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Old 07-05-2012, 11:50 AM   #1 
ninjafish
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I think a received a tail-biter. How to help him?

Okay, so here's my situation. A few days ago, I won a betta on Aquabid (my first in over a year!), and the night I paid for him, I found out that my dad decided to leave for vacation earlier than I thought. I wouldn't be home to get the fish, so I had the shipper send it to the post office up where we are. I brought a temporary 2.5 gallon tank since I'll only be up here for two weeks, as well as some food for him, a heater, water conditioner, and aquarium salt.

The betta arrived on the 3rd alive and well, and he was fine until this morning, when I noticed a huge chunk of his tail missing but still hanging from the edge of his fin. I don't imagine he could have cut it on the small plant that's in there...It's only silk, but I might take it out of there anyway.

My question is, what can I do for him while I'm up here? The problem is that we are in the middle of nowhere in the Adirondack Mountains (I'm in North Creek) and I'm pretty sure the closest Petco is probably in Glens Falls or Queensbury, over an hour away. I didn't bring my car, and there's no way my dad is going to drive all the way down there just so I can get stuff for the fish. He's one of those "It's just a fish, it will be fine" people. The only way I'd be able to stop there is if he drives down there to take his fiance shopping at the outlet stores, which probably won't happen till next week.

I just gave him a water change, and 4 pellets. He seems fine, but I don't want him to get worse. How often should I change his water and treat with AQ salt?
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #2 
Catfish Billy
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I'm not an expert but I would probably just keep him in warm, clean water and try to keep him amused e.g adding a bottle cap/floating ball for him to play with, changing around any decor etc. Then, when you get back, go to Petco to do what you wanted to do. It might be he somehow tore/ripped his fin while he was being shipped or just before he got shipped he did the damage and might not be a tail-biter.

A picture might help. Please don't rely on this post because, as I stated, I'm not an expert and am only 12, therefore I might be wrong. :( Hopefully, someone more experienced will help here! Good luck with your new boy! :)
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:08 PM   #3 
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If the mark looks like a crescent, he's tail biting. There are 2 main reasons. Stress or Boredom. To heal, just clean water. Aquarium salt if it's that bad, and high-protein foods are optional. If he is tail biting, you need more decorations, but since it's that far away, I don't know. Hope for the best.
EDIT: Billy you're only 12? I'm 11. I thought you were a teenager. :P
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:35 PM   #4 
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Ahh, thank you both! Your ages don't matter to me, you have both been very helpful. I'm 22, but I think it's wonderful to see younger kids getting into fish keeping and generally caring about things other than themselves and their cell phones. Some of the kids my little sister knows are so engrossed by their phones all the time. -_-

Thank you for the tip about the tail-biting sign, Lebron - the missing fin is not in the shape of a crescent, but is one long "line" of fin, from the edge, almost into where his tail begins, so perhaps he did indeed damage it during shipping. The piece actually fell off, so I scooped it out and tossed it. Now it just looks like he has a really big split in it.

I will give him a bottle cap to amuse himself with just in case, and hopefully I will be able to get to Petco next week.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:09 PM   #5 
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When it comes to entertainment, a bottle cap you say, are you talking like a plastic coke bottle cap or what?
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonehenge View Post
When it comes to entertainment, a bottle cap you say, are you talking like a plastic coke bottle cap or what?
Like a cap from a water bottle. Even if you rinse off a coke bottle cap, it could still have harmful, residual chemicals on it.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:20 PM   #7 
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Cool

It is probably from being jostled during his trip. Just keep his water clean and ammonia free and he should heal just fine.

Jeff.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #8 
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Thanks, I will. :) How many water changes and/or water change percentages do you recommend for a 2.5 gallon during this process? I did a 100% water change yesterday and gave him 4 pellets.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:16 PM   #9 
Kenny G
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2 of the main reasons for tail biting is bright light and stress. I'm sure tail biting was due to be shipped and he was scared and extremely stressed out. The best thing to do is keep him warm. 80 - 82 degree water would be best some place with a dim light. I do not personally ever recommend using aq salt. It can harm your betta's organs and skin after prolonged periods of time. In a 2.5 gallon tank I recommend weekly water changes of 40%. You did not mention if its filtered or not. If you don't have a filter then I would do 50 % water changes every 3-4 days.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:49 PM   #10 
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Thank you Kenny. It is not filtered, so I will do the 50% 3-4 day water changes. I have never heard of AQ salt damaging fish, but I may lessen its use since I don't want to hurt him. Thanks again!
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