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Old 05-17-2013, 08:47 AM   #1 
futurevet
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Betta is biting his fin?

I noticed for the first time a few days ago that my betta is biting and tearing his tail fin, or something is happening. It is being torn up on the end and i was hoping someone would know how to make him stop before it gets much worse. I thought he might be bored so I moved the plants around in his tank and put a mirror so he can flare. Any tips?
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #2 
lilnaugrim
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Hey there futurevet!

So does it look like chunks are taken out of his tail? That would be the sign of tail biting, but if it's just shredded and torn then that's something else.

Do the edges look black at all? A picture or a few would help determine if he's got any fin rot yet and how we can treat that.

And are his plants plastic at all? Betta's fins are very delicate and will pretty much tear on anything that's not soft like a real plant. So if they are plastic, it could very well be that he's tearing his fins on those as he passes by. There are silk plants that you can get, but still sometimes they aren't always very soft so you have to check :)

A good way to check ornaments and plants if they are Betta safe is run some old pantyhose over them and see if they snag. If they do, then your Betta's fins will snag as well and it shouldn't be put into the tank. I hope this helps some!
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:23 PM   #3 
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Here he is! It might be the plants, they are plastic. I can't seem to find silk plants though.
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Last edited by futurevet; 05-18-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:52 PM   #4 
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Okay yeah, it does look like they were bitten but now are starting to grow back.

The key to getting a Betta's fins to grow back is good, clean, warm water for the most part. Also adding in some StressCoat for conditioner will help to because it's got Aloe in it which will help.

But the good news is that those white tips on the end is regrowth. New growth comes in white or clear and will color up to the original color once it's done growing or sometimes as it's growing. And they aren't black which is a sign for fin rot, so watch out for Fin rot.

There is a possiblity that he has a "tick" or something that sets him into biting his tail. But it's not always easy to find, there was one Betta who was basically afraid of the dark so he needed a night light or he'd bite his tail. Some also do it out of boredom so maybe try to play with him a little more, stick your finger in and make him follow it, when he does give him a pellet if that's what he eats for a treat to tell him he did a good job :) But basically just a lot of observing will need to be done if you want to find his "tick".

One of my boys also bit his tail out of frustration because he was in a divided tank and could see his neighbor but couldn't get at him so he bit his own tail out of frustration lol. So yeah, not too much else you can do besides finding his "tick" and just help him heal up.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:42 PM   #5 
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Okay, thank you! :) I thought he probably was bored, so that's why I changed everything around in his tank. It's funny that you mentioned to have him follow my finger because I just started doing that this week! It doesn't look like he has been biting for about a week, so hopefully it will grow back nicely. I will keep watching to find his "tick", thank you!
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #6 
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Awesome :D Glad to hear! And you are most welcome ^^
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:54 PM   #7 
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So I have been keeping an eye on him and I though he was doing better. But I took some pictures a few days ago and compares them to pictures I took today. I don't think the problem is solved yet! I decided to take out the plants and I will see how he is doing throughout this week.
First pic is from a few days ago, next three are from today.[IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by futurevet; 05-24-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:23 AM   #8 
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Hmm yeah, he's still biting them. The picture from 3 day's ago looked really good, he was healing properly but something must have set him off again.

Keep an eye out for black edges, I see his normal fins when grown out have some black edging but while he's growing them out if he gets black, it's more often going to be some fin rot.

In the case of fin rot you'll just need some aquarium salt, 1 teaspoon per gallon, mix it before you put it in his tank. Of course it would be a lot easier if you had a smaller tank, like a 1 gallon tank so you'd be using 1 teaspoon instead of what looks like 5 for a 5 gallon? Bit hard to tell from the pic lol, either way you would keep him in the salt for a few days doing daily 100% water changes, adding the salt back to the new water and acclimating him to it. To be used no more than 14 days at that dosage.

But that's only if he's got black edging.

Are you using Stress Coat water conditioner? if not, you should certainly look into it, it would help regrow his fins a little faster. He looks like a slow grower though like my HM Remmy, he's still working on his biting incident from two months ago. He's getting there, it's just slow is all.

In the meantime, just keep up on your water changes, keep his tank warm around 78-80 and he should be fine. Sometimes they are just chronic tail biters though and there isn't much you can help except ward off fin rot. :/
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:51 AM   #9 
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I will definitely look into the stress coat, I thought I had some, but I can't find it. Should I get him some other food too, to help the fins grow? Right now all I have is tetra bettamin flake food.
I was thinking that maybe he is getting lonely without another betta and maybe that is why he is biting his tail. I have a mirror that I put up for him for a few hours every couple of days, but could I leave it up all the time? He seems really happy and flares a lot when it's up, however I don't want him to get too tired from flaring.
If it is fin rot I do have a 1 gallon bowl I could set up. He is in a 10 gallon right now actually :)
I feel like he is happy because when he sees me he always comes up to the front to say hi and he flares at the mirror. I haven't seen him build a bubblenest though and I thought bettas did that when they were happy? I might be overreacting but I want to find out whats wrong with my little boy!
Thank you again!
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:11 AM   #10 
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No don't leave the mirror up, he can stress himself out and tear his fins more from flaring too much, it's very common to see that in HM's. I know you might think he's lonely but Betta's are solitary fish and are very aggressive to other males and females. He's best off and would be happy to just interact with you.

Actually they build bubble nests just because they can, it's a sign they are sexually mature and it's just a natural thing to do, it doesn't necessarily mean they are happy. I've seen plenty of Betta's who build bubble nests in those cups at the store and they certainly aren't happy.

Having a higher quality food would help with the healing, if you are able to get frozen foods that would be good for him, just not for every meal. If you are able to get either Omega One Betta Pellets or New Life Spectrum Betta Pellets that would be best since they've got more nutrients in them that Betta's need, not just protein. pellets are generally easier because they are less messy, just make sure to take out any uneaten food because that could encourage a fin rot infection in him. Also Omega One and NLS are pretty much irresistible to Betta's haha, well actually mine prefer NLS because it has garlic in it which Betta's love and helps ward off internal parasites. But they get a mix of both :)

Also, is your tank cycled at all?
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