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Old 11-05-2012, 08:51 AM   #11 
Onbu
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Originally Posted by DoctorWhoLuver View Post
He might be tail biting because he's bored. Are there any decorations in his tank?
Hi,

Set up at the moment is what he has been living in since January this year = 3 gallon bowl, no filter, no heater.
He has a little house down the bottom of the bowl that I am told he has always had and he likes to pop in and out of there, especially likes to sleep in there.
There is a little penny wort plant on top of the house.
And there is a fake floating lily that I have been told he likes to make bubble nests under.

Being bored and then tail biting is definitely a possibility I am considering.

I can see that at present there is not enough hiding, playing or resting space scattered inside the main space of the tank though as the shape of the tank means the base is quite small and fits only the sleeping house and the penny wort that sits on top of the house is too small to provide 'near surface' resting spots or for him to play/hide between foliage etc.

So yesterday I placed an online order for a few new things to switch around and experiment with which will hopefully arrive in about two weeks:
Exercise floating mirror
Mini floating betta log with feeding hole
Different types of floating lily options
Variety of different types and sizes of silk plants to try out
Seachem stress guard
Aquarium Salt

And I am going to keep an eye out for a different little sleeping house to sit on the bottom where his current one is that he really likes, just in case something about the shape or colour of the current one is upsetting to him.

Learnt that adding tank mates/companion fish to kill the boredom is not an option in a 3 gallon tank and I can only look into that if I end up upgrading his bowl to a bigger size.

:)

Thanks for helping -any suggestions/tips are very appreciated.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #12 
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Originally Posted by ChoclateBetta View Post
This may not help with the tail-biting but it will help with tail recovery IAL.
Hi Choc,

You are talking about the Indian Almond Leaves right?

I have read about these but couldnt find anything scientific to back them up. Also have not read anything dangerous about them so am willing to give them a try.

I would like to know from someone who has used them if adding a leaf to the tank will actually discolour the water though - i have read it will leach into the water as it breaks down and turn the water brown - is that right???

(seems crazy because I try to keep the water crystal clear and so did his last owner so why would I add something to his tank that will turn the water brown?)

Also, what does 'FFF" mean - that you mentioned earlier?
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:06 AM   #13 
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Flightless Fruit Flies.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #14 
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Originally Posted by Onbu View Post
Hi Choc,

You are talking about the Indian Almond Leaves right?

I have read about these but couldnt find anything scientific to back them up. Also have not read anything dangerous about them so am willing to give them a try.

I would like to know from someone who has used them if adding a leaf to the tank will actually discolour the water though - i have read it will leach into the water as it breaks down and turn the water brown - is that right???

(seems crazy because I try to keep the water crystal clear and so did his last owner so why would I add something to his tank that will turn the water brown?)

Also, what does 'FFF" mean - that you mentioned earlier?
Indian Almond Leaf is used by most if not all breeders from Thailand and I would think they know best about bettas. As for turning the water brown, yes, they will, but think of it as medicine to calm and heal the fish. When he's better you can go back to crystal clear water.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:18 AM   #15 
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Originally Posted by Onbu View Post
I have very recently adopted a betta who is a known tail biter.
Most of us experience that with a fish or two.. not fun.

(she had concluded that perhaps it is just too heavy for him and he likes it shorter).
Very possible.. the larger finned males (such as HMs, DT, HMDTs, etc) are more prone to fin biting as their large fins cause drag. Biting their fins helps them swim with a bit more ease. We humans created the long fins in them, naturally their fins are short.. so we can't blame the poor things for wanting to swim with comfort.

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.
If he has been doing this for some time, it's highly unlikely you will get him to stop.. it's now a bad habit/learned behavior.

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.
It's hard to overdose on conditioners, but it is still possible. Honestly, using Stress Coat for nearly 20 years I have never seen it do much for the fins. I've only used it because it can help lower stress a tiny bit. I have since stopped using it as it really doesn't do much in the way of healing/helping that would be significantly seen. If anything, I would use it in a hospital tank more for the less stress than at any other time.

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.
Keeping up on the water changes will help keep the fin rot at bay. It's the dirty water that allows the bacteria to grow.

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.
Common to start biting when being shipped.

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.
May not be an item that is a trigger, but this can go either way- good for him as it gives him new things to explore, or bad to where it causes him stress that his home is different and he chews more. I have a male that if any little thing in his tank is changed he goes nuts. So it's a gamble, but I would try it as if it goes bad, can always put back the way it was.

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 say it is too large of fins and he is uncomfortable in them. His muscles may not of been that strong when she first got them (breeders tend to keep them in smaller containers before selling them) and the long fins were too heavy so he chewed and continues to.

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).
A 3 gallon is too small for any other fish out there to live comfortable. A 3 gallon with another fish will cause them both to become stressed and feel cramped. Not to mention it will need a filter, etc for the other fish to survive, and the bio load would be a bit too much for that size of a tank.

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).
I have one.. they honestly don't stop algae from growing. It's more of a cute gimmick that got them popular.

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?
The freeze dried doesn't cause it.. low quality food along with improper feeding causes constipation and bloating. Some people swear it expands in their bellies, etc.. but the digestive tract/stomach doesn't work like that. FD may have high protein, but the process (along with some freezing processes for the frozen food) takes out a lot of the good minerals, leaving them mostly empty calories. Frozen is a bit more healthier, but to me both freeze dried and frozen are more of a once a week kind of thing if you must feed them one of those.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:19 AM   #16 
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Originally Posted by Onbu View Post
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.
You don't have to change the size of the tank if you don't want to. He will bite just the same in a 5 gallon as he does in his 3 gallon :P

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 use Omega One Betta Buffet and New Life Spectrum. I also purchased specialty foods from breeders to throw in the mix for the pellet eaters of mine. Hikari had changed recipes I believe.. for the worse.

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?
You really shouldn't come across any issues when feeding live foods- just have to be smart on where you get it. A bucket out back with leaves/twigs/grass you will be able to get mosquito larvae along with daphnea that you can feed to your fish with no worries- just rinse them off gently in a brine shrimp net and just feed. You can purchase adult brine shrimp from some pet stores, which is where your problems may come from. Just rinse them off like the others in the net and feed. I personally have never heard of anyone having bacteria or infections from live foods..

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.
I can't tell you how much to feed as unsure how big those pellets are.. he really should be eating a higher quality adult pellets to be honest. I stated the top two (Omega One and New Life Spectrum) above.. but 4-6 pellets total a day for the average pellet is recommended. Frozen.. just take out a tiny bit, dissolve in some tank water and feed 3-4 of the frozen blood worms at once.

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.
Nothing wrong with a black head.. I have a blue guy with a pitch black head. Just the way he is. Can you post a picture for us?
As mentioned before, a heater is a great thing to have :) An Elite 25watt adjustable heater is perfect for your tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onbu View Post
I have read about these but couldnt find anything scientific to back them up. Also have not read anything dangerous about them so am willing to give them a try.
They are wonderful to use, as they do encourage stronger fins and scales.. those and naturally fallen and dried oak leaves works wonders.

I would like to know from someone who has used them if adding a leaf to the tank will actually discolour the water though - i have read it will leach into the water as it breaks down and turn the water brown - is that right???
Yes, it's called tannin.. it's healthy for them and most (fish) tend to really enjoy the darker colors. It's us humans that don't like it at times. It's your choice whether you want to use it or not.. it does have health benefits, but it's not a must have.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:19 AM   #17 
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Sorry for the spam, just wanted to answer your questions.. without getting myself confused! lol :)
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:27 AM   #18 
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I dont even know what spam is?
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:56 AM   #19 
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First of all I'm going to jump in and repeat what others have said! A heater is a must! Bettas are tropical fish and when they are in water thats too cold it can cause stress, and it will compromise their immune system leaving them more open to disease.

Putting him on a higher protein diet is a good plan. I highly recommend feeding Omega One betta pellets. They contain whole salmon and herring (I believe) and are the only fish food I've found that contains whole fish and not just meal. Feeding 6 pellets spread out through the day, and feeding frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms 3 times a week (in place of breakfast or dinner) would be a good diet to get him on to!

Make sure he has lots to do in his bowl. And treat with prime, stress coat, salt and vita-chem (if you can find it, likely it will need to be ordered online)
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:24 AM   #20 
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Hikari Pellets are great.
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