Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-04-2012, 05:24 AM   #1 
Onbu
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Recently adopted a tail biting betta - please help if you can...

Dear members,

I have very recently adopted a betta who is a known tail biter.

He was originally purchased by his previous owner as a beautiful half-moon but his owner tells me that he quickly became a consistent tail biter and in the 10 months since she bought him he has routinely eaten more than half the length of his tail off. She tells me it does start to grow back but despite her best efforts he just always chomps it back down again (she had concluded that perhaps it is just too heavy for him and he likes it shorter).

I am keen to troubleshoot this problem behaviour and help this little guy to be happy and healthy if I can, hopefully breaking the tail biting habit and grow back his fins to their gorgeous natural size. But I am definitely not a betta/fish expert. I have owned numerous Betta's in the past and none of them ever bit their own tail.

I am using the Seachem Prime Water Conditioner (as was his previous owner) and I was wondering if I could also start using the Seachem Stress Coat as part of his everyday water content and if that would help the growing process for his tail? Also looking for clarity about whether this product is used WITH the prime water conditioner, or instead of, or only ever meant to be used in a treatment/hospital tank to encourage repair of visible wounds instead of as an always included product after water changes.

His previous owner assures me that although he has been a tail biter since his day one with her - that he has never suffered fin rot as a result.

I have been shown the photos of how he looked when he was younger and she had just purchased him and at that time he had zero tail damage – his tail was full and beautiful so I know the behaviour started once he made the move.

Since I agreed to adopt him - I have been researching like crazy about ways people find work with their tail biters to break the habit and repair the tail.

Poor little guy. :(

What I know of his history:
He was purchased in Asia and then transported in a suitcase.
Since then he has been living in a glass bowl that is about 3 gallons (for about 9 months now).
No filter.
No heater.
At least once or twice a week 100% water changes.
Owner’s feeding routine was giving him 4 Hikari baby pellets a day for food (usually given at four spaced out / different times of the day, so one pellet each feeding time) – on one day of the week though he was getting frozen blood worms.
He has had the 3 gallon bowl all to himself but I believe his glass tank was sitting next to another glass betta bowl in his previous home.
I have taken him in and purchased the bowl he has been living in from his previous owner.

I am just about to place an order for completely new decorations such as plants / floating log / mirror etc to just experiment and gradually swap out one by one all of the decorations he currently has and has always had in his bowl and see if perhaps one of the objects in his environment has been the tail biting trigger.

I've also read that sometimes just moving the position of the tank or the lighting in the room etc can be enough to break the cycle (depending on why the fish is doing it) and so will wait a week before changing decorations to see if he is happier just from being in his new location inside my home.

Very keen to help this little guy repair his beautiful tail because the photos of him are truly stunning before he ate his fins back to kind of delta size but also because this behaviour doesn’t seem to be an indication of a happy, stable, content little fish.

From all my research, and in trying to pin point the WHY he is doing it - he does not fit the criteria of a 'highly aggressive' or 'skittish/neurotic' fish...so I'm leaning toward he may have always been too bored, too hungry or it is a hereditary bad habit. He seems like a happy guy, doesn’t act sluggish, or scared and is always eager to come straight up to the surface to greet me for food. Spends most of the day just calmly swimming all around this bowl.

I have read about the possible solution of getting him some companion fish to see if that keeps him more occupied and less interested in his tail but as he has never ever had tank mates before I would like to try all the more subtle changes first. If it gets to this point; How many companion fish would you say is a happy and safe mix in a 3 gallon tank with just one betta? (and which companion fish would be most recommended).

So any other advice you can offer regarding successfully repairing his fins – but most importantly stopping the biting would be appreciated.

I am also interested to hear from Betta owners who swear by or swear off the Moss balls (both the Marimo live Balls and the Fluval imitations – and the pro’s and con’s of live v’s artificial in an uncycled tank).

Lastly, is anyone able to tell me if you have ever heard or seen any info regarding whether dried blood worms are known to cause constipation / digestive problems with betta’s. As compared with using the frozen blood worm cubes?

His previous owner loved him very very very very much and I’m sure she took very good care of him and all her other betta’s (he was the only tail biter she had) – She had tried many things to break his bad habit and is knowledgeable about betta’s but I still have my fingers crossed he may be able to be helped.

He has been with me a few days now and I have not actually caught him in the tail biting act – but I am preparing myself because I have been shown pictures by his previous owner of him with part of his tail still hanging out of his mouth!!! :eek:

Thank you very much for any help you can offer and also for sharing your time.

Kind regards,
Onbu.
Onbu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 05:37 AM   #2 
ChoclateBetta
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
A heater will help live and silk plants have great help tail biting is caused by lack of stimulation Marimo might help get stimulation.
ChoclateBetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 05:47 AM   #3 
Onbu
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Thanks for your reply ChoclateBetta!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChoclateBetta View Post
A heater will help live and silk plants have great help tail biting is caused by lack of stimulation Marimo might help get stimulation.
Hi,

Thanks so much for your reply.

I have just been looking at the Marimo balls because people say the betta will enjoy pushing it around etc.

But I was concerned that some people report they fall apart and thus wreck the water conditions. Also worried that without a direct artifical light source it might just die off.

Anyone kept the marimo balls inside a bowl for a betta, and if the bowl is 3 gallons of water - would one or maybe two of the 1-1.5 inch size marimo balls be sufficient? or too much?

Thanks for your help.
Onbu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 05:53 AM   #4 
ChoclateBetta
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
Marimo is kept in bowls of untreated tap water your should be okay also more hiding spots should help I keep Marimo in my ten gallon there is a lot of light natural and a 25 watt light build sold for land plants.
ChoclateBetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #5 
sainthogan
Member
 
sainthogan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Red River, NM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onbu View Post
Hi,

Thanks so much for your reply.

I have just been looking at the Marimo balls because people say the betta will enjoy pushing it around etc.

But I was concerned that some people report they fall apart and thus wreck the water conditions. Also worried that without a direct artifical light source it might just die off.

Anyone kept the marimo balls inside a bowl for a betta, and if the bowl is 3 gallons of water - would one or maybe two of the 1-1.5 inch size marimo balls be sufficient? or too much?

Thanks for your help.

All moss balls go through a unique reproduction cycle, where they actually split apart to make more moss balls. This is not unlike the reproduction of a cell. So technically, yes, they can "fall" apart, but more than likely, it's part of its reproduction process.

I also completely agree with chocolatebetta in needing a heater. Bettas are tropical fish and need warm water. There isn't quite an agreement on the perfect temperature for a betta, but generally it's between 76 and 82 F.

I do know of one instance where the Betta was tail biting because he wasn't getting enough to eat, the owner was feeding him 2 pellets every other day. As soon as she started feeding him daily, he started to quit eating his tail. My fish will eat at her plants on the days I give her only pellets instead of flakes because she likes to "hunt" for her food and she can't do that with pellets. She didn't start trying to eat her plants until I started feeding her pellets, but fortunately, her tail is not very long, or I'm sure she would try to eat that too.
sainthogan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 04:15 PM   #6 
ChoclateBetta
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
FFF are great too they should help.
ChoclateBetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 08:43 PM   #7 
Luxavior
Member
 
Luxavior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: San Antonio, TX
I'm not sure how the 3g bowl looks, but you may have to consider upgrading to a 5g tank.

Another reason bettas may tail-bite can be due to feeling cramped.

Its more ideal to go for a tank that has more width than height so that they have more room to swim and explore, rather than only being able to going up and down.

But as others have said, hiding places and a heater are also recommended.

Personally, my boy likes his water at 83 degrees F
Luxavior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 03:53 AM   #8 
Onbu
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your suggestions - I will try to address them as they came...

I've been trying to keep everything as consistent as possible for him since taking him on so I could avoid a sudden shock death and also monitor his usual behaviour. He has been in the 3 gallon tank since January this year - Which I am very happy to upgrade if need be but I bought it with the hope of reducing the amount of 'changes' he would have to endure all at once and had hoped that would result in less stress for him with the move.


As for his food - thank you so so so much for all that information. Someone told me that the pellet brand he has been eating is very low in protein, and that in some cases if you increase the protein in the diet they stop biting their tail. I was also reading something the other day about one of the pellet companies changing the forumla and actually adding MSG which shocked me, I couldnt understand why they would do that.
At the moment I have the same food his owner was giving him (Hikari baby pellets ) plus some frozen blood worms she also gave me for him. It makes sense to me biologically about the low protein diet switch being an option, and I am very happy to switch the pellet brand and treats etc to see if he will take to them better.

I would really like to know if any of you have come across info regarding whether the frozen v's dried blood worms are better or worse than each other. His previous owner had told me that the dried blood worms cause constipation / digestive problems and never to feed them to him - but I have not come across any information about that online. I did however come across some information that suggested that live food types can potentially cause bacterial problems/infections - which is the last thing I want to do :( Can you give me some tips?

It would be really great if you could suggest a safe but increased feeding routine for this little guy that I could try out...to rule out the hunger possibility of a tail biting trigger. How many pellets a day of the Hikari baby which I already have can I safely go up to for him - and how many bits or grams of the frozen blood worm bits per day or per week etc can I incorporate into his meals cause i already have them. (I also have the dried blood worms but like I said his owner said definately dont use them).
I really wanted to feed him a little more than he is use to to see if he has been a hungry little fellow but his previous owner was very strict with his 4 pellets a day and one day of frozen blood worms and he has never suffered bloat or swollen tummy before so I do not want that to happen either.

Also, If anyone can clear up one thing for me - I have been watching this little guy very closely - So far I have not seem him bite his tail and each morning I can not see new damage/blood BUT I know his tail is short at the moment and I can not see new growth and his owner tells me he only goes at it once it begins to grow back beyond the length he likes. But I am wondering after starring at him so much - this little guy has a very black face/head. He is apparently a a 'Mustard colour Half Moon betta' - I have not owned this colour before but I can not remember any of my past Betta's having such a black head. I was researching yesterday about how some of the betta's have been breed to have full colour from nose to tail tip - but originally did they all have these black heads or should I be watching for the little white disease spots to show? At the moment I can not see any white or red patches/spots through the black - just a very dark black head and back which then fades into his greenish colour (which alas I am certain is not at its brightest but we'll get there). If you could just rest my mind about this black head - whether it is fine and normal or could be a problem that needs monitoring that would be most appreciated.

And I'm sorry - but can you please tell me what FFF stands for?

Thank you so very much for trying to help me.

:)
Onbu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 06:33 AM   #9 
ChoclateBetta
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia
This may not help with the tail-biting but it will help with tail recovery IAL.
ChoclateBetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 08:38 AM   #10 
DoctorWhoLuver
Member
 
DoctorWhoLuver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: the TARDIS
He might be tail biting because he's bored. Are there any decorations in his tank?
DoctorWhoLuver is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
betta, half moon, moss ball, seachem, tail biting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tail split? Tail biting? Fin Rot? What's going on with my betta? kirbomatic Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 3 01-29-2014 08:55 PM
Betta biting his own tail FusionX Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 6 04-19-2013 10:15 PM
Betta tail biting help? Bettagirl101 Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 3 08-19-2012 08:26 PM
Betta Biting His Own Tail? pinksnowme Betta Fish Care 10 11-08-2011 07:12 PM
Betta's biting his tail!!! Dead Sunlight Betta Fish Diseases and Emergencies 3 07-01-2010 02:02 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.