Stressed Out About My Betta’s Fins.

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by arctos, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. arctos New Member Member

    Hello, all!

    So, I purchased a male halfmoon betta (who I have affectionately named “Yoshi”) from PetSmart about two weeks ago (March 23rd). The first week, his fins were perfectly fine and absolutely gorgeous. But, then I noticed he had two perfectly “cut” tears in his fins, and a few hours later, I checked on him again only to find his fins had been completely shredded! I immediately suspected the plastic decorations to be the culprit and removed all but one (it has a very smooth finish). This seemed to work and his fins started healing up right away, which made me very happy. My happiness was short-lived, however, because after adding live plants to his tank (narrow java fern and a Marimo moss ball), I noticed his fins had torn again, only this time, it was more jagged and sporadic.

    For the past week or so, I’ve been mulling over his fins. He’s had some regrowth in some areas, but then rips in others. I can’t tell if it’s fin rot, if he’s biting his tail, or if he’s just somehow getting injured. :/ Wven his top (dorsal) fin lost a good chunk, but it’s been regrowing, thankfully.

    He’s very active and has the appetite of a shark. Yoshi loves following my finger, and he is such a curious little bugger, too! So, I’m that regard, he seems healthy to me, but maybe I’m wrong. He does not appear to have any black/white/red spots or marks anywhere, either.

    Earlier today, I noticed he got wedged between the heater and one of the fern leaves and as he pushed himself to get out, I could swear his fins got a little torn. I’m not sure if it’s the heater causing the problem (he enjoys chilling out by there in the night), but I pushed it down further so that there would be more space between it and the leaves, just in case.

    Tank info:
    3.5 gal (I’m hoping to upgrade sometime in the future, difficult right now as my roommate takes up a lot of our space)
    Two live plants (java fern and Marimo moss ball - if this is of any importance, my java fern is growing quite well and producing a lot of babies, which I would hope is a good sign that the water is decent)
    Heater heats to about 78 degrees Fahrenheit and is not manually-controlled
    Has a filter (currently not in use because I was worried the intake was tearing his fins; I ordered a sponge insert in the hopes it’ll help, and it’s arriving this Thursday, so until I get it, I’m doing approx. 25% water changes and cleaning up any feces/food with a gravel vacuum every other day to make up for the filter being off)
    I am currently unsure of my water parameters (I’ve been trying to order a test kit, but I did have my water tested at the store some time ago and the ammonia was the only factor that was slightly above the accepted amount, but I was due for a water change anyway)

    Pics w/ dates:

    March 23: (when I brought him home) 6DF73343-F1E3-4D45-BFF3-80B42B11A548.jpeg

    March 30: Fins became completely shredded 5748E215-E4C9-4EC4-9EC1-6DB8CE58ED8F.jpeg

    April 2: He had a good amount of regrowth (you can see how truly beautiful his colors are here) D994D977-1D9A-4BC5-8901-36692A4AAC18.jpeg

    April 7: His fins started showing signs of tears again C572ACA5-9EA0-44EA-9BF4-75F7CD97FF33.jpeg

    April 8: From one day to the next, his fins got noticeably worse. You can make out a bit how his dorsal fin appears to be “cut off” in away

    Please help me! :( I’m trying to do my best, but I feel like a total failure right now.

    P.S.: Sorry for all the text, I’m just really worried about him. My apologies if the pics aren’t perfect quality, he moves really fast and can be hard to take pics of! Thanks for any help!

  2. arctos New Member Member

    Oh, forgot to include a picture of his current tank set-up!

  3. Gala Well Known Member Member

    Did you cycle the tank before hand? Judging by how it looks compared to when I had my halfmoon, it looks like the start of fin rot. Because the filter is being kept off without any source of water movement, whatever bacteria you have on there could be dying. It may be okay for a few days but longer than that could cause water quality issues.
    Though because you are doing water changes so frequently it shouldn't matter as much, so he should be healing, it may just take a while.
    Have you checked that lantern decoration for any rough spots that he could tear his fins on?
    Is that Java fern buried in the substrate?
  4. WanhiBetta Valued Member Member

    looks like tailbitting to me. Many halfmoon bite their tail because it is so long, or because of stress. He could also do it because he's bored.

    What are your water parameters?
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  5. lilabug4545 Well Known Member Member

    That looks like tailbiting to me. How big is your tank? All of my guys that have tailbitten have done it becaus they were bored.
  6. stella1979 Moderator Moderator Member

    Sounds like good advice so far. :) I just got my first betta a few months ago and am super paranoid about things like this. I would try to upgrade his tank size a bit... (tell that roommate to share;), our betta cube is 7.5 gallons and only takes up a square foot of space.) Since you are filterless right now, you'll probably need to cycle again anyhow, so maybe you could do it in a slightly bigger space? More plants would be great too. :) I had a few plants for my guy at first, but recently added more, and can tell that he's more active, more entertained, and more comfortable when resting.

    I've also heard great things about using VitaChem with feedings. It's a vitamin supplement that will not only maintain health, but will also speed healing. People talk about this stuff like it works miracles in betta fins. :) I in fact just ordered my first bottle today and know that a small 4oz. bottle will last a single fish a very long time, so didn't mind the price tag of $10 on Amazon. My plan is to soak his breakfast in a drop of this stuff every day. Dinner will still get soaked in tank water.