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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
His tail and top fin are the only two that are being affected by what ever it is. His tail's been healing very well and I wake up to find it's going back to what it was. As you can see comparing my avatar(when I first got him) to what he looks like now, something's going wrong....



I change his water weekly, I add aquarium salt to it afterwards. He's showing no symptoms, he's eating normally, he's acting like his normal self, and does not swim in circles to chase his tail.
 

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Would you mind filling out the form on this link, please? It can really help in pinpointing the actual problem:

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49233

Your fish could be fin-biter, if hes not showing signs of lethargy, hasn't got blackish edges to his fins, and seems otherwise well. You can up the water changes to twice a week, keep his water pristine, and feed a good high-protein diet with live foods - this will help prevent infection.

Do you add salt to his water all the time? How long have you used it? How much do you use? Long term use/excessive use of AQ salt can also cause fin melt.. but as only those two fins are affected, I'm inclined toward fin-biting as the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Housing
What size is your tank? 5.5 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? 82 F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? A pleco that I did not know would outgrow my tank which is soon going to be gone.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH Betta Bites, and Aqueon Betta Food.
How often do you feed your betta fish? I feed him twice a day, once when I wake up, again before his light goes off. He gets 3-4 pellets each feeding.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? The water level drops due to evaporation since he does not have a solid lid on the tank, 30-50% water changes with using a gravel vacuum to suck up the waste.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aquarium salt, and a cap full of Seachem Stability, and have been doing so every water change.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I share an API Master Water Testing kit with my girlfriend whom is moving in with me next week, so I don't get to test the parameters every change. I do not have it with me, but will post it when I do.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Dorsal and tail fin seems to be ripped with a couple small holes. Both fins have become shorter due to the ripping.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Has not changed.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A little bit more then a month ago I began noticing it, he began to recover and his tail was healing and it is happening again.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? None as of yet, waiting for advice on what to do.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for about 2-3 months now, not sure how to tell how old he is.
 

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Okay. Using the salt every change isn't great - it can lead to kidney damage, among other things. Use it as a medication only, and for no more than 10 days at a time.. 14 at very most.

I'd say off the bat your water is a major problem - the pleco will be adding piles of ammonia to the tank, and your water changes need to be upped to help your fish heal (though I still think biting may be a part of issue here..). Clean water, good food - those are the best preventative medicines.

So yeah - remove the pleco, increase your water changes. Do a 100% to flush the salt out - it may be fairly concentrated by now if you're adding it every change and not doing 100% changes..

Why are you using Stability? Are you also using a dechlorinator? Cause Stability isn't one..

A plain dechlorinator like Prime might be better - prime has antibacterial properties among other good things.. and takes care of heavy metals as well as chlorine/chloramine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am waiting for a day where I am not busy and I will be giving the pleco to someone who will have a better tank for it, secondly the water change I can do. I am buying a 29 gallon tank which I will be splitting for him and another male betta.

I will be stopping the use of the salts, I apologize for the ignorance of its use. I have been always using a conditioner... I thought that was a given but I will be changing it to Prime. I use stability after every water change because it says to add some every water change.

I am also going to be adding a bunch of live plants to this new tank that I am buying like java moss, hornwort, so amazon sword and some others as well. I was also thinking of buying some Seachem Matrix filter media to help with the water quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ammonia: 0 PPM
Nitrite: 0.50 PPM
Nitrate: 20 PPM
pH: 7.6
Hardness: Not sure
Alkalinity: Not sure
 

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Don't feel bad about the salt. :) You were doing what you knew to do to care for fish.. and your pleco wasn't harmed by it, apparently they are a bit sensitive to salt, so I dare say there's no harm done.

It sounds like your fish is very well cared for.. I'd be interested to see some updates after the pleco goes, as well as whether you ever catch your betta nipping his fins.. so do please update us once you've made those changes.

And I swear by Prime.. wonderful stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Will do! I do my best to research information for Comet and I try my best to care for him. I will keep you updated via this thread as I make changes to his life. Thank you very much for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So it is a 29 gallon tank: 31.5" wide, 16" tall, 12" deep. It came with a Topfin 40 filter. It comes with a hood with a light, and a large ornament. I need to buy the divider then I will be posting pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So absolutely NO CLUE what happened, but I left for the day this afternoon I came back and found he was like this:


I have no idea why so I did an immediate water change... I feel so terrible that his fins just disappear! I never see him bite his fins, and there doesn't appear to be any pieces of fins in the tank at all... I'll be putting him in his new tank on Wednesday... I hope he survives until then... because I have no idea what's going on with him.
 

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To be honest, it looks like he tore his fins up to me. I have had a couple of fish do this. Keep an eye on him. Rearrange his tank to see if that helps. Check your decorations to be sure none of them are tearing his fins.

I also swear by Prime. It is wonderful and you don't have to use much which makes a bottle last longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just rearranged his tank, but I have no idea what he'd rip his fins on... everything in there has been in since day 1 except for the hornwort but I don't believe it could rip his fins...
 

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Ok, here is how to combat tail biting. It means they are bores, so try live foo like mosquito larve, or get a mirror and let the flare for a it. play games with them, rearrange the dcoration. It all helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, here is how to combat tail biting. It means they are bores, so try live foo like mosquito larve, or get a mirror and let the flare for a it. play games with them, rearrange the dcoration. It all helps.
I've never even seen him do this unless he's a closet tail biter, but even then why would they completely tear off their own fins?
 

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Bettas tail bite for many reasons. Sometimes you can't do anything about it. You can try a few things though. More decorations to play in. Varying his diet more. Flare time with a mirror. Some will stop and some wont. You just have to keep trying and keep his water nice and clean.
 

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I've never even seen him do this unless he's a closet tail biter, but even then why would they completely tear off their own fins?
I have one male destroys his tail on a regular basis. Only when not being observed. I have another who managed to take off his entire dorsal down to his back. Yet another bites if I rearrange his decor. And I recently got a tail biter that I have yet to figure out though he seems to not be biting at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well Wednesday he's moving in to his new tank which is about 3 times are much water, and he'll be neighbours with another male betta, so hopefully his neighbour will keep his mind off things.
 

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That can stress him if he can always see it, what about puttign a piece of construction paper, or some other thin between them and give them a few minutes of flare time a day. Too much flare time stresses them.
 
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