After the loss of my King, Bubba, I decided to move a few fish in order to better accommodate more active swimmers. I moved Stan (my white dragon scale) to a 2-way divided 10g, from a 3-way divided 10g. He had no ornaments in the 3-way. His new place would have a rock/snail bridge, which I thought nothing bad of, as the Betta moving from there never had a problem. A couple days passed with no problems. Though, lo and behold on Friday evening, as I was turning off lights, I noticed Stan was nowhere to be found. I saw that he was up under the bridge, and as I looked more closely, I was horrified to see his head stuck out the other side through the small hole in the ornament. I quickly lifted the light and lid off and brought the ornament to the surface so he could get air. I have no idea how long he had been stuck, and thankfully he hadn't drown. He was raw around his gills and neck from thrashing around and was missing part of his tail. He freaked when I put my fingers around his head area, and I knew pushing him back through was going to be risky, and possibly cause his death. Instead of using my finger, I got the tiny red scoop that had come with a fish food long time ago. It fit over just his mouth area perfectly. In between his breaths (when his gills were closed), I pushed him back through the hole. It took about 4 try's, with a short rest in between each one. Finally! He slipped backwards and started swimming. He was raw, bleeding, and really torn up. I cupped him and have started medicating him with stress coat. I've been cupping him overnight with stress coat, and then letting him swim in the tank during the day. I don't want to keep him in a small cup/tank for long because any buildup of ammonia will not be good for his raw wounds. Also, I feel any daily water changes will stress him out more than already. His tank was cleaned prior to moving, and it's filtered, heated, and planted. Is there anything else that anyone thinks I should be doing?? Also, that ornament is in the trash! Be careful if you have the same one! (bought at PetSmart, I believe).
He is ok so far. Just badly beat up. He has a "film" starting over his worst wound (top of head), and I'm not sure if that's part of the healing process?? You can see it slightly in the first photo. Anyone know?? He's swimming, but rests a lot. I can imagine he's not too happy.
Lots of healing wishes for Stan ! Thanks for the warning about that ornament. I have always heard to make sure any holes are the size of a quarter or larger to be deemed safe for a Betta. Keep us updated on how he is doing.
I don't like it either, but can't tell if it's part of the healing process, because his scales are so raw in that area. I am watching it and him very closely. I may go and get some antibiotic just to have it ready. I just feel he's getting stressed to his limit. Ugh!
A very light dose of AQ salt may help with preventing bacteria but I have never tried AQ salt with such a large open wound. Poor little guy, i really hope for both of your sakes that he makes a full recovery, with little to no other diseases taking hold and quickly! Best wishes for you and stan!!
Yeah this is difficult. Slime coat and scales lost means little protection against bacteria. I would start with a low dose of aquarium salt in the tank. 1tsp per 5 gallons. Stresscoat may help as well. You may need to do Methylene blue dips daily for short period like 20 minutes @ 3 drops per gallon. The salt in an open wound does sound painful to humans. Fish feel pain imo but are way tougher than us and feel it differently. Humans would in old days put salt in open infection to stop bacteria infection so don't worry too much about that. Damn ornaments!!
I just wanted to say that I had a similar ornament, slightly smaller than that one by Top Fin and it was the biggest culprit to my betta having his tail torn before. There was actually a small chunk stuck to the ornament, never again!
I am so done with artificial ornaments and plan to move on to live plants.
The only way to stop this torture of our fish is to stop buying these products.
I know I've told Petsmart over and over again that their products are dangerous and toxic to our fish, but it has always fell on deaf ears.
logisticsguy's instructions are sound and I recommend you follow them carefully. Remember that fish have a different nervous system to humans with less connections so the salt may sound painful at first, but it will sting only briefly and then numb out the painful area and prevent infection, the pros outweigh the cons.
I do also recommend a dose of indian almond leaf or rooibos tea if you can find it, it balances water parameters, calms the fish and is thought to speed healing up as well.
His breathing is becoming labored. I'm thinking his injuries are far worse than I can see (internally). Possible shock? The "film" on his head is gone, but the wound still looks really bad. I've put him in a clean water, heated 1g hospital tank with a small dose of AQ salt and stress coat for water conditioning. I'm just trying to keep him as comfortable as possible. Poor Stan. I hate ornaments! From now on, no more. Just live plants and floating logs.