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Old 05-17-2011, 05:05 PM   #1 
cadi731
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Question about Tail Biting?

My little VT idiot has been nipping at his tail. I know he is, because I've already seen him with fin rot, and what it looks like when he tears it on something. He's definitely biting, but I haven't actually caught him doing it yet.

Anyway, I came home from school today to find the edges of his tail ragged looking, again. In early April, he tore his tail on one of his old plastic plants I don't put in there anymore. It grew back about half way, and he ate off the edges so his tail was almost completely even again. It was all growing back nicely, until today.

I'm not sure if he's doing it because it's too heavy for him, he's bored, or he just likes to do this to me. :\ Little jerkface.

Is there anything I can do to stop him, or just leave him be? I don't want him to end up eating all of his tail, if it ever gets that bad. His tail is still pretty long, but still...
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #2 
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It's not as easy as just stopping them from biting. You can do things to try and prevent him from biting, but the reason for his chewing is the key. If it is boredom then you need to change up the tank, move around his plants etc, change the decor outside of his tank. However if stress is the reason, then you need to leave things the same, keep it dark and quiet.
Of course there is the possibility he's biting because he thinks his fins are too heavy/long. In that case there's nothing you can do but treat with lots of clean water and try to prevent fin rot.
Tail biters, I swear it's there way of getting attention.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:24 PM   #3 
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I really doubt it's because he's stressed. He's the happiest, most active little guy I've ever seen. And he gets plenty of attention, except for when I'm gone for 8 hours every morning due to school. I plan on rearranging his set up over the weekend, when I do a 100% change. I got him a couple new plants when I did the last 100% change, and I moved his cave to the other side of the tank. I don't think he was too happy about that. :\ He hasn't gone in it since.

Hopefully he'll knock it off when I put his cave back where it was and put a new filter cartridge in there. He likes playing with the current, but now that it's about time to change the cartridge, it's not as strong. :\

Needy fish. Stop being so needy and attention hoggin', will ya? D:
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:33 PM   #4 
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I have a fish..he bites if hes stressed...he bites if hes bored...sometimes if he sees me pick up the food container he gets too excited and bites... So frustrating...
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:18 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlebittyfish View Post
I have a fish..he bites if hes stressed...he bites if hes bored...sometimes if he sees me pick up the food container he gets too excited and bites... So frustrating...
+1
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:36 PM   #6 
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Definitely try checking your water parameters (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate). This is often an overlooked cause for tail-biting. I have a boy who I* think* is biting his tail (he arrived in the mail with a chunk missing!) And I've since upped his water changes and no missing fin pieces since! :) Good luck-tail biting is extremely frustrating!
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:00 PM   #7 
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His temperature is usually at a steady 76. My heater doesn't seem capable of making it any warmer :\ And my house has been pretty cold lately.

His ammonia's okay. I've never had any issues with him before, and I've always done water changes the same. 50%, sometimes a bit more, one week, then a full change the next.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #8 
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Hmm...you can try frozen foods (once a week is good), try putting more caves (I use pvc pipes..just sand the edges smooth) or more plants (silk or live is best). My guy loves exploring every nook and cranny. I also allow him to see another male for a short period of time every day (I think it relieves his boredom?) And he makes fabulous bubble nests and doesn't chew his tail... So maybe pictures of females near his tank will work LOL.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:12 PM   #9 
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xDD I'll try putting a mirror beside his tank for a couple of minutes everday, maybe. I don't have any other fish, other than him.
The dummy can't make bubblenests, because he seems to want them by the filter and they keep getting blown away.
His tank already has a couple of silk plants in there. I'm going to scatter the removable leaves a bit too, so they're not in just one big, cluttered spot like they are.
He has a 5 gallon with a heater, about an inch, maybe half inch of marbles/gravel/pebbles, a cave, an exterior filter that has a sponge baffle on the intake so he won't get sucked up, a big silk plant, a floating log, and a really soft rubbery anemone thing he likes to hide in the middle of. There's a fake lilypad floating up at the top of the water too, but he doesn't even notice it's there half the time.
I'm going to rearrange his tank a bit when I do the 100% change this weekend, and move his cave back to where it used to be, move the silk plant where his cave is right now, and scatter some of the leaves all over the tank. What do you think I could use to tie them together? Would thread work, or is it possible that could hurt him somehow, if it's not completely covered with gravel? It probably will be, but still... >w>;
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:57 PM   #10 
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My friend was telling me that he had pictures of female bettas, and bettas spawning done up as a background when he had one. If I wasn't worried he was a stress biter I'd try it out. That and I like to see everything
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