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Discussion Starter #1
I've posted here several times before (the thread can be found here http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=90493 ) and I've gotten some great advice (thanks guys), but my fish (Chester) is getting progressively worse. Within two days he went from having a whole in his fin to having ragged edges with red tips (see video). I've been treating him with API aquariam salt and 100% water changes every other day. He's in a three gallon tank, by himself, no filter and the temp usually stays around 76 to 78. He's eating (like a pig- 4 to 6 pellets a day) and swimming but his fins are getting worse by the day (I'm scared to look at him when I get up because I think they're going to be completely gone).

Please, please, please help me. I really really like this fish and I would be very very sad if something happened to him.

The video is only 30 secs, please take a look at it and give me your advice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaA5yvXovgM&feature=g-upl&context=G2c06953AUAAAAAAAAAA

Chester thanks you :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Right now the only thing I have in his tank is the hammock and a live plant. I had five silk plants in there (I put them in there on Monday), but I took them out (on Tuesday) because when I woke up Tuesday morning I noticed his fins were ragged and bleeding (all this bitting seems to happen at night). Since then, I've been watching him like a hawk and keeping the lamp on later than usual. Could that be contributing to the problem?

Tonight I went to Petsmart (and showed them the video) and they said he might not live through the night. Does he look that bad? If I wake up and Chester is dead, I am going to have a fit. Petsmart gave me a sample of a Jungle parasit clear tank buddie tablet. Should I use this? If not, is there anything I can get/do to clear this up? I am willing to buy anything.
 

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In the span of about an hour, one of my HMDT males went from a full 180 spread to a few shredded ribbons.

It does look like biting rather than finrot, and if he's swimming around normally and eating, I wouldn't bother with any medications.

Tail biting often looks worse than it really is. As long as it doesn't get infected and he loses interest in biting, it should heal up fine.
 

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He doesn't look bad at all. Just looks like he's biting his tail.

I had one of my boys do this in the span of an hour, and he's perfectly fine now and was directly after.
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Parasites would be when he's got white, stringy poop and swelling in the stomach area along with lethargy and increased/decreased appetite (Sometimes they're ravenous and sometimes they just won't eat).

I say add another plant or two, have him flare at something a few times a day, and keep the water clean. He should be absolutely fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks you guys. You've really made me feel better.

So, should I continue treating him with the aquarium salt and doing 100% water changes every other day (I'm on day 6 of the recommended 10 day aquarium salt treatment)? Also, should I get a bigger tank (like a 5 gallon, as opposed to a 3 gallon) and start using my filter?
 

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You can stop the aq salt (Or wean him off of it if he's at 2-3 tsp/gal) and just change the water a little more frequently.

A bigger tank isn't absolutely necessary and neither is a filter since he might get blown around by it.

If he's in a 3 gallon, consider maybe 2-3 100% weekly for now to keep things clean, but also to keep stress lower.
 

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Some people have success curing tailbiting by adding more stimulation (toys, allowing to flare twice a day, etc.). Mine didn't respond to that, so I'm trying less stimulation (put him in a room by himself, only go in to feed him twice a day). So far, he seems to be responding better to that (hasn't chomped in 5 days). They say there are 3 kinds of tailbiters - ones that bite from boredom, ones that bite from stress, and ones you never figure out. Here's hoping that ours are in one of the first two categories!
 

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I could’t see the video because I am at work and don’t have access to it but , I think it always better to ask forum then go to Petsmart. They recommended to you all those medications and you didn't even need them. Be careful with medications, especially if your fish eating and active. Medications always last resort, especially if fish eating and active , you don’t want to overdose fish with medications it very stressful for them. Also I read through all your thread and I think you wrote that you used Maracyn. Just for the future if you ever use it you need to use Maracyn and Maracyn 2 together, because one for gram positive and another one for gram negative.


Also I think that since you started aquarium salt then you need to finish the treatment. You wrote that you gave him salt every other day which is wrong. Treatment is every day with 100% water changes for 10 days :) So you can just finish his treatment, but do it every day. You can also put less water in that tank so it easier for you to do it. Usually with salt treatment you can qt betta in small container. And when you done with treatment you can keep him in 3 gall like Pataflafla said you don’t really need 5 gall . You can keep 100% water changed for 3 gall.I do 100% water changes all the time for my 2.5 gall. I do it every 5 days though.

I do have tail bitter too. But he did it only about 4 times for 2.5 years though. I put huge spider plant in his tank. It actually sticking out from his tank . He really love to swim between all those leaves that plant has. I don’t know if it actually destruction for him from his tail. I also have big river rocks in his tank and big stones gravel. He like to swim between those rocks so I also don’t know it really destruction for him.


Also guys do you think that Chester can see own reflection because of the light? Or is it possible that light all day long bather him?

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Patfala-I'm going to change his water tonight, and I'll lessen (but not completely stop the salt) so as to wean him off. Before I read your post, I brought a 5 gallon tank, but I think I'll go ahead and return it. I honestly think, I'm the cause of all this. With his constant water changes, tank redecorations, medicine excursions (the maracyn plus incident) and tank changes (I went from a half gallon, to a two gallon, to a three gallon), I'm surprised I haven't killed poor Chester.

Swimmr-I hope Chester is in one of the first two catergories as well, because I really can't stand to see him like this. I tried no stimulation (I took out everything- and I mean everything. I even took out the rocks). That didn't help, so I went full force and brought 3 new silk plants (in addition to the two he already had) and one live plant and that's when I noticed this latest injury. I immediately took them out, because I thought maybe that caused the stress. I honestly don't know what else to do. Please let me know how your boy is doing (who is a beauty by the way- and the same color as Chester :)).

Anhel123- Thanks for the info. I'll hold off on the medicine for now (after my experience with the Maracyn Plus that's probably the best thing for me to do). When I said I do the salt every other day, I mean I change the water every other day, but I always add the salt back in. So really, he's been getting the full dose of the salt treatment, just new water. Is that wrong?

You question about seeing his reflection is a good one. I inititally thought the same thing, but this tail bitting stuff seems to happen at night (or at least that's when I notice it). That's why I considered buying another tank (to see if that helps this situtation). I know it sounds stupid, but I kind of thought he was afraid of the dark and that's why he was messing up his fins (I intitally thought he was purposely snagging them on the decorations, but I realized that probably wasn't the case because I have all silk plants (except for one live on) in his tank.

I just don't know what to do, and I'm so sad it's ridiculous.
 

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Don't worry too much about it. Tail biters are frustrating to no end, so stressing about the biting is almost completely pointless. They'll bite as soon as you think they're done.

Perhaps Chester can see his reflection, but I'm doubting it if his tank is rounded. I've only experienced a betta flaring at its reflection in a rectangular/square tank; never a curved one.

Biting is usually boredom, stress, insecurity, or aggression related. Some bite to bite and some also bite to relieve weight. I think your best bet is to keep him tired out with flaring, but also calm when he's not flaring.

He might like to chase a button around his tank, which will be great exercise for him as well.

Clean water and a high protein diet will be his best aid in regrowth.
 

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When you do aquarium salt treatment you need to pre mix salt in one gall jug for the right dosage. Don't put in directly in to the tank. You can take a gall from spring water or from milk. Just rinse it very well with water if it from milk.
You need to do 100% daily water changes. You did a little differently...:)

Also you can feed your betta with cooked shrimp (size of the pellet) . I usually feed them with it the day when i do 100% water changes. I just substitute pellets with shrimp that day. I give them 2 pieces in the margining and 2 at night. Disadvantage only that is sinking to the bottom really fast if they miss it. My bettas usually grab it from my finger. I just don't want it to stay at the bottom of the tank and contaminate the water that is why i feed them with it only when i change 100% so i can clean the bottom.
 

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He might like to chase a button around his tank, which will be great exercise for him as well.
Sorry for butting in, but I just wondered about this...Do you mean, put a button in their tank...Just drop it in? Does it float? And they chase it? Haha, never heard of this. Thanks. ~
 

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I have those little glass thermometers which you can stick in side of the tank. Each of my tanks have them. One of my betta keeps circling around that thermometer. It very funny..but it came to my mind that it can destruct your betta.
 
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