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Old 03-01-2011, 08:29 PM   #1 
Vingraham
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HELP Betta Ventral fins tangled in hair algae!!

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


V

Last edited by Vingraham; 03-01-2011 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #2 
turtle10
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No DO NOT cut his fins off whatever you do. Just take super tiny scissors or even cuticle clippers and make teeny tiny snips in the plants. This could take a while to do. Cutting his fins off would mutilate him and he would probably die. And it would be painful. Do you have access to pure clove oil?
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:45 PM   #3 
Capricorn
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What Turtle said, do not clip off his fins. Clove oil, when used properly, can be an anesthetic. It should enable you to carefully snip away at the algae to get him free.

The aquarium salt is fine.. once you get him out of that algae you'll want to make sure his water stays clean and warm. That will be your best bet for a speedy recovery. He's probably terrified as is, so just be careful and go slowly.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:50 AM   #4 
Vingraham
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Thanks for the reply... After careful examination under a light this morning, I noticed that one ventral fin was already ripped off and the other only hanging on by a tiny strand. It looks like it's going to fall off soon. I will just leave him alone for now. The fins are def not going to be able to be saved:(. poor guy. He is eating and swimming around in the little shallow bowl dragging the bit of algae ( I clipped as close as possible without touching fins) and knot of fin.
Im kind of optimistic all else considered he seems like himself!

Thanks!
What else can I do to speed healing?
Thanks again!
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:18 AM   #5 
Capricorn
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At this point, a quiet place to minimize stress, warm, clean water, and maybe a little bit of aquarium salt for the first couple days is just about all you can do to speed it up. Keep us posted, and good luck!
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:16 PM   #6 
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Awww poor little guy :(
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