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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As he woke up earlier, he thrashed and hit his head. It is swollen, red, and looks very bad. Please help me. Is there anything that I can do to help him?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10g
What temperature is your tank? 76-78
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Not at the moment, tried to minimize current since he is injured
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and freeze dried bloodworms occasionally
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once or twice a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? We try to do 30%, but the water needed to be changed so we did 50% this morning
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Just Tetra water conditioner

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

Ammonia: Just tested .5. Performing another small water change to try to help without disturbing him.
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH: 7.2
Hardness: Soft
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has a large bump on the top of his head, looks red and bloody
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not eating, only moving to breathe, seems like he is dead resting on the rocks and side of the aquarium
When did you start noticing the symptoms? As soon as he thrashed and hit his head
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No, I don't know what to do
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He has only had one bout of sickness, ich/ick, and that was a year ago
How old is your fish (approximately)? 2
 

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Ah, poor fish!

I've never had an injured betta, so I'm not sure of what to do.

I have read that it's good to keep a shocked fish somewhere dark and quiet, and I'm supposing he might be a bit shocked if he's hurt himself that badly. Hopefully someone experienced with injury will help out.

What did he hit his head on? I'm a bit concerned that he was 'thrashing' hard enough to do that to himself..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It was so odd, he's never done that before. And it was really fast, but I think he hit his head on the gravel

Edit: Would it be okay to use Ammonia Clear?
 

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It is odd behaviour - makes me wonder if he's got the start of ich or velvet, which can make them 'flash' like that, dart around trying to itch themselves.

How's he doing??? Poor little guy.

If he's not so badly shocked by now, I would put him a warm AQ salt solution in case of infection (and maybe ich or velvet - look for white spots or shine a torch on him, see if there's a bright copper/gold sheen..)

1 teaspoon per gallon. Nice and warm. Keep him out of noise/bright lights.

That's all I can think of to do, immediately.. :(
 

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It'd be better to do a 50% change right away, with ammonia that high.. or put him in a smaller hospital tank if you can. If he has ich or something, treating him with 100% water changes daily will be easier in a small tank..

Depends on how close to shock he is?

I dunno! Hopefully someone who's dealt with injuries will come along..


ETA: Some API Stress Coat would likely help, if you can get some.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It turns out our tap water is the source of the ammonia! We used the Jungle ammonia tablets and it brought it down, but not enough. We are going to test a friend's water and we may have to haul it here. :/

Right now we have the front of the tank covered so he won't see movement and be scared by it. He did it once more today, but not like he did before. I do not think it is ich, because he has had that before, so I know how he is with it. I will look up velvet and the link that you posted.

The swelling went down a little, but there is still a gash/sort of red and raw spot.
 

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Prime water conditioner has an ammonia control in it I think. You may want to look into that brand of tap water conditioner, or at least research it a little better so you can see if it will help you with your water. I would think it would be easier and cheaper to use Prime then hauling water, and/or using the jungle products. (If it will do what you need it to do.)

As for your hurt betta, I have never had one mf my guys injure himself like that. If he is still in bad shape maybe PM OldFishLady? If it were me I would probably move him to a smaller bare bottom container with a 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon of water salt treatment. BUT I never had to deal with an injury that bad. So I would rather you take people's advise who have experience dealing with such an injury.

If you still have problem water I am not sure that moving him to a smaller container would be safe if your 10 gallon is filtering out some of the ammonia with live plants? (java moss does reduce some ammonia I think, you can look up the study online)

I hope your little guy feels better, sorry I couldn't be more help
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We have a one gallon, but because of the gash, I'm afraid to net him, and he's almost impossible to cup..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It looks like they are all the way gone, it looks raw like a human injury would. Sorry I'm not good at explaining it
 

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hmm, is it possible to provide a picture? sometimes these injuries heal on their old kind of like skin regeneration of humans. My betta scrapped his head and i could see the under layer and i was freaking out but it healed over pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would get a picture, but our camera is really, really bad quality. Our good one broke recently. ): It looks like when someone scrapes the skin off of their knee. Raw but not gruesome or anything. The scales are gone but it's not that deep. I'm glad he ate some today..
 

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How is his behavior? Is he acting dazed or lethargic after hitting his head?

One way to make netting/cupping him easier is to lower the water level in the tank until he has only a few inches left to swim in. It would probably be best if you could get him out and into a hospital tank, as it would make treatment much easier. You will want to keep the water as clean as possible. A very good product to help with healing flesh wounds is Kordon Fish Protector. Some Petsmarts carry this, as do most LFS. Otherwise, pick up API Stress Coat and use a double dose. See how he does in this for a day or two and if it doesn't seem to be healing then we can put him into 1 tsp aquarium salt per gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He is swimming less than he usually does, but goes up for food and air. Yesterday he looked like he was leaning on the rocks and the side of the tank for support, but now it looks more like he's supporting himself, even though he is at the bottom a lot.
 

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Okay. Keep an eye on him. Fish can get traumatic head injuries just like humans and I am sorry to report that they can also die from them. :( Hopefully, he is just a little stunned and doesn't feel very perky and that's all.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah. I guess it depends on if it caused some sort of internal injury. Even if he were to pass, it would help knowing we've always taken care of him the best we could and he's been a happy little fish. I hope that doesn't happen..
 

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Good to hear he is doing a little bit better and is eating for you today.

I am not sure what kind of net you have, but if he's impossible to get out of the 10 gallon, maybe look into a brine shrimp net for the future. It's made out of a very very soft silky, usually white, material with no big holes. It's more like a nylon stocking or silky football jersey material consistency. (That was a horrible explanation. :/) I have one of those, and another green scratchy net that came with my first 10 gallon kit. I'm not thrilled with the green net. I wouldn't really want someone to scoop me up with the green kind after a bath. LOL

My best wishes to your little guy and yourself
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you. It is a fine blue net, the holes are really small. He gets stressed by being caught, which is why we moved him from a 1g to a 10g. Taking him out of the water scared me, because I figured the stress would age him.
 

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It's probably best for him to have a few seconds of stress and be in a hospital tank than to leave him in the 10gal, especially if he's hanging on the bottom a lot. He'll be able to reach the surface easier in a 1gal.
 
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