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Old 08-16-2011, 02:06 AM   #1 
mookeeful
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Unhappy I don't know what to do about Mojo Jojo's tail :(

So not yesterday but the day before, I noticed that Mojo's tail & upper fin were looking a bit ragged. He was my first betta (just purchased about 2 months ago) so when we set up his tank accessories, they probably weren't the "best". We still had 2 plastic plants in there. They weren't terribly rough, but for one with such a fluttery tail, I could see how they might damage him a bit -- especially since he either sleeps against his plants, in his cave, or literally on his side on the gravel surface. So in order to soften up his environment, we went out & got silk plants to replace the plastic ones, the polished rock gravel since the exterior is more smooth, & also a bigger cave so as to reduce/eliminate any possible scraping that would occur. I did a 100% water change for him when rearranging his tank & even added some AQ salt just to be safe. Today, his fins are looking far more ragged and there is even a slightly different color around the edges. Does this look like possible tail biting (which I have never seen him do) or is this the starting stages of fin rot? What should my next steps be? He doesn't seem as playful as normal, but he is not exactly lethargic either....Here are 2 pics just taken a few moments ago. The first really shows the ragged-ness of his fin/tail and the second better shows the slight discoloration. I just don't know what to do!

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 gallon filtered tank.
What temperature is your tank? 80 F.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Not currently since our house is keeping the tanks at a steady 80 - when the temp drops we will be getting heaters for them all.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets 1 in AM, 2 in PM 42% protein (with some frozen brine shrimp mixed in about once a week)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice daily.

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 1 50% weekly, 1 100% monthly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? De-chlorinator/conditioner plus PH down when applicable (our tap is above the charts untreated on PH tests).

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

Ammonia: None*
Nitrite: None*
Nitrate: None*
pH: 7.0 - 7.2
Hardness: None*
Alkalinity: None*
* Our Ammonia test kit thingy does this stuff in like a 5-in-1 test.

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? SEE ABOVE
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? SEE ABOVE
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The day before yesterday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 100% water change, AQ salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not since I purchased him.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I have no clue!
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:04 AM   #2 
earthworm88
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Hi Mookeeful,
Sorry to hear about your Mojo's tail. What a handsome boy! If you are seeing discoloration on the edges of the ragged fins, it is possible that he may be having an onset of fin rots. How much AQ salt are you using now in his 5gal tank? It's easier to manage in a 1 gal QT tank to make daily water change with the AQ mix. Do you have stress-coat too?
No worries, the experts will be coming to your rescue soon!
Cheers!
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:49 AM   #3 
Sakura8
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Is Mojo a halfmoon by any chance, or a halfmoon doubletail? HMs are incredibly prone to fin raggedness because their tails are the most fragile and delicate of all tail forms. My HM Sherman has fins that look literally frayed at the edges despite everything I've done to heal them up (including an expensive vitamin supplement, grr). I can't quite see the discoloration in the second pic so I can't tell if there's black or not. Fin rot is usually characterized by black edges and large parts of the fins falling off in chunks or seeming to melt off - you'll often find pieces of fin on the bottom of the tanj. It looks to me like Mojo has the tears characteristic of a betta with a big, full tail (ie, halfoon or doubletail).

I would do as earthworm suggests and put him in a 1 gallon container for QT treatment. It is 1 tsp of aquarium salt per gallon, pre dissolve the salt beforehand. Use the salt for 10 days. If you have Stress Coat, definitely use it. Also feed a high protein diet with lots of live or frozen foods to help speed the healing.

Also, try not to mess with the pH much. Unless your pH is sky high like 8.0 or above, it's best to have a steady but slightly higher pH than a wildly fluctuating one as you try to get it down to a lower level.

Mojo sure is a cutie and such a beautiful blue color. I hope his fins heal up super fast.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:54 AM   #4 
Silverfang
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I believe I can see the dark edge, but from the first photo I believe I See some tail biting on the top fin (sorry I'm terrible with the correct names).
Clean water treatment like earthworm suggested is best.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:11 PM   #5 
mookeeful
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TY guys for your replies!!!
@earthworm: I currently did 1tsp/5gallon - but only on the water change I performed on Saturday. I didn't change & add because at first it was such a little change, I just assumed that it was due to a little scraping from his environment.
@Sakura: Mojo is for certain a DT, but I am not sure if he is a HM. When I first joined the forum, everyone had said it was hard to tell since the pics I have do not show him flared, and the truth is - he just doesn't flare...at all...ever. He literally swims away from his own reflection and I would swear if he could talk he would be screaming "RUN AWAY!!!!" because he is just so docile & chill. When I walk in the room he literally shakes his butt like a little puppy. He definitely has a very delicate looking tail. The dark edges that I was referring too definitely is a slight coloration change, & I really wasn't too concerned on Saturday because he has just been turning to a darker color all around; it was just in conjunction with the now ragged tail that had me start to wonder if I possibly discounted it too early... and I have never seen fin rot so I just didn't know what I am to be looking out for.
@Silverfang: I most certainly am horrible with the proper verbiage myself!!!! I was thinking some fin biting too...

..or 2 other possible things: no matter how big of a cave I get for his tank, I noticed JUST this morning that he still seems to enter just high enough to scrape the top surface of the entry even though he could easily swim a tad lower and be fine. Do you think I should just remove all caves form his tank once I get him healed up? (He will be heart broken since its his favorite spot - ever - but I don't want him to be in pain either) or is it a possibility that my cat is stressing him out? Last week I just moved all of the boys to the living room so we could interact with them more frequently and we also noticed that my cat tends to sit directly in front of his tank most frequently. Ugh, I just got Swifty all back to normal and now we get Mojo to QT!!!! I feel like such a bad fish mommy since it seems no matter what someone's distressed in solitary confinement!

I will get Mojo into a QT as soon as I eat (I just walked in the door and just had to see what you guys thought). I will also pick up some stress coat tomorrow - one of the few things my arsenal doesn't contain. Thanks again guys!
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:22 AM   #6 
Sakura8
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Judging from the pics, I would say halfmoon doubletail. Gorgeous, gorgeous guy but with a fragile tail. At this point I am going to say it's normal wear and tear for a delicate tail like his because the discoloration doesn't sound like fin rot. It would be an unmistakable black.

You could try removing his cave and putting a terra cotta flower pot in there instead, or a clean coffee mug. I got a very small (betta cave size) terra cotta pot at my Michael's craft store for 99 cents. It would provide him with a place to hide but have smoother edges.

And no way are you a bad fish mommy! You take GREAT care of your bettas! Like I said, HMs and doubletails have fragile tails that rip a lot, nothing you can do about it. And I know your bettas love you.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:05 AM   #7 
earthworm88
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Ditto what Sakura said

Part of the fun is to figure out the type of personality your betta has and generally not one are exactly alike (within your keep). As Sakura mentioned, certain types are more prone to tail biting and such, you get to enjoy their amazing finnage, but yet you have to worry more about them.

Mojo sounds so docile and peaceful, and I could imagine he would be even more breathtaking if he flares. He probably thinks it's way too much effort to be lifting all those yards and yards of fins plus he is already parading around looking grand anyways, so why bother lol

I hope he heals up soon and no more tail tearing/biting or anything with him

Cheers!
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:01 AM   #8 
mookeeful
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Awwwe, well thanks guys!!! Its funny too, because even after purchasing my others after him, I have yet to see another blue one like him! (locally at least) He is super peaceful & your right too - to him that much fin would be the equivalent of yards!!! I will go and get him a softer cave today!!! I ended up just doing a water change & adding the AQ sat to his tank because he was just far too stressed for far too long in a QT tank. It was literally hours of stress lines and I started to think that if it is from biting & not scraping, the last thing I probably wanted to do is keep him stressed. All of my others don't like being in temp tanks either (I mean, who would) but they deal with it... Mojo seems to just utterly & completely freak out by it. So yeah, he's home with AQ salt. Anyhow, thanks for all of your help guys!
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:23 PM   #9 
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No problem. And you made the right call. QT doesn't do a bit of good if it makes him more stressed than just being in his own bachelor pad.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:55 PM   #10 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura8 View Post
No problem. And you made the right call. QT doesn't do a bit of good if it makes him more stressed than just being in his own bachelor pad.
Yeah - that's kind of what I was thinking... TY Sakura!!!
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