My new 20 gal divided! I need a bigger light, I know. I'm going to add more plants and decor as well. I did the DIY thing, thank you forum! It's all cycled and I added my fish today-- trying to consolidate my tanks a bit, now that I have, um, 12 males. (I think I said in my introduction that I was stopping at 10. Sigh.) the inhabitants are Ziggy Stardust (CT moved from an 8 gal that he didn't seem to like.), Cinnabar (rose tail, split his tail a couple weeks ago. I just knew that would happen. He's flaring a bit more in the divided, but hopefully he'll settle down. He split his tail when he was alone in another tank.), Fierce (DT), and Zen (VT, who is in the part of the tank with the filter because he is obsessed with filters.).
Zen bites his fins and tail. Tail has mostly grown back. I've tried two different tanks. Maybe he'll like this one and stop gnawing on himself.
I know some people have had luck with tail biters if they are in a smaller space with a little less decor. I'd get some VitaChem to add to the tank just to help his fins whenever he decides to tail bite. Plus, it boosts the immune system so it would benefit all of them.
Ok thanks, I'll try that! Less decor? I thought more would better? He has live plants and a betta log to hide in. I've had him in a 2 gal (uncle held, heated), and a ten gal (cycled and heated). I was hoping that a divided might be more stimulating for Nima d maybe he wouldn't think so much about biting his tail. In his pic he is flaring up a storm, but he had just been put in the new tank and he is more i terested in teh filter now. But maybe this will backfire and he will be more stressed. If tht happens I can move him again. I don't like moving him so much but I want something that he will be happy with. I gave him about a month in each of the oth tanks.
I do think it depends on the particular fish but a bit less decor has worked for some. Many fish tail bite because their fins are a heavy nuisance to them, and often long heavy finned males do better in smaller tanks, and less decor means less they have to navigate through and around while they're hauling all that weight.
But some tail biters seem to do better with more or less decor, being able to see another Betta or not, bigger or smaller tanks, more or less stimulation. Finding the cause or the perfect combination isn't usually easy. VitaChem is beneficial to all fish because it boosts the immune system (similar to IAL) but it will also help with damaged fins (along with stress coat). Some tail biters will tail bite no matter what. Others go through phases (like, as soon as their tail is almost completely grown back they chop it off again, lol).
Its an issue and it ruins their pretty finnage but I see it as a personality trait. I personally think that "picky" tail biters are stubborn and full of personality. They're harder to please but that just make the relationship between the fish and the owner stronger (like an annoying younger sibling :p). Sometimes tail biting cannot be cured but VitaChem (and stress coat and Indian Almond Leaves) will help keep them from getting infected, though its no replacement for clean water.
I've never had a tail biter but many of my friends on this forum have (I love hearing stories, lol) and I always use VitaChem. Plus, I have a blind male so I think I've had my fair share of "special" fish.
WOW a 20g divided looks beautiful...gorgeous fish too :) I'm currently fishsitting my brother's 20g saltwater tank while he's working on renovating his new house and I was just thinking how beautiful 4 bettas would look in a tank that size.
I just got into keeping fish myself and suddenly I'm surrounded by them...lol My how they grow on ya...
percyfyshshelley, as Ayala said, less decor might help. Of course, it's all down to the individual fish, but we try everything to make our boys happy, haha. With my HM, Falkor, he would butcher himself no matter what I tried. I upgraded his tank, gave him hideyholes, loads of plants, then tried less plants, but kept his hideyhole and his upgrade, more light, less light... He now hasn't bitten for a month (touch wood) and the solution? An unfiltered 2gal tank that's almost completely bare, just a couple of skinny silk plants (and a heater of course) and I reckon he might be even better off without those, judging by his behaviour. Of course, he might change his mind and go at himself again, but for now he seems best in this situation. A divided tank with more entertainment might suit your boy perfectly, but it might not, just be prepared for either outcome. :)
Thanks guys for all the suggestions. BTW "uncle held" in the post above was supposed to say "uncylced" but whatever :p. he seemed to do best when I divided his 10 gal in half. I would've kept him there but I wanted to make the divider more sturdy and permenant so I have to break it down and dry it so I can silicone the divider in place. He IS a challenging fish. He is the only betta so far that has jumped. I had cupped him to clean his tank and in the split second that it took for me to turn and grab a lid for his cup, there he was, on the table, looking at me like, "what just happened?". Lesson learened, have lid in hand when cupping! He also has a strange obsession wth the filter, which is baffled. He looooovesto sit under the gentle outflow, hopefully it's relaxing him!
Oh, and IAL are on their way!
Last edited by percyfyshshelley; 03-24-2013 at 01:40 PM.