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Old 12-01-2010, 10:34 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Is this tail/fin rot?

Poseidon lives alone in a filtered five gallon tank. In his tank I use tap water, conditioner and aquarium salt. Also, if and when I remove him from the tank, I scoop him out with a cup instead of a net to avoid scraping his fins.

A few weeks ago I started noticing what appeared to be tears in his tail. I was hoping the condition would heal and that he may have just torn it. But instead, his condition has gradually gotten much worse, and there are large chunks of his tail missing.

I talked to the Petco manager about this (who did not actually see the fish, but just gave me his advice). He said that if the tail appears to be 'melting' away, or if it has red or white around the cuts that it is something to be concerned about.

His tail doesn't quite appear to be's more like someone has chopped off the chunks with scissors, leaving very rough-cut edges. There is no red or white anywhere around the cuts, however.

I would post a picture if it were possible, but at the moment I don't have a camera available to use. Does this description sound like tail/fin rot?
If so, what is the next step I should take in order to treat him?
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:43 AM   #2 
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Rough, choppy edges sounds more like tail biting to me... I know you can't get a picture, but when you can, please post it! Some bettas literally get bored or go crazy and eat their own fins.

I would just add aquarium salt for no more than 10 days to treat for now... And up your water changes a bit to prevent infections and such.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #3 
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Location: NW Connecticut
Do you always add aquarium salt? Since bettas are freshwater fish it's actually better to save salt as a treatment.

Sounds like tail biting -or- that he's ripping his fins on something in the tank. Do you have plastic plants or decorations with sharp edges? Both things cause major damage to delicate fins.

Some bettas just bite out of habit, others bite when something is bothering them... when something is off in Nettle's tank he bites his tail, but when everything is normal he leaves it alone.

edit; Also, is the current from the filter too much for him? I just realized he's a Halfmoon... since their fins are so heavy often they'll bite them away to make it easier to swim. Can you try baffling the filter to ease the outflow?
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