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Old 01-05-2010, 10:36 PM   #1 
1fish2fish
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Need help/ opinions please

Ok.. this is going to be long.. sorry but I'd like to explain everything at once. If you get confused look at my sig its got pics of everyone so you can put a face to the names LOL

Ok so I have freddie (my avatar) who is a chronic tailbiter. No matter what I do he bites. Well I went away for two weeks on christmas and did not feed the fish and only had my roommate check the temps and do a small water change on my 3 gallon.

When I got back both fish (orange one) and Damon (red one) were very thin and discolored. Fish had to be put in my hospital bowl he is so lethargic.. its my fault for not thinking a fish his age would not do as well being neglected so long. (I didn't have anyone trustworthy to feed and clean water). I did big wcs on all tanks and gave a small meal.

Now onto my real story. Freddie looked great. His tail had a lot of new growth on it (its been almost a year of him biting his tail) and his color was good. I fed him etc just like the others and woke up this morning and his tail was shredded once again. (Let me say there is nothing to tear his tail.. I've checked thousands of times).

Why would he be happier with only light from a window and no food than food and light and interaction??? (BTW I've tried numerous things to find the source of the biting.. nothing).

Well now I have this minibow tank that was going to be for blue jeans (blue/white one) but I'm thinking of putting freddie in it and sort of ignoring him to see if he really does like it. I have reservations about taking him out of five gallons and putting him in two but if it makes him happy I'll do it.

Do you think I should down grade Freddie into 2.5 gals and give BJ all 5? Do you see something in my leaving that I could do all the time to keep him happy?

Any advice, tips, questions.. I'll answer. I really want to do something soon.

Thanks... Jackie
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:47 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Maybe Freddy will feel more secure in a smaller tank.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:54 PM   #3 
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Thats what I'm thinking but he was in a 1 gallon bowl when he first started biting.. he's the reason I started upgrading in the first place.

I just don't know. Once fish is doing better (which I hope is soon.. he is my most special boy and I want him to live a very long time) I can try putting him in a 1 gallon again and put it in a corner somewhere and see if he likes it if he does I'll put him in the two gal but the only problem is he won't be in a corner where the tank will have to go he'll be able to see everything.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:15 AM   #4 
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Maybe its the lights. Some bettas hate lights on there tank and do better with just day light.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:42 AM   #5 
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thats another thing.. before when I was trying to find the source of freddie's biting I turned the lights off in the tank for a whole week and he still bit.

Y'all can see why I'm so confused now? I think this neurotic little guy lives to make me go ARGGHHHHH!!!!! LOL
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:55 AM   #6 
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I don't know if you'll ever find out what causes him to bite his tail.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:05 AM   #7 
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Argh i go through the same thing with Frank! Its so frustrating. As soon as his tail grows long enough, he bites it all off again. I've tried everything, but i guess he's a fish that just... enjoys biting his tail. Argh!

Maybe putting him in the 2 gal will make him feel better. Also maybe the temperature has something to do with it? Frank bites his tail more lately since its summer and i have a hard time cooling his tank down.

I'm about as stumped as you are, since i'm dealing with the same problem!
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:09 AM   #8 
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Okay to both of you:

a) I am HIGHLY skeptical of the 'large spaces stress bettas' myth. What a bunch of BS-- we are talking about a fish that lives in flooded fields!!! There is a common mistake that may lead people to think that this is true, unfortunately. Say you originally had your betta in a bowl with a java fern... you could consider that a 'well-planted' aquarium because of all the space that fern takes up in a tiny bowl. So if you move everything to a 5g that little java fern won't take up too much of the tank, will it? You could hardly consider a 5g with a java fern planted at all! Now your betta, who is used to a 'flooded field' habitat with dense vegetation is out in the open and not happy about it! Therefore I would argue that it is not large tanks that irritates bettas, but sparse planting.

b) Lighting can cause some bettas to tail-bite. If you don't believe me just ask why I had to scrap the light on my 2.5g planted X(
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:42 AM   #9 
Zenandra
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What is his setup like? Plants, decorations and such. Is there lots of stuff to keep him entertained? Sometimes bettas tailbite because of stress, sometimes they do it because they're just plain bored. I know a lot of people have had success with tailbiters by constantly moving their tanks around so they have different things to look at, move their decorations around so there's always something new for them to explore.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:31 PM   #10 
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He has been in both a 1 gallon and 10 gal. Before I moved him to the 10 gal I tried several different things in the one.. including but not limited to:
Moving his tank around
Trying light and no light
Trying lots of plants and little plants
Trying gravel, rocks, and bare bottom tank
Changing the way I change his water
changing his water conditoiner
changing his food

... none of that helped so he moved to a 10 gal.

Originally it was FULL of silk plants and places to hide. He had both a cave and a bridge to hide in. He also had several little aquarium decorations that I move around periodically. He still bit.. I tried.
Moving him to the other half of the divided tank
Taking out plants
Moving his decorations/caves around
Feeding him more/ less
Having no direct light
Having a set schedule of what time I fed, turned on the lights, etc
I tried toys like ping pong balls and floating tubes he can swim through
I've tried mirrors for 5mins, 10 mins, all the way up to an hour
I tried a clear divider.. that REALLY didn't work
A pet snail.. he ignores it.
High flow filter
low flow filter
Temps from really cold (his bowl could go down as much to the high 60sF) to temps over 86*F.. of course all of these were tried VERY slowly only going up one degree or so a week.

In my room I've tried not having lights on.. turning off this lamp or that in case he doesn't like one in particular. Moving my furniture. Not keeping my tv on. Not looking at him. etc

The ONLY thing I've noticed that he seems to like is when I go away for a long weekend or something. That is a combo of no food, no light, and no activity in the room. Its impossible for me to never come into my own room but if I move him to the 2.5 I can leave his light off and try feeding him sparsely.

In the end I may never find what causes him to bite... but him letting his tail start to grow (when usually its ALWAYS torn) only when I'm not here is confusing.
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