My Betta has big holes in his tail! What should I do?

  • #1
I woke up this morning and turned on my fish tank light and when Chubbs came outta the val clump I noticed some pretty big rips and chunks outta his tail. I thought at first that he ripped it on something but I did check everything before I put it in to make sure there was no rough edges.

He has gotten one of his fins stuck in the uptake of the filter before when he was silly and fell asleep next to it. Could pulling his fins outta the filter have ripped them? I also double checked the ornaments and found one pretty rough spot that I must have missed. I was thinking of putting some aquarium sealant over it to dull the edge. Would that work?

Finally, I just read that bettas do nip their own fins. He has one rip the length of his tail down the middle and a chunk outta the bottom. Could he have done that himself? He has to 2ft to himself atm and he just got new plants a couple of days ago so I didnt think he would be bored. I just did a water change today and ill keep an eye on him. Would stress coat be a good idea right now? My tank is cycled btw. Ammonia & Nitrites 0, Nitrates, 10

I'm worried about my little baby. I was gonna get my 2 cories this weekend and they were going to spend a week I the QT before I add them to the tank he is in. Will that be enough time to ensure that he isn't gonna get sick?
  • #2
Sounds like fin rot. All I know about the illness is to maintain excellent water quality, excellent nutrition (including vitachem, if you can get it), and don't/U] use Melafix or Bettafix (these are harmful to bettas, despite what the package says)
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Does fin rot act that fast? Holy cow! He hasnt been showing any signs of illness at all and no unusual spots or anything, I just woke up and his tail was a mess. Ill definitely be pampering the heck outta my little boy in that case. Ill have a look for some vitachem asap. Thanx.

Has ne one eva used aquarium salt to help get rid of fin rot? If so, did it help and how much do u use?
  • #4
"Salt's really not good for Bettas and can cause a sort of reverse-osmosis effect on them, dehydrating them and damaging the slime coat." CObettacouple told me this..
  • #5
yeah no salt. The best things you could do is 1, keep the water super clean, 2, set your heater to 82 degrees warm, 3, feed plenty of live/ frozen foods full of nutrition.
  • #6
It's not reverse osmosis. It's straightforward osmosis. Dave's right about the harm this can do to a betta, though.
Osmosis is the passage of water through a membrane in order to balance water percentage on both sides on the membrane. Adding salt lowers the water percentage on the outside of the tank, so water ends up getting sucked out of the fish's cells (through the cell membrane) in order to create a balance.
Osmosis can be harmful the other way. If you were to put African cichlids in nearly-pure water (say, RO water with no additives), water would flood through the cell membranes in an attempt to even things out. The end result would likely be ruptured cells (I think blood cells are usually the first to go), and possibly death. This has happened to people before, as well.
Reverse osmosis, on the other hand, is forcing water through a membrane in order to imbalance the water/mineral levels, thus creating pure water on one side of the membrane, and pure mineral deposit on the other.
  • #7
Do you have Garlic Guard, Fish Protector and/or Vita-Chem? Those would be good to add daily along with 25% daily water changes to keep the water extra clean. Stress Coat does help some as well.
  • #8
tonite, when I took home two more boys, I asked the pet store if they carried garlic guard as I was almost out..his exact words, "wow I haven't had anyone ask me for that in 21 years" um, I guess you know why his betta's looked dead and I told him so! I hope I learn to stay out of strang pet stores@@@@@@@
  • #9
also, stresscoat and stresszyme work pretty well at healing fins, my goldfish that lost almost his whole top fin, grew it back with this stuff, it even resotres the slime boat and have aloe vera in it ^^
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  • #10
Thanx everyone! I think ill go to the pet shop and pick up some things. Even if he has just torn his tail the above measures should keep infections at bay. The big hole in the middle really does look like a tear tho. Its a perfect sraight line across near the base of his tail and it goes across 3 of the structure lines of his tail. Its really clean as is the one outta the bottom. Ill play it safe tho and treat it as fin rot just in case.
It did seem odd to me that people keep suggesting salt baths for injuries. The amphibian forum I used to belong to suggested them as well and I wanst sure if cause its only temporary it would effect them really badly or not. I could neva bring myself to do it to them cause I was too worried about the osmosis process.
Local petstore, here I come! I know they have stresscoat at least cause they use it on their own fish in the store. I'll ask about vitachem as well.
  • #11
Salt baths are an older remedy that did have some merit, considering the lack of other info we had. Salt causes the fish to produce slime coat, which is important. Salt is mildly disinfecting. It is particularly harmful to many parasites and fungi, making it decent at treating those kinds of infections/infestations.
However, there are newer treatments that cause less harm and have similar (or greater) benefit, so it's better to go with those.
  • #12
Sounds like fin rot. All I know about the illness is to maintain excellent water quality, excellent nutrition (including vitachem, if you can get it), and don't/U] use Melafix or Bettafix (these are harmful to bettas, despite what the package says)

ahhhhhhhh heres the answer to my question about betta fix!!! so do not use...ty!
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Well, its official, my Betta does not have fin rot. He tore his tail someplace and now I'm playing detective trying to find out how. I found the missing middle section of his tail in the bottom of the filter uptake pipe. Either he tore it trying to stop himself from getting sucked into the filter or he tore it somewhere else and it got sucked into the filter uptake and got stuck before going fully into the filter. I'm keeping his water very very clean and he is healing up already. I can see new tail growth (only a little tiny bit but its something). He seems happy enough and Ive change a few things to make it harder for him to get stuck in the filter.
  • #14
Try to find a fine mesh (like what's used to make breeder nets) to wrap around the intake. The stuff has been used by breeders around here, so someone might be able to tell you where to get some. It might just be that his long tail is getting sucked up by the intake, and he rips it trying to get away.
Edit: Also, try turning the filter down a bit, if you can.

Actually, this is an even better idea than mine. It's also really cheap and wouldn't require any sort of jury-rigging, as you'd be using the sponge exactly what it was made for.
  • #15
UK breeders still advise salt baths but i'd say no!

I've had many males shred their tails playing. I don't have fish protector here in the UK, if really bad I use stresscoat. I always use garlic guard and sera fishtamin ( a vitamin thing), frequent water changes with a high quality water conditioner.
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Would putting fine mesh or sponge over the filter put too much stress on the powerhead? I have some stocking material that I could put over it but I didnt want to blow the motor by making it work too hard. I can't turn the filter down as its one of those ones that is built into the hood of the tank. My other idea is that because he only gets sucked in when the light is off I could put him in a small tank with a heater overnight and just replace the water before I put him in each night. Would that be waaay too much stress on him? I'm going to get cories for the tank this weekend but I have a week to work out these problems since the cories will be in my QT. I'm also worried that the cories might get stuck in the filter as well as they are the little ground dwellers.

Thanx for the advice. Ill look around and see what I can find. I have put him in the QT for now to keep him safe till I can fix the problem. I figured being caught that much would prolly be too stressful, it was sorta my last idea if nothing else worked.

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