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Old 04-28-2009, 01:07 PM   #1 
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Unhappy help, tail gone

I have a beautifull blue male betta (not exactly sure which kind). Mr. Sushi sits on my desk at work. I have had him for a few months now. This morning when I came in he was very lethargic. He usually swims up to say Hi. I thought he had died! My heart went right to my toes. Slowly he wiggle his little side fins. I then noticed that his tail fin is gone! He also has some kind of mark near the back of his head. I have no idea what happened. He is alone. It's looks like someone picked him up and plucked his tail off! I don't see anything amongst the rocks. I have larger ones and thought maybe they got caught. How long would it take for the tail fin to disapear in the water? Will his fin grow back? How can I help him? This afternoon he is at least swimming around more.

I appreciate any advice/help.

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Old 04-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #2 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado
Answer these please...

And a tail can grow back under the proper conditions.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:49 AM   #3 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Can you tell us a little more about your setup? Most of us wouldn't even try to make a diagnosis without first knowing about the conditions that the fish lives in.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:53 AM   #4 
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Join Date: Apr 2009
2 gallons
3 months
No plants
Male Betta
70 temp
No filter
No Co2
Very little natural sunlite
5 days ago, complete change
1 - 2 times a week depending on how the water is looking
Once a day, Wardley Betta Food
No extra lighting
His tail fin was gone overnight
I do not have the equipment to test water
I have always had fish from betta, goldfish, to 100 gallon aquarium tropical tanks, for about 2 yrs. Never had this problem before. He was actually active at the store. Good color & fins in good shape.
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:14 AM   #5 
Join Date: Apr 2008
There's 2 things that stand out to me here.

1) Temp is too cold at 70. I'd get a small heater (25 watt stealth works amazingly for me) and try to bump it up to 80 degrees.

2) Not a big one, but I'd try to do water changes 2x a week and get a test kit for ammonia so that you can make sure that your current regimen is up to par.

If I had to guess, I'd say he probably got stressed and bit his tail. Yes, there are some bettas that are tail biters- I have one myself. The fact that it was gone overnight doesn't make fin rot a real possibility because that's just too fast of an occurance. However, keep an eye on it. If it shows some clear regrowth then he probably just bit it and you'll want to find the trigger that caused him to bite (could be simply because the temp is too low). If it appears to be slowly deteriorating then it may have become infected and you'll want to treat it with some antibiotics. Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:28 PM   #6 
Join Date: Apr 2009
This might be totally absurd... but you said he's in an office setting? Is there a possibility some kind of office mate bumped the tank or... had a small child or... just something and didn't want to own up to it?

Anyway, I have no idea. Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:00 PM   #7 
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Considering the office setting and that you weren't able to see any pieces of his missing tail in the tank anywhere, I'm going with the tail-biting bet. Your betta probably got stressed and attacked his own tail, ripped it off and ate it. What caused the stress attack could have been one of many things, or a combination of them. The cold water, the sudden bright lights going on and off when people show up and leave the office, and/or someone bumbping/tapping the tank ... any of it could have been the cause.

As Kim suggested, get a heater and bump that temp up, a cold betta is an unhappy betta and they are much more prone to disease and anxious behavior (aka tail-biting). Keeping the temp around 78-82 will probably alleviate much of his stress.
Also, dirty water makes a betta much more susceptible to disease, which is something you really need to watch for now that he's missing a tail. So keep up on the water changes, that is the best way to prevent infection.
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:47 PM   #8 
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Chicago
i put a pic of my old betta when he had fin rot in the pics section. You can take a look at that, just to make sure it doesn't look like that. If it does, the other option to being a tail biter would be fin rot, and you'd need to treat that with meds. But fin biting is also an option if it was really long and then gone overnight. However, fin rot can act really quickly too and dissolve a tail in just a few days.
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