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Old 09-09-2009, 01:29 PM   #1 
MissTracy
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Betta only using one fin to swim!!!

Hi everyone,

I've been watching my betta for the last half hour or so, and he's only using one of his pectoral fins while the other is clamped to his side!!! Other than that, things seem normal... he's dancing around for me like he normally does (and is doing really well at it given he's only using one fin!), and he ate his breakfast (2 Hikari Gold pellets) normally a few hours ago. His color looks good, and he's not gasping for air or swimming strangely, from what I can tell, except that he's not using the one fin. I see him use the clamped fin once in a while, just for a second, and then clamp it back to his side, and it doesn't look torn. I'm very concerned that he's injured. Any idea what could be wrong and if there's anything I can do?

A little background: he's probably 6mos. - 1 year old, he lives in a 1 gallon bowl, unfiltered, we do 50% water changes daily to keep it fresh and clean, and we use Prime. There are no sharp ornaments in his tank, only flexible and soft fabric plants, and he is the only fish in the bowl.

Any advice is so appreciated, I'm so worried about my little guy! Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:09 PM   #2 
kelly528
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It sounds like he is injured... In fact, it is the only diagnosis I can think of. Despite our best efforts, injury happens sometimes. Since it doesn't sound like he has an actual wound, I don't see the need to treat with stress-coat/aquarium salt, etc. I would just let him rest up and it should take care of itself.

One thing I would suggest as a preventative measure is to invest in a bigger tank. Even in a 2.5g tank he should be alright with weekly water changes, which is considerably less stressful that daily water changes. There is always a chance that you betta can get injured in the net/holding cup, get trapped or dart and injure itself in alll the kerfuffle surrounding water changes. Daily water changes (although they are essential in a tank that small) are kind of risky like that. Plus, in a bigger tank you will be able to put a heater in, which will considerably improve your betta's all around health.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:23 PM   #3 
sumsum
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He could have been sleeping on the side of the tank and drifted backwards and injured his fin.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:45 PM   #4 
MissTracy
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Thanks so much for your responses - I was kind of betting that it was an injury, but I wish there was more I could do to help him. :( We've got a new 6 gallon tank that we're getting ready for him, but we're cycling it first and it won't be done for a few more weeks.

After I first posted this, he started using his fin again, gradually, after an hour or two. Then he was favouring it again last night, seemed recovered by this morning, and then later this morning was favouring it again. We haven't changed the decor in his tank for months, and this is recent, so I'm not sure...

I'm excited for the new tank so that we won't have to keep disturbing him with water changes. We only take him out of the tank once a week (in a cup) when we do the full tank cleanings, and he stays in the for the 50% daily changes. He doesn't seem terribly disturbed by it (IE: no darting around, comes to investigate the turkey baster that scoops up debris, etc) but I'm sure it can't be ideal to have equipment coming into his bowl every day.

If it keeps recurring, would aquarium salt or something be soothing for his little fin, or is it just something that will need time.

Thanks so much again for your help! :)
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #5 
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Aquarium salt is good for open wounds that get your fish's immune system going, but your guy probably just needs time.
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