HELP! I came home to find my poor betta tangled and hanging upside down in a plant and hair algae. He managed to get his ventral fins completely wrapped around leaves and hair algae and must have struggled to get free bec his ventral fins are a complete knot of algae and plant matter. I cut him free, as close to his fins as i could and placed him in a shallow bowl as he can hardly swim due to the weight of the algae and knotted fins. I don't know what to do now. It seems cruel to keep him for his entire life in 2 inches of water (so he can easily reach the surface) and equally cruel to snip off his ventral fins with the knot of algae. ..... ahh!
Should i get some fish antibiotics and clip his fins off , keeping him in a clean bowl until they regrow? Leave him as he is until the knotted fins lose blood supply and die/fall off by themselves? He usually lives in a 10 gallon tank with many plants, guppies and neon tetras. Unfortunately untangling his fins is not an option-it is a complete mass of fin/algae i cant tell where it starts or ends...
also if i do need to clip off the matted fins, is there anything i can do to reduce the pain/trauma.. ie sharp scissors (or surgical scalpel- i have access to), any sort of fish "anesthetic" i can use, do i need to worry about bacteria in the water potentially infecting the wound- any products to reduce stress. I have added an extra touch of aquarium salt to his little "hospital tank"... good idea? bad?
thanks so so much