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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I came home from work and went to feed my fish as i do every morning when I get home from work and I noticed a lot of his tail fin is just missing. It looks tattered but there are no spots and no red at all and no fish with him. He seems to also be trying to rub against the side of his tank. Today this is a small hole in his top fin in the middle. I have no idea what is going on. I read that the special type of salt for fish is good and put it in for illness but I'm not sure its enough and at the rate its dissolving i'm worried that if I'm not doing the right thing he isn't going to be able to swim. :-( He is in a 5g tank, filtered, heater to 78degrees. The water is testing fine. I don't know what to do/get to make him better. Please help. I will try to get a good picture. He has one live plant and one fake I don't think they are the problem because they passed the stocking test and it literally happened overnight. I stare at him all the time and he was fine until I got home from work. He is still eating but sort of seems panicked now. I don't know if i should unplug the filter (its baffled) or not since he may start having swimming issues? He also has this one spot on his head. I will try to get a pic to load but he is swimming around a lot so I'm not sure I can capture the detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
also i feed him pellets 2 times a day and he has 2 ghost shrimp in his tank. They appear to be fine. He had snails but bit them (i don't know if that could make him sick or not) and they died and were promptly removed.
 

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To me it looks like he has started nibbling on his fins which can be caused by stress, boredom, anger or just cause they can.

Super clean water and some Stress coat will help. You can use aquarium salt for 10-14 days to help fight off bacterial infectons but its not mandatory. If you do use AQ salt - its 1 teaspoon per gallon. I use a milk jug to mix it up since they come in a gallon size. Mix conditioned water with salt and shake it up a bit. Wait for it to disolve and then add fish to the water. You should be doing 100% water changes while using the salt so if you have a smaller tank to use, it may help. Also some live plants/snails dont do so well in salt.

also i think they slimy stuff on the plant is harmless. I get something like that on my fake plants. I think its some kind of algae or something. I just wipe it off with a scrubbie brush thing I got at petco in the fish section. I think its actually an algae scrubber pad.
 

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I second Tiki's conclusion. He's nibbling.
Just a note, if you do use AQ salt remove the live plants, or treat him in a different tank. AQ salt can damage live plants.
 

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Them above could be right, but just to be safe I'm going to suggest a few things.

Get a bright light and look at him carefully. Make sure he doesn't have anything growing on him you can't see with just the regular tank light. He does look like he might just be nibbling, but you never know.

If you dont see anything then thats a good thing. I suggest keeping him in a quarantine tank for a few days until he's calmed down.. I would put some Stress Coat (a cap full or so) and a little bit of BettaFix with him. I know alot of people seem to be Anti-BettaFix on this website but I'll swear by it. It's never failed me before.

Maybe try getting him some new decorations in his tank, more silk plants and set his tank up nice and pretty with plenty of places to hide.

I have a Halfmoon who did something similar, he was very spazzy and he bit at his tail. I call it his Angry Phase because it went on for a very long time. He wasn't happy with anything I did and I frequently caught him biting his tail. He eventually got out of it but his tail didn't recover- but he did that for almost a full month but now he's completely normal again.. minus the fact he's missing most of his tail.

I didn't know what to do for him until late, but its still very early for your guy so you should do fine.

Stress Coat and BettaFix can be your best friend if you know how to use them right.


EDIT://

I suggest getting rid of the plant, I swear I have seen that in my tank before that showed up out of no where. But my fish at the time of this happening had little red ulsers on his hands and tips of his tail. I blamed it on the fact that I got him a new heater. He also had a little spot on his head and he acted very upset and was running into things like he couldn't get something off of him. He didn't have bits missing from his tail though, so i'm not going to get into it cause i don't want to worry you about something he probably doesn't even have.

Let us know how he turns out.
 

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Get a bright light and look at him carefully. Make sure he doesn't have anything growing on him you can't see with just the regular tank light.
You can check for velvet this way which may be a good idea - just in case. velvet would look like the fish was sprinkled in gold dust but if he is acting normally, eating and not clamped - I think he is just fin nibbing.

I had a blue halfmoon that was a chronic bitter till the day he died. Aparently he wanted to be a CT and not a HM >.<

Did anything in his tank change before he started bitting? More decorations may help if he is stressed or bored

if you do use bettafix, be careful with it and do not OD on it - too much can destory the organ they use to breathe with
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I got rid of the plant to be safe. He does seem to be trying to rub on things but with his coloration I can't really tell if he has anything, he doesn't have white spots or red. I'm treating him with AQ salt just to be on the safe side. He is super agitated or something I don't know... but he was like that when I got him... I assumed it was because he disliked being stuck in a little cup. Personality defect? I had assumed that was just his personality, his high speed swimming, or is that a symptom of something? He has a 5 gallon tank but spends about 80% of his time in the one area where the live plant was swimming in that area. He swims a lot. My other betta looks like a sloth compared to him. Both are still eating (different tanks don't worry!). I guess I could try moving stuff around some. Maybe put the fake plant in that area since it is denser so he has to swim differently?

This is probably stupid but my friend asked me and I didn't know so I wanted your opinions: could the ghost shrimp have damaged his tail? I've seen them swim up to each other but it doesn't seem like there is much aggression. He has the hidey spot and stuff to swim around he just doesn't. Once I am sure he isn't ill would there be any danger to possibly switching the decorations between tanks to help with boredom? Obviously I would clean them first(fish friendly style).

Do I need to have a smaller tank to do AQ salt effectively? its pretty cheap and I already pay loads more for water then I should so changing more water won't hurt my budget (apartment charges flat fee that is double the amount we would pay if we paid for what we actually use). If it is boredom wouldn't a smaller tank make him bite more? What are the chances that his fins will recover? If this sounds argumentative or anything I apologize I'm not trying to disagree with any particular points I'm simply asking because I want to learn more so I can care better for my fish.
 

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The main reason a smaller tank is suggested for salt treatment is, daily water changes. I've gotta do them on my 2.5 gal and I'm dreading it, I'd cringe at having to do them on a 5.
 

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Yes! Ghost Shrimp can eat your Betta's fins! This happened to a friend's Betta, a shrimp attached itself to her Betta's tail and was eating it.

Using a small 1 gallon aquarium for a quarantine tank is your best bet- it's easier to change the water out on, and you'll be needing to do that every few days.


Also, his fins should recover just fine given time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think he has velvet. He is sort of shimmery. :-? The water is super clean I don't know how he got it. I'm gonna put him in a smaller thing to treat and try salt first i guess. I've read a lot of stuff saying its very easy to kill fish with medicine so I'm scared to try. Is velvet also contagious to ghost shrimp or is it just a fish disease? I need to know if i need to try and treat them as well. maybe the shrimp are picking at him when he is trying to sleep? I've never seen him attack his own fins, but now all of the fins seem affected by whatever is going on. :-( I set out a bunch of water knowing i`d have to do something regardless.
 

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As far as I know shrimp cannot catch fishy diseases nor can they be treated with medications.


Can anyone else confirm this for me?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well i tried putting him in the smaller tank with properly measured AQ salt and stress coat. when i did he went to the bottom and turned on a 45 degree angle and started gasping (i tried it first on my healthier fish since he has a couple spots i'm worried about and he 100% fine. EXACT same water (different containers filled with the same water source i didn't share the water). I don't know if he is too far gone or if i should put him back in and hope for the best or what to do. I took him out and put him back in his tank since he wasn`t reacting well. Anyone have any advice? if not he will probably be dead soon. It looks like he has lost the little fins by his gills too. His tail is now 50% or more dissolved. It's not looking good. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
ok been observing him he just had the small fins against his sides, very hard to see because they are black (it really did look like they were gone i was freaking out). Since the other betta is doing great in its smaller medical tank i decided to try differently for him and put him in his small cup and am floating it in his tank so he can be warmer. He seems to be doing better with this method. The stress coat seems to have calmed him down too. The only other thing I can think of to mention in case this doesn`t work so i can try to treat him with medicines is that his chin? (do fish have chins?) is turning white? not spotty but solid. No idea whats going on with him. It does look like he has red on his fin today a tiny little section is red barely visible (but since I am off today am finally around enough to see it) I think it is one of the shrimp. So what the heck do i do with the shrimp? I mean if its destroying my bettas fins I obviously don't want it with them. I guess he will end up completely alone... since he destroys snails and shrimp destroy him. :roll: ugh so frustrating. So my big questions are 1. is the white under his chin something to worry about, like am i treating it wrong? Since his fins are messed up he needs this treatment anyways but do I need to do another treatment for the white? or am i dumb and he is changing color? 2. what to do with shrimp? 3. can you add stress coat to regular tank on regular basis until his fins recover or is that a bad idea for some smart reason i don't know? 4. Should i be adding it afterwards anyways is it good for them to just have? 5. How long should i keep him in the cup? I'm going to CLEAN his tank like everything is getting super cleaned this time and he is staying in his cup for awhile (at least til i figure out what to do with shrimp).
 
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