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Old 02-24-2011, 09:21 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Fin-related Question (accompanied by a long story)

Hello, Iím Andro and Iíve been lurking these forums for a couple of weeks now and itís been a really interesting read so far. I figured I might as well join, since I have a health question concerning my betta anyway, but first I feel I should tell poor Jackís story... Feel free to skip down if itís too long. xD;

Like Iím sure most people do, I started off not knowing a lot about bettas. I regret that I kept bettas in vases when I was much smaller, but since then (Iím a sophomore in college now) I had learned how bad that was for them. I knew they needed conditioned water, more space than a cup, and betta pellets, but that was about it.

Anyway, the summer before my first semester of college began, my roommate (also best friend) and I decided to get a fish each to be our dorm buddies. We had identical one-gallon tanks. Hers had only a spikey plastic plant; mine wasnít much better, but the plant(s) were silk. I named my fish Poot (inside joke from an MMO...) and she named hers Jack. Now, Poot was probably the least hardy fish I could have picked from Petsmart, but Iíd always been a fan of the underdogÖ But my friend likes pretty things, so of course Jack was the most gorgeous fish at Walmart. :V (We didnít get them together.)

I think it was about a semester or two into owning our fish that Poot passed. I cried a little (emotional...) and had decided that I didnít want to get another fish after him, since I didnít really know how to take care of them well. However, somewhere during the time we had owned them, my roommate had decided she didnít like Jack anymore. Changing his water (far too infrequently) was ďtoo much workĒ and she forgot to feed himÖ I didnít want to ďreplaceĒ Poot, but I had little choice. I was pretty much given another fish without asking for him...

I exchanged Jackís plant for Pootís old ones (after a wash), but other than that, the setup was the same for a while. After some time and a bit more research, I set my heart on a... heater! I made sure to get one that wouldnít overheat his tiny tank (and a thermometer of course). It was a huge success. (The heater is still Jacks bff and heís always hanging out by it.) It wasnít a perfect tank, but at least it was warm, he had decent water, and was being fed.

That was around last summerÖ Well, just a few weeks ago, there was some cause for alarm! While she was in my room, my dorm-mate noticed that Jack was swimming in circles andÖ eating his tail?! Iíd never heard of that before, so I looked it up and it made me very upset that Jack was bored or stressed... I had been sort of wanting a larger tank for a while, so that was definitely the turning point. I plopped an extra plant in his tank until I could get one, which was fortunately very soon.

Jack now lives in a heated, filtered 2.5 minibow... He swam for ages the first night I moved him in. My brain did a 180 and I can so see how people fall in love with these fish... I must have watched him for an hour... ;_;

Question Starts Here

Anyway, you guys are probably wondering why this person is telling you this crazy long story about this old-man betta. (Seriously itís almost been two years weíve had him) Well I posted here for a reason! I want your help! D:

I was wondering if you guys could help me identify the source of his fin injuries. Iím still very much a newbie, especially with illnesses, so I donít think I could try to heal this aloneÖ Iím sure some of this at least is from his tail-biting that I mentioned earlier, but I wonder if there isnít more behind it? (I haven't seen him biting since.) His plants are all silk and his decorations seem smooth enough to the touch. He just got a 50% water change last night (first week since Iíve had the tank set up) and the filter doesnít seem very powerful, at least to my own hands. They were something like this before the filter anyway and I can say that they donít seem to have gotten worse, though maybe I donít have such a subtle eye yetÖ Is it possible that he just sat for so long in my friendís unclean water that his fins have become permanently damaged?

As far as any other symptoms of illness... I haven't really seen any? I personally think he's become accustomed to "laziness" after years in tiny enclosures, but he's still perky and happy when I feed or play with him. c:

Hereís my boy. His color is so pretty in this picture... Too bad his fishbutt is to the camera. He was scared of the big flashy monster haha :C
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