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Old 06-28-2015, 11:21 PM   #1 
thestardustqueen
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New bettas tail is fraying? (I'm back again)

I'm back again. It might be that I'm a bit jumpy, as my previous betta died just a few days ago. I've had my new betta for about 2 days, and today I noticed his tail has begun to fray? When we first got him, his tail was perfectly uniform with no fraying or ripping. He is a Rose Petal Betta, so I don't think he's supposed to have a fraying-type tail? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I don't want to lose another betta, so I'm debating doing either salt or Maracyn 2, depending what might work best!

Before my previous betta passed away, his tail had done the same thing; slowly began to fray until his entire tail fell off and he passed the very next day. I had done 7 days of salt (did nothing) and one day of Maracyn 2 before he passed away, so I'm a bit concerned!!

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5gal
What temperature is your tank? 79F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon Betta Food (pellets), and I'm going to slowly introduce him to the Aqueon Betta Treat Freeze-dried bloodworms and Tetra BettaMin Tropical Medley flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily, except Saturdays

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API StressCoat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: ~7.5
Hardness: 80 (closer to soft)
Alkalinity: 120 (ideal, according to the test parameters)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Tail began to fray slightly
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all; he's still very energetic and eating well
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today (6-28-15)
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? ~4 months (estimation)

I don't know what I'm doing wrong :( I've lost two fish in the last 6 months, and now my brand new betta seems to be sick too? I really hope I'm just overreacting!

He moves pretty quickly (lots of energy!!) so it was difficult to get a picture, but here's the best one I was able to get:



The fraying is on the very back of his tail. Once again, thank you so much for any advice!
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:32 PM   #2 
Strawberry12
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He's biting his tail, unfortunately that happens a lot with rosetails as they're so heavy to lug around, but even my plakat does it. See how they're sort of U shaped? That's a betta mouth.

It's frustrating, but honestly as long as he's eating and being his normal self, there's not much you can do about it other than keep his water extra clean to ward off infection. There's no proven reason why they do it, he may just be stressed because he's new, but it's basically just a crapshoot trying to figure out why.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:58 PM   #3 
Elleth
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Totally agree with Strawberry. I will add that in a 2.5, two water changes per week are most likely needed.

A bit off topic, but is this guy in the same tank as the previous two had been? And did you clean it at all before adding a new fish, if it is the same tank?
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:17 AM   #4 
thestardustqueen
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Tail biting won't kill him, right? Is there anything I can do to ease his discomfort or make the transition easier on him?

Yes, it's the same tank, but I cleaned it VERY thoroughly before adding the new fish. Different water, different decorations, etc. The only toy he has that's leftover from the last fish is the leaf hammock, but we also scrubbed that. Everything is shiny and new and clean to the best of my ability. I'll definitely try doing more frequent water changes, if you think it'll help him. He does have a filter, so the tank stays pretty clean, but if the water is stressing him out, then of course I will clean more often :)

Thank you so much for your quick replies! I feel a little better now :)
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:21 AM   #5 
Strawberry12
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Nope, it won't kill him as long as no infection sets in or anything. When I bring a new guy (or gal!) home I try to keep the tank dark for a few days, but other than that I let it run its course. it's sort of the fish equivalent of biting their nails :)

Did you only clean the tank out with water after the other one passed, or did you use alcohol, bleach, or vinegar?

Since it's a new tank (for him), don't be surprised if you need to do water changes every couple days or so to keep the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates in check until it's cycled.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:33 AM   #6 
thestardustqueen
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I'll try keeping the light off for a few days and see if that helps calm him a bit :) And no, I only cleaned with water. I didn't even know you could use anything else! I think I was told once not to use soap, so I switched to just rinsing with hot, hot water. Our tap water is very high in chlorine, so we just ran it hot for about 5 minutes in the tank. We typically use a 1:3 mixture of tap:spring water in the betta tank, to minimize the chlorine. I'm keeping a very close eye on the ammonia in the tank, and I'll definitely do changes as necessary :)
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:33 AM   #7 
Bedhead
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Our new betta has been nibbling his own fins a bit. We noticed that he was getting a bit stressed about his own reflection in the tank side if the room was darker than the tank. We've switched to using Stress coat as our water conditioner to help his fins grow back, and have added a load more live plants (it's like a jungle in his tank now lol). We're also leaving his light off unless the room is very bright. We had seen a bit more nibbling every day over the last few days, but since the changes to his environment yesterday he doesn't seem to have done it again, so hopefully giving him lots of cover has made him feel more secure.
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