Fin Biting As A Habit

  1. Jen86 Member Member

    So I have a halfmoon, Illy, who bites his fins when the water parameters in his 2.5 gallon tank are off. Obviously I've kept this to a minimum with keeping up with water changes.

    But I recently went on vacation for 7 days. I knew his fins would look bad when I got home. I did a 75% water change literally 20 mins before I left, and another 75% wc literally as soon as I walked in the door.

    And sure enough, his fins were ragged. So I put in aquarium salt and diluted melafix, as I've done in the past, and kept his water clean. So far there's been no fin rot, but now he's taken it to an extreme. It's become a habit now, and in the week since I've been back, he's shredded his fins even more.

    Obviously, when I see him do it, I stop him, but I mean, this is almost a constant thing now, as the picture shows. I don't have an extra 5g tank so I can't move him to something bigger. The only other fish I've ever had who bit his tail was a rosetail (I got him before I knew about their issues), and even he wasn't this bad. I've never seen anything like this before, and have no idea what to do.

    Water parameters as of yesterday:
    A: 0
    Ni: 0
    Na: 10
    Temp: 80
    2.5 gallon tank.

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  2. Sean Smith Member Member

    Honestly . Just keep the water clean and make sure there is no infection . Fish are not supposed to naturally have fins like this so it may not stop . Clean water . Good diet . Make sure to treat infections as soon as you see it and your fine . It's not gonna hamper his health too much besides being careful of infection . He is just not gonna look as pretty . Also the genetic line may have this "habit " issue in it. Honestly though besides ragged back fin he looks really healthy .
     

  3. Jen86 Member Member

    Thanks. I have no idea what his genetic line is, he was a rescue from a woman who bought him on an impulse and had him in a 1/2 gallon container for a week before doing her own research and realizing that he requires more care than she can provide.

    That's about what I did with the rosetail, keeping his water super clean, but that wasn't so much a habit as being bothered by the weight. It's just so bizarre, I've had tons of bettas throughout my life, and have never seen this before.
     
  4. Sen Member Member

    Both my bettas are in 2.5 gallon tanks, but only my delta tail (who's bigger both bodily and fin-ily) nibbles his tail. This is usually in response to something bothering him environment-wise, like his tank temperature rising above 81 degrees F or getting too much light during the evening (I put up a cardboard piece over one half of the tank and he hangs out there).

    Does your fin-nipping betta's tank get a lot of light? Does he have places to hide in the tank? Does he have things to look at outside the tank so he doesn't get bored?
     

  5. sfsamm Well Known Member Member

    I have a major tail biter myself.... I got him to stop (mostly) by giving him a jungle. After many different things tried, what worked was giving him a jungle to explore. I bought a small chunk of mopani for the tannins and a bunch of Anacharis and I stuffed it into his tank. I'd mix it up every couple days for him so it was always like a new place to explore. He eventually was upgraded to a 5 gallon aquascaped tank and up until a month or so ago I still had his Anacharis jungle. The lilies finally got going strong so I removed the Anacharis and the growth from the pile of bulbs is always changing his tank, I trim they invade lol he loves it. He's been tail biting free (mostly) since getting his jungle. Honestly I think he was bored and that heavy tail was taking a beating for it.... Caged animals develop neurotic behavior, I imagine fish can develop something similar as well.