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Old 11-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #1 
Kitty Whiskers
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Location: Illinois
Exclamation New Rescue Betta is attacking his tail, help please!

My new Crown Tail rescue Betta, Drake was doing so good till yesterday. He has now bitten off all of his little double forked rays on his tail! Is it because he is in the 1 gallon and does not like it there? Or is something else frustrating him and making him attack himself? I was already planing on placeing him in a 5 gallon tank soon as it is ready. I never had a tail biter before and not sure what to do. Can you help with suggestions for Drake?

Here is a picture before he bit his rays off of his tail.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:28 PM   #2 
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Maybe your filter is too strong? It looks like there's a lot of surface agitation in the picture.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:55 PM   #3 
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A pretty little guy..

Too strong of a filter can cause stress..

Also keep in mind when you purchase a betta, especially one from a store, that their muscles won't be built up a whole lot right off the bat - from the breeders they are placed in cups (usually around the 32oz size) as young as 5 weeks old, possibly younger even depending upon temperament. So they are in a small container for a while as they grow, then placed into the cups and are in there during shipping and for who knows how long until purchased. If they are from what I would consider mass breeders then their cups could be smaller than the standard juvie cup they are separated in.

So after spending a couple months or so in a small container they are then placed into their new home which is bigger than what they are used to. Even a gallon is a large size for them.. so often times they feel the heavy drag on their fins and will end up chewing off some of the fins in order to swim a bit more comfortably.
Add in a filter with a strong current then they do have more problems swimming with larger fins.

He may need time to strengthen his fins.. you can help by baffling the filter, or just take it out as a 1 gallon doesn't really need it and just make the 100% water change per week instead.

Biting fins could mean stress as well.. If it does have to do with tank size, it's because he isn't used to something larger.. they don't know the difference between a 1g and a 5g if they had spent half of their life in a deli cup - so don't need to stress or worry that he isn't in a larger tank right now - a 1g is a good home for a betta.

Either way, the only thing you can really do is either try to baffle the filter (with an aquarium sponge placed into the outflow section, held in by a new rubber band if needed) or lower the setting.. or remove it all together.
Another thing to try is to make sure he has soft plants to sleep on/in.. also a cave makes some feel secure. For that tank I would get a couple smaller silk plants and a small cave/decoration and see how he does, along with the change to the filter.

Either way, he will still need time to adjust to his new home.. so just keep an eye on him and see if you can find the things he prefers :)

Edit: Just saw the filter.. is it an undergravel one? If so, you can buy valves for the air hoses and then be able to adjust the flow of air/bubbles into the tank. Unfortunately with those I believe there will always be some agitation, which is fine.. it's not pushing the water as it's air bubbles.. so possibly he just may not like the air bubbles.. who knows, they can be so picky at times!

Last edited by Myates; 11-29-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #4 
Kitty Whiskers
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Yes it is an undergravel filter. It makes sense that it could be the filter making it too hard on him to swim with big fins. I never thought about how weak they could get from not swimming for so long in those cups they come in.

I have an extra gang valve that I can use to lessen the power of the bubbles. I have several cave to choose from that I can give him now in the 1 gallon. (A glow in the dark mountain cave and a ship with cave holes plus a little castle with cave holes) I'll pick the one that fits best with extra room to still swim. The other ones will go in his 5 gallon. I want to still move him to the 5 gallon in the future cause the 1 gallon makes a good quarantine tank for new Bettas before I add them to my other tanks etc.

Do you think Drake's cute little double forks on his tail will grow back the same as before? I hope they do.

Thanks so much to those of you who answered! I sure appreciate it
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:16 PM   #5 
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I'm sure with time and a softer filter, his fins will grow back.
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