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Discussion Starter #1
No matter what I do, Franky still mangles his fins. He recently took a huge chunk out of his tail fin, almost down to his body. I was soo afraid he was going to get fin rot there. I've been treating him with double doses of API stress coat, high-protein food, frequent water changes, etc. Luckily, he didn't get fin rot and it's been growing back slowly but surely.

But how do I make him stop biting his tail?! I try to stimulate him and give him lots of places to hide. I recently got an API water test kit and his parameters are all at 0ppm with slightly acidic water (that's good right?). So what am I doing wrong??
 

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Hello, you are not doing anything wrong. Sadly, Bettas who bite their tails usually don't stop. I have a tail biter and he would bite his tail, then it would grow back, but sometimes Bettas don't like how "heavy" their tails are so they (in effort to make it lighter) they give it a "hair cut" every time it gets too long. Not ALL of them do this, but I've heard people on the forum saying that. Did you try moving the decorations around? Sometimes they bite their tails out of boredom, or if it's too heavy, and for reasons we don't really know for sure. I don't think fin rot can happen from tail biting but an infection can. So just make sure to watch out for that. All you can do is have patience and what your doing now sounds perfect. Good luck!
 

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Unfortunately some bettas just bite their tails. It can be an on going battle but I don't think you're doing anything wrong by the sound of it. What really helps my tail biter is roobios tea. Seems to really help him relax and not tail bite as much. Hope this helps a bit! Good luck!
 

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I have a chronic tail biter. He's currently missing half of his tail. (He looks like a plakat on one side and a halfmoon on the other.) He has a very stable, healthy, 2.5 gallon tank. He gets good food and plenty of water changes, but he still tail bites. He tail bites because he has huge fins - he's an over halfmoon. I don't try to stop the tail biting anymore - he actually gets around much better when his tail is mostly gone.

Does your boy have a long, heavy-looking tail? A lot of bettas tail bite just because they're sick of having such heavy tails. Reducing the flow from the filter/air stones can help a bit. Some of them tail bite due to stress, so if there's any way you can reduce stress in his environment, that could help too. It's hard to get a chronic tail biter to stop, though. It sounds like you're doing everything right. :)
 

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I second what has already been said: sometimes bettas just tail-bite. I've had several, and nothing that I did would stop them. 5 gallon tank, 15 gallon tank, peaceful environment, more enrichment, tankmates, no tankmates, neighboring bettas, or no neighbors - nothing did the trick. It's frustrating for sure, and sometimes you can get them to stop so I'd certainly give it a try, but in the end don't be discouraged if he still bites. It likely has nothing to do with you or his care.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What really helps my tail biter is roobios tea. Seems to really help him relax and not tail bite as much. Hope this helps a bit! Good luck!
Hahaha I love the idea of tea helping him to relax; it helps me relax too :cool:. He’s a VT, so his tail isn’t as long or heavy as more flamboyant fishies. Whenever I do move his plants around, the biting just gets worse (if I change anything, it gets worse). He has a very gentle foam filter (it’s new, and he was biting before I added it). I think he has actually gotten infections before, with the edges of his fins turning red or getting white fuzzy stuff on the edges, but that never got worse and it was always gone by the next day.

I’m relieved that I seem to be doing stuff right in general. Franky had a rocky start and I’ve learned a lot in the past year, but I still worry that I'm doing something to cause this. My mom suggested that because he had such a difficult first few weeks, now he’s a little neurotic and biting is like chewing his nails or something. It’s an interesting theory…:roll:
 
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