Just checked, and yes, Feyd is missing some of his tail. The only thing that has changed with him and Weehawk is that they could no longer see each other, after spending almost a month being able to see one another. I have since removed Weehawk's background, in case Feyd was getting stressed at "losing" his neighbour.
I feel like throwing the towel in, like I've completely ruined my fish's lives, and that I'm the cause of their self-mutilation. I had honestly thought I was doing well at betta-keeping, and that my boys were happy. It's obvious that that's not the case, except maybe for Falkor, because I've done everything possible for him. I just feel like I've failed all of them, completely.
I'm going to have to assume that in Feyd and Weehawk's case, it's the separation that's caused any self-harm, because it's the only thing that changed between yesterday and today. I have since allowed them to see one another, and am observing them closely.
It confuses me though... You'd think that letting them see each other would cause stress, not the other way around. In any case, I've changed back the only thing that was different, and am monitoring everyone. Falkor's just going to be Falkor I suppose, but the other two I cannot let fall into the same habit...
I love them so much, but feel so bad. I spend all my days researching on here and elsewhere for ways to make their lives better, spend all my money on them trying to enrich their lives, spend heaps of time interacting with them daily, and still this happens. It's so discouraging to feel that despite all my best efforts, I'm still failing at giving them the best.
[sigh] Woke up feeling guilty about my boys. Perhaps I shouldn't be so much on my high horse about wanting the best for them if my efforts result in them biting their fins. I know in theory I couldn't have known what would set them off until it was done, but there's still that overwhelming feeling that I failed them.
Now I'm fairly worried about when I do my piercing course, and possibly an apprenticeship, how are they going to be when I'm away most days? Will they be shocked by the sudden lack of company, and bite their fins because of that? I'm hoping by then I can have some tank mates for them, but they still won't have the same form of interaction until I get home... Hmmm...
Oh man, things just keep getting better... Our hot water unit is busted apparently. So no showers for a while, until it gets fixed. Yuck. Washing myself painstakingly, basically giving myself sponge baths is not an idea that appeals to me, but you gotta get clean somehow! Ugh...
As distressing as it is having a tail-biter such as Falkor, I've had to force myself to just deal with it and not worry so much, after having done everything I possibly can to try and find the cause and put a stop to it. I think this morning I'm finally starting to come to terms with it and not stress so much because I caught him chasing his tail just then, and thought "You idiot boy, what are you doing, checking if you missed a bit or something?!"
I can only hope that when he gets a couple of shrimp in his tank that he'll have something to occupy himself with instead of his tail and he might break the habit, because nothing else has worked. Though that's a fair few months away, as I've got to cycle his tank before even thinking about little shrimplets (with him in a different one of course... if he's still biting I can't have him in a cycling tank, don't want to deal with fin rot as well).
Still lamenting the loss of his beautiful fins, obviously a lot more than he is. He used to have some of the most beautiful fins I'd ever seen, but now he's just my derpy little buddy. Still love him to death though. >.<
I feel like a heartless so-and-so for starting to lose sympathy for Falkor... I mean, I still love the little guy, but I used to have mini heart attacks every time I saw his ragged fins, and feel so, so awful about his tail-biting. As time has worn on I'm starting to feel less sympathetic, now that I've tried absolutely everything except getting him tankmates, which just isn't possible at the moment. I'm not going to neglect him, of course I'll keep his water squeaky clean, and keep adding Stress Coat and IAL to try and help him heal, and play with him like normal, but this feeling that I've failed is bringing me down way too much to let myself continue with it. It sounds heartless to me when I say it like that, but if I think rationally about the last couple of months and the measures I've taken to try and ensure that he's happy and healthy, and all of the many, many things I've changed in an attempt to stop him biting, I suppose this is the point where I go, "Fine. Rip the whole bloody thing off if you want to. I'll keep your water clean, and keep you as healthy as I possibly can, but you're on your own with the tail issue, buddy."
I don't think you're being unsympathetic. Really. He's just a booger who wishes he was a Plakat, and in all seriousness, its not YOUR fault they are purposely bred to have long, pretty, HEAVY fins. I have seen some tail biters. Some of them start because of stress from something like shipping, and once they realize its easier to get around without it, they decide to keep it short. Kind of like some girls keep their hair short because its easier to manage :p
The point is, you tried and you do your best to keep his water clean. I'm assuming that if he had been purchased by a careless owner who never bothers to keep the water clean, he would have got an infection by now and would be a lot worse off. He's lucky :)
I have seen a ton of people who had chronic tail biters despite all efforts to get them to stop. It's stressful at first, but you come to terms with it. I feel the same about my blind boy Bahari. He had pretty fins that marbled and he's lost his blue :( he's not quite as pretty to look at now but he's still gorgeous and I still love him to death, and do all I can to help him with his blindness. I thought it was my fault, I really did. He wasn't blind when I got him but he went blind within the first month I had him. I'm thinking it was genetics, now, but I thought maybe my water parameters caused it or something (I have a high pH and am doing a fishless cycle...) but in any case, I can't do anything but interact with him and help him cope. I also thought my VTs internal parasites were my fault... It happened shortly after I moved him to his 5 gallon and added a heater. Maybe I didn't acclimate him properly or something? Idk, but most people would be too unconcerned to go out and get meds to treat it. He gives me the sad eyes when he's sick but I know he knows I'm doing all I can to help him! That's all we can do..... And they appreciate it in their cute fishy ways :)
Thanks for the vote of confidence. And yeah, maybe he is like his mum, wanting to not have unnecessary stuff weighing him down, hehe.
This whole ordeal got me thinking, though. If by some catastrophe he does get fin rot, which he really shouldn't given how pedantic I am about water changes... But if he did (I'm one of those "best prepare for the worst, just in case!" people) I'd need to move him over to his old tank for treatment because I can't have aquarium salt in with live plants. I was going to move him over to it anyway, given that I'm going to be cycling his current tank in a bit, but perhaps it might be a good idea to keep him over there just in case? Or even in Weehawk's old tank, which is slightly bigger. If I do that, and keep only silk plants with him, it frees up a whole bigger tank once it's cycled... Room for another fishlet?! OMG!!
I wouldn't have considered having him in 2.5 gallons again, but considering his behaviour is exactly the same in either situation, and the biting hasn't improved despite having more room, perhaps I'd best keep him in something I can easily perform 100% changes with, rather than a cycled tank with loads of live plants...
Just a thought, as it's not happening yet, but it's certainly something for me to think about...
Your blind boy is lucky to have you as his owner! A lot of people (i.e. people who tend to think "it's just a fish..." when push comes to shove even if they do care about them) would have just given up on a blind betta. It's really nice to be able to log on here and see people who actually give a toss about their pets and care for them as they would for their cats or dogs. Gives you the warm and fuzzies, y'know? Hehe. (And it makes me feel less crazy about the way I feel about mine - which is weird, you'd think that animal lovers would love all animals, not just the furry ones...)
Yeah I think some people just haven't yet realized the joys of healthy fish. They are the sick and dying ones in the stores but not the active, INTERactive healthy ones. That's how we get into it, right? Start with one, and up with an entire roomful soon after :p they are much more fun in a bigger tank than in a little one gallon! And most people realize how much HAPPIER they are and really get into it!
I think since he's already a tail biter, a current would bother him. I mean, most people here seem to think that the ones with super heavy fins do better in smaller tanks, so moving him back and getting a new one for the cycled tank is a good plan, IMO.
Maybe you could try a female. I used to think they were boring but now I just LOVE them. I want females from now on, haha! They are very spunky and more energetic because of their short fins :) my Okami literally jumped all the way across her one gallon temporary tank the other day at feeding time! My males have jumped but NEVER like that!!
Haha, but in all seriousness, you should do whatever you think is best for him. I'd love to see any new addition to the family you might get!
Yahh, I was going to go for a short-finned one if I did get another, either PK or HMPK. Unsure as to whether I'd get a male or female, but I've decided I definitely want a dumbo. It'd be a cuteness overload in my room with my three current boys and an EE, hehe. XD
Last edited by Sparrowhawk; 01-22-2013 at 10:29 PM.