I think I'm a bad fish mom...(torn fins, or what?)
Yesterday I noticed my betta's tail was slitghtly torn. Then just a few hours later I find his tail is about half it's usual length with torn edges. There wasn't any blood or anything, and the water's clear. I took out all the decorations, which I suspect are the cause of all this, but I'm not sure. I've been researching torn fins, tail biting, and fin rot, and it seems like a mixture of them all. Only his tail is effected, it's been the same since I took the decorations out (no worse, I mean), and there is the faintest of dark edges on SOME of the torn edges, though not all.
I'm trying very hard to get pictures, but they're all turning out terrible. All you can see is that his tail is shorter than it should be.
Don't be so hard on yourself.....stuff happens.....keep his water really clean with frequent water changes to prevent secondary infection.....not all dark edges are fin rot...sometimes it can be pigment and new growth.....
Hey, just an update if people were concerned.
In the past two days, he went from kinda scraggily to losing half his tail, then having that tail look kinda bad to having it look SUPER HORRIBLE AND TERRIFYING, then back to just a bit odd. I'm amazed I didn't have a heart attack when I checked on him and saw a think rim of dark red on his tail.
However, worry not. I QTed him, with absoultly clean water and (much to his disapointment) no plants or gravel or whatever, as I still have no idea how he tore himself up. (I am aware bettas need stimulation and thus decoration, so don't worry. He'll get 'em back when I know he won't kill himself on them, or make his infection worse with them.)
He gets roughly 60% water changes daily, and gets Stress Coat and Melafix each day, as per the bottles instructions. Plus I'm bcoming a poop-ninja with the turkey baster, so that water might be clean enough to drink. (Just kidding!) He's already looking better! I don't know when I'll be able to put him in the new 10 gallon that I just got for him and some pals, but a few weeks of QT should be enough.
Thanks for all the concern!
Oh, I forgot about aquarium salt. I'm using that too. I've heard wonders about the leaves, so they're on their way. Thanks for the advice!
As for the source of it, he liked to slip under a fake shell I had in there. I thought it was perfectly smooth, but there's a kind of "hidden" edge that's up in the curl. I think that's how he did it, because as soon as I took it out his tail stopped getting worse. (Though it passed the nylon test, so who knows?)
But it could be tail biting...I don't know. As I said before, I'll have to get a new camera before I can get a decent pic. All you can tell about them is that his tail is shorter than it should be.