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Discussion Starter #1
This morning I woke up to find my beautiful betta, Scoli, caught underneath the Whisper filter and his fins are destroyed. At first he was barely moving or breathing. He swam around erratically a couple of times and now he is hiding and breathing more normally.
Any advice to help him heal quickly and avoid infection would be appreciated. Should I up the salt that I put in? Right now I put very little because of the plants but I've read that bettas do well with salt. Should I continue using NovAqua instead of StressCoat? Should I offer him food? Should I do a big water change since my nitrates are getting high? What temp should his tank be at?
Also, this is a warning to anyone with a similar filter to cover the seemingly small filter intake with nylon. I didn't imagine that this could happen.
This is my first post. Here are the answers to the 17 questions:
1. 5 gal
2. freshwater
3. almost 5 months
4. one betta
5. yes but I have another tank to put them in for treatment if needed
6. 72 degrees. I have a heater to add today. I thought that 74 was ideal until I was reading some threads posted. Is 78 to 80 better?
7. Whisper Micro Filter
8. no
9. yes - low light
10. 2 weeks ago. 50%.
11. Every 2 to 3 weeks
12. twice daily. Betta pellet food by Aqua Culture 4 pellets. Once a week 3-4 freeze dried blood worms.
13. LED light by Marina - always on. 15 watt bulb that came with aquarium - on during the day every other day.
14. fish got caught in filter and fins are shredded badly.
15. pH 7.6, ammonia just over 0, Nitrite under .25, Nitrate 10
16. API liquid
17. July 2008. This fish - aggressive, alert, had a bubble nest.
 

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Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I'd just do a small water change to avoid stressing him out even more. I think Stresscoat couldn't hurt. Someone else on the forum will have to advise you on what, if any medication to use to prevent infection.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay. I was thinking the same but not sure. He's in really bad shape and I'm not sure if he'll make it. Thanks for the response.
 

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You're welcome.I would add the amount of salt that you normally add. Poor thing, I hope he makes it. Just keep an eye on him. Let us know how he's doing.
 

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I have heard that a small amount of epsom salt (magnesium sulfide) can help healing fish, but I have never tried this myself, so you might wanna look into that. (you can find it at the drugstore). Best of luck.
 

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Well you should not use aquarium salt with Betta fish. Also you should to little 15% water changes 2 or 3 times a week. For his fin you will just have to wait for them to heal and grow back. But obviously your filter has too much water intake and I would recommend just an underground filter because a Betta does not actually need a filter (mine does not have one) and he seems happier to be in still water. Also Betta fish do not produce a lot of waster and if your worried about waster you can get a mystery snail or a Cory cat or a Pleco. (Those eat algae) But I strongly strongly recommend for you to take out your filter and not use one at all because Betta fish are meant to be in still water they are from Thialand and they live in marshes. I never heard of the the water condition your using but I use stresscoat and it works perfectly! Yes offer him food because look at t this way, if you broke your two leggs would you want to be offered food for a while? This is when you Betta fish need the food more than ever becuse he need the protein to build back his fin. Speaking of food you should start feeding him some blood worms weekly this will help his diet and regrowth of his fins. I hope this could help!
 

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I use aquarium salt in my water as a disease preventative. Some people like to use it and some don't. It can be used to treat sick bettas.
 

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*sigh* The Whisper internal filters used to be good until they took the adjustable flow off of them. I really would like to know what they were thinking?

Anyways...you can use a pinch of aquarium salt to help your betta heal up. Let it dissolve in a cup of tank water first. In regards to the heater, yes, you want it at least at 78 degrees, this will also help your betta heal. Healthy or sick, you should be changing 50% of your tanks's water on a weekly basis otherwise too much junk builds up and your water needs to be kept extra clean right now. Probably when you up the water changes you will see the ammonia/nitrite disappear and the nitrates remain. This is a good thing and your nitrates aren't really that high. You should quit feeding the freeze-dried foods too, they are actually damaging to the digestive system and instead feed a little bit of frozen (get Hikari cubes and just hack off a chunk of cube).

paws...please do not suggest a cory cat or plecos to those who have small tanks. Cory cats are meant to be in groups and are unhappy otherwise and you cannot even begin to try fitting a group into a 5 gallon, and generally when people think plecos they think the common ones that grow monster size. Snails are just plain messy themselves and not really worth it, and besides that a betta will not leave enough food for a waste eater so you'd have to feed them too anyways. Also...water conditioner takes the chlorine out of water...this shouldn't be news to you though.
 

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I use aquarium salt in my water as a disease preventative. Some people like to use it and some don't. It can be used to treat sick bettas.
Actually that is a myth. Salt will not prevent any disease that may come in the betta's way. If I were you, don't use salt. Salt will prove its usefulness only when ich outbreaks occur. Salt itself can simply harm the fish in the long run as their added electrolytes become too much for the betta's osmoregulatory system to handle. Bear in mind Betta splendens came from soft acidic waters where conductivity level is very low thus their osmoregulatory system is more adapted to such condition than the environment with the high conductivity levels.

Furthermore, you are at a risk creating strains of ich that will prove resistant to the presence of salt and become worse to eradicate in comparison to strains that are not adapted to the presence of salt bearing in mind bettas are already sensitive to a wide range of medicines available for use.
 

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This morning I woke up to find my beautiful betta, Scoli, caught underneath the Whisper filter and his fins are destroyed. At first he was barely moving or breathing. He swam around erratically a couple of times and now he is hiding and breathing more normally.
Any advice to help him heal quickly and avoid infection would be appreciated. Should I up the salt that I put in? Right now I put very little because of the plants but I've read that bettas do well with salt. Should I continue using NovAqua instead of StressCoat? Should I offer him food? Should I do a big water change since my nitrates are getting high? What temp should his tank be at?
Also, this is a warning to anyone with a similar filter to cover the seemingly small filter intake with nylon. I didn't imagine that this could happen.
This is my first post. Here are the answers to the 17 questions:
1. 5 gal
2. freshwater
3. almost 5 months
4. one betta
5. yes but I have another tank to put them in for treatment if needed
6. 72 degrees. I have a heater to add today. I thought that 74 was ideal until I was reading some threads posted. Is 78 to 80 better?
7. Whisper Micro Filter
8. no
9. yes - low light
10. 2 weeks ago. 50%.
11. Every 2 to 3 weeks
12. twice daily. Betta pellet food by Aqua Culture 4 pellets. Once a week 3-4 freeze dried blood worms.
13. LED light by Marina - always on. 15 watt bulb that came with aquarium - on during the day every other day.
14. fish got caught in filter and fins are shredded badly.
15. pH 7.6, ammonia just over 0, Nitrite under .25, Nitrate 10
16. API liquid
17. July 2008. This fish - aggressive, alert, had a bubble nest.
Change your filter with a sponge one. I'm not familiar with the one you're using but if it has indeed destroyed the fins of your fish, then you are using the wrong type of filter appropriate for long finned specimens. Sponge filters alone will actually suffice. Just do water changes and you should be fine.
 

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Lupin, thank you for the info on salt. I had been looking for info on why I shouldn't use it. I won't use it anymore, except to treat illness.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm taking your advice...

Thank you all for your feedback and I took notes. My little Scoli didn't make it. Pretty heartbreaking but a lesson learned. My other betta, Wildfire will benefit from the advice passed on. I have his heater going and the tank temp is 76 but I'm still tweaking it to get it to 78. I just got some frozen brine shrimp for him and he loved it. Next time I will get some frozen blood worms and I will toss the freeze dried version immediately. It's nice to know that there are others who care in a time of crisis. Thanks again!
 

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I'm so sorry about Scoli.But , like you said, it was a lesson learned. This forum is a great place to come when you need questions answered.
 

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Oh, how horrible! I'm so sorry to hear about Scoli :( .
 

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Aww man, I'm sorry to hear that.

If I were in your situation, I would have also lowered the water level to just a few inches. This makes it easier for a fish with torn fins to get to the surface to eat and breathe. Doubling your water change schedule also helps in healing injuries. However, sometimes the injures are just too great and the fish can't survive.
 

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I've considered an Under-Gravel filter for my 1.5 gallon, soon to be my betta's new home. (heater and stuff will be added). Is that safe? Like one that goes in the back and blows bubbles.

I'm probably going to get one like this, but would it be safe for bettas?


Aquatic Gardens Undergravel Filters at PETCO

 

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You're not going to be able to find an undergravel filter for such a small tank. Some of those little tanks come with an undergravel filter already installed in them, but otherwise the smallest one I've seen for sale is for a 10g tank.
 

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Well, I might get two ten gallons instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've spent HOURS online trying to learn as much as I can to be the best betta mom but I have learned so much from you all in such a short time. Thank you! I've never heard of a sponge filter. Is it like an airstone except a sponge instead? I guess it would have to be backwards? I didn't want to let my tank go so I put a couple of frogs in there (of course the filter is covered with nylon so they can't get sucked in). It appears that my maintenance was lacking so I am now doing water changes weekly. Also, Scoli had a curvature of the spine which made him very unique. I saw on a website the mention of 'culls' and 'straight bodies'. Is the curved spine a result of inbreeding? Is it very common?
 

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Some fish are simply born with curved spines. I'd be willing to bet that inbreeding increases the number of curved-spine fry, especially if done over many generations. It's hard to say how common it is. Most better fish stores won't sell fish with curved spines, so you don't see them in display tanks but that doesn't tell you how many were culled. Also, breeders try to cull the deformed fish before they make it to retailers. I've bred fish at home before, but all of them were from different lines so I've never had inbred fish and thus never had any with bent spines. I do breed feeder guppies for my fish to eat, and in the initial batch I got several with bent spines that went straight into my Jack Dempsey's stomach instead of into the breeding tank.

About sponge filters: basically, these are a tube with a base and slots along it with a sponge around it. Some require an airstone for operation, while others only require that you hook the airline tubing up to it. Basically, air is pumped to the bottom of the tube then rises up out of the tube. This creates a current of water up the tube, so water must be sucked in through the sponge material to replace it. As a result, the sponge becomes home to a large number of bacteria that convert your fish's waste into less harmful chemicals. Sponge filters can be more gentle than power filters but don't do as good a job at remove waste debris from the water. Also, if you have a really powerful air pump running the filter, they can create a lot of surface movement which might bug your betta. I think a better option is a power filter with an adjustable flow rate.
 
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