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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got a new betta for my Spec V.

For a couple of years I have a betta, a few random Endlers, a large number of RCS and a few dwarf cajun crays in there, its VERY heavily planted and has driftwood and moss, and everyone lived happily for a long time. My original betta was a marble who was mostly white with very long flowy fins I think he might have been a rose tail.

Anyway, Betta 1 died recently (he was old). I decided to try another because I love bettas. I picked a young gorgeous double tail butterfly, I watched him very very careful but he seemed fairly mellow, I was worried he would start picking off RCS but not at all. My RCS are very bold and swim right with the fishes. I did not worry about my dwarf crays as I seldom see them.

Then Betta 2 had a small amount of tail damage...I wondered if he had been caught on driftwood or something? I thought my decor was betta safe based on 1 living in there with no issues....but 2 was more active. So I watched.

Next day, more tail damage, so I watched closer. Even more tail damage!

Finally, yesterday I saw (horrifyingly) one of my dwarf crays ambush him, rip a HUGE chunk off his tail and eat it!! The cray has been waiting for him to swim past a plant or close to the bottom and then jumps on him and rips off part of his tail.

So either 1 never swam close enough or maybe the cray got defensive between 1 and 2 and when he happened to go after 2 discovered betta tail as a source of food??

SO needless to say cray is going to live elsewhere, but in the mean time my poor bettas has only about 1/2 of his upper tail, 1/4 of his lower tail and is missing chunks from his ventral fins.

Should I fish him out and medicate him? I keep the water very clean with twice weekly partial water changes and upgraded filtration and I keep it heated. With so much gone will they grow back? Will he get an infection? Most tail damage info I find related to rot and its not rotted, its torn.

Gah.
 

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Best way to handle this is to start with clean water, plenty of water changes.
Be vigilant and watch that fungi or bacteria do not invade the injured areas. By keeping up with water changes you are greatly reducing the amount of bacteria and fungi in the water. You could add a UV sterilizer to the water, if you want.

For other fish, NOT Anabatoids, I have added Melafix and Pimafix to the water. These slow the growth of fungi and bacteria. But the label specifically states not to use these with Bettas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. So you think he wil be better off if his community tank assuming I keep up with the water changes etc than being removed to a small hospital tank? He seems very happy and active today despite his inability to swim really well.

I feel so bad.
 

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I'd do a methylene blue bath, at double the dose on the bottle, for 30 minutes. Do it in a glass jar, as it stains silicone and plastics.
Prepare a half full hospital tank with aquarium salt. Start at 1tsp / gal, and up this over 2 or 3 days to 3 spoons.
Filling it half makes it easier to get to the surface...

If you have a banana tree, go tear off a piece of dried leaf about the size of your hand, and put it in the tank.

Anytime, you see any white stuff forming, repeat the dye bath.
 

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Warm (78-82F) and clean water-no ammonia nor nitrite and ow to no nitrates) is the best for betta fin healing. Some say aquarium salt helps.. I don't really feel like it does (tried before).
Bettas can get stressed being in a (what is usually) barren hospital tank. Many bettas glass surf (chase their reflection ni the glass) and in an empty hospital tank this gets frustrating as there is nor escape from the 'intruder' which can stress a betta into fin biting (but this is just a theory-there's a big argument over the reasons bettas bite their own fins). I've leave him in the community tank as long as nitrates levels are low and no one else will nip him.

If you are concerned about any decor/driftwood/rock in tank get a nylon stocking (can buy cheap at a dollar store or grocery store) and rub the stocking over every inch and angel of everything in the tank that is not a live plant. If the nylon snags even just slightly or full blow rips that item can destroy betta fins (and your betta will find that *perfect* spot to hit it to get ripped fins). If its driftwood wet-dry sandpaper is the best and easiest way to deal with it, sand, rinse, nylon test, repeat as needed. Pointy edges of long branches/twigs can also snag fins so file those down.
If its rock you may try a motorized sanding tool like dremel motor tool (I've used on some rocks). Or consider growing moss on the rocks (moss under shower scrunchie to keep it on the rock).
shower scrunshie:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! He seems so comfortable and happy I think I will keep him there. I do twice weekly water changes as I prefer to do smaller changes to keep my shrimp happy, but felt like with the slightly overstocked nature I needed to do enough. I think I will do every other day water changes (its actually pretty quick and easy with such a small tank).

I don't think the wood is really an issue, I just had that as a theory as to what happened to his tail, but of course now I know. I have a lot of plants on the wood (mostly anubias) so he doesn't really get near it. He rests n the leaves.

I also have a moss pad that hangs on the back and he rests on that too. The RCS tend to come up and check him out when he does it but they don't seem to bother him.
 
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