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Old 05-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #1 
littlegreen's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wisconsin
What's up with his fins and how can I help?

Hello, everyone! : )

Awhile ago, I posted about how my friend's roommate was keeping her betta, Lucky, in a tiny (less than a gallon, and half-filled with a sharp plant!) container, wondering how to approach her about it. I ended up giving her a spare 1 gallon container I had, and then...I wound up babysitting him for the summer! His owner lives in China, so she couldn't take him with.

Lucky has always been a little lethargic, and I noticed even before I brought him home (I was in my friend's room quite a bit) that his fins weren't in the best of shape. I'm not sure why--tail-biting, maybe? After bringing him home, I moved him to a 2.5 gallon heated drum. Because he isn't as in as good of health as my own betta, I chose a few days ago to move him to my own bett'as 3 gallon, lighted heated full of playthings aquarium. My betta is in the 2.5 gallon drum, and seems fine for now. I want to get a light and more hiding places for the drum so that they'll both be in wonderful, exciting homes.

Since moving Lucky to the bigger/lighted/toy-filled tank there's been a HUGE change in his behavior! He's flaring at everything, and moving around, and exploring, and he's not as jumpy, and his fins are even looking better! HOWEVER, that's the issue: his fins.

What's wrong with them? The ends look discolored/dead/ragged. A bit of his top fin looks like it's nearly falling off. Has he been biting them, are they just tattered due to low health? I haven't noticed any biting firsthand. Before I brought him home, he was only eating bloodworms. Since then he's been put on a mostly pellet diet, and his fins are already looking better. I'm just wondering if there's anything I can do to speed along the process.

Here he is:

His colors are looking brighter, too! : ) I'm hoping that he'll be at 100% by the time I give him back in August.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:57 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Arlington, TX
It could have been from ammonia burns, it looks like. Well, to me anyways. o.o
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:40 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Tennessee
Ammonia could cause it, but with Vale Tails that stay near the bottom of the tank, you're going to get some dragging damage on the ends of the fins. Even the top fin. There's also the fact that the fins are very thin and have almost no support, so the tips fray very easily and are constantly healing, so scar tissue can build up. I love Vale Tails, but their fins can change week to week.

He looks good! Bright colors, no serious damage, and as long as he is moving and eating, I wouldn't worry about it. Vale Tails are just prone to being ragged and twisted (fin curling is very very common in VTs), and coming from the background you've described, I think he looks pretty good. And with that said, I will cross my fingers and hope your friend forgets about him so you can keep him. He's obviously doing very well now!
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:17 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Thank you both for your advice!! You can bet that when he goes back to her, he'll be going back with a bigger house, a heater, and a healthy diet! : ) I'm glad that there's nothing seriously wrong with him. His fins really do look WAY better than when I brought him home! He acts healthier, too! His owner is really very nice, just misinformed. I'm slowly spreading betta-care awareness throughout the campus! : D Thank you!
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