What is causing my betta fish to lose its tail?

In this article, we will answer the question “What is causing my betta fish to lose its tail?”. We will also talk about the probable reasons and therapies for this condition. In addition, we will explore the differences between fin loss and fin rot, which will be covered in greater detail further down the page.

What is causing my betta fish to lose its tail?

Your betta fish can be losing its tails and other fins due to several reasons, from issues with decorations and biting to fin rot disease. There are a variety of reasons for betta fish fin loss, and you don’t have to be concerned about each one. However, it is critical to understand the many reasons as well as how to cure and avoid them.

What causes betta fish fin loss?

Many different factors might contribute to your betta’s fins not being present. Here are a few examples. It’s crucial to understand what’s causing the problem before you start any treatment. The above-mentioned are some of the most prevalent causes why your betta’s fins are losing their color.


Fin loss could be caused by decorations in your tank that are very sharp or rough. One of the issues with the fins and tail of a betta is how easily they grab on things. They may be pulling pieces out if you have rough, pointy stones in your tank or a spot where it may grab its fins. 

Biting the tail 

Your betta might be chewing its tail. There are a variety of reasons why this might be happening, including stress, pent-up hostility, boredom, and some even believe it’s hereditary. 

Fin loss of this magnitude will occur very quickly. It’s fairly uncommon for half of a betta’s tail to vanish in an instant.

Taking action as soon as you see your betta tail biting is essential to preventing it from happening again.

Other fish 

If you have other fish in the same tank as your betta, ensure sure none of them is attacking it. Smaller, quicker fish are known to fin nip and annoy your betta. While its fins are attractive to us, they can slow it down in a tank.

Fin rot

Fin rot is, without a doubt, one of the most common and dangerous causes of betta fin loss, and it is also one of the most dangerous. Fin rot is a bacterial condition that steadily eats away at the fins of your betta. 

Fin rot will spread down to the body if left untreated, and the body will begin to rot. If your betta has reached this stage, it will be considerably more difficult to treat it. However, it is not impossible. 

You’ll be able to detect if it’s fin rot based on the other symptoms. Fins may appear to be painful, have a white edge, or be of a different colour. If you feel that your betta is suffering from fin rot, here’s what you should do.

How to treat fin loss?

Following your discovery of the most common causes of fin loss in betta fish, the following step is to determine the most effective treatment. If it isn’t caused by fin rot or another illness, you can usually leave it alone and it will recover on its own (assuming you clean and maintain your tank regularly). 

For those who wish to expedite the recovery process, here are some of the most successful ways for treating betta fish fin loss and supporting your fish in returning to health as quickly as possible.

Good water quality

Making ensuring your betta’s water is of good quality is one of the most critical things you can do. While you should do this anyway, it’s especially crucial if your betta has lost its fins, since it’ll be more susceptible to infection. 

Water changes should be performed on a more frequent basis in order to maintain excellent water quality. It’s a good idea to start by changing around 10% of the water every day or every other day to get the system up and running.

Additionally, you should test the water regularly to ensure that it is free of ammonia. If there is ammonia present, it will slowly poison your betta, weakening its immune system if it does not kill it.

Finally, ensure sure your betta is in a tank that is appropriate for it. There is a lot of material out there that claims you can keep bettas in fish bowls and tanks as tiny as one gallon, but this is simply not true. Your betta should be kept in a tank that is at least 5 gallons. It should also include a heater, a filter, and plenty of hiding spots. 

This will prevent your betta from being worried or sad, which will both weaken its immune system and make it more susceptible to fin rot and other diseases.

Furthermore, controlling the parameters of a smaller tank is more difficult. Furthermore, if the parameters change too quickly, it will hurt the immune system.

Feed Daphnia to your betta fish

It is unknown if daphnia may help betta fish with fin loss, but giving it some as part of a well-balanced diet will not hurt the fish in the long term. However, diets strong in vitamin B, like daphnia, are thought to help promote fin regeneration and speed up the rate at which fins grow back. 

Consider adding salt to your aquarium 

If you wish to experiment further, you may try adding aquarium salt to the tank. Your betta’s slime coat will improve if you add aquarium salt to the tank. When your betta’s fins are injured, making sure its slime coat is strong is crucial since it will help fight parasites, germs, and fungal illnesses.

What is the difference between fin loss and fin rot?

You need to learn more about both of these problems before you can start assisting your betta buddy. It’s critical to get the cause of the fin damage right because the treatments for the two disorders are fundamentally different. 

Fin Loss

Fin loss is a word used to indicate physical harm to your fish that may have occurred as a result of your pet’s fins snagging on a sharp or rough surface. Fin nibbling by another fish might potentially result in injury. When the tissue of the fin is physically torn, the fin’s ability to function is compromised.

Fin rot

A bacterial infection causes fin rot, which causes the fish’s fins to become ragged and frayed. If the illness spreads and gets serious, the fins may become darkened or red. Large sections of the fins frequently fall off or rot away.


In this article, we answered the question “What is causing my betta fish to lose its tail?”. We also spoke about probable causes, remedies, and ways to avoid fin loss in the future. In addition, we examined the differences between fin loss and fin rot, which are two different things.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments section below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is causing my betta fish to lose its tail?

Will betta fish fins grow back? 

IYour betta should be able to regenerate its fins if you take proper care of your tank and do everything you can to heal it. However, keep in mind that the fin will be exceedingly fragile while it is growing and is more likely to be damaged again. 

Is it okay to use aquarium salt in a betta tank? 

Some betta diseases can be alleviated by adding aquarium salt to the water. It isn’t always a good fit for treating betta disease, and chemical medicine may be a better option in some cases, but when administered correctly, it may be highly beneficial. It is preferable to use tonic salt (or any freshwater salt) for this purpose. 

With what frequency should I change my betta fish water?

Small water changes of 10-20 per cent once every 7-10 days are excellent for your betta’s health, according to the brief version. This also implies that you’re using a filter to protect your data. You can also conduct 20-30% water changes every 2-3 weeks, although smaller water changes are best for maintaining stable water conditions! 

Is it possible to get rid of fin rot by changing the water? 

It is possible that increasing water changes and keeping the aquarium exceptionally clean will be sufficient to prevent fin rot in its early stages. If the infection has progressed to a serious level, it is advisable to begin treatment as soon as possible. Keep the quarantine water extremely clean in order to prevent future fin damage.

How can you tell whether your tail rot is getting better? 

The new growth on the fins will be clear and resemble clear cellophane when they begin to sprout. The presence of a transparent membrane surrounding the fin’s edges indicates that it is beginning to regrow. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the fins regularly so you can keep track of any size changes. 

Is it possible for stress to produce fin rot? 

Fin and Tail Rot is always caused by bad water conditions and is always environmental. Fin and tail rot can also be caused by stress in the fish. Fin and Tail Rot is more likely to occur when fish are handled, moved, overcrowded, or kept alongside more aggressive fish.


Betta Fish Fin Loss vs Fin Rot – What’s The Difference? https://bettasource.com/betta-fish-fin-loss-vs-fin-rot/

Cinelli, E. 2021. It’s Not Normal For a Betta Fish to Lose a Fin – Here’s How You Can Prevent It. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/not-normal-betta-fish-lose-202534232.html

Betta Fish Fin Loss (Causes, Treatments & Prevention). https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/betta-fish-fin-loss/