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Old 01-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #1 
lafaye247
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Question Tail Biting?? Ideas, please!

Hi. I have a crown-tail betta named Rooster. We've had him for about 6 months now and up until a few weeks ago he was in a one gallon acrylic aquarium. A few weeks ago we moved him to a 5 gallon glass aquarium which he loves. About a week after he got moved into the new aquarium, I noticed that most of his tail was missing (this happened in the span of a day or so). I panicked, but then read online that sometimes they bite their own tails. I noticed, then, that he was staring at his reflection, but I have not ever seen him fight his reflection. I tried to put up a background, but he went crazy and couldn't calm down. So, now I have up dark construction paper on 3 sides of the aquarium to help with the reflection. However, he can still see his reflection when I have the aquarium light on and all he will do is sit in the corner and stare at himself. Then I notice that the little bit that had grown back on his tail is gone. Now I have to leave the light off so that he doesn't see his reflection. Is there something else I can do?? His tail was so long and beautiful, and now it's so short! I've been changing his water frequently and treating it with Stress Coat to prevent infection, but I don't know how to keep him from fighting his reflection. I would really like to have the light on for him during the day, but as soon as I turn it on, he races back to that corner to stare. Help me please!! Any ideas on what else I can try??
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:12 PM   #2 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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Flaring is normal for bettas since they are fighting fish. I haven't heard of crowntails biting at their fins. It could be fin rot. Have you actually seen him bite it? He'll go around like a dog chasing his tail. The only bettas that I've had to deal with biting their tails is veiltails and deltas. I would take down the construction paper and leave the tank without a background.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #3 
lafaye247
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I don't think it's fin rot because it happened over the course of a day. His tail was fine and then bam! gone! :( Then it started to grow back a little and I came back home after work and it was gone again! I have seen him swing back like he was trying to bite it, I've just never seen it actually in his mouth.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #4 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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Is there anything he could catch it on? Sharp plant? Sometimes once fin rot progresses it can get nasty.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #5 
lafaye247
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Nope, there's nothing sharp in there. I just took the construction paper down and turned on the light and as soon as I did he went straight to the side, starting fighting his reflection (not just flaring....biting at the tank too) and then swung around several times to bite his tail. He just can't reach it right now because it's too short.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:28 PM   #6 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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Ok, so he is a tail bitter. Little bugger.lol I get so annoyed when my boys do that. What is the temperature of the water? What size tank do you have? Do you have a lot of silk plants for him to hide in and caves?
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:34 PM   #7 
lafaye247
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He's in a 5 gallon aquarium. It has a heater that keeps the water at 78 degrees. We have two kind of medium sized silk plants in there and a cave and another smooth decoration that he can get in to hide. should i get more plants? That was my next idea...to try to get a few more (maybe taller) silk plants to put in there on the side that seems to be driving him crazy. He really only does all this craziness on one side of the tank...so weird! He is our first betta, and we love him! I hate seeing his beautiful tail so short! :(
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:44 PM   #8 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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Ok, you have a great set up for him. I was thinking about putting a plant up against the side that drives him crazy also. You could that. I've heard of people drawing with erasable markers all over the tank to distract them from biting. Or putting a tank with a female up against his tank or in the tank divided. I gave my best friend one of my fish that was a horrible tail biter and she put the christmas card that I got her up against the tank because it was all different colors.lol Some have also put action figures or stuffed animals up against the tank. You could try all different things. Thankfully the tail will grow back. The one that my best friend has will probably always bite his tail no matter what. It's kind of like us biting our fingernails when we're upset or nervous.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:46 PM   #9 
lafaye247
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thank you for your suggestions and help!! i like the fingernail analogy :) that is so true! we're going to the store tomorrow to look for some more plants for Rooster...hopefully we can distract him!
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:52 PM   #10 
BettaxFishxCrazy
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Lol thanks! :) Good luck!!
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