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Old 07-16-2013, 11:22 PM   #1 
CooperS
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Question Can biting cause frayed fins?

Hi,

I have had an ongoing problem for several months not with my VT male, Marlin. I have posted several threads and tried several solutions to no avail. I keep him in 2.5 gallon tank at 78F with a grated top. The water gets changed 2-3 times a week: 100% once a week, 50% the other times.

His tail started off frayed then heals pretty well (you can see a see-through tail starting to rebuild) but then in a week he'll be right back at square one. At first I thought it was water conditions so I have been using Melafix and API stress coat. Then I thought it was decor, but he ONLY has a silk plant (and a heater) in his tank at the moment. I think originally he may have ripped a fin on a plastic plant I had, but I don't know why it's not healing after I have taken it out.

I am really at a loss. I didn't think tail biting caused fins to become frayed (I thought it only took whole chunks out). Could this be the problem? If so, I don't know why he'd be biting, because he seems happy (eats, builds bubble nests, etc). Sometimes the fins look red (as they do in the picture, but most of the time they do not)

What should I do? Should I use AQ salt? Should I keep using Melafix and stress coat? Could pH or water hardness be the cause?

ANY help is appreciated, thank you.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:42 AM   #2 
shellieca
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First the Melafix is advised not to be used for a Betta, it is said that the tea tree oil can coat their labrynith organ & cause death. Second the picture is too blurry to clearly see the damaged fins well but from what I can see there doesn't appear to be anything to worry about. I can't see any fin rot & it doesn't look like tail biting. Personally I have come to the conclusion with my long finned guys that they're fins will never be perfect so unless I see something like fin rot I let them be. Hard water can cause some fin curling. If you can post a clearer pic, one not so close up we might be able to better see what's going on.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #3 
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Hi,

Sorry, I'm having a little trouble getting a better picture. All I have is my phone and the quality isn't good at all. All I can say is that there is no black coloring as seen in fin rot, it just looks very frayed. There isn't just one tear, there are several of them across the rear fin, and only on the rear fin.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:29 PM   #4 
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Sometimes from flaring, the fins can rip. Does he flare a lot? Is there another male nearby? Can he see his reflection?
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #5 
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He does seem to flare a lot, that's just his nature. But would that really cause his rear fin to shred? There are no other fish nearby.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #6 
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@ Lamb, what fins typically tear the most easily with excessive flaring?
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #7 
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I'm no expert, but I've read that tearing is common with betta when they flare. The caudal seems to be the most effected, or at least that's what I've been seeing on posts and on other sources. Maybe someone with experience with it will chime in.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:43 PM   #8 
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Bettas with long flowy fins usually bite or when they flare excessively, tear or rip them. This usually happens with HM, DeT, SDeT, VT, and especially DTs. Warm clean water will heal those fins in no time! (:
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #9 
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I can't tell anything from the picture, but....

Fin rot - look for edges that are dark, discolored or "smudged."

Tail biting - look for U-shaped chunks missing, with no discoloration.

Fin tearing/ripping - look for splits, as it cut with scissors, with no discoloration.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:54 AM   #10 
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I think the way OP described it sounds like it's from flaring... even IF it's "their nature" to flare, maybe he sees his reflection too much and is full flaring too much.

Last edited by Lamb; 07-19-2013 at 06:06 AM.
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