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Old 07-14-2010, 12:23 AM   #1 
ThirdPotato
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Betta eating his own tail??

2 Gallon tank, has been set up for about 2 or 3 weeks, one male betta medium to smallish size. 76 degree water, 3 live plants, no filter. Lighting: my room is relatively bright from 7AM-4PM but all the blinds are always drawn, and I put a handkerchief over his tank from about 5AM-1PM. Last water change was Monday. I use Aqueon water conditioner and Deer Park Spring. He gets small pellets, occasionally freeze dried bloodworms, and HBH Betta Color Bright flakes alternatingly. He gets a flake or two in the morning, and a flake or two at night. Recently he's been bloaty/constipated so I've been giving him a tiny fleck of boiled pea in stead of his usual diet.

The Problem: My fish is going from round and bloated to perfectly normal throughout the day. Whenever he looks bad enough I boil him a single pea and feed him a fleck no bigger than his eye until his bloating goes down. But then like clockwork, later he'll be all bloaty again. It's not out of control, but it is disconcerting. Another thing I've noticed is from time to time, he'll swim in really tight circles, trying to nip at his own tail. Why is he doing that? Is it normal, and what should I do about that? Is he eating his own fins because he's hungry? Am I not feeding him enough? His weight is usually perfectly normal if not on the fatter side, except when he gets bloated/constipated then he's rounder. I've noticed he gets really constipated sometimes, and after I boil him the pea, later that day he'll poop these HUMONGOUS turds of epic proportion. Honestly I don't know how he manages to pass them. . . But they certainly don't look like normal fishy strands of poop. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #2 
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It sounds like he is definately trying to tail bite, which is not good or normal :P. Tail biting typicaly occurs when the betta is stressed, bored, or his tail is bothering him. Once tail biters start, it is sometimes hard to get them to stop :/ Keep an eye on his finnage, and if you start to see it ripped, shredded, or having huge chunks missing from it, you'll know why.

The constant bloating and his large un-fish like poops don't sound good. Do you fast him all day once a week? When he is bloated, does he have trouble swimming?

Also, Deer park water isn't necessary, and might not have all the nutrients he needs to be healthy. Try slowly switching to your tap water, but keep conditioning it.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:44 AM   #3 
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I agree with JKfish and I have some questions, how much and how often are the water changes, when was the last one, water temp?

Also, when he bloats, any other symptoms like floating, sinking, hiding, lethargic, poor appetite?
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:55 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKfish View Post
It sounds like he is definately trying to tail bite, which is not good or normal :P. Tail biting typicaly occurs when the betta is stressed, bored, or his tail is bothering him. Once tail biters start, it is sometimes hard to get them to stop :/ Keep an eye on his finnage, and if you start to see it ripped, shredded, or having huge chunks missing from it, you'll know why.

The constant bloating and his large un-fish like poops don't sound good. Do you fast him all day once a week? When he is bloated, does he have trouble swimming?

Also, Deer park water isn't necessary, and might not have all the nutrients he needs to be healthy. Try slowly switching to your tap water, but keep conditioning it.
I don't fast him once a week, but I'll try that. I will fast him when I realize he's getting bloated, so I have been fasting him the past couple weeks.

The deer park is necessary for my fish specifically. There was a huge ordeal with the tap water that nearly killed him, and I had a thread on that but I can't seem to find it now. Basically the Deer Park water is what saved his life, and the only water I prefer. I've read elsewhere that tap can be contaminated with different metals depending on the sinks and other conditions, and someone on another beta forum recomended spring water and conditioner.

The tail biting normally isn't too much of a problem. He does get nipped ends, but it's never anything major. I think you may be correct about the boredom, however he's always at my computer desk and I am literally "playing with him" every half hour or so LoL! Some of my friends even say I love my fish TOO much with the amount of attention I give him. But yes, I'll try to fast him for now for the bloating issue (Today he seems better), and I'll see how he does about hte tailbiting. Again, the tail biting isn't that often. He gets little "knots" in the ends of his fins, like they're all curly. Maybe it's what bothers him?
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:59 PM   #5 
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the curly knots sound like his fins are curling, which can caused by poor water conditions, and build up of ammonia.

Like OFL, I'd like to know how often you do water changes. Also, is your tank cycled?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:00 PM   #6 
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I do 100% water changes weekly because he has a 2 gallon tank, and after much debate, I decided that's the best for him. He has 3 live plants, temp at 76-78 depending on the side of the tank.

With the bloating, there really doesn't seem to be any other symptoms. Maybe -slightly- less active than usual? But not lethargic. his appetite is good, he still "begs for food" and he swims perfectly normal.

Once I had him in our kitchen when I first brought him back from college and I was away from home, letting my parents take care of him. When I came back I noticed he was really bloated, and didn't know why, but I realized that ANTS had been getting into his tank! There was a few dead ant pieces floating in his water, so I feared that he was eating ants which could have caused the bloating. I relocated him to my bedroom where I monitor him all the time. There are no bugs, and for a while he didn't have bloating problems. Today he's perfectly fine. It's like they come in waves? Every now and then he'll be bloaty for a day or two, on and off throughout the day.

Do you think maybe there's dust particles or other foreign matter he's eating? My room is usually pretty dusty and I get gnats and stuff from time to time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
I agree with JKfish and I have some questions, how much and how often are the water changes, when was the last one, water temp?

Also, when he bloats, any other symptoms like floating, sinking, hiding, lethargic, poor appetite?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:41 PM   #7 
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Yup, those questions are answered above this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKfish View Post
the curly knots sound like his fins are curling, which can caused by poor water conditions, and build up of ammonia.

Like OFL, I'd like to know how often you do water changes. Also, is your tank cycled?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:55 PM   #8 
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Since you don't have a filter but you do have live plants, and depending on the type of plants, you may be able to make twice weekly 50% with 100% monthly all depending on the plants.

As far as the bloat, it may be a full stomach and not really a bloat problem per se'...the full stomach from food being eaten and waiting for digestion since he is asymptomatic. You may need to feed less or very small frequent meals and since you play with him a lot he is getting a fair amount of exercise which is good, another thought that come to mind is the lack of minerals and this would be an easy fix with an additive or using a 50/50 mix of your tap water or at least 25% tap water would help.
And the ants and gnats, that would be a great food for him....
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:47 PM   #9 
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Thanks for the advice! That's a good plan. Do you think there are any sort of live plants, or those pant bulbs, or those betta-safe plant "fertilizers" that would help with the mineral? I worry about our tap water that it could have harmful metals. It's bad to the taste, and the house is really old, so I think the water coming through our sinks might be what almost killed him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Since you don't have a filter but you do have live plants, and depending on the type of plants, you may be able to make twice weekly 50% with 100% monthly all depending on the plants.

As far as the bloat, it may be a full stomach and not really a bloat problem per se'...the full stomach from food being eaten and waiting for digestion since he is asymptomatic. You may need to feed less or very small frequent meals and since you play with him a lot he is getting a fair amount of exercise which is good, another thought that come to mind is the lack of minerals and this would be an easy fix with an additive or using a 50/50 mix of your tap water or at least 25% tap water would help.
And the ants and gnats, that would be a great food for him....
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #10 
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Some latest development: I just saw him take a huge chunk out of his tail just now and eat it. Then spit it back out, then eat it again before dashing around the tank like mad. . . He looks like he's trying to do it again, but I don't know why. I'm certain the water conditions don't have problems with ammonia as I have an ammonia checker, he has 3 live plants, and I -just- changed his water 6 hours ago. Other than that, he seems perfectly fine. his weight's good, bright colors, active with a healthy appetite, no clamped fins or anything. I don't think he's bored, because I play with him quite often.

Someone mentioned a possible lack of minerals in the water, but I don't want to switch to tap. Any way I can fix this, or any way to make certain that that's the problem? He seems to react to the water just fine otherwise. I don't know what it could be. Could it be when he sees his own tail he thinks its another fish? He's pretty aggressive. The thing I mentioned early bout the knots in his tail, it's not like all the ends are curling up, it's just a tiny piece of a fin or two. Any suggestions on what this could be? (see the first post for tank info)
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