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Old 03-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
Scifisarah
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Default Trouble with shredded betta fins...

I am looking for ideas on what everyone things could be causing this. Monet is kept in a 2.5 gallon planted tank with crypt wendtii, spiralis and a few sprigs of purple cabomba. It has been up and running for over a month and is cycled. I tested today and it is 8.2 ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate and maybe about 1 ppm nitrate if that (first and second colors are 0-5 so I'm not quite sure where it falls, but looks very yellow/0). I had a problem with hair algae so I had been doing a 50% water change and dosing with about 0.5 ml Flourish Excel every 2-3 days and that seems to have gotten things cleared up. I have a sponge over the intake. He lives by himself or a few cherry shrimp before he gets around to eating them. Some of the plant tips of the spiralis look a little brown and pokey - could that be hurting him? He throws himself through the foliage in chase of shrimps (or pretend shrimps) and really isn't very gentle on himself. He sometimes rests against the sponge of the filter, but it has a very gentle suction and I have it on low-medium at all times (Azoo Palm). You can see from the photos most of the shredding is to his back fins and towards the back of his bottom fin.

Any ideas on what could be causing this??? He is my baby, I want him to be happy, healthy and as gorgeous as when I first got him...

Before:

After:

Tank Setup:
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:30 PM   #2
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The same thing happened to one of my recently acquired bettas

When I ordered him, I thought he was going to be a regular sized betta, but he turned out giant. So I "upped" his tank to your size (identical, but no gravel, filter, or rocks) and I have an OC condition with checking ammonia levels and such, so his temp and conditions are always ideal. I noticed when changing water, I removed the water about 50 percent and added water a little too rapidly and he got caught in an "undertow"-swirling. Ever since then his fins have been wrecked and now I "slow drip" any water going back into the tank.
I am waiting for him to heal, it's been about a week, and every time I look at him, I want to cry. It's not getting worse, and it's not rotting, but it's not getting better. Maybe I'm impatient?

They say constant water changes help promote faster healing. Also, it's my guy's dorsal, tail, and anal fin. If it was just the tail, maybe a tail-biter?
Curious to see what peeps have to say....
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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What is that floating plant in your tank?
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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is he biting his tail?

You might try googling "betta biting tail" and look at the images... it seems most bite the same area that yours is damaged.

? just guessing ?
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:43 PM   #5
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What is that floating plant in your tank?
I think they are duck weed? I got maybe ten of them when some shrimp and they have since multiplied so I added some to his tank yesterday.

He flares at the side of the tank constantly, and when he sees his reflection, but I have never once seen him going after his own tail. Maybe he just does it when he doesn't see me in the room though?

I have not really paid close attention to if he has been caught in the water when I've been adding it back in. I will make sure to be careful with that.

I just am not sure if it is possible that some of the plants might be doing it, since I've never kept a betta with live plants before and the spiralis looks really pointed at the tips right now.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:55 AM   #6
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My biggest suspicion would be that this guy is tail-biting. Usually seen in veiltails since they grow the longest fins...but any long-finned bettas are susceptible. Not really clear what causes this, there seems to be all sorts of theories but none of which is concrete, IMO.

BTW, that is probably one of the best looking double-tail bettas I have ever seen. And I'm not even a big fan of double-tail bettas.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
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My biggest suspicion would be that this guy is tail-biting. Usually seen in veiltails since they grow the longest fins...but any long-finned bettas are susceptible. Not really clear what causes this, there seems to be all sorts of theories but none of which is concrete, IMO.

BTW, that is probably one of the best looking double-tail bettas I have ever seen. And I'm not even a big fan of double-tail bettas.
It just seems like I would have seen him nipping at his tail at least once, but I will keep an eye on him. I turned the filter all the way down and might try removing the spiralis if he doesn't start to improve. One of the shreds is very far down, I don't see how he could have done that to himself. Seems like if he was biting his tail, it would be little bits off the edge, but I'm not entirely certain. He is nice looking and has such a silly personality. He is busy shrimp hunting right now, so that should keep his mind off tail biting if it is the problem. His "strike" is pretty ridiculously slow with that big silly tail. The shrimp get away 99% of the time, but he is persistent.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:07 AM   #8
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If he is flaring a lot of the time, a betta can blow his tail. The membrane is only a few cells thick, longer fins blow more easily due to rapid movement in the water. My male did this when I first got him. He would be flaring constantly at his reflection and his tail looked like a shredded flag. You just have to keep his water clean until he calms down enough to let it heal.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:39 AM   #9
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If he is flaring a lot of the time, a betta can blow his tail. The membrane is only a few cells thick, longer fins blow more easily due to rapid movement in the water. My male did this when I first got him. He would be flaring constantly at his reflection and his tail looked like a shredded flag. You just have to keep his water clean until he calms down enough to let it heal.
How long does this usually take, and will it return to it's former glory?
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
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I would definitely say he is tail biting, if it was snagging it would have tears from the base and if it was a blowout it would have a hole in it and wouldnt be restricted to the end of the tail.

A lot of bettas with heavy tails will do it

The fun thing is that some bettas will do it just because they are bored, if its too heavy, they dont like the tank, and a multitude of other reasons. I swear I had one who did it just to spite me.

Meaty foods, clean and warm water will speed up the tail growth.
Tails grow fast under the right conditions but its different for every betta. It should return to its former glory but you may have a few wonky rays.


Is he in a high traffic area by the way?
Some bettas will become stressed by too much activity outside the tank and tail bite because of that as well.
Heck, he may even be doing it so he can hunt the shrimp better.



Gorgeous betta by the way!
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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im not sure what is causing it. here are some things that will help it heal..

kordons fish protector, way better then most slime coat replacers.
soak foods in garlic, galic helps to boost immune system. fresh garlic or seachem garlic guard
vita chem, adds vitamins can go directly into water or soak foods
extra water changes are always good.

what temp are you keeping him at? fin rot seems to slow down in lower temps. so maybe keep his temp around 78f if its not already.

good luck i hope this stops he sure is a pretty boy.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:11 AM   #12
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I have some New Life Spectrum Thera-A food with garlic, so maybe I will see if he eats that instead of the Hikari betta gold. He is in our one and only bathroom, and seems to really love attention. Temp stays between 76-78 with the Fluval Edge 25watt auto set heater. He has eaten three cherry shrimp since yesterday, so that is pretty meaty! I don't always have them in there but he seems to enjoy hunting them down and it gives me a good way to get rid of the less colorful ones. Would Melafix be good to add to the water? I will look for the Kordons otherwise. Some of the tears on his bottom fin do go all the way to his body.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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i dont use melafix, some have had overdoses and killed there betta using it. if dosed properly it should be fine. i find the things i suggest should fix most fin problems. if it dose get bad enough i have used maracyn with good results.

i wouldnt feed shrimp personally. bettas can get constipated easily and i think shrimp would be very hard on there digestion. the bettas have small bellies and will eat themselves to death.

the thera a is good stuff, i feed most all my fish the thera a. i actually feed my bettas the NLS betta formula and soak it but either should help.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
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Caught him biting his fins finally today... I sold the crypt spiralis at an auction this morning and replaced it with some anubias nana but I guess that wasn't necessary since it wasn't the pokey plant messing up his fins. Now I need to play fish psychologist and get him on the fainting couch with some tissues...
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:02 PM   #15
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At least you now know the reason for the ragged tail. As for a blown tail, healing time would depend on how badly it was shredded.
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