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I came home today to find Beethoven, one of my beautiful males, with chewed up dorsal fins. This really surprised me because I only just recently purchased him from a nearby pet store about 3 days ago. Ever since then he's been doing fine in his heated (79* C) 1 gallon bowl. ( Yes, a bowl. I'd buy him a bigger tank, but right now I'm really low buget/I don't exactly have room for a tank so please cut me some slack) When I first put him in his bowl, he showed no evident signs of stress, ie : stress lines, discoloration, clamped fins, et cetera. He actually looked a lot more vibrant than he did in the pet shop! I was very happy about that.

Behavior-wise, he swims around a lot but also sometimes floats in place or rests at the bottom. Is this bad? Oh, and I've also noticed that he tends to flare a lot upon seeing his own reflection, as well as swimming 'up and down' the glass with his face pressed against it.

Other than that, he's a bit of a lazy fish, with a big appetite.

Annnnd now that I've finished rambling on about my fish, can anyone help out? Or give advice on how to take care of a betta in a bowl? Hobestly, I'm just looking for some betta advice in general... but most importantly, it would be great if someone could answer my main question (stated in the title above)

Thanks so much!
 
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my bettta used to be in a bowl haha and i honestly dont know what t tel you. he is biting his own fins? that dosent sound normal......and a great place to look for tanks is craigslist there are some great deals there thats where i got my five gallon tank.
 

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There is no problem with keeping a betta in a bowl, as long as they get the proper amount of water changes and care.

Sometimes longer-finned bettas just bite their tails because they might think it's too long (fins are heavy). It won't hurt him, as long as he can still swim normally. And since you just recently got him, he could be a little stressed out from the change of environment.

Bettas rest at the bottom of the tank or float in one place when they're sleeping. It's perfectly normal behavior.

Your little friend is just fine. :). There is no immediate need to worry, just keep an eye on his fins. If the edges of the torn part turn black or look smudged, then he has a problem. But if they look normal, there's nothing to worry about.
 

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That depends on how often you are doing them. When I had one of my bettas in a 1 gallon bowl, I was changing 100% of his water every 3 to 4 days. Changing it any more often than that could stress him out.
 

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Hey I have a tail biter as well. The issue with tail biters is that it can be a difficult task to figure out WHY they are biting their tails, but the good thing is that it is not a habit that is really harmful to their overall health and well-being. I have heard people on here compare it to nail-biting.

You might want to add a drop or two of Stress Coat by API to help sooth any raw areas from the biting. A small bottle will last you a long time.

I also ordered VitaChem which seems to really speed up re-growth. You just add one drop per gallon once a week or whenever you do a water change. You can also soak the food in it before feeding and I personally noticed a huge improvement when I started using it. (Improvement in healing and re-growing though, not curbing the biting behavior.) I put a couple drops on his frozen bloodworms before feeding and let it soak for a few minutes.

I also leave classical music playing for my betta when I go out for more than a couple hours and that seemed to decrease the biting. Some people even give their fish a ping pong ball to play with.

There are a lot of things you can try that may help. Some fish bite when there is a change in water temp or too many/too few water changes, others like a certain amount of hours with light and then to be in the dark, some bettas bite because they are over-stimulated, others out of loneliness.

Do you have betta-safe decor in your tank? What about tunnels or hide-a-ways for the fish to swim through? Do you keep the light on all the time?

You said the fish often flares at the reflection...You can try taping a plain white sheet of paper to one side of the fish bowl to eliminate the glare on the tank and see if that helps.

Your fish is pretty new though, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. The fish needs to get acclimated to it's new home and used to it's new owner. With any luck that might stop the biting, but if it doesn't, I wouldn't be overly concerned. A lot of the fish owners on this site have bettas that bite and they stil go on to lead long, happy fishy lives. Hope this helps!
 
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