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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi there! I've been driving myself crazy googling questions and was happy to come across this forum but I'm still not sure exactly what is going on with my Betta. Is he just biting his tail? Or something more serious?

Fishy (his name because I have a one year old and my husband and I are terrible at agreeing on names) was such a happy fish, always swimming around, playing peekaboo, would "sprint" to us when we greeted him... a few weeks ago I noticed his tail looking a little off. Not in color, just kinda wavy like he might have torn it but I thought it also could have just been the way he was positioning it at the time.

I did notice some weirder behaviors from him starting a week ago, just swimming kind of weird and erratically and one time I saw him almost folded in half (which made me worry he might have been biting his tail) but after watching him for a minute it more so looked like he was just kinda playing/rubbing on his moss ball.

WELL. I woke up yesterday to him laying on his gravel. I know bettas do this but I have never seen Fishy do this. He usually sleeps in his skull (which has no rough edges). Upon observation yesterday and today he would only swim to find a different place to lay down. Other than feeding time which he did perk up for. Then back to laying about.

Today I finally got a good glimpse of his fins and I was so shocked. They look a mess and I'm so sad I didn't take preventative action sooner. I got him to swim around for a few moments so I could snap quick photos, so not the best quality but it's what I've got.

I've tested the water, I do water changes regularly, filter is freshly cleaned, temp is consistently at 78 degrees, he has live plants and decor. The water is fine other than general hardness which I was told was not really an issue by an associate at the fish store, but I'm currently working on reducing the hardness. I was also told that Bettas just get comfortable in their tanks after a while and will just take to laying around. But my gut was telling me something more is going on.

So, if anyone can look at these photos and took the time to read this and have suggestions, I'm ready for them!!

Plant Bird Pet supply Organism Fish supply

Plant Fish supply Terrestrial plant Wood Window

Plant Terrestrial plant Wood Grass Aquatic plant

How many gallons is your tank? 10
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No


What food brand do you use? Aqueous Betta Food
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 4-5 pellets once a day

your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a month
What percentage of water did you change? 25-50%
What is the source of your water? Tap water at first but I'm introducing spring water to lower the hardness
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? just dipping water until I purchase a vacuum
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner? Seachem Prime

Water Parameters:

What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: .1
Nitrite: 0-.5
Nitrate: 0-20
pH: 6-6.5
Hardness (GH): 150
Alkalinity (KH): 0

Symptoms and Treatment:

When did you first notice the symptoms? 3 weeks ago slight jagged fins - 36 hours ago lethargic
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? Jagged fins
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? from happy and always busy to lethargic and laying at the bottom of tank
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? no
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Not that I know of
How long have you owned your Betta? 3 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? No

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update: I was able to get a closer look at Fishy and he appears to have a fungal infection. A super helpful Petco employee gave me lots of advice even though I ran into the store 15 minutes before close. So grateful! I'll be giving him a salt bath tonight and daily for about a week. And adding almond leaves to his tank. Wish us luck

60 litres with 2 blue rams, my cat!
3,662 Posts
Can't really give you advice on treatment, but his issues are probably caused by bad water quality. Follow this guide CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial, and do the salt and ials, until somoene here who might be able to help more sees this thread. I hope the best for you and your betta!
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Reactions: kaemart

Super Moderator
1,979 Posts
I would also guess that it is your water parameters. It also appears that he is nipping his fins or something in the tank is tearing them. With his current water parameters his fins could become infected pretty easily. If it were mine I would get that vacuum today and do a deep clean. Push the hose deep into the gravel and leave it there until the water runs clear, then move to the next spot. I would split the deep clean into 4, doing 25% each time four hours apart. Even a ten gallon needs 1 water change per week of 25%.
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