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Old 01-01-2011, 12:28 PM   #1 
daynabunny
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Betta in community tank was bullied, is injured now

Housing
What size is your tank? 20gal, going to 36 in 2 weeks
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes; also fully planted with true aquatics
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 1 angel, 2 platys, 1 bristlenose pleco

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? TropiFin flake
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aquarium salt, FloraPride. Tank has been established since June, no other chemicals needed

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

I use strips so I don't have numbers.

Ammonia: None
Nitrite: High but still within safe levels (been on vacation, guess who's gravel-vac'ing today lol)
Nitrate: None
pH: Neutral
Hardness: Very hard (it's the water here, always will be)
Alkalinity: Low

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has had his fins very much picked at and nibbled at. He is a half-moon male so having very short, ragged fins is a HUGE change.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He does not want to move much, he will prove to me he has energy though. He lists to one side.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Last night when I arrived home from vacation.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I have quarantined him, turned up the heat to 82.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, he does not.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I purchased him about 7 months ago.

My angelfish got too cocky while I was gone. Upsetting, because he used to be smacked around by Thor, the Elder God of all Bettas (seriously, said betta was huge and lived to be at least 5, he might have even been 6). Anyway, my gentle male betta Narcissus has suffered and I have to fix it. I went out and got him a 2gal hex to live in for quarantine. I'm in the process of moving so I'm not ready to get him a whole new permanent setup (I'm thinking Fluval Edge 5gal) just yet, but even though he loved community life and playing with the platys, I don't think I can put him back in there.

I have only JUST put him in the hex with water sprites (true aquatic and he loves to float in them) half an hour ago and I used straight water from the community tank to minimize his shock, adding in Stress Coat. I plan to begin changing it tomorrow. What else can I do for him?
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:38 PM   #2 
shinybetta
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I think the angel bit his fins or he ripped them on an ornament. Treat the fins with Aquarium salt.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #3 
daynabunny
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Shinybetta, you don't need to guess, I have very few ornaments in that tank because it is pretty much all plants. I *know* the angel was pulling his fins off, he's a bully. I planned to treat with salt in any case. Should I begin changing his water earlier than tomorrow? Is there anything additional I can do to help comfort him?
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:44 PM   #4 
Malvolti
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Yep, angels are one of the worst for nipping fins. I had a neighbor who bred them and he had to keep them well seperate from everything including other angels. He said that they would attack anything with big fins especially other angels.

Best thing for the Betta would be a quarantine tank with daily water changes, a bit of aquarium salt and a high protien diet. Then find a way to keep the Angel from getting to him when he's ready to go back, or keep him in a seperate tank.

You could try investing in caves, small enough for the Betta to hide in but too small for the Angel to follow. Even in the quarantine a cave would be good for a bullied Betta. Makes them feel safer.

Basically everything you're already doing.

Last edited by Malvolti; 01-01-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:53 PM   #5 
Colibri
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I would say that the aquarium salt, temperature and water changes will be enough. His fins will grow back to normal, it depends only on the health of the fish how long it'll take. One of my boys used to rip his fins with the ornaments he had in his tank and grew them back to normal in a couple of days. My melano, on the other hand, has taken weeks to do so. I'm sure your betta will be just fine, and I think the best thing for him would be to have a tank of his own. Not every betta is made for living in a community tank. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:00 PM   #6 
daynabunny
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Malvolti, that's my one ornament in the tank (besides the red LED volcano that's the aerator), my tiki heads that Loki the angel can't go in. Loki can't go in anything anymore, really, heh. And yes, with a volcano aerator and tiki heads I'm aware I have the Finding Nemo tank in fresh ;) I love it.

His quarantine has a Penne-Plax treasure chest in it, not much room for anything else but I knew I did have to get something for him to hide in. He's a super mama's boy, though, loves his hand feedings and in healthier days would "cuddle" by swishing his tail fins against my fingers after a feed. He's presently in the sprites near the top gazing at me right now (I put him on my nightstand).

Speaking of food, should I keep with his usual flake, or go to the treats? Treats are brine shrimp. Would that help him gain strength/get better faster?

And are there caves you would suggest? Like, nice ones that attach to the side of the tank, maybe? Do such things exist? I'll have to go google.

EDIT: Thanks, Colibri! I'll see how happy he appears living by himself again. He started out by himself but he seemed really bored, and got happier in the big tank for many months...maybe he just cycles, lol.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:11 PM   #7 
Malvolti
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For the most part any cave is good. My Betta loves one made by ZooMed called a Betta Log. It's a small hollow log looking thing that floats at the surface.

Treats are high in protien usually but if they are freeze dried they can cause other problems when used in abundance, frozen or live would be the better option. Otherwise stick to flakes/pellets.

In my experience Bettas love space, and even company in the form of other non-agressive fish. The problems start when you do have agressive fish, then you need to weigh the Bettas happiness against his safety. Safety First!
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:11 PM   #8 
Colibri
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I think live foods would be the best for him right now. And, you could also consider switching to pellets instead of the flakes. To keep him away of boredom, you can set him up a beautiful tank with lots of places to explore. Also, try putting new objects inside or outside of his tank from time to time. Bettas are very curious fish and they love new stuff. An airstone with little bubbles would give him lots of fun too. Showing him a mirror would also make good exercise.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:18 PM   #9 
daynabunny
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BettaLog by ZooMed...got it. Will do. Didn't see such a thing at Petco, but this is why we have Amazon. :)

I buy frozen, but can absolutely get live. I want him to get a bit stronger first, though...don't want him to waste what little he has. He's on flake because that's what the tank eats, frankly, and it helps bring out his blue sheen (he is white, but electric blue sheen and dark blue gills/eyes, he is a beautiful boy). I've got pellets for my other bettas, though (two male doubletails that live in a divided 10) and I may see if he likes what they eat, Colibri, good call. As for airstones, he does not want any part of them. He refuses all such things, I found that out months ago, lol. He doesn't like filters that mess with the water too much either (stays far away from it in the big tank or surfs in the plants), that's why I'm happy with this present hex, the filter's quite low in that respect, and why I think he'd like a Fluval.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:48 PM   #10 
daynabunny
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I am happy, I hacked off a tiny corner of a mysis cube and thawed it for him...ate like a little piggy, he did, and showed real interest once he realized it was food I was putting in. He's flopped on the bottom now, and the water's niiiice and warm. If nothing else, he's having a day at the spa, I suppose. I think it does agree with him.
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