Betta Tail Injured by Aquarium Net


Undersea Tiki Betta, originally uploaded by pixelator_1999.

Q: DA wrote,

Hello! I have found so much useful information from your site. Thank you for all of the time and hard work that you put into it!

I have had this little guy for two weeks. He was in a small bowl, that I did water changes on every 2 days. When I bought him his tail already had a “fringe-y” look to it, but did not seem to be anything wrong to me. He eats good, and has been acting healthy. I did damage his tail while moving him to clean his bowl, :( It was a rookie mistake, and it looks like someone to a bite out of it. “net happens” is now our slogan…

Two days ago, I got him moved into a 6 gal eclipse tank. He LOVES it! I didn’t know bettas were such active fish. He has been playing in the current, and just having a great time. My question is that I am worried about his tail….is it getting fin rot? or am I just being an over protective mother?

I have been using stability everyday to build up the good bacteria in the tank. (It says to use it for the first 7 days) I also used Prime, and 1/4 teaspoon of aquarium salt. I tested the water today. PH 6.8. Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0. Tank temp is holding steady a 79 degrees. Right now all I have are a few silk plants, and gravel. I want to do a planted tank later. I have not done a water change yet, will do so when ammonia levels rise. He is getting pellet food, 3 to 4 pieces everyday, and freeze dried blood worms a couple times a week. At this time he is the only fish in the tank.

The only other thing I can think to add, is that he only flairs on one side. It looks like a deformity. When he sees himself in the mirror, he gets all “puffed -up” and flairs, but only his right side opens up. Have you ever heard of this before?? It doesn’t seen to bother him, and he acts normal…so I figured birth defect.


DA’s Betta Fish

A: Wow, D, your new 6 gallon tank set up sounds great and your water parameters are spot on for your betta fish. For a “rookie” as you called yourself, you are certainly on track for success.

Thanks too, for sending the photos of your betta fish. I can see exactly where you clipped his fin with your net. The good news is I don’t think it is turning into fin rot. On the contrary, it appears he is growing some new fin tissue. In the photo below you can see some very fine cellophane-like webbing beginning to grow where he lost the chunk of fin. That is new growth. It will likely take a couple of months before he has his fin completely healed but as long as you keep his water clean and your betta healthy, you should notice rapid improvements in the next couple of weeks.


Betta fish tail fin regrowth

Of course, I should mention that new fin tissue is extremely fragile. It is not unusual for bettas to lose their new fin growth due to reinjury or fin rot. Be gentile with that net during water changes and keep his water warm, clean and stable.

Best of luck


Photo of DA’s Betta

Written by

Christie F is a Betta splendens hobbyist that enjoys spending time caring for her fish and helping new betta keepers learn the ropes. More posts by:

4 Comments for this entry

  1. Skate Speak says:

    Is a Marineland Eclipse System 6 a good home for a betta fish? I bought this tank thinking it would make a happy home for a betta but my poor fish died within a week of Fin Rot. Before I get another betta fish for this tank I would like to know if it was the tank that made my fish unhappy. I would really appreciate any help I could get. Thank you!

  2. ניתוח אף says:

    Is this picture real?

  3. Jani says:

    I'm planning to buy a betta and a bowl tomorrow. And this blog provided me with a wealth of information. Thanks. Will end across my experience/snaps in due course.

  4. Amanda says:

    I don't net my bettas.. I did it once and the poor otherwise healthy thing died within a week. I think I messed up his stress coat >.< Now, when I have to move the little guys around for water changes, I use the cup they came in from the pet store… I just gently 'trap' them in it or put it in and let them swim into it on their own, which they will eventually do. Then I can pop a lid over it to keep him from jumping out, and take all the time I need to change the water. When it's done, I leave some room at the top of the to gently put him and the little bit of water from the cup back into the tank. Works like a charm and doesn't stress them as much :)

Leave a comment