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Hello All! I'm new to keeping Betta fish. I look forward to learning how to keep my Dex happy and healthy. I have a half moon Betta named Dex Ronan (after the Stargate Atlantis character played by Jason Momoa - aka Aquaman). He is a beautiful guy with a fabulous personality. He appears to be quite the tail biter though:frown2: He's chewed off half his Caudal fin since I got him.

Here's a picture of when I first got him:
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. How long have you had him? The reason I ask is the tail biting. Most betta reaction to stress differ. Tail biting is one of those signs. It could be the stress from shipping to the stress of finding himself in a strange new environment in a larger tank that he never saw before. Ranging from no overhead protection, such as plants to hid in or the lack there of. It could be the type of food he is getting. depending on what he was eating before and what he is getting no. to just not having enough of your company. So you see there can be many reasons he is doing this up to being bored.

If you can get us some pictures of the tank he is in and a description of his tank, let us know what he is eating and what the water parameters are when you test. Is the tank heated and filtered?
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. How long have you had him? The reason I ask is the tail biting. Most betta reaction to stress differ. Tail biting is one of those signs. It could be the stress from shipping to the stress of finding himself in a strange new environment in a larger tank that he never saw before. Ranging from no overhead protection, such as plants to hid in or the lack there of. It could be the type of food he is getting. depending on what he was eating before and what he is getting no. to just not having enough of your company. So you see there can be many reasons he is doing this up to being bored.

If you can get us some pictures of the tank he is in and a description of his tank, let us know what he is eating and what the water parameters are when you test. Is the tank heated and filtered?

Hi Old Dog!


I've had him for about a 6 weeks. I think when I bought him he had some fin rot which improved with a round of Kanaplex and frequent PWCs and Indian Almond Leaf.

Then I went on vacation and my husband fed him a lot fewer pellets than I normally do (he may have even forgotten to feed him once or twice) and that is when he ate most of his caudal fin. I do see new growth since have gone back to feeding him 10 Hikari BioGold pellets twice a day and have started adding Seachem StressGuard daily.

I have him in a 5 gallon portrait, heated & filtered tank. The Kanaplex killed my newly cycled filters so I am currently trying to re-cycle the tank. I'm using Tetra Safe Start to help with the fish-in cycle. I'm dosing with Seachem Prime (one drop per gallon) every day during this time to keep ammonia non-toxic to him.


My parameters using API Master Test kit are:
Ammonia 0 to 0.25 ppm
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0 to 5ppm
pH - 6.8 to 7 (it drops a bit when adding a new IAL)
Temp - 78'F to 81'F using a non-adjustable heater
His primary food is Hikari BioGold ~10 pellets 2x daily + dried Daphinia soaked in Vitachem twice per week + a couple of frozen/thawed blood worms as a treat twice per week
He is super active and very curious


Below are some pictures of his tank. I have added a leaf hammock under the water inlet to try and decrease the flow in rest of the tank. He likes his DIY mesh floating tube but wasn't interested in the leaf hammock. I have checked and sanded down any rough spots on tank decorations.


I have been thinking about getting some Frogbit as additional cover.
 

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It seems like the lack of attention while you were away, and the not getting fed could (and I say could have caused it but the fin rot could be a very big indicator of the behavior also. Frogbit would help in the top cover area. making him feel safe from above. and giving him hides. I see the hammock is a little low in the tank. try raising it to with in 1 and 1/2 inch from the top and maybe that would entice him. Not all betta take to this type of resting place so don't get upset over him not using it.

I have 5 just betta 5.5 gal. tanks and a 10 gal. community tank with my largest betta. He is a half moon with giant genes and is now almost 3 inches in body length. All of my tanks are heavily planted tanks with hides and resting places for all my fish. They all for the most part eat Omega One Betta Buffet flake food. I supplement that 3 times a week with frozen blood worms. The community tank also gets regular Omega One Flake food. These guys just never were fed pellets so they don't know that they are food. Most of the people on here don't recommend the Hikari pellets due to the change in the formula and the addition of more fillers to the pellet. Betta are not vegetable eaters and when you see like corn meal and different flower on the label I would stay far far away from them. Recommended foods are Netura fin, Omega one, Bug bites, Even the tetra Bettamin are some of the highly recommended foods.

Every thing you are using to restart the cycle should get the job done with no problem and your cycle should soon be running again according to your parameters. Just watch your ammonia and do water changes if it gets any higher.

Your on your way Good deal.
 

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It seems like the lack of attention while you were away, and the not getting fed could (and I say could have caused it but the fin rot could be a very big indicator of the behavior also. Frogbit would help in the top cover area. making him feel safe from above. and giving him hides. I see the hammock is a little low in the tank. try raising it to with in 1 and 1/2 inch from the top and maybe that would entice him. Not all betta take to this type of resting place so don't get upset over him not using it.

I have 5 just betta 5.5 gal. tanks and a 10 gal. community tank with my largest betta. He is a half moon with giant genes and is now almost 3 inches in body length. All of my tanks are heavily planted tanks with hides and resting places for all my fish. They all for the most part eat Omega One Betta Buffet flake food. I supplement that 3 times a week with frozen blood worms. The community tank also gets regular Omega One Flake food. These guys just never were fed pellets so they don't know that they are food. Most of the people on here don't recommend the Hikari pellets due to the change in the formula and the addition of more fillers to the pellet. Betta are not vegetable eaters and when you see like corn meal and different flower on the label I would stay far far away from them. Recommended foods are Netura fin, Omega one, Bug bites, Even the tetra Bettamin are some of the highly recommended foods.

Every thing you are using to restart the cycle should get the job done with no problem and your cycle should soon be running again according to your parameters. Just watch your ammonia and do water changes if it gets any higher.

Your on your way Good deal.

Thanks for the feedback and info! His he uses his white plastic mesh hammock that I made - it just floats on top of the water. He didn't like the store bought leaf hammock that you suction cup to the side. Interestingly - I also made a black colored mesh hammock that he refused to use. Maybe he couldn't see it? He will only use the white floating hammock tube - it's actually where he spends most of his time and builds bubble nests in it. I also tried a sunken log cave thing to give him more places to hide but he refused to go into it at all.



I really appreciate the recommendation on changing his food. I will look into getting one of those other brands to increase his protein and hopefully help heal his fins.


Now to just find a good place to buy some frogbit...
 

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While no reason has ever been established, on this Forum there seem to be two common threads: Not enough cover/plants and too much light. Not lights on for two long but too bright; especially over light/white substrate. Betta are shade and cover-loving fish. From talking to sellers, who they keep their stock in bare tanks, they only turn the lights on for photos and feeding. Otherwise, it is shadowy.

If members are new to aquariums and live plants, I suggest one or two live Anubias as they are easy care. Fill the rest of the tank with silk. If the Anubias are still growing well after a month or so, and you are so inclined, try a couple more live plants. It is just my opinion, but I believe many people fail with live plants do so because they get too many at once.

With fin biters I recommend Indian Almond Leaves for their mild antibacterial properties and SeaChem StressGuard for its antiseptic properties. I see you have both. I only buy online and some Betta will fin bite during shipping. I find the IAL/StressGuard help. I dose the StressGuard daily for five days after I see regrowth.

FWIW, I recently left my Betta for three weeks with no one to feed them. When we returned, all were fine and none had fin bitten. It is better to not feed when gone. No food in = No waste out which = cleaner tank. The parameters were 0 ppm Ammonia and Nitrite and 25 Nitrate. I did feed them extra for the week before we left.
 

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While no reason has ever been established, on this Forum there seem to be two common threads: Not enough cover/plants and too much light. Not lights on for two long but too bright; especially over light/white substrate. Betta are shade and cover-loving fish. From talking to sellers, who they keep their stock in bare tanks, they only turn the lights on for photos and feeding. Otherwise, it is shadowy.

If members are new to aquariums and live plants, I suggest one or two live Anubias as they are easy care. Fill the rest of the tank with silk. If the Anubias are still growing well after a month or so, and you are so inclined, try a couple more live plants. It is just my opinion, but I believe many people fail with live plants do so because they get too many at once.

With fin biters I recommend Indian Almond Leaves for their mild antibacterial properties and SeaChem StressGuard for its antiseptic properties. I see you have both. I only buy online and some Betta will fin bite during shipping. I find the IAL/StressGuard help. I dose the StressGuard daily for five days after I see regrowth.

FWIW, I recently left my Betta for three weeks with no one to feed them. When we returned, all were fine and none had fin bitten. It is better to not feed when gone. No food in = No waste out which = cleaner tank. The parameters were 0 ppm Ammonia and Nitrite and 25 Nitrate. I did feed them extra for the week before we left.

Thank you Russell. I appreciate your insight. I will look into Anubias. Do you think that would be better than Frogbit? I have decorative black gravel substrate so was thinking that a floating plant would be better for my set up?


I'm glad that your fish did well not being fed for weeks. Not feeding him is the only thing that was done differently during my time away. That's when the giant tail biting session occurred. There was no change in his lighting during that time though. Here's a picture of his sad dorsal fin now...
 

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Frogbit would be fine as a top cover. He would need more over all planting. There's a saying that if you can see your Betta at a glance you need to add more plants.

I don't doubt for a minute that your being away could have triggered his fin biting. Change in routine, environment, etc., can all contribute. It's one of those mysteries that will never be solved. Was just helping to relieve your husband of food duty. ;-)
 
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