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Old 06-14-2012, 12:36 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Flo-rida
Bettas sucked into filter. 2 dead, 4 injured.

So recently my gf and i started a betta sorority. All was going pretty well, some fin tearing from hiarchy fletching but besides that the girls got along. Tonight after we returned home from a dinner with friends, i noticed i saw no bettas in the tank, even more worrysome, the filters tubing had fallen apart, the plastic part with the meshed intake had somehow become dislodged and sunk to the bottom, leaving a open tube intaking water. I quickly unplugged everything. Two girls slid out the intake, with some minor scale damage on the top of their heads. I took out the filter and dumped the contents back in the tank. Two more girls swam out. Some moderate fin and scale damage. And two girls sunk, very much dead. This is very hard on us, and after burying those two girls i have a few questions.

How the hell did the filters protective tubing get dislodged? Its was fine when we woke up this morning and randomly fell apart during the day. Easy repair, i just stick it back up there, but i dont want this happening again. It was a tetra whisper 10-30.

Two, i want the girls to recover. Should i take the four of them out and leave them in cups with fin repair and stress coat stuff? I only have a single one gallon hospital tank.

Three, althought they were doing alright before this accident. There was a decent bit of bickering. Almost every other morning i would wake up to see someone missing more of a fin or a tail. When should i remove a fish due to fin damage? One of the girls was missing a good 30% of her tail due to fighting. A note on fighting, i never witness anyone getting hounded, that stopped after the first 24 hours. There might be flaring and some lunging but no one ever chases anyone around the tank attacking them anymore. Sometimes they even do something that resembles schooling, with 6 girls all in the same corner of the tank, even brushing against each other with no signs of aggression. They also dont fight over food either.

Anyways. We need some help.

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:50 AM   #2 
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wow that seems awful i cant really help you but good idea on the soroity
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:29 AM   #3 
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might just be a bad product :S. Generally with filters and bettas you want to secure the filter so that you are quadruply sure that it will be fine. I don't understand how an intake tube can fall off so easily...
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #4 
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Clean, warm water is still the best treatment for all but the nastiest injuries. Some StressCoat can't hurt. So sorry about your troubles.

I am converting over to all sponge filters. I've heard too many filter stories.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:01 AM   #5 
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that makes me glad that I only ever HAD sponge filters. My LFS recommended them and uses them in ALL of their tanks, so I figured it was a good idea.

I hope your girls recover!!!
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:31 AM   #6 
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Holy.. cow. I'm so sorry for your loss. :(

Best wishes for the surviving girls, hope they heal quickly.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #7 
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That is terrible, I am soo sorry for such a tragic thing to happen, with that said, I would write to the company that makes those filters and let them know what happened, and just outta curiosity, what size is the tank that was housing your sorority? (may it have been too small)? I sure hope your remaining fishy's do recover:)
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:44 PM   #8 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
I can totally relate to your frustration and loss, as the exact same thing happened to my fish a few weeks ago. I cleaned and vacuumed the tank and then next day the filter intake had fallen off. Half of my fish were missing and I found them all torn up and dead inside the filter. One was still alive, but she only survived a couple of hours in a hospital tank.

The only thing I can tell you is to physically check your filter intake at least once a week. Pull at it or pull it out, then push it back in until it SNAPS back into place. My filter is an Aqueon but it works the same way as yours apparently. I think in my case while I was vacuuming I must have knocked the filter head loose without realizing it. I had only had this tank for a couple of weeks so I wasn't completely familiar with the filter mechanism. Now every time I clean the tank I check the filter intake. I also put filter sponge inside the intake cage to prevent any fin accidents and baffle the flow of the filter a bit (so it is less likely to suck anyone in even with the intake attached).

RE the torn fins. I'd take them out of the tank and treat them if they show any sign of difficulty swimming, sluggishness or fin rot. Bettas have big fins for a reason: so that when fighting the fins take most of the damage. I found my sisters always had some tearing of the fins because they always pick on each other to a certain extent. Still, after a while an uneasy truce is formed and they spend more time flaring at each other than actually nipping.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I hope it won't put you off of the idea of having a sorority. They are a bit more work, but worth it when you're enjoying watching all the goings-on of a feisty group of ladies!
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:20 PM   #9 
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I'm so very sorry for your loss. I lost a male betta in December to what I can only imagine was a filter injury. I came home after being out for a couple hours to find him struggling and in pain when he had been fine just a couple hours before.

As far as the girls fighting....
I don't know what your tank looks like (size, stocking, etc) but I wonder if you had enough cover for your sorority. Lots and lots of plants. I have a sorority and there is minimal nipping. I'll see chasing every once in awhile and an occasional sign there was a nip but not a lot like you're describing.

Here is a picture of my sorority tank to give you an idea of how much plant cover I have....
best of luck with your girls!
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