Tips For Stopping Fin Biting?

  1. betta_than_you Initiate Member

    After doing so well, Elliot has suddenly begun fin biting. Over the course of a few days, I noticed large, straight chunks removed from his tail. They do not appear to have discolored edges--and his behavior is the same--so I've decided that this is not caused by a pathogen.

    Here's a gif showing the extent of his tearing.

    The first time this happened, I thought he might have torn it on a decoration. So, I removed all his silk plants and sanded down the ornaments in his tank (even though the already passed the pantyhose test).

    But when it happened again a few days later, I assumed it was self-inflicted. In case the cause was boredom, I rearranged his tank decorations. I also added more java fern in case it was caused by stress. Of course, I've also been doing very regular water changes to prevent fin rot.

    These measures have helped quite a bit, but Elliot is still biting from time to time. For those of you who have dealt with this, what helped? Any advice is appreciated.

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    Parameters: 0/0/5
    Test kit used: API Liquid Master Test Kit
    Conditioners used: Seachem Prime, API Stress Coat
    Aquarium Size: 5 gallon Marineland Portrait
    Tankmates: 2 nerite snails
    Plants: Java fern
    Temperature: 78-80
    pH: 7.6
    Filter Type: Marineland Portrait bio filter, and a large sponge filter
    Feeding schedule: Frozen bloodworms (wed/fri), freeze-dried shrimp (sun), New Life pellets (thurs, sat), fast (mon)
     
  2. MongooseALaMode Well Known Member Member

    My first thought was maybe hes bored still? Try putting new things in that aren't decor. Ping pong ball, plastic bracelet suspended by a string(so it is near the top but can spin in place), a clear glass or vase. I've used a glass votive cover that was open on both sides. That was good because my boy had to figure out he couldn't go through the actual glass but could swim through the opening... And it was shaped in a way that an air bubble formed inside it

    I have a rosetail boy that bites his fins but he does it because his tail is too heavy. Your boys tail doesn't look too heavy though.

    Good luck on figuring it out! I hope I was some help!
     

  3. NavigatorBlack Well Known Member Member

    I don't think it's boredom. It is discomfort. His fins are too large, and he is dealing with it.

    In a roundabout way, it is bad breeding. Large fins are worth money, but a Betta shouldn't be able to reach his fins. It is the choices of breeders that are always increasing fin size that cause this problem. The fish himself may be better off with the bites, and the reduction of drag. Since he benefits, it is going to be very hard to stop him.
    The last Betta I kept gave himself one serious fin trim, and then never bothered again. He lived for years with his odd shaped fins, and I decided not to buy any more overbred Betta splendens varieties again.

    A friend is raising some Betta smaragdina for me, and I expect to really enjoy Betta keeping again with them.
     
  4. Mothercrow Well Known Member Member

    Seachem Stress Guard was recommended to me, and I have had good luck with it. You should also check that the flow from your filter isn't too much for him.

    Those big fins are so pretty, but I haven't had a betta with big fins who didn't bite them at some point.
     

  5. NavigatorBlack Well Known Member Member

    If there is too little flow, then the overgrown fins trap bacteria, spores etc, and fin (and life) destroying infections can set in. If there is too much, the fish is exhausted, therefore stressed, and fungus and infections... it all comes back to the size of the fins, and their viability.
    Beauty has a high price.
    The tendency is for the fins to regrow. Keeping the water very clean helps. You are generally chasing after the problem though. The biting is hard to stop, and at a point, you simply fight the results, or allow the fish to modify itself.

    I stopped keeping fancy Betta splendens a few years back because the fins were getting to be unpleasant to watch in movement. The fish are spectacular, but. Fin biting was extremely rare even 20 years ago, and only really took off with the cultivation of extreme fin growth varieties.
    In my view, you either live with fin biting or seek out slightly shorter finned varieties 5 years from now when the Betta has lived its lifespan.