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Old 03-31-2013, 03:35 PM   #1 
bniebetta
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Unhappy Do fin tears hurt?

So ever since my boyfriend got his halfmoon, Blue Angel, he has slowly been getting tears in his fins. When we first noticed it, we weren't sure if it was tailbiting or tearing, so we did everything we could to minimize stress and removed any decor we thought could possibly have done the damage. I have known for sure from the beginning that it is not finrot because of the time frame each tear has occured and the shape and nature of the injuries. All seemed well for a while but the other day we noticed that he had a new clean tear all the way down to the base of his fin!! We now know he must have caught it on one of the plants because he is an awkward swimmer (I suspect he has compressed organs and swim bladder because he is a double tail and has a short body, backed up by the awkward swimming and frequent constipation).

**My question is basically if he can feel the tears at all and if they are hurting him. He is acting normal, and I would rather not resort to medication just yet, but I do if he is in pain. I know some of you are going to ask for all the general info, so I will provide some of it even though I already know what happened to him.**

5 gallon unfiltered, unplanted tank. Water changes according to OFL schedule (50% once a week and 100% once a month). Water params perfect. New Thydor Theo heater keeps water at 80 degrees.

He is fed a mixed diet of pellets supplemented with frozen bloodworms and freeze dried daphnia, bloodworms, and mysis. They are not very high quality pellets but we will be getting top quality as soon as we can.

We have had him for about a month, without any other sign of illness/injury except for occasional indigestion. I would guess that he is 4-7 months old.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:44 PM   #2 
Hadoken Kitty
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OFL often said that fish do not feel pain like we would assume them to. I have to agree with this. Sometimes males will nip their fins because they're too heavy. I have a nipper who did this quite often.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:58 PM   #3 
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My halfmoon, Floyd, was an erratic, neurotic swimmer. His plants were perfectly safe and there was nothing else in his tank that could have torn his fins and I was told his frequent swimming was actually causing it. So I divided his spacious 10g tank and put another fish on the other side and he has calmed down considerably and his fins look great now! Since your tank is already 5 gallons though I suppose it is probably the plants :/ As for it hurting since they sometimes bite them off themselves and don't bleed I don't think it would hurt until it got to the point where it was ripped down to the base, like a fingernail that is cut too short.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:42 PM   #4 
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Several researchers published a study (in Dec 2012), saying that fish lack pain receptors. They believe that fish do NOT feel pain the way that humans do.

They compared the number of nerve fibers, which send pain signals to the brain, in both humans and fish. They found that:
  • Nerves in human skin contain 83% of the specific fibers that send pain signals to the brain.
  • Rainbow trout only have 5% of these fibers.
  • Sharks and rays have 0% of them.
The authors say this indicates that sharks and rays probably cannot feel pain at all, and that it is "highly unlikely" for fish to feel pain.

They conclude that it was advantageous for fish to NOT feel pain, since it led to better survival in their aquatic environment.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Here is the more detailed wording, if you want to see it:

"Nociceptors are sensory receptors that respond to potentially damaging stimuli by sending nerve signals to the spinal cord and brain.....

...a typical human cutaneous nerve contains 83% C type trauma receptors (the type responsible for excruciating pain in humans)....

... rainbow trout on the other hand have only around 5% C type fibres, while sharks and rays have 0%. The absence of C type fibres indicates that signalling leading to pain perception is likely to be impossible for sharks and rays, and the low numbers (5% C fibres) suggest this is also highly unlikely for fish...

Rose et al (2013) concluded that sharks and bony fish have survived well in an evolutionary sense without the full range of nociception typical of humans or other mammals, probably because it would otherwise be disadvantageous to their survival in the aquatic environment."


Sources:
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:52 PM   #5 
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Thanks guys, that makes us feel a lot better. We were so worried about him! I guess just keep his water clean and give it some time?
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:54 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bniebetta View Post
I guess just keep his water clean and give it some time?
Floyd's fins look great now, there is some scar tissue as another poster mentioned, but no more rips and it didn't take very long, just clean warm water and I also didn't use any meds.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:55 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadoken Kitty View Post
Honestly, like I told you in the other post: Stress coat, high protein foods, warm water, and time are the only things that will grow a fish's fins back after a battle with biting or fin rot. I say this from experience. A few weeks ago I tried breeding a male and female, but the female ripped almost all of my male's fins off. His fins are growing like a weed with this combination (naturally after using AQ salt for a week to battle the rot that took hold). I also have a nipper whose fins grow back quickly due to this method. Stress coat adds slime coat back to the fish, which is lost through nipping or tearing. The high protein foods give the fish energy and will help the fish's fins grow back quicker (like when eating a healthy diet can make your hair grow faster, or make you less susceptible to illness). Warm water is natural for bettas and makes them feel most comfortable. A stress-free betta is a happy betta. A happy betta will grow fins back quicker. Last but not least, time. Fins take a while to grow back. Usually the first few weeks are the quickest.
Just quoting since I didn't wanna re-type all of it. x.x
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:59 PM   #8 
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Yes, just warm, clean water, and time. They should start growing back pretty quickly. (Some people use API Stress Coat, as Hadoken Kitty mentioned. My guys didn't seem to like it as much as their regular conditioner though, so I stopped using it.)

I have a tail biter. I figured that if ripping his fins off hurt, he wouldn't do it. But it doesn't seem to bother him at all. They start to grow back, he shreds 'em again. Apparently, my betta likes short fins the same way that some people prefer short hair.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 03-31-2013 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:01 PM   #9 
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Awesome :) Thanks guys
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:02 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBlueFishlets View Post
Apparently, my betta likes short fins the same way that some people prefer short hair.
HAHAHAHA I have never thought of it that way! rofl
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