Betta fish fins curling

August 6, 2020
Mustard Gas Betta And Curling

Q:I just got 2 ghost shrimps for my crowntail betta in my 1gal tank. just now I saw the shrimp munching on his tail! I read they were compatible. Should I do something? Also I want to know why some bettas have curled up fins at the ends.. I see them like that at a lot of pet stores and my crowntail's tail is recently starting to curl.

Question submitted by Tom, San Diego - CA

A: Hi Tom :),

Feeling lucky today I see LOL (you asked 2 questions so you cheated a bit but we will let it slide - only for this once though ;) ).

OK, let's tackle question #1:

Why I don't recommend putting other creatures with your bettas:

    unless you have a large tank, adding more critters to a small confined environment will not make the respective critters happier. Less space for each of them, more pollution in most cases. More critters = more stress for each of them, as they have to compete for food, space, territories. What most people do not know is that fish in a community tank will be more stressed than ones living alone (or with very few other fish). They will have more of a tendency to get sick (at least the ones that get picked on will). Having to dodge other fish biting at you (or in this case, shrimp!) all day is no fun, and it takes its toll in the end.

    bettas are hard to match with other critters because either the betta will pick on them (tried snails once and the bettas ate them!) or the betta will be picked on by them (as many people find out after adding a seemingly innocent looking tropical fish to a betta's tank).

      what works for one person might not work for another. Each fish has its own personality, and some are more aggressive than others of the same specie, same goes I suppose, for shrimp.
        for me I do not see the interest in adding other fish to my tanks because bettas are so beautiful they do not need anything else to improve the visuals of their set-up. I prefer to focus on the bettas and make sure they have full complete undivided attention and priority.
          a betta that is being picked on will promptly become stressed and this will lower its immune system and it is likely to come down with a bunch of headaches for you (fin rot, fungus, ich, bacterial outbreaks, etc...), most of which are resident in your water and just waiting for an opportunity to take over your fish. Remember that the only thing stopping them from taking over is your fish's immune system. So keeping that immune system happy and strong is a MUST.
            Bettas also have delicate, long fins which are a great target for other critters. They will get damaged easily and once damaged, rot can set in the wounded area and will be hard to get rid of. Is it worth it? I mean, I like shrimp, too, but usually with cocktail sauce LOL.
              if you want your bettas to be happy, just get another betta in another jar and place it near so they can see each other and interact. And this way no one gets picked on.

              In short my answer to question #1 is remove the shrimp and take them back to the store. (no, no do not eat the poor little thangs LOL)

              Question #2 (and I'll keep it short)

              Curling of the fins has been out there forever. It is not a desirable trait, but many fish, as the fins grow longer will get curled endings. We aim to breed it out of our strains and usually most of our bettas will not curl. But it is often seen still, especially with fish with heavy finnage. As for pet store bettas, they are not bred selectively and the hatcheries in the Far East do not care if fins curl or not, for as long as they get their 30 cent a betta and ship a zillion of them out to the US. And that's also why you pay $4 a betta (as opposed to say, $40). hence you might see a whole lot of curled fins in pet store bettas. Since you should never breed them anyways, it probably doesn't matter ;).

              Hope above helped.

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