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Long time lurker here. I bought this betta about a month ago. I haven't had one since I was a kid so I'm not a genius when it comes to diagnosing diseases. He had a black outline to all of his fins and I asked the store clerk if he had fin rot. She said that they were just some of his markings. I came home from a day of shopping and now his tail looks like this: http://i.imgur.com/sH8Zn.jpg (Sorry, I don't know how to post an image without making it huge).

It was fine until this happened, except for that black outline that I noticed. It never got any bigger. Just this. Is it fin rot? There's nothing sharp in his aquarium that could have done this. :/
 

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He could have bit it. But I doubt that would have happened. Did you say that his Tail got smaller? If it did, then it's probably Fin Rot. If it is, Clean Water should do the Trick. Use Aquarium Salt if you want to. It would be better to use to stop Infection. High Protein Foods are also optional. Hope it's not Fin Rot!!!
 

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It doesn't look like finrot to me, the shape of the rips makes me think he caught it on something rough in the tank. What do you have in the tank, even decorations that may not seem rough to us are still too rough for a bettas incredibly delicate fins. He make have bitten it, but the shape of the tears doesn't really seem right for biting either.
 

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If a Decoration can rip your Betta's Fins, it can also rip Pantyhose. Do the Pantyhose Test. If the Item can rip Pantyhose, it can also rip your Betta's fins.
 

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I disagree. I am going to say it looks like he is biting to me. I had one who did not care for the filter and his fins looked like that. There was only silk plants in his tank and he continued to bite even after i removed him. They grow back and he bites again >.<

in the pic, the filter outflow looks a little strong. Try baffleing it and see if he improves?
 

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With clean warm water, those tears should heal right up in 3-4 days. If they don't seem to be healing, then you've got fin rot.

He could either be attempting tail biting (and making those clean rips), flaring too much (Yes, flaring too much can do fin damage!), the filter output he is swimming against (like Tiki said), or a decoration could be getting caught on his tail :3
 

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To be honest I think it just looks like he blew out his tail from something. Tail biting tends to look like "u" shaped chunks, finrot is messy and unevent, ripping and blow out is usually only in between the rays
 

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There is a Step by Step Filter Baffle in the "Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories" Section.
 
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