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Hello fellow betta lovers! I have fin issues and am completely stumped as to what I can do the help my fish. My tank is a 20 long, divided into three parts. Both end sections have corner filters with lite air flow and the center has a sponge filter. All sections are planted. The center section houses four small females who all seem to be thriving. The plants are thriving. I even put a few tiger nerite snails in to help with algae, and they're doing great! The tank seems to be doing well - with the exception of my two HM males. Their long, beautiful caudal fins are quite literally falling off in chunks. A section of fin breaks away from the body and just falls off. (Please see pictures as I was able to catch a perfect example) Both males suffer the same symptoms, though they are still eating well and are active.

Has anyone seen this before? Is there something I can do? I have have treated one male with Seachem's "KanaPlex" and thought it was helping but once I removed the fish and put him back in the tank his pelvic fins got curly and tattered looking. Then the second male developed the same caudal fin issue. They are both now isolated as I comb through betta forums in search of help.

It may or may not be worth mentioning that I have recently moved (purchased the bettas after the move), and have noticed the tap water where I now live is quite hard, much more so then where I was before. All other water parameters seem to be perfect.

If anyone has experience with this issue please let me know. I really want to help these fish.


How many gallons is your tank? 20
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 79F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes, all very low flow
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Yes ; 20 gal long tank is divided (with drilled dividers) into three parts. In the center is four females, either end housing one male each and each section has two tiger nerite snails.

What food brand do you use? Hikari and San Fran Bay
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets and Frozen (bloodworms)
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Twice a day, 4-5 pellets am , 3-4 bloodworms pm

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? 25% water change weekly, daily siphoning (3/16" tube) of solid debris
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? AquaSafe Plus, Aquari-Sol, half tsp aquarium salt per gal

Water Parameters:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.0
Hardness (GH): 180
Alkalinity (KH): 0

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? About two weeks
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Fins are more tattered, losing color
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? not much. Still flares for girls, builds bubble nest, swims about
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, normal aounts
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Have treated with KanaPlex
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 3 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No


21,471 Posts
Welcome to the Forum! :wave:

It appears your boy is biting his dorsal; the chunk....I don't know. Is there anything in the tank on which his caudal could be caught and ripped? Decor? Filter? Can you post a full-tank photo? Doesn't matter if we can see the Betta. BTW, your maintenance is spot-on. That's why I suspect something like an injury to the caudal.

That being said, the set-up you have is quite stressful on male Betta and he could be biting from that. I would recommend you purchase Seachem StressGuard and dose the tank daily. Results won't be immediate but it does have antiseptic properties and I've found it helps when I receive a Betta that has bitten its fins.
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