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Discussion Starter #1
A few days ago, I noticed that there was something wrong with my little fish's tail-- it was all tattered and nearly half of the dorsal fin was torn or gone!
What a drag-- and then today I checked on him again and parts of his tail were gone too--
This looks like fin biting-- there is nothing at all in the tank that his fins could have gotten snagged on- and the filter intake is very weak, I've never had problems with it.

He lives in a 3 gallon, heated filtered tank. In the tank there are 3 moss balls, 2 baby java fern and 2 kinds of anubias. There is also a roman column decoration that he likes to swim around in.
I do a 50% water change every other week, and in the weeks between I usually do a 100% water change depending on the cleanliness of the tank. I must admit that I get a little bit paranoid about the water quality and the tank cleanliness so I disassemble the tank every few weeks and clean everything.

There should't be any stressful enviromental factors here that would have triggered the tail biting-- the only difference in care than before the biting was that another anubias was added to the tank though I didn't look very carefully at him before I added the plant so this could have been happening before the introduction, and I'm not sure why the addition of another plant would have triggered tail biting-- the tank isn't very crowded-- I can post a picture if needed,

Anyways here is the main question-- How do I get him to stop? I don't have enough money for a larger tank at the moment-- which I assume may help? I mean more room to explore creating less boredom I guess?
As of now his tail is not infected and he doesn't look sickly, his fins are just in shreds.

Also! there are holes in between the fin rays on his dorsal which do not look like they came from biting-- I have no idea where they came from or what I should do about them, it's just that every time I look, there are more!

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, and I'm sorry If I didn't cover anything
 

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Some fish just do that, and there's not really much we can do about it. Their long tails tend to weight them down I guess or they get in the way. Some people have had luck by finding lots of interesting ways to entertain their Bettas, for example, putting toys in there for them to play with or teaching them tricks. Some people put ping pong balls in the tanks for their fish to play with. More hiding places has also helped some fish as well. My male likes a crowded tank and lots and lots of hiding places, the more crowded it is, the less tail biting he does.
A larger tank may make it worse, or it may make it better, for my male, a bigger tank made it worse, but mainly because there was too much open space, when I added in more plants and hiding spots, the tail biting got better. The holes could be from biting, he could just be grabbing and letting go at the point where the hole is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you-- they must be pinholes-- which I find very odd because I keep the tank ridiculously clean and precise-- this is unfortunate-- they are very close to the base of the dorsal fin as well which is concerning and I really hope that it doesn't develop any further because it's so close to his body-- he had a pinhole before and it turned into a small fungal issue which I treated right away--- I think that the hole may have been irritated and that's why he bit it?

It really doesn't look like fin rot though-- its super chunky and it looks like it was bitten off because there have been strings of fin hanging off and stuff.
The tips are a bit white but it looks like new fin growth not rot
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh and thank you above I didn't see your reply there--- I really hope he stops-- his tail was getting really really long and it could be that- he started out so small and now he's huge-- the picture of him to the side is not very recent so his tail is even longer. Gosh this is too bad-- I really don't want this to be a constant problem and I really don't want him to get sick all the time because of the open wounds
 

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My HM male (the one in my avatar) is a chronic fin biter. When I got him, he wasn't fully grown (almost), but once he got larger, his fins were too much for him and he's been biting them ever since. His tail used to be so beautiful, as you see in the picture, but now it's short and tattered all the time. he even keeps his ventrals short and has chewed up part of his anal fin before. Some bettas just really get annoyed with the extra finnage and are always trying to trim it. Hopefully you can find a way to keep him occupied, or find the best tank situation (bigger/same, more/less plants and hiding places) so that he doesn't do it as much.
I feel bad for HM's and if I ever get more males, I won't buy a HM because it seems unfair to them to be bred to have these ginourmous fins that make swimming cumbersome for them.
 
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