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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! So my betta fish’s tail and fins have been ripping and look torn up, I don’t know if he has fin rot, is stressed and tore them himself, or if the decorations he has is too sharp. He was in a 2.5 when his fins first started to tear, but now he is in a 5.5 gallon tank. I would like help on what to do and what is causing his beautiful fins and tail to be to ruined. Thank you! The first picture is how he is now versus how he once was. He’s always been a mellow betta, he swims around still and still has an appetite.
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Please fill out this form in its entirety. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Please fill out this form in its entirety. Thank you.
How many gallons is your tank?
5.5 gallons
Does it have a filter?
yes, a sponge filter
Does it have a heater?
yes
What temperature is your tank?
78
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
no air stone.
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
no.

Food:
What food brand do you use?
Fluval
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
Flakes
Freeze-dried?
I’m not sure.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
a small pinch every day and 4 bloodworms every other day

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
Once every 2 weeks.
What percentage of water did you change?
25-50%
What is the source of your water?
Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
I vaccumn the substrate
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?
I don’t add anything else.
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. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: not sure
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.5-7
Hardness (GH): 30
Alkalinity (KH): 40

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
he suddenly had a chunk out of his tail a week ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
his fins have become more ragged
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
his behavior hasn’t changed.
Is your Betta still eating?
yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
i haven’t as I dont want to make a mistake.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
no
How long have you owned your Betta?
6 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
he was stressed, but that is all.
 

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Hmmm...It's not clear from the first picture whether your fish is either biting its own fins or it's fin-rot.

If your fish is biting:
Try introducing lots of plants (but not too much) into the tank so that your fish would be more inclined to nibble on them rather than its own tail. I've never had this issue with my Pink Orchid but I imagine purchasing a plant that looks similar to its own pigment may help. Artificial plants made from silk are not sharp and are very durable while still being soft enough for your fish to swim through. Real plants also help produce oxygen in the tank and decrease carbonate production.

If your fish has fin rot:
Try introducing Maracyn-Oxy and/or Betta Fix into your next partial water change in proportion to the amount of water your tank holds. Water quality is the main cause of fin rot and the medication listed prior would help clear this up. Also, check the nutritional facts on the food that you are feeding the fish and make sure that what you are feeding it is on the nutritious side for what it is. Fluval is usually great, but my Betta has been loving pellets made by Aqueon. Generally, Fluval Bug Bites have been shown to be the best food for Bettas all across the board.

If it is caused by damage from tank objects:
Make sure that if there are any artificial plants in your tank, they are not sharp to the touch. If they are, remove them immediately and replace them with softer plants. I recommend either silicone or silk. When purchasing them from stores, they are usually in packaging that allow you to feel them before buying. If there are any objects or toys in the tank that may be causing the damage, remove them and let them dry before giving them a good smoothing with some standard sand-paper. If doing this damages the paint on them if they have any, then that/those object(s) do not belong in the water anyways since the paint may contaminate the water. Do this with any new objects that you buy in the future for the fish as well.

Hope this helps!
 

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Your Betta is fin biting or has decor damage. Fin rot looks like the edges of burnt paper and, unless severe, as with most external issues only needs clean water and either Indian Almond Leaves or plain Rooibos Tea and/or Aquarium Salt. For most external fin issues, antibiotics are seldom needed.

Check all decor using a pair of nylons or fine mesh cloth. Run over and through all decor. If the nylons snag then so will their fins. Feeling does not work as often we don't feel the burrs but they are there.

No one has ever established a concrete reason why fish bite their fins. On this Forum, the most prevalent common denominators seem to be Betta with exaggerated fins (like Rose Tails or Feather Tails), in tanks that are bright and tanks that are open and that do not have shaded areas. Can you post a photo of his entire tank?

Both Indian Almond Leaves and plain Rooibos Tea have antifungal and antibacterial properties; they also have calming properties if he is stressed. Float a leaf or a teabag in the tank until the water is at least the color below. If the tank does not tint, brew a strong tea of either, condition and add to tank until the color is achieved. If you make a "tea" you can store the leftovers in the refrigerator.
TankWithIAL.jpg

Form maintenance, a 5.5 needs one 25% water change per week. Make sure to return water to the above color after water change.

I would suggest when you run out you switch to pellets. Not that they're any better but they do not disintegrate and make cleaning easier. I use the Bug Bites for medium to large fish.

He's a handsome boy.
 

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Your Betta is fin biting or has decor damage. Fin rot looks like the edges of burnt paper and, unless severe, as with most external issues only needs clean water and either Indian Almond Leaves or plain Rooibos Tea and/or Aquarium Salt. For most external issues, antibiotics are seldom needed.

Check all decor using a pair of nylons or fine mesh cloth. Run over and through all decor. If the nylons snag then so will their fins. Feeling does not work as often we don't feel the burrs but they are there.

No one has ever established a concrete reason why fish bite their fins. On this Forum, the most prevalent common denominators seem to be Betta with exaggerated fins (like Rose Tails or Feather Tails), in tanks that are bright and tanks that are open and that do not have shaded areas. Can you post a photo of his entire tank?

Both Indian Almond Leaves and plain Rooibos Tea have antifungal and antibacterial properties; they also have calming properties if he is stressed. Float a leaf or a teabag in the tank until the water is at least the color below. If the tank does not tint, brew a strong tea of either, condition and add to tank until the color is achieved. If you make a "tea" you can store the leftovers in the refrigerator.
View attachment 1030232

Form maintenance, a 5.5 needs one 25% water change per week. Make sure to return water to the above color after water change.

I would suggest when you run out you switch to pellets. Not that they're any better but they do not disintegrate and make cleaning easier. I use the Bug Bites for medium to large fish.

He's a handsome boy.
I haven't tried the Rooibos Tea trick and I just happen to have some lying around. I'll give that a shot!
 

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I haven't tried the Rooibos Tea trick and I just happen to have some lying around. I'll give that a shot!
It works well. The Forum generally recommends natural treatments to meds whenever possible. With something serious, like advanced fin rot, antibiotics are certainly necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmmm...It's not clear from the first picture whether your fish is either biting its own fins or it's fin-rot.

If your fish is biting:
Try introducing lots of plants (but not too much) into the tank so that your fish would be more inclined to nibble on them rather than its own tail. I've never had this issue with my Pink Orchid but I imagine purchasing a plant that looks similar to its own pigment may help. Artificial plants made from silk are not sharp and are very durable while still being soft enough for your fish to swim through. Real plants also help produce oxygen in the tank and decrease carbonate production.

If your fish has fin rot:
Try introducing Maracyn-Oxy and/or Betta Fix into your next partial water change in proportion to the amount of water your tank holds. Water quality is the main cause of fin rot and the medication listed prior would help clear this up. Also, check the nutritional facts on the food that you are feeding the fish and make sure that what you are feeding it is on the nutritious side for what it is. Fluval is usually great, but my Betta has been loving pellets made by Aqueon. Generally, Fluval Bug Bites have been shown to be the best food for Bettas all across the board.

If it is caused by damage from tank objects:
Make sure that if there are any artificial plants in your tank, they are not sharp to the touch. If they are, remove them immediately and replace them with softer plants. I recommend either silicone or silk. When purchasing them from stores, they are usually in packaging that allow you to feel them before buying. If there are any objects or toys in the tank that may be causing the damage, remove them and let them dry before giving them a good smoothing with some standard sand-paper. If doing this damages the paint on them if they have any, then that/those object(s) do not belong in the water anyways since the paint may contaminate the water. Do this with any new objects that you buy in the future for the fish as well.

Hope this helps!
he moves around a lot, but his tail keeps getting worse. I’ve been using bettafix. he’s more active and is eating normally though, i really can’t put a finger on it.

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he moves around a lot, but his tail keeps getting worse. I’ve been using bettafix. he’s more active and is eating normally though, i really can’t put a finger on it.

View attachment 1030415
Hmmm...that does seem strange. If you've been using betta fix then the wounds from his missing tail parts should be safer from infection but it's concerning not knowing what's causing it.

Would you mind posting a picture of your entire tank?
 

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I would try adding more plants, live or silk are fine. If you can get some that are floating plants to add more cover, that might help as well. Bettas love a lot of cover and hiding places. All of my betta tanks are 75% planted. It is though that those in tanks that are more open are more likely to bite. Though I still have one that does even though his tank is heavily planted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would try adding more plants, live or silk are fine. If you can get some that are floating plants to add more cover, that might help as well. Bettas love a lot of cover and hiding places. All of my betta tanks are 75% planted. It is though that those in tanks that are more open are more likely to bite. Though I still have one that does even though his tank is heavily planted.
Will my fish die from tail biting? Will he bite his tail to that extent? I added a lot of new plants yesterday, both live and silk but I couldn’t find any that float. I purchased indian almond leaves from amazon and they come on Sunday of this week, will be be alive long enough for them to get here? How much aquarium salt should I put in a 5.5 gallon tank?
 

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Will my fish die from tail biting? Will he bite his tail to that extent? I added a lot of new plants yesterday, both live and silk but I couldn’t find any that float. I purchased indian almond leaves from amazon and they come on Sunday of this week, will be be alive long enough for them to get here? How much aquarium salt should I put in a 5.5 gallon tank?
No, he won’t bite himself to death. The risk is infection because when he bites it’s an open wound. Keep his tank very clean amd use the leaves and hopefully he will stop. I have one that bites from time to time, sometimes we can’t figure out why.
 
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