Huge Tear in Betta Fish Fin

FishDoctor1

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HI pals! I have a betta fish named Lyle, and he is the light of my life. I got him 3 months ago, and he has so much personality I can’t believe it. Three days ago, I saw that he had two small holes in the middle of his top fin. I don’t have anything sharp in my tank and my filter is very gentle, so I didn’t know what would’ve caused this, but I gave him some stress coat and kept an eye on them. But when I got home yesterday one of the little holes had turned into a huge tear. I was so busy yesterday I didn’t have much time to worry about it, and he was still acting normal and cheerful, but it was really big. The tear hasn’t gotten any bigger since yesterday, but I’m really worried about his fins and I don’t know what could have caused this. What should I do?
Tank at 75 degrees (8 gallons)
Ammonia- .25
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 15
Water changes weekly
 

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H Farnsworth

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Definitely seems like a weak cycle. The Betta could have ripped its own fin I’ve also seen Betta fins rip on decor.
 

Sprinkle

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H Farnsworth said:
Definitely seems like a weak cycle. The Betta could have ripped its own fin I’ve also seen Betta fins rip on decor.
The rip could also be caused by high ammonia. Depending if the OP has plastic plants.
 
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FishDoctor1

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I did a fishless cycle with my tank before I got Lyle, but some decaying plants I had were messing with my water chemistry. I’m basing these readings off a test I did before a water change last week, but since then I’ve cleaned some plant matter out of my filter and done another water change, so I’m hoping the ammonia levels have gone down a lot. Is there anything I should be doing to help him heal? I already said I don’t have anything at all sharp in my tank, no plastic plants or anything:
 

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0.25 ammonia isn't critical (though any ammonia isn't ideal) - usually test kits register total ammonia rather than just free ammonia. If this is the apI test kit then a reading of 0.25 can also be false at times. Though I'd be concerned if it continues to rise. I'd still do more water changes for the next few days to help him heal up nicely. And check around the tank for something that he might be cutting himself off. I also had a betta that would bite his own fins. I gave him floating plants and a snail and he stopped doing that.
 
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FishDoctor1

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Based on my picture, is there any sign of fin rot? I’ll definitely check around the tank for anything sharp and keep an eye out for biting, but I feel like this tear isn’t something he could’ve done himself.
 

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FishDoctor1 said:
Based on my picture, is there any sign of fin rot? I’ll definitely check around the tank for anything sharp and keep an eye out for biting, but I feel like this tear isn’t something he could’ve done himself.
From that picture it does look as though the outline of the fins are a bit ragged and grey. Water changes are the best action you could take either way. It wouldn't hurt to up the temperature a little too.
 

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