Betta's tail is shredding! Help!

ara
  • #1
A few days ago I noticed a small (0.5 cm) tear on Buddha's tail. He had this problem before and I did not panic. I just kept his water clean, added Vita-Chem and Stress Coat. Today morning I did a water change, rearranged his decorations and was happy to see this tear getting better. 20 min. ago I checked on him and saw that his tail was shred into stripes! I have no clue what's happened with Buddha and his tail but the tail looks scary. Buddha doesn't have any decorations with sharp edges. I don't see any tail's pieces floating around... Could it be fin rot? Please, help!
 
Martinismommy
  • #2
Poor guy......There seems to be a lot of this problem going on with our Bettas....I have 2 boys right now being treated for torn tails.....I have them on Trisulpha and I have seen great improvement...It is so devistating to see their pretty tails shred like this...With good care and maybe some meds he'll be back to himself soon....
 
Shawnie
  • #3
I'm sorry hes not feeling well
is he still in a 1 gal bowl without a filter or heater? and if not, could his finnage have been sucked into the filter?
the vita chem n stress coat are great for healing but first to find out how is important ..goodluck!
 
ara
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Buddha is in a 6 Gal Eclipse with a filter. He has been there for at least 3-4 month and never had anything like that happened to him. So I don't think it was the filter.
 
Shawnie
  • #5
poor fella..I wasn't sure if it was the one you had a thread about before....unusual withing 20 min his tail would get so bad...did you run a quick test on the water parimeters?
 
ara
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
ammonia 0.25
nitrite 0
nitrate 5
 
Barbrella
  • #7
ammonia 0.25

You need to get rid of the ammonia asap. That's quite high and can cause damage and burning. Do partial water changes until it reads zero.
 
Shawnie
  • #8
for whatever reason, its going thru a cycle again....daily water changes as you have been doing but at least 50% with the stress coat and vitachem...goodluck !
 
chickadee
  • #9
Yes it is a minI cycle probably you did too good a cleaning and perhaps cleaned out too many bacteria. Just be careful and do not do too thorough a gravel cleaning when you do it and don't take the decorations out to clean them. You may want to purchase a sponge filter to run in the background to help supplement the bacterial bed in that tank and within a week he will have a plentiful bacteria supply and you will not have such a touchy tank. I always overpopulate my tanks with bacteria beds since I went through a couple of minI cycles last summer and had babies that were sick from it. So from then on I have had sponge filters in the back of all my tanks bubbling away. I may have problems sometimes but never with minI cycles.

Rose
 
rileyrk190
  • #10
My bettas became obsessed with letting the filter suck them up! It might take them a month to figure it out, but for some reason they seem to enjoy it. I came home once, and my bettas tail was torn to shreds!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #11
I'd do daily water changes to get the tank back to cycled and adding the vita-chem, garlic guard and fish protector (whichever you have). Watch his fins to see if rid-fungus and trisulfa would be needed for treating fin rot if there are any changes.
 
shellbell4ever
  • #12
Aww Ara I feel so bad about your Buddah's Tail...The above mentioned triple sulfa and rid fungus along with frequent water changes should help in a speedy recovery...I know this helped my Bishop with his
Best of luck!
Also you could use some netting or filter material around the filter's intake in case that's where the problem is coming from(just a suggestion)
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #13
Hi all,

Longtime lurker of this forum but now having a really soul crushing time trying to help my betta fish. I've had him for two years now with zero issues.

  • Super happy betta, not aggressive or stressed, loves to explore his tank. I have had him set up in a cycled, 5-gallon Fluval spec by himself.
  • His tank is pretty steadily at 79-80 degrees with a heater in the filter compartment.
  • I do 25% water changes either once a week or twice a week. Ammonia and nitrites are always zero (using the API freshwater kit) and nitrates at maximum go to 5ppm because I have a super hungry pothos plant in the filter compartment (springs up a new leaf almost every week!). I also condition with Prime.
  • It's pretty warm here in California, so I currently have a fan running above his tank to increase air circulation but not disturb the surface.
  • He gets fed a mix of Fluval Bug Bites and Hikari Micro Pellets in the morning and evening-- just enough to get his stomach rounded and then down within 12 hours of feeding. He is a really hungry fish-- constantly gets excited when I go past the tank because he expects food.
  • I change the scenery/tank layout around once every two to three weeks, since he is super active and likes to explore.
  • Lights are on from 11am - 4pm.

Here is what his tank (and his fins) looked like about 2 months ago:


1587843003799.png


About two days ago I noticed he had these crazy chunks missing from his tail-- almost like someone bit it clean off of him. It happened seemingly overnight.


1587843078126.png

1587843095647.png

Since then, I've done 25% water changes daily and added some tannins from boiled alder cones. I ordered some stress coat online as well as some more Indian Almond Leaf. He doesn't seem agitated by the loss of his tail at all.

However, he is looking worse. Today his tail looks like this:


1587843651659.png

It seems like it is only where he can actually reach his tail-- the bottom looks completely normal, which is why I'm unsure if this is rot, biting, or him getting snagged on something. He loves to wedge himself into small spaces, so I think it might be possible he got caught between rocks or something? I removed all hardscape and some plants to be able to better see him as well as put a sponge over the filter in case he is getting sucked into that when I'm not looking.


1587843784688.png

What seems to be the problem here and how can I help him? If it is fin rot, what is the best course of action to take? I have invested so much love, time, and energy into giving him the best life possible so it breaks my heart to see him just deteriorate. I'd appreciate any advice!


Edit: Ordered a ton of plants-- hopefully some new plants and scenery chills him out a little. Anxious to wait while they get here. Meanwhile adding tannins to his water. Will update this accordingly... Hope he mellows out and stops nibbling.
 
Sleepyflea
  • #14
Hi all,

Longtime lurker of this forum but now having a really soul crushing time trying to help my betta fish. I've had him for two years now with zero issues.

  • Super happy betta, not aggressive or stressed, loves to explore his tank. I have had him set up in a cycled, 5-gallon Fluval spec by himself.
  • His tank is pretty steadily at 79-80 degrees with a heater in the filter compartment.
  • I do 25% water changes either once a week or twice a week. Ammonia and nitrites are always zero (using the API freshwater kit) and nitrates at maximum go to 5ppm because I have a super hungry pothos plant in the filter compartment (springs up a new leaf almost every week!).
  • It's pretty warm here in California, so I currently have a fan running above his tank to increase air circulation but not disturb the surface.
  • He gets fed a mix of Fluval Bug Bites and Hikari Micro Pellets in the morning and evening-- just enough to get his stomach rounded and then down within 12 hours of feeding. He is a really hungry fish-- constantly gets excited when I go past the tank because he expects food.
  • I change the scenery/tank layout around once every two to three weeks, since he is super active and likes to explore.
  • Lights are on from 11am - 4pm.

Here is what his tank (and his fins) looked like about 2 months ago:

View attachment 689155


About two days ago I noticed he had these crazy chunks missing from his tail-- almost like someone bit it clean off of him. It happened seemingly overnight.

View attachment 689156
View attachment 689157

Since then, I've done 25% water changes daily and added some tannins from boiled alder cones. I ordered some stress coat online as well as some more Indian Almond Leaf. He doesn't seem agitated by the loss of his tail at all.

However, he is looking worse. Today his tail looks like this:

View attachment 689160

It seems like it is only where he can actually reach his tail-- the bottom looks completely normal, which is why I'm unsure if this is rot, biting, or him getting snagged on something. He loves to wedge himself into small spaces, so I think it might be possible he got caught between rocks or something? I removed all hardscape and some plants to be able to better see him as well as put a sponge over the filter in case he is getting sucked into that when I'm not looking.

View attachment 689166

What seems to be the problem here and how can I help him? If it is fin rot, what is the best course of action to take? I have invested so much love, time, and energy into giving him the best life possible so it breaks my heart to see him just deteriorate. I'd appreciate any advice!
Watch him and see where he likes to set/swim around. Look for anything sharp. They like to wedge themself between things if they can. Other than that i dont know...
 
flyinGourami
  • #15
Looking at the bite marks, it looks like he might have been biting his tail.
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #16
Looking at the bite marks, it looks like he might have been biting his tail.

Is there anyway to prevent this? I understand I need to prevent any infection from settling in since he is biting, but would could be causing it? There haven't been any particularly stressful changes to his tank or outside of it.
 
Sleepyflea
  • #17
Is there anyway to prevent this? I understand I need to prevent any infection from settling in since he is biting, but would could be causing it? There haven't been any particularly stressful changes to his tank or outside of it.
A 5 gallon tank can be stress inducing of itself for a single betta. Most of them prefer 10 gallons to be really happy. But thats just my opinion. How long have you had him.. nvm i just saw it lol.
 
Timo2015
  • #18
First of all, congrats on a beautiful setup! He's a gorgeous fish and he seems very well cared for.

It might be fin rot, since it's developing so fast and you haven't changed the filter or anything--although the marks look a bit more like biting, I don't know why he would have started nipping so suddenly. If it doesn't respond to water changes, I've had good luck with Tetra Lifeguard for fin rot, since it takes care of most common diseases and each tablet treats 5 gallons--but maybe someone else has a better medication?
 
flyinGourami
  • #19
A 5 gallon tank can be stress inducing of itself for a single betta. Most of them prefer 10 gallons to be really happy. But thats just my opinion. How long have you had him.. nvm i just saw it lol.
Keeping this betta in a 5 gallon shouldn't have caused the tail biting, most bettas are fine in a 5 gallon.

Op, as far as I know people don't know much about why bettas bit their tails. Some people have had success with moving the decoration around a bit and giving enrichment. I haven't dealt with tail biting, but you could try training him or having him flare a little(get a mirror, and let him flare for around 30 seconds. If he gets over excited take the mirror away).
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #20
First of all, congrats on a beautiful setup! He's a gorgeous fish and he seems very well cared for.

It might be fin rot, since it's developing so fast and you haven't changed the filter or anything--although the marks look a bit more like biting, I don't know why he would have started nipping so suddenly. If it doesn't respond to water changes, I've had good luck with Tetra Lifeguard for fin rot, since it takes care of most common diseases and each tablet treats 5 gallons--but maybe someone else has a better medication?

Say it isn't fin rot and I still use Tetra Lifeguard -- does it pose any risk to the aquarium cycle/his health otherwise?
 
AquaCaitlin
  • #21
It looks like tail biting to me. The pattern in which his tail is vanishing doesn’t really appear to be finrot.
Maybe look into getting a stressgaurd to add to the water, or even better, some Indian almond leaves. The tannins from the leaves should both calm him and help his tail heal.
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #22
It looks like tail biting to me. The pattern in which his tail is vanishing doesn’t really appear to be finrot.
Maybe look into getting a stressgaurd to add to the water, or even better, some Indian almond leaves. The tannins from the leaves should both calm him and help his tail heal.

I have some boiled extracted tannins-- any advice on how much to add? Just until the water is colored? I don't want to mess with the pH too much in case that stresses him out more.
 
Timo2015
  • #23
I've never had an issue with Lifeguard before (although admittedly I last used it a couple years ago) but iirc it's a good quarantine med, and not harmful to the fish.

The warning on the box says it's not good with new tanks, scaleless fish, or invertebrates, but my bettas have always responded well to it.
 
AquaCaitlin
  • #24
I have some boiled extracted tannins-- any advice on how much to add? Just until the water is colored? I don't want to mess with the pH too much in case that stresses him out more.
How much to add depends on how strong the extract is, and how much you want in the tank. Too much shouldn’t hurt him. You can just add until you start to see the water tinted, or until it looks how you like it
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #25
Update: He's getting worse

He looks like he is getting rapidly worse. Tail is becoming even more shredded looking, jagged, and stringy and moving lower down his tail to the spot where it was still relatively unaffected. Could he still be biting this spot or is it progressing to fin rot?




1587916804211.png


1587916824963.png

Tinted his water with tannins from alder cones a little, hung around with him all day to see if I could catch him biting-- if he is nipping, it's happening at night, within 8 hours. There is definitely nothing in his tank that can be shredding his tail at this point as I've removed everything.

Is it fin rot at this point/a bacterial infection? I have no idea how this could have just sprung up out of nowhere within the course of a week. Should I get LifeGuard at this point? Aquarium salt baths? I am so depressed at this point because my almond leaves/stress guard won't be here until Thursday and he is progressing so fast.
 

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Timo2015
  • #26
I think that's definitely fin rot. I'm not sure a betta could even twist his body far enough to bite what's left... LifeGuard is still my suggestion. It cured some incredibly fast moving fin rot on my old betta (in the morning he was fine... by noon his tail was shredded to the bone), and for what it's worth, I've also found it useful against fungus, ich, and even velvet, so it should protect against any secondary infections as well. Plus the box comes with extra doses so if it comes back you won't have to run to the store again... which is a definite plus in these times.
 
AquaCaitlin
  • #27
Update: He's getting worse

He looks like he is getting rapidly worse. Tail is becoming even more shredded looking, jagged, and stringy and moving lower down his tail to the spot where it was still relatively unaffected. Could he still be biting this spot or is it progressing to fin rot?



View attachment 689477

View attachment 689478

Tinted his water with tannins from alder cones a little, hung around with him all day to see if I could catch him biting-- if he is nipping, it's happening at night, within 8 hours. There is definitely nothing in his tank that can be shredding his tail at this point as I've removed everything.

Is it fin rot at this point/a bacterial infection? I have no idea how this could have just sprung up out of nowhere within the course of a week. Should I get LifeGuard at this point? Aquarium salt baths? I am so depressed at this point because my almond leaves/stress guard won't be here until Thursday and he is progressing so fast.
I would start with salt baths. At this point it could even be a combination of both rot and biting. he might even have an infection of some sort. Do you see any fuzz or abnormalities on his tail where it’s been bitten?
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #28
The store that delivers to me unfortunately only has Kanaplex in stock (no salt or Tetra LifeGuard). Normally I would hate to use a medication, but seeing as this has been progressing so quickly within the course of just three days it might be worth it. We'll see how it goes...
 
AquaCaitlin
  • #29
The store that delivers to me unfortunately only has Kanaplex in stock (no salt or Tetra LifeGuard). Normally I would hate to use a medication, but seeing as this has been progressing so quickly within the course of just three days it might be worth it. We'll see how it goes...
You can use table salt for baths (sodium chloride) as long as it has no additives- like anti-caking agents or anything like that.
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #30
Just added Kanaplex to the aquarium. Super scared but hopeful this helps. Might also add a salt dip/bath in the next coming days if he doesn't get too stressed and if the Kanaplex alone isn't helping.
 
UnknownUser
  • #31
Just added Kanaplex to the aquarium. Super scared but hopeful this helps. Might also add a salt dip/bath in the next coming days if he doesn't get too stressed and if the Kanaplex alone isn't helping.

Kanaplex is extremely hard on the system, especially the kidneys, and he isn't a young fish. IMO It's better to find safe salt and try that before trying Kanaplex.
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #32
Kanaplex is extremely hard on the system, especially the kidneys, and he isn't a young fish. IMO It's better to find safe salt and try that before trying Kanaplex.

Understood. I'll definitely be cautious, thank you for the warning.

My main concern is that there is significant damage being done to his fins within the course of less than 8 hours and I want to really nip it before it escalates faster/further.

Will probably leave him in the Kanaplex for about an hour and then do another water change. Will see if that helps at all.

Edit: Did water change + added carbon back into the filter. Will see how he looks tomorrow morning. Hopefully that dose of Kanaplex is enough to give him a head start on clearing this.
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #33
Day 4 Update: Unsure if he is getting better or worse, but the rot/biting definitely isn't progressing as quickly as the last four days. Feeling more optimistic...



IMG_20200427_083854_397 (1).jpg
 
femmefemmefemme
  • #34
Date 5 Update:

Looks like no more progression! Definitely seems like a case of nipping to me now since it started and stopped so quickly.

He has very faint clear tissue along the older bites which makes me think he is healing, hopefully! Still don't know what caused it, but hopefully the new plants and IAL put an end to it.


20200428_123855_HDR_3.jpg

20200428_123913.jpg
 

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