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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! This is my wife's Betta. I just got back into the hobby after moving and set up a 5 gallon that's been running for about 5 weeks. Bettas fins started looking a bit torn up a week ago. I have all live plants in the tank that are doing well. Bought some aquarium salt today and put in a tablespoon diluted in water. I don't have experience with tail biting or fin rot so I wanted to ask you guys. He does swim around and over the plants a lot so that could be rubbing against things. The shredded parts of his tail aren't black or red on the edge and nothing looks odd about the rest of his body.
 

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Pretty fish! I like the touch of green :)
Is he a Crown Tail?
Usually live plants are soft enough not to do damage to the tail.
Are there other fish or anything else alive in the tank?
Any hardscape items such as driftwood that might have some sharp ends or stone?
What are the most recent water test results?

Best way to heal minor damage is to keep the water exceptionally clean. Plenty of water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He is actually not a crown tail, I tthink he is a double half moon. No other tank mates and no hard scape. I'm using Ada aqua soil also.

Water Params are:

pH: 7

Ammonia:0

Nitrite:0

Nitrate: 30

My tap water is terrible with the nitrates I do a 50% water change every 2-3 days and I use prime to treat the water. I will be getting an RODI system soon. Looking close I guess the edge of his tail is a little pink
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
heres the tank. I have a bag of purigen in the filter compartment along with 7 stems of pothos sticking out the top. With the seachem prime it says it detoxifies the nitrates....what does that really mean?


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Pretty tank.

Prime "binds" nitrates into an inert form for 24-48 hours, but nitrates at 30 doesn't sound bad to me.

What is the water temp? I know bettas are often kept in unheated bowls, but I think their preferred temp is around 78f.

Are there any other fish or crayfish or something that could nip or pick at his fins?

Is there a strong current in the tank?
 

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So if there is nothing in there that could be damaging his tail...
Nitrates do not generally cause it, though they can contribute to the organisms that cause fin rot.
Have you seen if he can do this himself? Is he agile enough to reach?

It does not look like fin rot in the picture. The tissue generally gets thinner and gradually erodes. Still, you could try a course of antibiotics, in case it is a bacterial issue (any of several bacteria can cause fin rot).
 

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I can't see the pic in the first post.

Don't use antibiotics in your tank unless you know you need them. You'll end up with an uncycled tank (they kill filter bacteria, too) and set the stage for resistance later. If it is fin rot, your best treatment is clean water. If it's tail biting, the best treatment is clean water, reuced stress, and increased mental stimulation. Try adding new things to the tank for him to explore, teaching him tricks, or adding some tank mates. Even live food can be a good challenge.

Unfortunately, some bettas are genetically predisposed to be tail biters and it can be a very difficult habit to break.
 

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It's not fin rot. Could be biting or fraying from low nutritious diet. More critter protein should do it; live, frozen etc...


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alrighty, I feed omega one Betta buffet flakes, xrtreme aquatic foods Betta pellets and omega ones blood worm Betta treats. I have some frozen bloodworms that I just feed from time to time but I'll start using those more often.


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Just do it within reason or increase water changes... hi protein foods produce high amounts of ammonia.
 

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heres the tank. I have a bag of purigen in the filter compartment along with 7 stems of pothos sticking out the top. With the seachem prime it says it detoxifies the nitrates....what does that really mean?


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Temperature is 76 degrees.


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That locks like fin biting or possibly damage from fins being sucked into the intake. I don't' see any hardscape in your tank like rocks and driftwood to be shredding fins on. If the intake is the common slotted intake for those sump style setups buy a piece of filter sponge/foam media and tie it over the intake on the betta's side of the tank. Not aesthetically lovely but ti keeps fins from being sucked in and subsequently ripped off when the betta pulls away.
Its also likely the betta could be biting its own fins, there are several theories on this but from looking at the tank I'd say its due to the lack o cover/shade. Bettas don't have the ability to squint or wear sunglasses like us, direct bright light is stressful for them and stress may make them chew their fins. Adding a dense mass of floating plants or a LOT more (and taller) plants, as well as some sot of hide would help a lot.
Another thing to consider, is he glass surfing (swimming back and forth against the glass ALOT? If so that is him chasing his reflection (thinking its an intruding male that needs chased off). More densely planting the tank especially around the glass walls so he cannot see his reflection (including tall plants) will help reduce the stress of seeing his reflection (which could also lead to tail nibbling).
One more possibility with fin biting is the betta just feels his fins are too long and heavy, weighting him down/causing too much drag and he's trimming them to reduce that issue (I don't think this is the case as those bettas typically really aggressively shorten their fins).

Damaged fins will heal easily with just warm clean water. Keep up more aggressive water changes to reduce nitrates and keep temp 78-82F, you don't need aquarium salt or medication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great! Thank you all for the replies!
I will add more floating plants and hope everything fills in over time.


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