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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I'm pretty sure this is fin rot, but before I medicate with AQ salt I wanted a second opinion. A few weeks ago my betta bit off about half his tail. A few days later the end got a little darker. Wondering if it's fin rot or just fin regrowth.


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

Food:
What food brand do you use? New Life Spectrum Betta Formula.
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets.
Freeze-dried? Bloodworms once every 1-2 weeks.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? 3 pellets twice a day for a total of 6.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once or twice a week.
What percentage of water did you change? 30%.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum.
What additives do you use? Prime, Leaf Zone liquid fertilizer.

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.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: below 5.
pH: 6.8
Hardness (GH): ?
Alkalinity (KH): ?

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? 1-2 weeks ago.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? The end of his tail is much darker and see-through.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? Acts the same.
Is your Betta still eating? Voraciously.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Not yet, but I would use AQ salt at 1tbsp/gallon.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? Fungal fin rot, red fin rot with ulcerations. Lots of fin rot.
How long have you owned your Betta? Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Bought him last August, and he was fine when I got him.

On that note, he's had a lot of of fin rot. I just bought a new betta and within 5 days, he's also developed a small white fluff on his fin. Uh-oh. So clearly it's something I'm doing wrong... Is it possible that my water is too acidic? I've heard that soft, acidic water can encourage fin rot....
 

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I personally don't see fin rot or maybe I'm just blind but I believe it's 1 tsp per gallon of AQ salt and not 1 tbsp. Just a heads up.
 

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Did you mean to say he bit it off himself or is that a typo? I just want to double check because it seems like odd behavior maybe.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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He's fin biting; it's not rot. Rot is 99% environmental; caused by filthy habitatl. With your water change schedule and parameters I don't see how it could be fin rot, anyhow.

Can you post a full photo of both boys' tanks? Maybe we'll see something you haven't.

Note: Fin biting is, unfortunately, fairly common. Equally unfortunately there's no solid established reason; just theories: Bored, fins too heavy so they do a trim, started as damage from decor, etc. The two things common to most are brightly-lit tanks and sparse planting.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
TankAddict, I mean he somehow reached around and dug his little fishie teeth into his tail and ripped it off. Lol... meh not loling at all.

RussellTheShihTzu, thanks. I was thinking that too, like How is this possibly fin rot? I was about to call the city and ask what they were putting in the tap water!
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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I normally don't "push" aquarium products; even Prime. ;-) However, I have been using Seachem Stress Guard on Guthrie since he suffered extreme fin damage. Guthrie is a HMEE and he lost almost all of one of his "ears," 90% of his caudal, anal, dorsal and ventrals. I have been amazed at the results.

I also received an OHM that had chomped on his caudal and dorsal in transit. Within three days I was seeing new growth. I've also used it on others of mine that just seemed "off." And for 10 days when I receive new fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He's back in his 10 gallon and hasn't bit for a while, but when he did bite his fins he was in a 2.5g hospital tank. So boredom, lack of decorations and hiding spots. Thanks for the replies and info :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will definitely try out the Stress Guard, that's an excellent suggestion. I'll be moving two bettas into a 29 gallon with a divider and should definitely use Stress Guard. Thanks
 

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Hmm I am a bit late but I was going to hazard a guess at boredom since the behaviour reminded me of when a dog chases it's own tail, I wasn't sure if I could make the comparison though between a fish and a dog for the behaviour since the physical bodies and environments are totally different even though Imo fish are just as intelligent and feeling as dogs.
Glad you got an answer. Hope it gets better from now on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The boy in the bigger tank only bit his fins once while in the hospital tank. The little baby in the 2.5 g was fine until I put his tank in the empty 29g so I could use the LED lights for the anubias. He clearly was not a fan of the bright light!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now I'm nervous the white LED s that came with the new tank will be too bright! I'm planning on planting it very heavily and I have lots of duckweed to cover the surface and make a bit of shade... any suggestions?
 

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Now I'm nervous the white LED s that came with the new tank will be too bright! I'm planning on planting it very heavily and I have lots of duckweed to cover the surface and make a bit of shade... any suggestions?
Any chance you can angle the light so it shines at a less intense angle or so it only lights part of the tank at its brightest?
 
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