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Old 11-14-2011, 02:32 PM   #1 
Rjb5584
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Vicious tailbiting

Myates was able to point out a few days ago that what I thought was a bad case of finrot is actually Whitey Bulger biting his tail.

Over the past two or three days, he has eaten just over half his tail. I did daily 100% water changes for somehwere between 7 and 10 days, including salt treatment. The salt treatment stopped at the same time the dramatic increase in tail biting started.

No idea how to proceed from here or how to get him to stop tailbiting. I haven't done water changes for two or three days now, because most of the damage would occur in the cup, but now he is doing it in his every-day tank.

The tank is properly heated, unfiltered, with live plants. It is a 1.5 gallon I got at the beginning of his treatment hoping to reduce his stress (upgraded from the 1g he had been in).

Any suggestions? I'm feelin really bad that I've made his biting worse when I was trying to help relieve it.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:43 PM   #2 
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You know-- I'm not so sure I had the same type of tailbiting Instead of rot.And I used medicine instead of salt.That was six weeks ago--slowly healing. Do you have photo of biting results for me to compare?
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:28 PM   #3 
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The first pic is from when I got him, the second is from a few days ago, and the last is how it was just a few moments ago.

I long for the days in which he looked like he did in the first pic.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:26 PM   #4 
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If he's biting because his tail is too heavy, not much you can do except perhaps give him plenty of resting spots near the surface.
If he's biting because he is bored, however, you can help things by changing his environment round frequently, giving him plenty of betta toys, teaching him tricks and suchlike. He may respond well to a mirror toy for 5 minutes a day, too. :)
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #5 
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Boredom, heavy tail, stress and overly aggression can cause tail biting- it's like us biting our finger nails. It's a bad habit they pick up for one reason or another and to stop it is very hard. Halfmoons like yours are very notorious for biting their own fins.
Just do regular water changes accordingly to your tank each week to prevent rot and he should be fine.
Some ways to try to stop him have been mentioned by Bom :)
Here is a thread about some of the member's tail biters you can check out, share the pain along with the rest of us with tail biters!

Captain: Biting you will see more of small C or U markings at the edges of the fins, sometimes a small V if they pull rather then use their teeth to bite through.
With rot you will see blackened, flaking, crusty type edges, or white puffs of cotton like substance.

Off topic: Rj, what type of plants are those in his tank? Some look to be bamboo.. want to make sure since bamboo shouldn't be in the tank with them.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:05 PM   #6 
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Thanks guys

as far as the bamboo, I heard that so long as the leaves are out of the water and/or not rotting in the water, they were fine. Could that be part of it? I have a least one stalk in each of my tanks and my other guys love it, but definitely don't want this becoming the thing to do for my other guys.

I don't think he's bored--he's always been right next to the tv and very extroverted., getting plenty of reflection-fighting time. As much as I hate to admit it, I think it's probably hereditary or heavy fins. Was hoping predisposition to fin biting didn't mean there'd be nothing I could do to prevent it or help him.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:30 AM   #7 
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The plants wouldn't be causing it, but I would do a little more research with the bamboo just in case.

:( Just means his tail is too heavy for him. Lets hope that in time he grows stronger muscles and will eventually let his fins grow out once more.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #8 
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That lucky bamboo is actually dracaena sanderiana, the house plants you see that are made to look like little palm trees are the same type of plant (dracaena). The leaves don't like to be underwater because they'll rot quicker than the stalk would, and yes they can be toxic to a fish if the leaves or stalk is cut and leaking into the water. If you ever go to a Petsmart/co look for their "bamboo shrimp" in the tanks with the dracaena, there will be more dead than alive :(
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #9 
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I think just to be safe I'll take them out for the time being and put something else in to give him some cover.

Got back last night and he'd started on his dorsal fin too.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:30 AM   #10 
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Those lucky bamboo love a quick draining soil, the kind they use for cacti and citrus trees. You can also make some yourself by mixing regular potting soil with sand or perlite. If the roots are red they're healthy. I would get a nice little container to actually plant them in. They're awesome little plants and are hard to kill (hence why they're popular sold as aquarium plants). Unfortunately I can't tell you which plant to replace those. Possibly Java Fern, or if your water is nice and cool Anacharis (I melted mine sadly so be careful if your water is over 78 degrees).
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