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Old 08-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #1 
BerkB33
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Biting or Fin Rot? Diagnosis Uncertain?

The divided tank in my avatar is the culprit. In my profile, under "Albums," I've got a few pictures of my "conversion." I was kinda proud of it until this "rot" issue developed. I had 3 VT living happily in the tank. I purchased a dragon VT from Aquabid.com, he SEEMS to be the guilty party on bad bacteria introduction? As was said in another thread, I tried 100% water changes, raised temp. to about 80 degrees F, even tried tetracycline when all else failed...have been battling this for 2 months...have read everything in here and tried what I thought made sense...the fins will "APPEAR" to be growing back for a few days...then WHAM!...the fins are shreds again...still their fins are continuing their degredation slowly but surely. Is seperation my only alternative? Are they biting themselves? Are bettas TRUELY better off in cycled water? Boy, are these fish confusing? They'll live in a tiny cup of "gack water,"without any disease... YET, you bring them home and they get fin rot when you look at them cross-eyed? Somebody smarter Than me has to have an explanation? I'll add some pics when I leave work tonight. Any help with this would be appreciated. Thank you.

I change 50% water every other day, 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon, there is an under gravel filter with floss and charcoal at the discharge at each end of the tank...the "current" is muffled by the addition of the floss and charcoal. Thanks again for any recommendations or comments you have.

Last edited by BerkB33; 08-09-2010 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:48 PM   #2 
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hhhmm.... do you have a picture of the tails? It sounds awfully like tail biting to me. My guys in my divided 10 gallon do this. Let it grow back, I get all happy, then WHAM - shredded tails.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:49 AM   #3 
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Exactly. Started this thread to see if there was someone that's experienced what we are now dealing with....hopefully there's a good solution for this...really don't want to have to seperate them. is your tank seperated in the same fashion mine is?

Went to take pics this evening and their fins seem to be on a "healing" cycle and don't look very representative of how "shredded" they can look? I'll wait a day or two to see what happens. Sheesh!

Last edited by BerkB33; 08-10-2010 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:59 AM   #4 
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Yes, my tank looks identical. That is plastic craft mesh you have in there, right?

I don't think there is any solution... My guys have continued to let them grow then bite them right off. My conclusion is that something stressed them out to begin with (I think I can pinpoint it to not feeding them one morning b/c I was trying to change my schedule around). Then, they realized how much better it feels with less of a tail (more like their natural state) and let it grow til it annoys them, then bite it off. Kind of like women and hair cuts. They can only tolerate it so long (depending on the woman) and then they just NEED to cut it.

However, I have another betta in another divided tank that bites his tail when he's mad (doesn't get fed when he wants) or when things change (his tank mate is moved or taken out to the hospital tank). Then he lets it grow back. Then I leave for a few days and his noms it again.

The only betta that I've had to move due to stress is one that got stress stripes from seeing the other male on the other side. Oddly enough, he never bit his tail, but he got the stripes, and even the vertical stripes which are submission type stripes in a male. I had to adopt him out because he was even getting sick (clamped fins, fin rot) because of his constant stress. My other guys, tail biters, don't seemed stressed just picky.

Not sure if this novel helped at all?

EDIT: I definitely think they are better off in cycled tanks (or at least better off than in smaller tanks that aren't kept up properly). However, it is somewhat stressful to see other males which, considering the size of the tank and the size of their natural territory, are technically in each others territory. I work at Petco and have seen the fish that do fine in their cups and seeing other fish, and have seen the ones that nom their tails just as bad because they are stressed for any variety of reason. I think it depends on the fish. And if you got yours from a pet store (all of mine are from Petco) they don't tend to be as genetically selected as breeder fish. There is always the possibility of inbreeding for certain colors, tail types, etc., and we can't know their histories like we can breeder-bought fish.

Last edited by kuklachica; 08-10-2010 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:05 PM   #5 
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Thanks very much for taking the time to respond. You've shed some light on this issue for me. The fact that there are four guys in the same "territory" makes a bunch of sense to me. What do you think of totally obscure dividers...not allowing the bettas to see each other...thereby reducing the stress? Now you've got another problem not allowing water to flow through the "grill." Possibly a finer mesh? Anybody else have set ups similar to these...tell us YOUR experiences. Sure don't want to have to move them into "single" quarters if it can be helped.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:19 PM   #6 
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You can try to add more fake plants along the border of the dividers to break up the view. Or double up the plastic craft mesh so it's harder to see through. You could also consider adding java moss to the dividers and making a moss wall. This would still allow some water through, but also the moss would help clean the water anyway.

I've just made some DIY sponge filters that I will be using instead of HOB filters. You could use a gang valve and put one in each section and use only one air pump. Then you could do whatever you wanted to the dividers.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:40 PM   #7 
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Those are great suggestions. The sponge filter in each compartment with "solid" dividers is great...heating with one heater may be an issue without "proper circulation." Saw another thread where the keeper was considering "dark" plexi-glass with small holes drilled to provide the circulation needed. The fish would get the water circulated while still not being able to see their "neighbors."
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:41 PM   #8 
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Hmm... didn't think of the heating issue. Dark plexiglass would work, probably, plus some plants.

BTW, How many gallons is your tank? I can't tell if it's 10 or 20?
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:06 PM   #9 
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It's a ten gallon...and yes, that is black embroidery cloth (plastic). The black or dark plexi-glass sounds like it may be a winner for correcting the problem...I've taken some pictures of the bettas that are affected in the tank...working on getting them on here right now. Look back in a little bit. Thanks for ALL your help.
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