Do Bettas eat their own fins?

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by DaveC426913, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. DaveC426913Valued MemberMember

    Seems like a silly question, I know.

    2 gal. tank, filter, heater, light, 1 artificial plant, 1 live plant
    Betta is sole occupant.

    I've been leaving my guy alone for long weekends over the Christmas season and I've noticed his tail has been aggressively cropped. It used to be more than an inch long, and now it's down to a half inch. Pretty neatly trimmed too, not ragged. It does not look like any kind of rot.

    His other fins are OK, in particular his analfin is still full-length.

    There are no other fish in the tank.

    Is it possible he's been nipping at his own tail due to hunger?
  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I don't think it's from hunger. They say it's from stress, and I hear it's very difficult to curb that behavior once it starts.
  3. klogue2Valued MemberMember

    Is it possible the betta could have gotten his tail stuck in the filter intake? I hear of that a lot with bettas.
  4. DaveC426913Valued MemberMember

    Ah. So yes to chewing on fins, no to doing because he's hungry.
  5. kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    Another thing you might want to consider is getting him a small hiding place. My friend had a betta that was a tail biter until he was given a significant place to hide. It's not a guarantee, but it's worth a shot. I remember reading somewhere that tail biting is a sign of stress, so giving him a place to hide might lessen the stress.
  6. DaveC426913Valued MemberMember

    Hm. He's got 2 plants that fill a significant volumew of the tank, and there's nooks around the filter where he stuffs himself when he feels like hiding (which is rare).

    Mostly, he wants to eat. He comes right to his feeding place the moment there's activity near the tank (which is common - he lives on the corner of my desk at the office).

    Maybe he's stressed by the water. In such a small tank, I should make more frequent water changes...
  7. DaveC426913Valued MemberMember

    Maybe he's not stressed, maybe he's exhibiting passive-aggression.

    To stop his food from drifting to where he can't reach it, I've taken to sticking it to the glass a few mm above the waterline where it'll stay. He's gotten used to jumping for his food. In fact, he will not touch food unless it's stuck to the glass. If it's floating mid-level in the water, he ignores it (at least, until an hour or so after he's figured out that lunch is over, then he hunts around on the bottom).

    Silly fish can't tell the diff between a pellet of food 5mm away - and my hand 5cm away. He'll jump at anything...

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