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Discussion Starter #1
I posted a couple of weeks ago about how my betta's tail was decreasing in size and fraying, and I though it was fin rot. But my ammonia readings remained at 0 and I was doing regular water changes, so I didn't understand why I'd have a problem in my 5 gallon filtered, heated tank.

Some users on here thought it was tail biting, so I added additional plant cover to the tank and got Juices a mystery snail to alleviate possible boredom. Juices' tail continues to deteriorate (there's a bigger split appearing in the top middle of the fin), and the mystery snail is also somewhat inactive and has left a slime print on the tank, which I've been reading is a sign of being irritated by ammonia. But my ammonia readings are still 0!

Is it possible there's something in our tap water, even after conditioned, that is causing rot/snail agitation? I can't think of anything else. I've attached new pics of Juices so you can see if you still think it looks like tail biting (I've never seen him go for his tail). Thank you!
 

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Personally, I think that looks like tail biting. I have owned several long-finned males that bit their fins, and only once, did I ever catch one of them in the act, and this was a fish that regularly chewed his fins down to stubs.

So just because you don't see them biting, doesn't mean they aren't. They can create a great deal of damage to their fins, in a very short span of time.

Unfortunately, some males bite their fins no matter what changes you make to their environment. It could simply be that the weight/drag of such abnormally long finnage is the trigger.

Otherwise, you mention ammonia. Do you know what your nitrite levels are?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nitrite is also at zero. It just makes me wonder if something is going on with the water since the snail seems possibly sensitive too.
 

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Doesn't look like rot, you would see a black lining on his tail-edge if it was. Reminds me of when my DTHM started biting (never physically saw him do it, but it was the only thing I could point to), only his back fin would start fraying while the anal and dorsal remained perfectly intact. Looks to be the same with your guy.

Not sure as to why your snail is sluggish though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your take on it. The snail is still somewhat new to the tank, so maybe s/he's just getting used to it? The betta also harasses the snail, so maybe s/he's keeping a low profile.
 

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Thanks for your take on it. The snail is still somewhat new to the tank, so maybe s/he's just getting used to it? The betta also harasses the snail, so maybe s/he's keeping a low profile.
Not uncommon, I actually have a snail who hadn't came out of his shell for a week after my betta bit at him (even thought he was dead) until today I found him sifting about in the sand in a new location. If your betta is vigorously attacking him you may have to relocate him to another tank, but curiosity or an occasional poke shouldn't be much to worry about.
 

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+1 to @Crash. A little poking and flaring at a new snail is to be expected, especially at first, but if the betta keeps doing it, that'll definitely stress your snail out.

Also may want to test your water hardness. If your water is too soft, snails don't get the calcium they need to keep their shells healthy. To my knowledge, soft water doesn't caused stressed behavior (just shell damage over time) but may be worth checking on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As of yesterday, Juices' tail now has a stiff appearance as though he has glue binding it together. Having a really hard time thinking this is just fin biting!
 

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Post current photos, please. From the photos above it is fin biting. However, what started out as fin biting may have turned into something else. Did you add Seachem Stress Guard or anything like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here are pictures from tonight. This is about as wide as he'll fan his tail. When he turns, it has a real stiffness.

Oh, and I added a bit of Stress Coat this morning, just in case that would help.
 

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