Thank you Laki. I was told that Chinese algae eaters were aggressive but not SAE, did I get it backwards. Nmw I will remove them today. Betta (yes I know bad name) seems to be the aggressive one suddenly.
So fin rot always has the dark or reddish edges? Good, that is what I was hoping to hear. Now to determine self biting vs equipment damage. Done think its decor since it is only live plants and drift wood.
If Betta is self biting anything I can do to help him stop?
I think it might be fin biting. Tell tale sign, the squarish negative spaces. Pretty sure he is biting his own fin. This happens a lot with stressed, bored, heavy finned or highly filtered bettas. The hardest part is finding out what causes the biting (psychological) and fixing that. Sometimes the filter is too strong and the betta is relieving himself of the burden from his tail. Sometimes it's boredom. Sometimes its hyper activity. Best thing to do is record each new thing with the tank and watch for further destruction or regrowth. (regrowth is clear and usually is see-able within 4-5 days in a healthy tank). Unfortunately there are some bettas who bite their whole lives, they let it fill in and start re-coloring and then bite it all off again. Much to the dismay and disappointment of the owner!!
The best defense against rot at this stage is clean warm water. You can double your water changes for a week or two to kick start regrowth. Don't add aquarium salt or anything, he doesn't need that unless fin rot sets in. I would pick up indian almondd leaves if for nothing else than their amazing antibacterial qualities. Ebay has them from multiple sellers for dirt cheap.
Laki thank you! I had no idea bettals bite there own tales. Great I have a self mutualizing betta, in need of therapy :/ I will still move the SAE to rule them out. I will double up on water changes. Should I increase the temp, now 77.4 F. I can't use aquarium salt unless I take him out of a planted tank which leaves me with my QT too small and my new dumbo betta is in it for cloudy eyes. If needed at a later date I will get a bigger QT just for my "special" guy.
Ha! I've decided that my chronic tail biter needs a Fish Psychologist to diagnose his issues.
U-shaped chunks taken out of the fins, with no discoloration, generally indicates tail biting.
Watch for any signs that the edges become lined in black or red, as that would be an indication of fin rot or an infection setting in.
As Laki said, keep him in clean, warm water. That's the best way to allow the fins to heal.
In the meantime, you can play Fish Psychologist, and try to diagnose his issues. LOL (More plants, different plants... More decorations, changing the location of decorations.... More lights, few lights.... More attention, less attention.... Warmer water, cooler water.... --> All of these things, and more, may impact his desire to bite off his own fins.)
You are correct about the Siamese Algae Eater being the peaceful one and the Chinese Algae Eater being more aggressive, but you might want to consider getting him into a larger tank if you're keeping him in a 5 gallon.
LittleBlue narrowed down some things to look out for. You can increase the temperature to 80F and still be safe for the plants. 80F is more comfortable to bettas anyway, you might find this is his problem..
My last VT began biting because of a bubbler I put in his tank. After that he would let it grow in, re-color and then bite it all off despite my best efforts to amuse and distract him.
My current VT bit for goodness knows what reason. He began biting to eliminate his melted fins. I stopped him 98% by diving his tank with Bowser. He has only bit his tail once in the 8 months he has been in there.
All bettas are different and have different triggers for biting. Again, don't use the salt bc of your plants. You don't even have to move him to Q-tank unless you see it getting red/black. But frequent water changes should eliminate the possibility of rot.
Mine started biting his fins after he became constipated. Now, he seems to be enjoying his 'short haircut' look, even though constipation is no longer an issue. I've found that he prefers warmer water (about 81F), having a neighbor (female betta in a nearby tank), Omega One Betta Buffet pellets, and lots of attention from me.... He doesn't give a hoot about hiding places, decorations or plants. And he sleeps midwater in the most open area he can find.... Like Laki's guy, he starts to let it grow in, which makes me all happy. Then I eventually walk in one day, and find it all gone again. Sometimes, I even find bits of it in his poop.
LOL, I guess tail biting is not that different from nail biting even without the obvious joke.
All SAE out of his tank and into my other tank. Thank you Bounce for that article. I am getting a 110 gallon take I have the tank and cabinet. Next the filter, heater and........... The heat in my guys tank is set to 80 and I moved pants plus a did a major trim. I petted him, played with him, he flared at me, I flared at him, good times had by all. I hope there is no fin in his poo tomorrow.
Thank you. I am really happy I found this forum saved my guy from being treated with ABX when it is not his body that is ill just him mind. I guess chose him for a reason, takes one to know one. thanks again.