Injured Betta Fish question...


The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
Unfortunately at my college's Fall formal, they were giving away betta fish in those small glass bowls as center pieces on the tables. Not only does this promote horrible fish keeping practices (The bowls are WAYYY too small for a betta), but several people were dumping the bettas into a bowl with others to either take JUST the bowl or to take more than one fish. I just don't know what is wrong with people....

One of my friends came to me with a betta she found in a bowl with another one. The poor thing was beat up to quite an extent. Almost his entire dorsal fin has been ripped off, he has injuries to his left gill, and his tail is fairly shredded. Of course, I took pity on the poor creature and he came home with me. My friend went around and rescued a bunch of other bettas off tables where they were going to be thrown away. I was able to place a couple with responsible people while I tried to explain to a bunch of others why it is wrong to keep bettas in such small containers. Most people replied by saying "They sell bettas on the boardwalk in small containers, so these should be fine".

Anyways, I changed out the water in a bowl I was able to scrounge up off one of the tables. Until I can get something larger, he will have to make due in this. I added a few drops of melafix and some water conditioner and he's starting to perk up quite a bit. Hopefully he will make it through the night, but is there anything else I can do for him? Will his fins grow back? He was quite a beautiful fish before the incident, so I'm hoping he will heal up nicely.

Not really sure what I will do with the little guy. I don't really want a third betta fish, as my other two already take up enough room on my desk in their 2.5 gallon tanks!
Sounds like you've got it covered, and THANK YOU for caring about those others enough to try to educate people:) Maybe this one could have a different site other than where the other two are? It would give it less stress which is what it needs right now, instead of tensing up and "displaying." They are such beautiful fish:)
i agree and yes if i remember right if they fight it will grow back the only thing ya have to worry about is stress and infection. i have never let mine fight but have gotten them from the petstore like that from goldfish damageing them.

there is a thing i think it's called start right and one called stress coat. u need to add one of those to make sure he keeps the natural slime coat on his body to help him heal and protect him i think that is in the start right one. the stress one is for something to protect the stressed out fish from going into shock, changeing water alone to much or wrong temp can make them go into shock. that's the only thing i can think of other than away from the ther fish so he can't see them.

hope that helps,
Don't keep males together. Bettas are actually very hardy fish, living an almost puddle-like conditions in Asia I believe.The males will fight to the death but females can live together peacefully. Other fish will also rip the beautiful fins and tails off of them. Fins will grow back and as long as infection doesn't set in, he'll be good as new. Stress coat I've heard is good. Keep his water clean but make sure its close to the same temp it was before. He should be fine!
Thanks for all the advice.

He's doing really well today. He's swimming all around the bowl (As much as he can in such a small space) I am really happy because my room mate said she will take him, and she already has a nice tank. She mentioned she might even go out and buy another one that is larger. It's great because I won't have to worry about taking care of him, but I can still keep an eye on how he is doing.

He is actually eating right now which is wonderful because he was too stressed out to eat this morning. His fins also look like they are starting to heal and regrow at the tips, so hopefully he will have some nice new appendages in no time!

The problem with bettas is that people have the misconception that they can live in a small bowl or more accurately "cup". In reality, they do MUCh better with 2.5 to 5 gallons of water. They LOVE to swim around the tank and they are very curious fish. I keep two other separate tanks with one male betta in each. They each have a little cave to hide in and one of the tanks has a separate filtration system. I do have to keep a piece of paper between the tanks though because they flare all day long. However, every once in awhile it is good to let them see each other for short periods of time, as it keeps them in shape and keeps them occupied. So far I've had my two guys for over a year and they are both happy and healthy! (Although I would love larger tanks for each!)

I wouldn't be so mad if they had the bettas as centerpieces in larger glass bowls or vases with a little care sheet tied to it or underneath. Oh well, it seem slike it will be a happy ending for this guy. He is in his bowl staring up at me as I type this right now, almost as if saying "thanks".
I raised, breed, and yes...showed betas "back in the day". There are some things you can do but I am sure meds have changed. Keep water clean and temp constant. They do not like temp fluctuations very much. I had one live to 7 years was not easy. Melafix (or something like that....I don't keep them anymore this was about 10 years ago) is really good in their water...just a drop. There are other meds but just like with chickens you do not want to over med them for stuff they don't need. Watch out for velvet or ich as it heals. Sounds like you are already doing the right thing tho.....
Last edited:
I had hundreds at a time and used mason jars...but I changed the water every other day. I keep water sitting at room temp at all times for changings so was same temp...and basically same water just clean. I hate those little cups you are speaking of! I REALLY HATE the beta vases. They (betas) breath from the top surface of the water (being a labyrinth fish) and need access to fresh air up there. So closing them in with a little straw not good. Then people are told not to feed them they will eat the plants roots. Betas eat protein...they are not vegetarians! No beta was meant to live off eating roots of a plant...they will try if they are starving OK....done with my rant!
I completely agree with you! Bettas are carnivorous fish and will not eat roots! I did have a set up like that once, but I cut lots of holes in the top plastic piece of the vase and I definitely fed him. He lasted three to four years, and LOVED to hide in the roots!

I would love to have a set up with real plants, but right now I just don't have the money. One day I will get my dream tank :)
don't forget to get the chorine out of the water. Stress coat is best, it regulates the chorine, ph balance, and does that wonderful slime-coating. If you ever decide to do the mating thing with them, make sure once the female has the babies to get her out of the bowl/tank. she will eat them, daddy keeps them safe, up til the babies get bigger, then daddy eats them.
Wonderful job saving them.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom