality pellet. My favorite is NEw Life Spectrum Betta which can be found at Petco. You can feed 5-8 a day split up into two feedings. He will also need one fast day a week.

To help his fins heal I would use stress coat at 1 ml per 1 gallon and aquarium salt at 1 tsp per 1 gallon for up to 10 days or until you see the fins actually start to grow back. The salt needs to be predissolved before adding.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:15 AM   #3 
TheCheese909
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The one in the photo looks quite alot like a female especially with such a short dorsal fin. Females will fight like males if they do not have proper space and coverage.

As Callistra said a heater would be great since they are tropical fishes. For right now keep the water clean and use API Stress Coat Plus, it helps reduce stress on fish and it's a water conditioner, you can find it at your local pet stores including PetCo and PetSmart. You can find a 1 gallon aquarium for right now at WalMart for $10 and it has a hood with a light. Also try adding in 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water, this will also help with the healing of finnage. Make sure the salt is dissolved fully before adding the fish into the water and remember to readd the salt with every water change.

You can also use BettaFix if you wish to add that extra little 'oomph' to help the fins regrow. Alot of people do not like to use this because they claim that it hurts Bettas labyrinth organ (which helps them breathe air) however I have personally never met anyone who has had problems with this product directly and have only heard "stories" of people with already severely sick and injured fish who happened to pass while using this product. It can work greatly if used correctly, in a 1 gallon aquarium no more than 5 drops of BettaFix is needed, you can dose them every day while being treated as well. It's helped alot of my boys (over 9 different Halfmoon males) who had severe fin damage regrow their beautiful finnage due to biting or too rough decor.

Anyway, the key here is clean clean clean water. If you make sure the water is cleaned daily then you should have no problems with any rot showing up.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:39 PM   #4 
NoodleClaw
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Thank you guys for all the help!! I know I need to get him(or her) into a better tank. I already have a tank set up(not sure how many gallons either since this was given to me as well, good size though) with a heater/filter/airstone set up with 4 sort of big goldfish( maybe 2 inch), they have been stable and doing really well for over a month. Do you think I could try putting this guy in here? Obviously slowly introducing it to the water using a cup or baggie or whatnot. I'm just kind of scared that they would beat up on the betta too.. This would just be the quickest way to get the little guy into something better than the crappy little plastic tank it came in. Let me know what you think, thanks.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:42 AM   #5 
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Well, goldfish are not tropical fish, they like colder water better so they should not have a heater.

They don't make great tank mates so I would not recommend it. Plus goldfish have a huge bioload so adding another fish into the matter would be a bad idea.

Bettas are more so solitary than social, even some of the females prefer to be by themselves rather than in a sorority. What are you keeping them in right now?
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:33 PM   #6 
NoodleClaw
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I have the beat up one is a really crappy small plastic tank it came in from the school I ended up putting the other one in huge glass cup (it was really the only option I had since I needed to separate them asap).
I guess what is a good option to get them in a better situation without spending a ton of money, since I don't think we are even going to get to keep them. We were only caring for them over Christmas break, but I wish i could get them in a better set-up before we have to give them back.
I may even just tell the teacher that they died so I don't have to give them back. Cause fish in a third grade classroom...yikes.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:34 PM   #7 
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Ironically, I got 3 of my fish out of a 3rd grade classroom.. miraculously they have always survived the school year before they ended up in my permanent care. Usually the worst I get is some fin rot. I tried to get them in a bigger setup once and the teacher's response was they came in what the pet store brought them in so that must be what's best.. So make sure that the teachers are okay with whatever new setup you give and are prepared to do what's necessary as far as water changes to keep it up. Like if you buy a heater and they do water changes with cold room temp water that causes shock that won't really be helpful..

I think the best thing you can do is get them 2.5g-5g rectangular tanks and a couple silk plants a piece.. maybe a little coffee cup in each to help them hide. Get them Prime for a conditioner and teach the staff how to do water changes. Heater would be best but if you don't trust them to do it right shock is worse.

I don't suppose you're in NE Kansas are you?

Last edited by callistra; 12-24-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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