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Old 01-11-2013, 07:41 PM   #1 
bettaluver14's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NY
Unhappy Any way at all to stop tail biting?

my male VT tail bites often. then i use the meds that helps cure it fast; 2 weeks later his tail is bit and shredded.
i figured it was cause i was paying less attention to him. i've been visiting him more often but last night he bit his tail anyways he bit it badly this time, too. there's a big tear like right in the middle bottom of his tail.... it looks like he's a partial double tail now :( is there any way at all to stop him from doing this? it's so upsetting to walk into my room and see his beautiful flowy tail ripped.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:59 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Canada
Some bettas are chronic tail-biters. My Phy (also VT) did it often. I think he got stressed once, bit his tail to a 1/3 of it's original length then discovered he swims faster without the longer droopy tail...and ever since would keep it short.

There's not a lot you can do - make sure his water is clean and that his behavior doesnt change. Dirty water + fin-biting = finrot.

You can try and entertain him to distract him between episodes. Flaring exercises with a mirror on and off every 15 minutes to an hour. Place him near another betta's tank if you can (if you have more than one). Change his decor around every water change. Change up his food every couple meals.

But chances are he's just a fin-biter, which is how some bettas with the heavier tails simply tend to be. I'm jealous of all the people here who have VTs with the long tails, Phy's was long for a month then he kept it short till he died (unknown cause) last month.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #3 
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I have a tailbiter, too. And I haven't figured out how to get him to stop....

What meds did you use to heal it?
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:17 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Canada
Clean water is best before any meds. If it doesnt get better (should see white regrowth) with more frequent water changes, you can QT them with 1 1/2tsp AQ Salt per gallon. And keeping them warm is a must.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #5 
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Location: San Bernardino, California
It all depends on your own Betta's personality. Some can be brought out of it with some decor rearrangements, a bigger tank, a smaller tank, tank placement (next to another Betta or farther away from another Betta) and sometimes exercises with a mirror can help but sometimes no mirror at all can also help.

My Veiltail had a longer tail but he I think got angry being next to another Betta's tank (the other Betta was somewhat blind so he never reacted to any war dancing) and he started biting his tail down to a specific point. That was about 2 years ago, every time his tail grows out past that he bites it off again, it doesn't seem like it's an aggressive thing now because he isn't constantly chasing after it but I think he likes it shorter.

I had an amazing looking HM boy who I think also got mad at the fact he couldn't actually attack the Betta near him. He would flare and go crazy then turn and rip his tail off. I have photos of him down below when is tail was still long and he first started biting then at the length when he stopped and let it start growing out a bit. It was very unfortunate because he was such a pretty boy. I tried moving him by himself in a room with no other fish at all, I tried putting him next to some females, giving him different kinds of tanks and decor and nothing at all worked. This mainly happened when he was much younger, so it might have been an adolescent issue since that was around the same age as my VT, but I don't know. He eventually stopped but I think that was because he couldn't reach his tail anymore because it was so short. He unfortunately had to be put to sleep for other reasons (severe Lymphocystis you can see starting in the middle of his tail) but I was never actually able to get him to stop biting when he had his pretty tail.

I have had one successful bout with tail biting though. Another HM, he was fairly young when he started and I had him placed next to a very aggressive CT male, they both would occasionally flare and what not, eventually the HM got fed up and started biting. I put a barrier up between the two and that stopped it for a little while, eventually he found a way to where he could still see the CT and would go nuts. At that time he was in a 3 gallon, he was also growing like a weed so I moved him into a 5 gallon and he's completely stopped. He's been in his 5 for about 6 months now and he hasn't even looked at his tail and he's building nests off and on and he's very much more chill. :)
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Last edited by TheCheese909; 01-11-2013 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:06 AM   #6 
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Location: NY
wow thanks! it's so weird cause i mean.... Zuko is perfectly happy and healthy and builds the biggest bubble nests ever! And i'm upgrading him to a 10gal soon, do you think that'll stop him from biting?
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:28 AM   #7 
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: California
My betta VT keeps his tail "trimmed" lol. Whenever it gets too long, he just chomps it back down to a certain size. He never has any ptoblems from it. I actually like the length he trims it to. It still looks like a classic VT when it is "trimmed" lol...

Edit: that said, are there any long finned males that DON'T ever feel the need to bite themselves?

Last edited by finnfinnfriend; 01-12-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:54 AM   #8 
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Location: Canada
Depends. My Super Delta doesnt bite his tail at all, but then again it's not as thick as a VT's tail and prlly produces less drag when he swims.

The happpier the male, the less chance of it happening. Also flow from the filters can cause them to do it because the flow pushes them around like a ship with full sails in a wind. So they'll chop off fins so they can keep control of things. But there's several cases of bettas surfing filter flows. My first CT did it all the time - Phy would actually sit in his outflow np. And my Super Delta doesnt mind the gentle muffled flow I've got going on in the 10g.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:47 PM   #9 
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The tetras may be biting him because they're stressed and he's probably stressed by them too. It comes back to the inappropriate set up with trying to keep your betta in a 2 gallon along with tetras.

Also since your tetras have parasite infection it may have infected him as well.

I really don't understand why you keep making thread after thread after thread about the same issues. You're not going to get a different answer than what you've already gotten from your last several threads about problems with your betta and the tetras.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:39 PM   #10 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
If this is true that you are keeping a poorly stock/overstocked tank-Then until you fix that problem-it will be a never ending problem that could possibly end with livestock deaths...The stress alone from poorly stocked/overstocked tank can compromise the immune response and this sets the fish up for all kinds of problems. If you don't fix the bottom line might be too late for all the livestock.....

What I would recommend until you can get the 10gal tank you plan-Take the Neon tetra back to the fish store and if you can't do that. I would cup the Betta and float him in the heated tank. You may or may not need to start a treatment at this point. If it is just fin damage regardless of cause-clean/dechlorinated water and good nutrition might be all that is needed. If he has a secondary infection- a full treatment would be needed. This is best done in QT using premixed treatment water.
Unless you start working on the stress-any treatment might not do much good with an overly compromised immune response.

Good luck...
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