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Old 03-03-2011, 08:51 AM   #1 
danifacetastic
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Curled Fins / Tail Biting

So I have three boys in a divided 10 gallon tank. I've had 2 of those boys since August and the other once since November when I put them in their big tank. My veil tail has been tail biting since around December and as soon as it gets solid again he'll bite it again. Also his fins are getting really curled and have been that way for a while...there's pictures in my other thread here.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=62694

I'm just getting so frustrated that nothing is working. I tried putting aquarium salt in for the first time on Monday when I changed the water.

Housing
What size is your tank? - 10 gallons
What temperature is your tank? - Around 70 or 72.
Does your tank have a filter? - Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - No.
Is your tank heated? - Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? - 2 other bettas.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - Pellets and blood worms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? - 3 pellets in the morning and 2 at night. Blood worms a few times a week.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? - Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - 50%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - Dechlorinator and aquarium salt the last time.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
- Haven't tested the water.


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - Chunks missing out of tail, splitting fins and curled fins.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - It hasn't really.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - December.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - Put aquarium salt in water.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - Just tail biting.
How old is your fish (approximately)? - I'm not sure. I got him at Petsmart on August 9th.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #2 
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Hi dani! Sorry to hear that your boys are giving you trouble.

The one thing I see right away is that the tank is very cold... 70*F is way under what it should be (76-80*F is ideal).

I would take some water to your LFS if you don't have a test kit and check that out.. fin curling is often a water issue. Often times you'll see bettas that are left in cups for weeks on end in the store that have horribly curled fins. Though, as OFL said in your other thread, it could be age, genetics, etc. The only thing you can do for that in particular is keep the water clean.. though if you have very hard water it's possible that's doing it too. I live in a rural area and the water here is fairly hard, you might want to check yours.

When you clean the tank, do you vacuum the gravel?

And only one fish is tail biting, correct? It's very possible that he is not cut out for life in a divided tank.. some bettas just can't be kept that way and he could be biting just out of nervousness or stress. Try moving him into his own tank to see if that helps alleviate some of the biting activity.

It would be a lot of help if you could get the water tested, definitely.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:19 PM   #3 
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I have a heater in my tank and that's as hot as it gets in there. I can't afford another heater or tank right now. He was fine for a while and just recently in Dec started tail biting. The only other tanks I have are 1 gallon tanks. Also the nearest pet store is 2 hours away and I won't be there for a while. And yes I vacumn the gravel.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:24 PM   #4 
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That's strange.. I would really try to put a heater on your priorities list when you can afford to get one.

If he keeps biting while in the divided tank, I would remove him. As long as you can change the 1gal daily (or at least every other day) he should be fine.. but to me it just seems like either something in the tank is bothering him (stressed from other fish, disliking his ornaments, etc), or he's just bored.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:25 PM   #5 
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I have another heater. Do you think I should put both heaters in there?
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #6 
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I would test it in another bowl or container of water to make sure that the temperature was stable before trying that.. are they both not working properly? You seem to have bad luck with heaters, hahaha.
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:37 PM   #7 
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I agree that the water is too cold, that could definitely be the reason for his curled tails.

Are you sure he's biting his own tail? Could the other two be beating him up?
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Old 03-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #8 
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Or is the tank divided, which I should have assumed in the first place?
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:40 AM   #9 
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Yes the tank is divided haha. And yeah both the heaters are the same model and work properly. They're both 25 watt non adjustable.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:32 AM   #10 
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In my experiance, a single 50 watt heater works wonders in a divided ten gallon. Unless the divider is solid. In which case, I still say those 25's aren't powerful enough.

There are a lot of theories as to why rays curl or bettas bite their tails. I think in the ray curling category, it all comes down to water conditions, especially the temperature. Tail-biting I attribute a lot to genetics. Sometimes, I see previously fine bettas chomp on their fins in response to increased current. This reduces the amount of force a betta has to exert to fight the current. I own a curled-ray crowntail (his was caused by chemical trauma) and a tail biter. As wonderful as Boba's conditions are, he will not stop.
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