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Fin problems

534 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tmoblander
Got my first Betta in February and did it all up right; 5 gal. aquarium, low flow filter, heater maintaining temp around 71, live plants and one silk, doing water changes every week about half and still all of a sudden my guy has lost his fins. Not sure what has caused this. Got some Bettafix now trying that. I just feel like I had the perfect set up and yet...can anyone shine some light on this? What can I do different or better?
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Was it a loss over night or a slow decrease? Can you post before and after pictures at all please?

Here take a look at this thread and see if it helps at all:
I would also increase the temperature to at least 78 degrees. 78-80 is usually the sweet spot for bettas.
Well, I can't tell about your fish's fins without pictures or more description, but here's what you could improve in your tank.

The water temperature needs to be higher. Think 77-82F.

Water change recommendations for your size tank are here.
As you can see, changing half the water once a week is better than changing all the water every 10 days like you've been doing.

On a related note: Don't replace the filter cartridge, and don't let it dry out. Just clean it out in old tank water. With your live plants and the filter staying constant, you'll grow beneficial bacteria and the tank will cycle. Cycling is the process where different organisms in the tank make harmful chemicals less and less harmful. You still have to change the water, but you don't have to do it nearly as much. A 5 gallon tank is pretty easy to cycle.

More information on cycling:
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Fin Problem

Thanks for the advice. I am new to this site and not sure how to post pics. It started with the bottom fins as he was laying on the gravel and then slowly all his top fins started to separate. One morning I got up to most of his fins gone especially on the top and tail. I have been doing 50% water changes weekly and syphoning the gravel each time. I add Cycle and Aqua plus each time and also rinse all ornaments and filters in the syphoned off tank water. I have now increased the temp a bit. I hope he survives!!! Once again thanks everyone for the advice.
You can post a picture by uploading said picture to an image hosting site like or and then you click on the IMG Coding or Forum Coding and then just copy and paste into this box!


You can click "Go Advanced" and it will take you to another screen with more options at the top of this text box. You will see a paper clip sign, click that and it will bring up a pop up box that you can attach your picture with. Click Browse and find the picture you want to upload, click submit and then Upload where Browse was formally. Then click okay. If you do nothing after that the picture will attach to your message, or you can click the paper clip button again and it brings down a little menu which you can click the name of your picture and paste that anywhere in your message.
Thank you so much, I shall give it a try!!
fin Problem

Its taken me awhile but here are 3 after pics and one before. I'm sure you'll be able to tell which is which. It does not seem to be getting any worse. He is swimming well and eating well. I used Bettafix and did a 50% water change last week and will do one this week as well. Also increased the heat a couple of degrees.


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Can anyone tell me what is going on with my Betta?
Looks to me like a case of biting. I also see sharp corners on the edges of those pots, this could also hurt his tail. Definitely raise the temperature, 71°F is really cold for a tropical fish. If you can get Stress Coat+ from your LFS, then I would highly recommend it as it contains aloe for fin repair/regrowth. Keep his water clean, keep the SC+ in and let nature do the rest.
Fin Problem

Thank you for your advice. I have raised the temp its at about 77F now. Will get some stress coat, have been using BettaFix. I don't understand the biting? How does a fish manipulate himself in order to bite fins on the top and bottom of his body? I have not seen him do this. What causes this to happen? Will his fins grow back? Will he just keep biting them? I find this a rather strange disorder. However, I am non the less worried about this little guy!! Thanks again!!
Fin bitting can be quite common among bettas with longer fins. They do it out of boredom and also stress. Yes, his fins will grow back but it may take sometime. I would try to make him as comfortable as possible. Try adding a bunch of soft live or silk plants and use clay pots and other decor so he has plenty of places to hide. Also try rearranging his tank to help with the boredom.
Fin Problem

Thank you for Responding VivianKJean!! I do have two moss balls, some live plants(can't remember name) and a silk vine, and a Betta hammock. I also have a mini lobster in the tank with him and the lobster pretty much stays in his hidy rock. The Betta was fine until about two weeks ago. I am doing a 50% water change every week and have switched him to Omega One Pellets. I have had him since February and he never bothers with the plants only the hammock and laying on the gravel. He is in a 5gal Fluval Chi so it is a taller tank. The live plants are in the center of the tank and the vine is in one back corner. Moss balls kind of move around here and there. You would think he would love the grouping of live plants in the middle, nice broad leaves to lay on etc. I had no idea about biting, never heard of it. I just figured I went all the way with the 5gal. heater, filter, weekly water changes etc that he would be one happy fish. I guess I'm a bit disappointed. I shall look for more ornaments and maybe rearrange the tank completely. Thanks again!!
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Fin Problem

Thank you. Will get some Stresscoat and have the temp on 77F now.
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