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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My little guy's anal and tail fins are ripping. I only just noticed about 2 weeks ago and have been keeping an eye on him. His dorsal fin doesn't seem to have an tears so I was wondering if the anal and tail fins are just snagging on something in the tank. I noticed as well that there was a hole in his anal fin that looked like something had snagged and torn into it. It seems to have torn into a thin piece and I don't know what exactly to do. I don't know if it's from the material in the tank or just stress.

I have a 5 gallon tank and I clean the water every week using stress coat and stress zyme. I don't have any plants in the tank other than two marimo moss balls. The material of the gravel is glass and I have an African Dwarf Frog that hasn't been causing any problems.

One more piece of information that may or may not be important. I live in a dorm with my little guy and his tank is set in the living room where my roommates always have friends or they chill on the couch.
 

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Pictures would certainly help the betta pros on here, especially a picture of your tank setup and the betta itself with a close up of the fins.

Going on what you said though, and if you don't have any decorations with sharp edges (such as plastic plants), he might be flaring a lot and split his fins. I have a betta who split his fins a ton when he was in a large tank with his reflection to look at. Even with a heavily planted tank he was still frightened/stressed until I moved him into a slightly smaller tank on my desk. The splits heal fast with daily water changes and of course, discovering the cause. :)

PS- I also wanted to add that if you don't have any plants in there, aside from the moss balls, you may want to consider getting him some. He could be frightened with the activity level of the room his tank's in and need some tall plants to hide and rest on. Just make sure they are silk, if you want to go fake, to go easy on those fins.
 

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My guess is that he is ripping his fins on some of the decor.

Take all the decor out of the water and run a pair of panty hose over all the decor (including the jellyfish thing) and if it snags then it will rip is fins.

It also concerns me that you do not have plants (live or silk) in your tank. Bettas prefer tanks that are heavily planted and do like open water. Since that stresses them out.

It is also possible your boy is tail biting. Your photos are clear enough to tell if he is or not.
 

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Your betta is gorgeous! I can see why you're concerned about his tearing fins. :)

I would definitely add some silk plants to your tank. Petco here has a nice variety of silk plants that your betta would enjoy to hide in or rest on if they need a break. Last thing you want is for him to start getting stressed and tail biting. Ugh.

It's great that you got him a log to hide and rest in too. My betta's love their logs. You just want to keep an eye on the paint. I've heard of some betta logs having problems with their paint after being in the water for a while. The pagoda on the right looks like it has plastic plants? That could definitely be snagging his fins. The one on the left looks like it might be ok, but you might want to feel on the inside to see if it's rough in there. I've seen those jellyfish but haven't felt em, so not sure of that being an issue.

Couldn't hurt to follow Vivian's advice with the pantyhose. I try to do that with a lot of the decorations I get now, because some of them look smooth but then end up catching their super delicate fins.

Until you find the cause, just be sure to keep his water really clean so that they heal up nicely.
 

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Then he may be biting them... If he is tail biting then there isnt much you can do. They bite for many reasons, just make sure he isnt bored/stressed and his water is clean. Try placing stuff next to his tank for him to look at. Ensure there are no sharp ornaments/plastic plants in his tank. Personally I prefer live plants and they love it. :) I am no expert, but that is my 2 cents.
 

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Hi. I had my own betta flare his way to tearing up his fins in the last week. I put paper on the back and was careful with water changes and using the stress coat his fins have shown big changes in healing in less than a week. If nothing is there for him to tear he might be flaring and you don't see it. The stress coat will help. It did wonders for my boy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I haven't seen signs that he's actually biting his tail though. I haven't seen him bite it but by the looks of his anal fin it seems to be thinning? Certain parts look clearer than others and a chunk is missing but it doesn't appear to be bitten off.
 

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I never saw my boy do anything that would damage his fins other than "loving" the water intake (that is a heart attack watching him be stupid like that). He managed to rip his fins within an 8 hour period unsupervised. Nearly two weeks out and he's almost fully healed, only one section doesn't appear to be filling in, but hey the rest has and I'll be happy with that. Just keep up on the water changes and stress coat and the fins do heal. If he is biting nothing can you do, if it plants or something else in the tank you can try taking out what you believe is the culprit, or just spend time watching where he favors and "baby" proof the tank to save him from himself.
 
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