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Old 12-15-2011, 05:59 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Virginia
Disappearing Tail

What size is your tank? 1 gallon- temporary housing while I work on dividing a 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 75F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Top Fin pellet, flakes, occasional vegetable material
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice a day


How often do you perform a water change? Every day
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Currently 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime water conditioner, currently also adding salt (3 days into treatment)

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


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins have gone from missing pieces at the edge to missing whole chunks down to the base of the fin
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No change
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Over a month ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Salt treatment, more frequent water changes
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? around 8 months

This damage started out small, with a small section that looked like a shrimp bite several months ago. It appeared to be healing, but then little bits of his fins started looking tattered at the edges. I initially thought he might be biting his fins because he is a rather angry little guy, but then just in the past 2 weeks the damage escalated drastically. Last night part of his dorsal fin just vanished down to the base. There are no discolorations, no indications that he's sick other than his fins just missing. It's reached the point now that I'm very worried, and I fear his fin will not grow back. I don't know if starting the salt treatment triggered the radical loss and if I should stop it immediately.
He is such a beautiful fish that this makes me quite sad. I don't want to move him to the divided tank with my other betta until I find out what is wrong with him, in case it is somehow contagious.

Any dark coloration on the tips is simply shadow from the light I used to photograph with. I've not seen any actual black or bloody tips. He does look a bit bloated in these pictures, but that's not typical for him.

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Old 12-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Shangdong, China
It looks like you have a tail bitter on your hands, especially if you say whole chunks vanished over night. AQ salt will help fight any infection but it can only be used up to 10 days. Too much exposure supposedly can cause liver/kidney damage.

There isn't much you can do to stop the bitting, unless you know what is causing it. If he is bored, try adding new decrations and rearranging his decor. However, if he is biting cause his fins are annoying, not much can be done. Its like humans bitting their finger nails. He can also be bitting because he is angry.

I have a tailbitter, actually two. One is a half moon, the other is a delta tail. I think one bites because he can and the other because he is a nerotic ball of need.

I was hoping that after my female beat the crap out of him, he would leave his fins alone but no, he seems to still be bitting them as soon as they are long enough for him to reach. (same fish as above)

Last edited by Tikibirds; 12-15-2011 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:32 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
You have a tailbiter in you hands who got finrot as a result :(
Check for any stressful things around your tank.
Something as little as the placement of your tank in a high traffic area might stress him out.
You wil need a heater to help him out with the healing, clean water will not be enough because the cold water will slow down his metabolism.

Some HMs just decide their tails are too heavy too swim and will bite it off until they are more comfortable.

Beautiful fish... I love his anal fin!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:44 AM   #4 
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Location: Virginia
I found the most telling piece of evidence tonight... fin-colored poo. He definitely ate his fin, the mean little fish.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:06 PM   #5 
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This is a little frustrating, but I got Lyle a new MiniBow tank because I figured being in the divided would just make him mad all the time. My friend and I went to the store, and when we got back I found this:

The picture quality is not great; he hides from the phone. He's got an odd white streak now just above his eye, and I can't tell if it's from him trying to shove his head into the filter opening, or if he's now got a new disease to add to his problems. He also took off another big chunk of tail while I was gone. If anyone has any suggestions I'm quite desperate. The temperature for him now is 79F, and I stopped adding salt to his water because it only seemed to make him madder.
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