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Old 01-27-2014, 06:58 PM   #1 
Sathori
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Betta is Pulling His Tail Out?!

So I posted earlier, questioning whether my delta was tail biting, or if he had fin rot. I just saw him literally rip a strip out of his tail. I guess he wanted to be a double tail?? (sarcasm)

As you would imagine, I'm not impressed or thrilled with his decision to destroy his gorgeous tail. Since I had moved him to a larger tank, his anal fin and dorsal fin have SIGNIFICANTLY improved. In his smaller tank, he had completely shredded his anal fin, but now you can see all the regrowth (all the white in his fins).

His tail was on the mend, not getting any worse than what it was. Today, when I got back from work, I did notice a small hole in his tail, near his body. Next thing I know, he's got a strip of his fin in his mouth, toting it around like a prize. I got out my net and took it away from him, and he sulked for a bit, went and hid in his log.

A minute or so later, he's back to normal, swimming around his tank. The little jerk always stretches out his fins to full capacity when he rests, so he's not doing much good in terms of letting his fins heal quickly. He has done that for as long as I've had him.

Anyone have any ideas as to what I can do for him? He use to be in a 1.5gal, which is where he started tail biting and he shredded his fins. A couple days ago, I moved him into a divided 10gal and gave him lots of plants and new decor in hopes that it would keep him from getting bored... Obviously it didn't work.
My other male on the other side is doing fine, no signs of damage on any of his fins.
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Sorry the pictures are not very clear. Taking pictures of an active fish with an iPhone isn't the easiest task.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:20 PM   #2 
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The pic you got of him with the strip of tail in his mouth.. Oh my... It's like the cat who ate the canary. Usually noone ever sees them doing it, but for him it's like a trophy to show off! Bad fish!
I don't think there are any sure-fire ways to make him stop unfortunately. Maybe he'll like open space more? Like maybe he's mad at his tail hitting things all the time. Can he see his neighbor? If he can, or cannot, try reversing that.
Hopefully there is an answer, so you don't have to keep finding him this way :(
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:59 PM   #3 
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Sounds like boredom behaviour, though he may have gotten the habit the way some nail biters do. Your really only option is to keep a close watch to prevent infectio and try to stimulate him as much as you can. Moving and replacing plants/tank furniture and possibly varying his diet.
perhaps if you have time you can teach him some tricks? (yes they can learn) The stimulation may calm him down- after all it works for other pets and obedience classes.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:31 PM   #4 
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Betta Nut - Yeah, he was not wanting to let it go. I had to catch him in a net to get him to give it up lol. His "tank mate" isn't the major flaring type, so they will see each other, stretch their fins in a bit of a show, then get bored and swim off. Gajeel (Gray's "tank mate") isn't very interested in fighting, he's scared of his own reflection :P But I guess I'll wait and see if he stops after this. I haven't noticed any further damage to his tail (what's left of it...)

Taeanna - The day he tore a strip out I had put in a new hide and gave him a floating lily pad. He likes it if I turn the lily pad upside down for a couple minutes, then turn it back. He stares at it like it's magic lol I would love to teach him tricks as he loves attention, but how can you teach them tricks without over feeding them on treats/food. Dogs are a bit easier since they don't get bloat from 5 or so treats ;P

If he still doesn't lay off his tail, I've considered buying another tank for Gajeel and giving Gray the whole 10 gallon tank and adding some tank mates to see if they will keep his mind off of things. He doesn't strike me as a super aggressive fish, he's just really busy all the time lol
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:10 PM   #5 
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Well if you under feed them at meal times you can supplement them with nicer treats later on. He is still being fed the same amount but now he has to earn half of it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:53 PM   #6 
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Wow-I'm going through the same thing right now with my fish Cosmo!!! I literally just created a new thread about it, lol! Like you, I have no answers.

My Cosmo is also a hyperactive VT, always very busy, always in motion. He had long beautiful fins that I admired so much, and every week they get shorter.....and shorter.

I have to laugh at Taeanna's comparison to nail biting. This could very well be a fish version of nail biting with the tail biting. It may just be a nervous habit our fish developed, kind of like a way to de-stress.

I also put him into a bigger tank, added some plants, but it's still the same.

Just keep watch for fin rot-I check my fish every few days with an LED flashlight to make sure they're healthy. But this biting thing is making me nuts!!

I haven't caught him yet doing the biting, but I suspect it's at night once the lights are out. Little sneak he is!!!
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:13 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeanna View Post
Well if you under feed them at meal times you can supplement them with nicer treats later on. He is still being fed the same amount but now he has to earn half of it.
Makes sense! I typically feed him (and all my other boys) 2 pellets in the morning and 2 in the evening. They're currently eating Hikari Bio Betta Gold, which is the best betta food in my area (I also get a discount on it since I work at the only pet store within 2hrs driving distance).
I've considered getting some Omega One pellets shipped here since I've seen a lot of people here raving about how good it is. That is if shipping isn't crazy... I don't want to drive 2hrs to get betta food either, I'm not in the city that often...
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:23 PM   #8 
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Originally Posted by futbol1 View Post
Wow-I'm going through the same thing right now with my fish Cosmo!!! I literally just created a new thread about it, lol! Like you, I have no answers.

My Cosmo is also a hyperactive VT, always very busy, always in motion. He had long beautiful fins that I admired so much, and every week they get shorter.....and shorter.

I have to laugh at Taeanna's comparison to nail biting. This could very well be a fish version of nail biting with the tail biting. It may just be a nervous habit our fish developed, kind of like a way to de-stress.

I also put him into a bigger tank, added some plants, but it's still the same.

Just keep watch for fin rot-I check my fish every few days with an LED flashlight to make sure they're healthy. But this biting thing is making me nuts!!

I haven't caught him yet doing the biting, but I suspect it's at night once the lights are out. Little sneak he is!!!

I think they like watching us pull our hair out ;P
I'm ready to try just about anything to get him to stop... Yesterday I saw him sitting on the rocks, resting for a bit, and he casually bends over and was like "Oh, hey, there's my tail. *CHOMP*" I nearly screamed! lol So I leapt out of my seat and brought out the betta mirror to distract him. He likes the floating bobble that the mirror is attached to, so I let that float in his tank for a while and he played with it.

My husband has accepted the fact that Gray may get the whole 10gallon to himself and that I may have to buy another tank for Gajeel. He's kinda given up on "saving space" for other things and realized most of the space goes to my bettas xD

And just checking on Natsu, my orange VT, he's tail biting too. Gaaaah! *proceed with pulling out hair* He's was moved into a 3 gallon the same day Gray was moved into the divided 10 gallon. Maybe Natsu was happier in his 1.5 gallon? He wasn't tail biting while he was in there... *sigh*
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:28 PM   #9 
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Sometimes bettas come along that like small areas, they are a real oddity and suprise me every time. I recall one lady on this very website had a betta that despised decorations in her tank. So his tank was entirely bare save some gravel and thats how he liked it.
perhaps give him a shot in the smaller tank again and see if the problem goes away? it is a cheaper option than buying the giant tank first and will rule that out
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:31 PM   #10 
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Originally Posted by Taeanna View Post
Sometimes bettas come along that like small areas, they are a real oddity and suprise me every time. I recall one lady on this very website had a betta that despised decorations in her tank. So his tank was entirely bare save some gravel and thats how he liked it.
perhaps give him a shot in the smaller tank again and see if the problem goes away? it is a cheaper option than buying the giant tank first and will rule that out
Yeah, I still have two 1.5 gallon tanks sitting around from when Gray and Natsu were in them before they got the upgrade. Gray started biting in his 1.5, so I know for a fact the smaller space won't help, but Natsu only started last night.
I'll give one of the 1.5 tanks a rinse and put Natsu back in and see what happens from there...
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