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Old 09-29-2011, 06:36 PM   #1 
audjree's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
So Frustrated.

so, i haven't really been posting due to school, but my little red has become a tail biter, nothing really major. i check everyday to make sure his tail is okay, and there's usually only a few little nips here and there.

he started tail biting around 3 weeks ago, i'm not really sure of the reason why. about two weeks ago, he got his dorsal and caudal fins cut on a plant, his dorsal was almost torn in half, but now they're healing quite nicely. i took anything in the tank that i suspected was sharp out (even though i did test everything), so now there's nothing that can tear his fins.

but, i come home from school today, and this is what i see:

i was just horrified. it looks horrible, and it really just makes me sad. there's nothing in his tank that can tear his fins, so could this be from tailbiting? overflaring? he barely flares at anything.

ugh, it's just frustrating. what do you guys think i should do? or can do? he can't be happy with his tail like that. :/
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
It definitely looks like tail biting in a lot of the areas. They bite due to stress, boredom, or heavy tails usually. What size tank is he in, and how often are the water changes? Other then the removing of some plants, anything different you've done, given/taken lately? He is a lovely fish, don't want to ruin any more of his pretty fins =(
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:15 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southern California
he's in a 2.5 gallon, and i do two water changes per week: 1 50% and 1 100%.

other than taking two of the plants out, the only thing i've recently added is a marimo moss ball. and he just completely ignores it. and once a week when i do his 100% water change, i move the decor around a bit, just to spark his interest to deter him from tailbiting, because i've heard that it may work sometimes.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:41 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Savannah, GA
How long do you flare him every day? IME one of the best ways to deter fin biting is to let them flare for 10-20 minutes every day.

Does he have a cave? If so I would remove it. Chronic tail biters will go into their caves and turn their bodies in the tight spaces to get better leverage and bite more of their fins.

Things to try.. do each of these separately because what you want to do is try to locate the trigger of the biting.
Try more water changes
Try leaving the tank dark if it has a light on it
Try covering up all but one side of the tank with black construction paper
add floating toys to spark his interest
change the times you feed
change how many meals you feed a day
change your food

Look back and try to remember when he started biting, try to think if anything changed. Get your water tested to see if perhaps the city water has added more chemicals.

Tail biting is a pain. But IME most fish have a trigger and if you can find that trigger you can rectify the situation. However some fish are chronic tail biters and you just have to accept that nothing you can do will change it and keep up with water changes. I had a fish like that who was a happy fish in every respect, he just believed he was meant to be a PK and not a VT.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #5 
Join Date: Jan 2011
My fish tailbites aswell. He stopped for a while, but i recently did a complete tank reno with new water (of couse, some old water aswell) And he started again. It may well be boredom, and it does ruin his gorgeous finnage, but i dont think there is anything i can do about it. I love him just the same - though i had heard adding a small amount of dechlorinator does help, it reduces stress somehow?

good luck!
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