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I posted a few days ago about my betta Merik hurting his fins on his filter. I recently put him in a 5 gallon fluval spec aquarium. I’d read a million reviews on how this tank is great for bettas. I also read reviews from people talking about how their bettas love to suction themselves to the grate where the filter is - the setting goes super low and the suction is just enough to allow them to park there and not have to swim but not strong enough for them to really be stuck. Merik quickly found that spot and I had watched him hang out there a ton over that past week. HOWEVER on Monday I saw that his back fins have been ripped to shreds!!!!! I have the filter on the very lowest setting and I put a sponge on it to be sure the current isn’t too strong.. But now, I think he actually might be biting his tail. I have no idea what happened or why he started- I covered the filter grate up with a sponge to stop him from parking there and get his fins caught again. But, over the last 3 days, his fins have been completely ripped to shreds. I moved his decorations around, did a 50% water change.... It’s crazy bc he was in a bowl (I know.. well, I didn’t know at first) for the first 2 months I had him. He’s always been super happy, started eating off my finger from day 1, acts like a puppy every time I walk in the room great appetite. I put him in his new tank with plants and decorations, he loved it- the first week no problem. The second week his fins go from full to shredded in a matter of 5 days. I don’t understand :( he’s still acting the same, still hungry- he’s not agressive, I’ve only gotten him to flare once or twice- both my husband and I play with him and give him a good amount of attention. He doesn’t have a ton of cover yet as his dwarf Lilly is growing but I do have a bunch of rocks that are large that he can hide behind and swim through and some ludwig (?) plants and a betta hammock.... what do I do??
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While he appears to be biting, check all of the decor in his tank using mesh cloth or hose. If they snag then so will his fins.

There is no known reason why they bite. Lots of theories but no proved reason: Bored; tank to bright; tank too dark; too many plants; not enough plants; to make heavy fins lighter and swimming easier. All I know is sometimes they stop and sometimes they don't. And sometimes they even stop until their fins are healed and bite again.

We do, however, note that on this forum there are two common denominators: Tanks too bright and tanks too open. Betta are shade-loving fish so having places of shade is important. So if you can post a photo of the entire tank we might have some suggestions.

When I had Betta that bit their fins I added Indian Almond Leaves or plain Rooibos for their antibacterial and antifungal properties and SeaChem StressGuard.

As long as they are otherwise healthy, eating and active, I get used to the ratty look of their fins. Trying to "fix" was getting too stressful after too many failures. But, that's me.
 
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