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STORY

Hi everyone, I have a 1 and a half year old male betta named Moonstone who keeps getting shredded fins. About 1 month after I bought Moon, I noticed that his back fins had slight ripping. At first I believed it was his log hide that was causing the tears. The hide was artificial and was a bit sharp on some parts due to it's bark like design. I removed his hide and it didn't help. My next suspect was fin rot, so I started to add more aquarium salt to help him overcome it.

A few weeks later it seemed to have had no effect on healing the fins. After trying again with no results, I went to the pet store to pick up some BettaFix. I added it, and it gradually started to heal his fins. A few weeks after his fins had re healed, they tore again, but this time the ripping was much worse. Previously the ripping was in chunks, now it looked frayed. I was starting to really fear for Moon's health.

I went back to various pet stores and asked many employees for advice, but they all said that it was fin rot and told me to do exactly what I was doing. I thought that perhaps his current plastic tank was causing him to be ill, so I switched him to a glass tank that is around 3 gallons with a new filter and a new heater. (I know it is a bit small, but it is all I can convince my parents to buy unfortunately. If I had my own money I would give him a 10 gallon or more.)

A few weeks after I had switched Moon over to his new tank, he seemed much happier and energetic. I double checked all of the aquarium decor to make sure there was no sharp or catchy surfaces he could rip his fins on. I never really had an issue for weeks, until I noticed Moon had slightly black long stripes on a few parts of his fins. They weren't on the ends of his fins, but they seemed to be a part of his fins. I asked different forums what this could be and they all said it was fin rot, so I went back to the pet store again and bought some KanaPlex which is a fungal and bacterial disease medication. I have been adding a small amount to his tank ever since I got it along with a small amount of BettaFix, and I really hope it isn't hurting him, but it's the best I can do right now. His tears continued to heal and rip again on and off for months.

Fast forward to today, when I am still adding the KanaPlex, BettaFix, and aquarium salt every water change. Up until yesterday, Moonstone's fins were healing perfectly and haven't caused any issues for a month. I was feeling like Moon was finally turning over a new leaf and that I could finally stop with treatment. Today I went in to feed Moon, and his fins were tattered and frayed AGAIN. I couldn't believe it. It makes no sense because there is nothing for him to tear his fins on, his water is heated and treated with meds, he isn't stressed, he is active and energetic, and he is being fed well and has been his whole life. When I look at the tears, they look similar to fin rot, but they don't look greyish around the edges or like they are being eaten. They just look tattered and frayed. On one end there is a small amount of blood as well.

I honestly don't know what to do anymore. Everyone I have asked has told me to do what I am doing, and I would really love some help. The only other thing I can think of that Moon may be doing is biting his fins. But that still doesn't make sense, because aparentally bettas only bite or nip at their fins when they are stressed out, and to my knowledge my betta isn't stressed or uncomfortable. I have wrote enough for the story already, so below I will list information on Moon and his gear.

ITEM AND AQUARIUM INFO


Housing:

How many gallons is your tank? 3 US gallons.

Does it have a filter? Yes. The filter is called Cascade 20 by Penn-Plax

Does it have a heater? Yes. The heater is called Aqueon mini heater 10w (Watts)

What temperature is your tank? I am unsure because I do not have a thermometer at this time. It broke, but the last I remember it being is 77 degrees. I will update you on this.

Does your tank have an air stone or any type of aeration? No.

Does you betta fish have tank mates? What kind? No tank mates.

Food:

What food brand do you use? Nutrafin

Do you feed flakes or pellets? Neither. Freeze dried bloodworms.

Freeze dried? Yes.

How often do you feed your betta? How much? I feed him 2-3 times a day, giving him one dried worm at a time for about 2 minutes or until he rejects any more food.

MAINTENANCE:

Before your betta got ill, how often did you perform a water change? The same as I always have, once a week.

What percentage of water did you change? 100%

Did you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? I am not sure what dip out water means, but I had small pebbles as a substrate so I would just take a strainer and clean them off with tap water. Sometimes I would soak the rocks and decor in vinegar to kill germs.

What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Nutrafin cycle, Nutrafin aqua plus, and Nutrafin aquarium salt.

WATER PARAMETERS:

I got my water tested a long while ago, and I remember the results were that it was safe. I know this isn't much of a help, so I will get back to you soon with my results.

SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT:

When did you first notice the symptoms? About a month after I brought Moonstone home.

How has your betta's appearance changed? Fins becoming torn and tattered over and over again.

How has your betta's behavior changed? It hasn't. He has always been energetic, playful, and responsive.

Is your betta still eating? Yes. He has always been a good eater and has never come off food.

Have you started treating your betta? If so, how? I have been treating him for months. I have been treating him with aquarium salt, BettaFix, and KanaPlex. I add them every water change, ocassionally leaving BettaFix or KanaPlex out when needed.

Does your betta have a history of being ill? Yes. He has been ill about a month after I bought him to this day.

How long have you owned your betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? I have owned Moon for 1 and a half years. He was perfectly healthy when I purchased him with no issues.

I will update this thread when I get more information, and I will try to post some pictures as well. Thank you for helping me,
I hope I didn't break any rules.​
 

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Welcome to the forum


Sounds like he's biting his fins and tail. Or it could be a decoration in his tank. Take everything out and run panty hose over everything you have in there. If the panty hose snags so will the betta's fins.
 

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Thank you, Falcon. I will definitely try that. Do you think it would be smart if I watched him a bit more to see if he bites his tail or fins? (Although it might be a bit difficult to observe him because whenever I show up he is very energetic and playful. Haha!)
 

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Can you post a picture of him so we can see his fins, and another picture of the whole tank? That'll help us to determine if it's fin biting or something else.

I'm betting biting. Some betta are just chronic bitters for no known reason, others do so out of stress or boredom, and some seem to do so to shorten their fins so they can swim easier.

If your tank is well lit with few hiding places that can cause stress and may be why he's biting. Most betta like a shady tank, and they like a lot of plants to hide in or at the very least a cave if they can't have a lot of plants.

Given that you do 100% water changes, cupping him while you change the water will stress him out. Try doing 25 to 50% water changes once a week if your tank is cycled, or twice a week if it isn't, and leave him in the tank while you change the water. It'll be less stressful for him that way. Dipping is when you take a container and use it to scoop the water out the tank to empty the water. Vacuuming you'd use a gravel vac, or piece of airline hose, to clean the bottom of the tank and decorations, as you empty the water.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forums.

I'm not sure if you posted a picture of your tank (proxy server doesn't like those), but when you get us pictures can you get them with close up of your fish and of the full tank as well?

Also, have you stopped the meds? Until we can come to a determination as to what is going on with your little one, I wouldn't medicate. If there are meds still in the water, I'd do a 100% change and leave him in clean/fresh water for now.

As mentioned above, look at his eye with a critical eye, see if he has places he can hide and if there are places in the tank he can get away from the filter if he wants.
 

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Update 08/02/2017:

Hi everyone, thank you for posting your advice on my forum. I have a few updates on Moonstone if you are all still interested. I have no pictures in this update, but I will have them very soon.

To answer the hide question, Moon does have 3 hides in his tank. One is a cave, the other is artificial leaves, and the last is a real Indian almond leaf. Sadly I regret to inform you that Moon has continued to bite (I believe) at his tail, but with the new Marimos and the new addition of the Indian almond leaves, perhaps we will be able to overcome his issues without the meds. Thanks again for helping , I will continue to update.
 
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