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Old 04-20-2005, 03:41 PM   #1
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Fighting fish with missing tail

I looked into my 60l tank today to notice to my horror that my male fighting fish's tail is almost completely missing. There are a few white hair like strands in place of the tail. I have looked about the tank for the missing article but it would not appear to be there.

None of my fishes appear to be aggressive, the tank currently contains:

1 male siamese fighter (missing tail....)
1 albino catfish
1 black molly
1 white molly
4 zebra danio
6 neon tetra
2 black neon tetra

Anyone know what could have happened. The fish appears to be quite pale around the gills and it's eyes seem to be very red but I can't remember whether they were before or not.

Do male fighters grow new tails?
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Old 04-20-2005, 03:54 PM   #2
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I'm assuming you're talking about a betta? The tails can grow back, but it will take a few to several months, depending on how badly it is injured. The size of your tank in gallons is 15 gallons, if I did my conversion right. That's too small for the betta and the other fish. I've seen tetras gang up on a betta before. Maybe in a much larger tank, you could get away with tetras and a betta, but this tank is too small to allow the fish all to have their own territory, so aggressiveness could be a factor. Also, the fish could be aggressive at night, when you aren't there to watch.

I would treat the betta with an antibiotic. It will help heal his tail and it should help the eye and gill area too. I would use one or two treatments of the antibiotic (one treatment is usually 4-5 days). You'll see the tail start to heal, but it will be a while before it grows to its original length and/or color. Some good medicines are Maracyn 1 or 2, Kanaplex, Ampicillex, or TriSulfa. Don't use Melafix (or BettaFix). While this is a wonderful med for other fish, the active ingredient seems to adversely affect the betta's labyrinth organ.
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:10 PM   #3
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sorry, i'm quite new to fish keeping... what is a betta? is it an american term or a latin name? I know my fish as a male siamese fighting fish.
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Old 04-20-2005, 04:14 PM   #4
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betta and fighting fish are the same. I would remove your fish from that tank if you can and treat him with one of the meds An t-iasg suggested in a sperate tank.
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Old 04-22-2005, 02:06 PM   #5
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Have you tested ammonia, nitrite, etc?

My betta also lost a large chunk of his tail during the cycle. It eventually grew back--for some reason, the new growth is a brighter red than the old.

Give him good quality water and food, and try antibiotics (but I'm not sure if they're available without a vet's prescription in the UK).

Some people have had bad experiences with Bettafix/Melafix, but I found it helpful in treating my betta. I used only half the recommended dose however.
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