I have only had my betta for a little over a week, but his fins have been getting more and more frayed. I suspect it's the gravel and will be replacing it ASAP, but could there be other problems? There are no pieces missing, but they seem to be getting shredded and the webbing is getting torn apart. I also don't see any black edges on them.
I would bet you $1,000 it's not your gravel that caused the injuries.
I have a feeling it's your filter. Or possibly your fake plant. Because the way you decorated your tank, it's too wide open & there's no hiding space, your betta is probably trying to take cover around the plant from the other 2 speedy gonzales type fish.
Also notice how you put your plant directly below where the water shoots out of the filter. That current from output of the filter in addition to your betta swimming around the plant, will shred his fins like razor blades.
If you want to heal the betta, put him in a smaller tank with some aq salt for at least a week, while you rearrange the tank.
You may have to baffle the filter if you don't want his fins to rip again.
Your tank decorating leaves a lot to be desired for your betta. They prefer lots of medium and top cover.
As far as trying to let him heal, separating him will be your best bet. feed a higher protein diet, keep the water cleaner, and keep him warm. Aquarium salt isn't necessary unless an infection sets in (Red or black edging).
Your other fish might be nipping at his tail as well, so if you reintroduce him, keep an eye on how they behave as well.
Thank you both for all the help! I just did a 20% water change and some major algae-cleaning. I also will get some more real plants, caves/hiding spots, and smooth stones (just in case) tomorrow morning when I can get to a pet store. MSG, I think you're totally right about the plant and filter combination causing the problem. It's silk, but the stems are plastic. I currently have the filter off and will be looking for a way to baffle it.
For the other fish though, they seem to be completely neutral. I have never seen them chase him, and the only time I saw him halfheartedly try to chase them was the first day I got him. Since then, they always swim right by each other without any troubles.
Right now the only other container I have is the one he came in. Will that be alright to house him for a week while he heals and I rearrange the tank?
That will do just fine, but you'll want to change it 100% every day to keep ammonia down.
He lives in a 10 gallon, cycled, community tank so I'm worried that a 100% water change would be too much of a shock. Especially for the bamboo shrimp which just molted.
Would it be alright for me to temporarily keep him in the container he came in and do the water changes and salt in that? It would just be for a week until he can start healing. He will be getting a tank to himself in two weeks.
PFla - Didn't you notice the red spots @ the end of the fins in the photos? I thought that was a sign of inflammation or something?
AK, you must have some piece of tupperware in your kitchen that's missing a lid that's larger than the original betta cup.
If you can find a larger container it'll work better as temporary hospital tank, but until then use the OEM betta cup.
Thanks for creating this thread. Makes me glad I only have 1 halfmoon male betta to look after. Also threads like these keeps me from impulse buying some of the prettiest males in the betta section. Not worth the trouble.
Due to their looooong...... showy fins, I don't think halfmoons/deltas/superdeltas/double halfmoons, type bettas can handle the of type of highly filtered tanks I prefer.
You can put a pre-filter sponge on the end of your filter intake if he is getting into the intake tube. I am not sure if the fluval edge pre-filter sponge will fit on your intake tube or not, but you can cut an X in just about any block of filter foam to be able to jam it on your intake. Fluval edge sponges just are black and have a pre-drilled hole in them and are inexpensive.
I don't think there would be a problem with your gravel relating to his fins. The tetras might be nibbling like pataflafla said seems more likely.
@MSG- I didn't notice the bloody tips in the picture when I first looked at it, but after you pointed it out I went back and looked. Good eye. It still seems like they are probably red from nibbling.
If it were me I'd do a weak 1 tsp of salt per gallon treatment for 10 days in a separate tank, but I don't think it's really that necessary either.
Try clean water first. It should heal him up just fine without treating. Maybe add a little bit of stress coat in (I never use full dose of that goo, but others do with np.) If the red tips get worse, or don't go away quickly I would do the aquarium salt though, but that's just me.
I think the red isn't rot. Most likely inflammation and bloody tips.
Even if it is rot, it looks to be caught very early and should be able to be treated with just clean water. If it gets worse or does not improve over the course of 3 days, then start with aquarium salt.
stress coat would be wonderful if you have it as that will encourage a healthy slime coat layer to form as well as encourage fin regrowth.