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Old May 19th 05, 10:22 PM
Elaine T
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Derek Benson wrote:
On Wed, 18 May 2005 19:00:28 GMT, Elaine T

Ack! I have 2 bettas in a divided 2.5 gal tank with a Nano Filter. I
woke up this morning and both bettas' fins are in tatters. I'm talking
total, heartbreaking shreds. Both were in perfect shape last night. I
immediately tested the water, expecting to see ammonia but it was 0/0/5
ammonia/nitrite/nitrate as usual. I changed 60% of the water and added
extra AmQuel anyway. The tank has been cycled and stable for about 3
months and gets weekly 50% water changes. It also has a lot of java
moss that would tend to soak up an ammonia spike.

I also cleaned the filter, which gets some sunlight, and the inside was
coated with blue-green algae. I've heard of toxic cyanobacteria and was
wondering whether cyanobacteria toxins can cause fin problems and
nothing else? I'm grasping at straws.

Or did one of my bettas jump the 2 cm of divider that's not covered by
glass, neatly dodging the filter intake, fight his tankmate, and jump
back?!? There is no other way around or through the divider. A fight
fits the best but seems improbable. Both fish are eating, behaving
pretty normally, and nobody's talking.

What do you all think and does anyone have experience healing bettas'
fins after a fight? I always use very clean water and more frequent
feedings for fin damage, but I've never seen betta fins this badly
damaged. Are there any other betta specific tips or tricks?

Do you live alone, or are there other people in your household? If
you're not alone, after you went to bed someone else moved one of the
bettas to the other side because they wanted to see a fight. After the
fighting the betta was moved back.

Otherwise one of your bettas jumped over the partition in that 2 cm
area and then jumped back. This isn't unlikely at all, except for the
fact that it had to jump back the way it came, which does seem a bit
weird. How high was the water level compared to this 2cm space? Like
1cm from the water up to that area, or 5 cm? 1 or 2 cm can't be any
problem for a betta to jump, even though it has to hit that specific
small area.

I won't believe for one second that cyanobacteria or ammonia or pH
variations or anything else similar will cause a bettas fins to tatter
overnight. It sounds from your description that the fins are
physically ripped apart; these other "chemical" types of things, if
they are so bad as to cause a problem, would be likely to cause fins
to rot away over time, as if the fish has fin and tail rot, don't you

Bettas fins always grow back out by themselves, don't do anything
different than what you usually do with the bettas.


There's just me, fish, shrimp, and snails in the house, so unless the
mystery snail in the next tank over cruised over and moved a betta,
that's not the answer. Sensible idea, though.

The water was high enough for an easy jump. The divider is plastic
canvas to the top of the tank, and the glass cover almost against the
HOB filter intake. If I put it flush, it rattles. I thought the filter
intake was in the way enough to prevent such a mishap. Obviously not.
:-( I have made any further jumping impossible with more canvas.

The damage does look physical, and not at all like fin or tail rot.
That's why I was so shocked by the suddenness of it. With toxic water,
I would expect to see white edges, fairly even damage (the dorsals are
nearly perfect on both fish), and behavioral signs of stress.

Good to know that I can do my usual clean water thing even for fins this

Elaine T __ '__
rec.aquaria.* FAQ