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Old 08-28-2012, 05:28 PM   #1 
Gryphon
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Tail Biter

Since coming home from a 5 week trip, my betta has been having issues. He had been lethargic (recieved help in the emergency section), but is now back to his frisky self.

However, when I got home his tail was missing and I thought it might have been an infection due to my roommate not taking great care of him (like she promised to do ) but since he has regained his energy and is acting more like himself, I have noticed that he will turn around and nip his tail.

It might very well be possible that he just ate his tail when I was gone, but I have no idea what happened. I am wondering if anyone on here as dealt with this before, or if anyone has any tips to get him to leave his tail alone. He didn't have any problems in the first 4 months of owning him, so I'm wondering why he is doing this now.

He is a gorgeous betta with his full tail, and I would really like him to leave it alone for it to regrow. I have placed a mirror against his tank to hopefully distract him, but he hasn't really reacted to it other than flaring once when I first set it there.



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Old 08-28-2012, 05:55 PM   #2 
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I'm sorry you're having trouble with tail-biting. It seems to be something that most owners of long-finned bettas have to deal with from time to time. I tend to notice that most of my tail-biting episodes center around my trips and when I'm away from my tanks a lot. When I start spending more time around the tanks and give them more action, it stops. I've also noticed that I have the least tail-biting in my heavily planted tanks. My boy with the longest fins lives in a cushy forest of ferns, and I've only had two fin-biting episodes with him.

It seems like different things work for different bettas. It's simply a matter of finding out what works for your tailbiters. I wish you the best healing him and helping him get over his tail-biting problem.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #3 
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Hmm, well maybe now that I am home and paying attention to him he will stop. I have been thinking about creating a planted tank, so that might be an option for him if my attention doesn't stop it. I have a great LFS here that has all kinds of plants, so that actually might be kind of fun to set up.

He is a halfmoon, so I would love to see him let his tail regrow!
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:29 PM   #4 
Kenny G
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There are different things that can cause tail-biting. My betta Junior never was a tail biter then months later he started. Luckily I quickly realized that the bright light I was using was stressing him out. Once I started using a dimmer bulb the tail-biting stopped completely. Some of the causes of tail-biting are stress, bright lights, boredom or depression. Try dimming the lights, provide lots of plants and decorations and a cave or cup to use as a hiding spot for privacy. Until you can determine the cause keep his tank water clean and keep it heated you should start to see his tail heal and regrow in a about two weeks.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:33 PM   #5 
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Planted tanks are a lot of fun. We've got a few plant pros around here. They should be able to help you if you want to start with live plants. I've got two planted betta tanks and a planted community. My largest tank is filled with plant-devouring monsters, so it's pretty sparsely planted.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #6 
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That is nice to know that there are people around who know quite a bit about plants! If I decide to take that route I'll definitely be asking questions.

I reorganized his tank when I got back and replaced some of the plants with other ones I had to make it different. His bridge in the tank has two hiding spots in the inside that he loves to hang out in.

Would putting another betta by the tank encourage him to flare and keep him distracted? The mirror isn't doing anything for him... I guess he is a smart cookie and figured out that it is his reflection. Plus, that would be a great excuse to acquire a second betta.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:23 PM   #7 
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I also forgot to mention that some betta will bite their tails when the tank has a strong current. Their long fins act like a sail, and they get tired of fighting the current. They give themselves a self-imposed hair cut of sorts. So baffling any current that may be in the tank will help, too.

Some people think that having another betta around (whether in a divided tank or two tanks next to each other) will help cut down on fin-biting. If you're going to go that route, I would say get another tank versus the divided tank. That way you can completely block their view of each other instead of the partial obscuring that happens with divided tanks.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #8 
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From the posts I have read before seems like our Bettas do miss us when are gone for awhile. Now that your back maybe he will stop biting his beautiful tail. Having a Betta next to him might only stress him out I would not try that but I only have one so I dont really know others may have ideas about that. Its good you rearranged things I bet that will help too and you could try doing that ever so often and maybe get a couple new ones and take turns having them in his home . Good luck !
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:37 PM   #9 
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His filter is set on the lowest setting and has a spray bar that produces almost no current. He loves to play in what current is there though, and he has never had problems before with his tail and the current.

And if I did get a second betta, it would definitely be in a second tank. 2.5G is WAY to small to split in two anyway. That way if it did stress him out, I could easily move the other fish to a different location.

Thank you for the input as usual. I just want my guy to be happy :)
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