I currently have 2 betta fish (Loki and Imugi) in 2 separate .5 gallon bows. I know, I know....they will be in a divided 5 gallon tank starting next weekend, filtered and everything.
Since I plan on creating a divider out of bamboo poles and a plastic mesh in the center for some view, I figured I try to get them to see each other bit by bit to get get used to their new divided tank home. I placed the current bowls next to each other with a plastic cardboard blocking all but a small view. They seemed to flare at each other but did so sparingly. I did this for a few days just to get them used to seeing each other.
Last night I removed the cardboard since they didn't seem to go all crazy anymore even with full view of each other. But when I woke up this morning, about HALF of Imugi's tail is gone! He's a VT, and used to have very long beautiful shiny blue tail and now it looks like it's all been ripped, as if Loki jumped into his bowl .5 feet away, bit him up and jumped back into his own bowl. There are no holes in the center...all the damage is at the ends of his tail and I can see the fins still sticking out but with much of the skin between the fins gone. It's like he wants to be a crowntail LOL!
Anyway, I placed the cardboard back since I figured he's been biting his own tail during flaring. The other one is fine...nothing unusual and building bubble nests. Imugi's behavior hasn't changed either, still eating normally and building a rival bubble nest as if he's competing with Loki on who can build a bigger bubble nest.
Is it highly unusual for a betta to bite of his own tail when flaring for too long? I'm rethinking the design of my future 5 gallon tank divider so that it will have no view whatsoever. I want his tail to grow back, if ever.
Thanks for any thoughts and advice! Rebukes and scoldings are welcome as well :)