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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! First I'd like to say, this forum has been such a great resource for learning how to properly care for my new betta, Cilantro. He is having some fin issues that seem to be getting worse despite my attempt to treat him.

Housing
What size is your tank? Normally he lives in a 3 gallon AquaFarm.
What temperature is your tank? 80-82
Does your tank have a filter? The plants are supposed to act as a filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? It has pump that pushes air into the tank
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? A marimo ball

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Home Grown Ponics Fish Food
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Until he had this issue, I hadn't performed any
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? n/a
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? D-Klor

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His caudal fin has become shorter and ragged
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It hasn't, he's very feisty and always greets me with a flare
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, he is now in a 1 gallon bowl with a heater for treatment. I have done 100% water changes everyday for the past 5 days. I have been adding 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt and 1 ml of stress coat for the past 3 days.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him from a pet store a month ago and don't know his age.

The pictures show, in order of display, when I first got him, when I first started treating his fins, and his current condition.
Thank you!

Fish Organism Fin Fish Aquarium
Tail Organism Plant Fish Fish
Fish Tail
 

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Look like tail biting! Had this issue with one of my guys, Moved him to the other side of the divided tank. The new decor/hiding spots made him stop and his tail is almost all healed again!
Best thing to do is give him lots of places to hide/explore. I found floating plants made a difference!
Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Although I haven't seen him actually bite his tail, I thought this might be the case. It would make sense that it would get worse after moving him into a smaller tank with less decor if that is the problem. I did notice some red on the tips of his fins this evening, so I think I will continue treating him in the 1 gallon tank for now. I'll make sure to keep things interesting for him by changing up the decor when I do his daily water changes.
Glad your guy is doing well now!
 

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Just wanted to point out that he needs two 50% WCs and maybe one 100% WC a week in a 3g. The biggest cause of fin rot after biting or tearing of the fins is poor water conditions.

It definitely looks like biting. Biting can be caused by boredom or stress or many other factors. It's possible to curb it with some fish and impossible with others. I had a VT who destroyed his fins when I moved his tank away from my desk or when his snail friend died. I was able to stop my HM's biting by placing his tank near my sorority. It depends on the fish and they are just so full of personality and enjoy being difficult.

If you can't find a way to stop him from biting then you can only prevent rot. In that case warm, clean water is the best thing. AQ salt is great as is Stress Coat, which is also a water conditioner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for your insights! You were both correct about the tail biting. I moved him to a spot where I could watch him from my desk and caught him in the act. I will do a complete water change in his 3g tank and get him back in there with some more interesting decor and maybe a nerite snail. Hopefully I will find a way to keep him entertained and curb his need to tail bite.
 

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Best of luck :3 Sometimes you can entertain them and other times they'd rather tear their tail to shreds.

Any decor you get you may want to try the panty hose test first. You take some hose and run them over any decor. If it catches it will tear your fish's fins.

Hope you can get him to stop :3
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! I think I'll need it. I moved him back into his larger aquaponics tank and redecorated with what I had on hand. He was already biting his tail within 10 minutes.

I have already ordered a few tall silk plants (it isn't logical to have real plants, as they would take nutrients from the plants growing in the aquaponics system.) I make pottery as a hobby, and this seemed like a great use for some of my earlier pieces that have never been used before, but he swam in and out of them a few times and doesn't seem to be interested anymore. He does love his leaf hammock though.

I'm hoping some tall plants will help create some movement and entertain him. I did try placing a small mirror at the very bottom corner on the outside of his tank and he kept going down there quite a bit to flare and show off his fins. I'm scared it will stress him out too much, so I took it away after a few hours, but he keeps going down to that corner looking for the "other betta." Is having that level of excitement necessary for some betta? I didn't see him biting his fins when he had the mirror and he really didn't seem over preoccupied with it either.

Otherwise, are there any other decoration suggestions for crazy betta?

Still life Glass
 

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Some people think it's bad for them to flare or show aggressive behavior and some think it's healthy.

All I can say is my two boys that have about an inch between their tanks seem occupied enough that they don't bite. And my boy that is next to my sorority flares a lot but hasn't been biting his fins in months though they never grow back.

The seashell may tear his fins though, they can sometimes be jagged. I'd check everything already in the tank and anything else you plan to put in it.
 
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