How long does it take for a betta to grow a new tail?
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
Hidden Walrus
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How long does it take for a betta to grow a new tail?


Somehow my betta lost the lower two-thirds of his tail. It looks like it was ripped out down to the muscle. He lives alone in a planted, heated five gallon riparium setup that has no sharp ornaments or artificial plants to catch it on. The filter (a whisper 10-15 gallon) is baffled so the water flow is redirected so the water isn't turbulent. I have a second male betta in another setup exactly like this one (except with a nerite and 2 cherry shrimp) and he has never damaged his fins. The only thing I can think is that he either blew his fins out flaring at his reflection in the back glass or chewed it off himself (but I've never seen him do that).

He used to be a beautiful red veiltail and now he just has this little stringy tail and he just sits on the bottom most of the time. Part of his tail is just hanging loose and there are only a few rays still attached to the muscle. He still eats and swims okay but so much of his tail is gone I'm wondering how long it will take to regrow (months?), and when it does whether it will regrow the same way or be all messy looking? I know a split heals in days but this is much worse than a little tear.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #2
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I had a betta which had an extremely unfortunate incident with a siphon and lost his tail. To be honest I was surprised he survived at all with how the poor thing was jammed in... The tail was mostly gone, and part of the rest fell off later. To my great surprise it grew almost all the way back in a month or two and looked just fine.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #3
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How are your parameters? And doing enough water changes? It could be that he is stressed and got fin rot or he is bored and biting.

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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Your poor Betta! I have a Forktail Blue-eye who lost about 80% of his tail. I found that adding melafix actually helped him grow it back in a couple of weeks. I hope your Betta makes a speedy recovery.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
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No ammonia, no nitrite, and no nitrate. Tank set up just a few weeks ago, but cycled instantly because I used a filter and some substrate that had been used in another mature tank. I do a 25% change weekly, and I have a lot of plants which seem to take up nitrates faster than they occur. I've never seen any ammonia or nitrite and only minimal nitrates at the very beginning.

His fins always looked perfect, no rot. I'm guessing he must have chewed it off himself but I've never had a betta do that before. He doesn't look bored, he's always swimming around and exploring. His tank sits right alongside another 5 gallon, set up very similarly with another betta. I usually keep an old black encyclopedia cover between the two tanks (perfect width to fit between the tanks and goes a few inches higher so neither fish leaps into the others tank) so they don't see each other but a few times a week I'll lift it for a while and let them flare at each other. This was when I first noticed the injury. I've since stopped letting him flare for now because I'm afraid it will shake off the last part of his tail.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:52 AM   #6
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sounds like tail biting.
nobody is sure why some bettas do it. but bettas that do it once are likely to do it again.

the seed of regrowth depends on the temps, nutrition, stress levels, etc.
give him heat (80F), frozen foods (or live), and clean water, and he will be fine.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @marko@ View Post
sounds like tail biting.
nobody is sure why some bettas do it. but bettas that do it once are likely to do it again.

the seed of regrowth depends on the temps, nutrition, stress levels, etc.
give him heat (80F), frozen foods (or live), and clean water, and he will be fine.
Tail biters are the cutters of the betta world.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidden Walrus View Post
Somehow my betta lost the lower two-thirds of his tail. It looks like it was ripped out down to the muscle. He lives alone in a planted, heated five gallon riparium setup that has no sharp ornaments or artificial plants to catch it on. The filter (a whisper 10-15 gallon) is baffled so the water flow is redirected so the water isn't turbulent. I have a second male betta in another setup exactly like this one (except with a nerite and 2 cherry shrimp) and he has never damaged his fins. The only thing I can think is that he either blew his fins out flaring at his reflection in the back glass or chewed it off himself (but I've never seen him do that).

He used to be a beautiful red veiltail and now he just has this little stringy tail and he just sits on the bottom most of the time. Part of his tail is just hanging loose and there are only a few rays still attached to the muscle. He still eats and swims okay but so much of his tail is gone I'm wondering how long it will take to regrow (months?), and when it does whether it will regrow the same way or be all messy looking? I know a split heals in days but this is much worse than a little tear.

Hope he heals quickly and thoroughly!
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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I've noticed a new set of symptoms - about a quarter inch from his body, on his bottom fin (the big one that almost reaches the tail) he has about twenty tiny nodules, one on each ray, and after each nodule the ray bends backwards just a little bit. The nodules are very, very small and just a tad paler than the surrounding body color, but I never saw them before. They are visible from both sides. He also has 6 of them on what's left of his tail. They aren't ich - they're in a perfect row along the rays of his fin.

Also, he was extremely bloated last night even though he had not been fed since the morning (it's slightly better now, but again still not fed) and he now has some little black spots on his back now that were not there before. What could cause these symptoms? Could it be fish tuberculosis? He still eats fine, flares at his reflection in the glass and swims around some.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:44 AM   #10
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Depends, if it just nip here and there it will grow back, if it damage it won't grow back.

Betta are slow swimmer, I read and hear story about betta(long tail)getting suck up by the filter etc.

Best filter for betta are sponge filter
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:16 AM   #11
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Nodules on the rays of a fin, and the fin being bent as you describe sounds like broken rays in the fin. The knobs are the fish trying to stabilize the breaks so they will heal.

Bloated: Try feeding a very small amount of frozen or freeze dried daphnia, and absolutely no bloodworms. If constipation is part of the picture the added roughage from the daphnia can help.
Also, add a small amount of Epsom salt to the tank. The added magnesium can also help reduce the water retention if dropsy is part of what is going on.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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The bloating subsided and I see the start of regrowth today. The part that was hanging loose has reattached to the muscle and I see a thin web of new fin growth. He still has the nodules on his fins.
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