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Old 03-11-2010, 09:42 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Tail biting??

I think Andrew might be biting his tail, but I'm not sure. I do know that half of it is gone, though. I was reading a little about tail biting, and I understand that some bettas bite their tails when they don't get enough attention. I admit that I haven't been giving him as much attention as I'd like to lately, because I've had a hectic schedule and just got back to town after being gone for two days. I'm just not sure if that's what it is, or if it's something else that is causing his tail to slowly disappear. He seems to be very social, so I can buy into believing that he's lonely and bored and wants more attention (he's always so excited to see me or anyone else in my room). So, how do I know for sure that he's biting his tail, and how do I go about fixing it? Right now, he's in a 5 gallon tank. I last changed his water 50% on Thursday, 04 March (it's been a while, I know, but I'm planning on changing it again this weekend, 100% this time). He seemed happy before, when I had lots of time to stare at him and watch him play. His tail didn't start to disappear until I was suddenly busy and not home as often as I was before.

Edit: I also just noticed something else. I was about to go to bed, and I turned the light off (but left Andrew's tank light on, as he seems to be happier with it on sometimes). When I went to turn the tank light off, I noticed that Andrew was kind of freaking out, swimming around with his fins all flared out and whatnot. But the strange thing about it was that only half of his face fins (sorry, I'm not familiar with the technical terms for the different fins) were flared out. He puffed his face out, and only half of the fins from underneath flared out. Is that normal? I've never seen that before. Also, he started freaking out and flipping back and forth when he swam near the filter. He stopped doing all that as soon as I turned my bedroom light back on, so maybe he was freaking out at a reflection on the glass of himself? Wierd. Anyone know what's going on, or have any advice for me?

Last edited by honeyfish; 03-11-2010 at 09:55 PM. Reason: more info.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:01 PM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canada
In terms of only puffing one side of his gills, that is normal, sometimes my males will puff lazily and half heartedly and they do the same thing. He was probably looking at his reflection or perhaps you startled him by accident if he was in a sleeping state or something. I would not be worried about this behaviour. It would be best to make sure when he does that though he isn't trying to rub up against objects on purpose a lot, that could be an indication that he has external parasites.

In terms of his tail, it could be biting, or perhaps fin rot. Normally biting will remove large chunks of the tail at times. Fungal fin rot will have white edges and bacterial fin rot will cause the ends of the fins to look ragged and uneven with sometimes black on the edges.

If you find he is tail biting I would try providing him with more plants and objects in his tank perhaps or placing another betta...female perhaps beside his tank would prevent him from getting bored.

If you suspect fin rot you could try salt baths, or in severe cases buy medication. I would try salt baths for a few days first and gauge whether or not there are improvements. If there is none go with medications. But be cared they deplete oxygen from the water so it would be best to have some sort of aeration or at least change the water each day during that time.
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