Betta Not Eating - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-10-2007, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Betta Not Eating

Hello Betta Lovers,

My 6-year old son was given a Betta 2 months ago. I, of course, am the real caretaker. I'm a dog and cat person but will do my best to keep any animal thriving. The little Betta is actually growing on me.

He stopped eating 2.5 days ago. Behavior seems normal (from what little I can tell). No poop; but if nothing goes in what could come out? Gave him 30 minutes in an epsom-salt bath. Nothing.

No apparent signs of injury or illness.

I clean his bowl (no soap) weekly and refill with dechlorinated water. Changed it Saturday - when he stopped eating - but did it in the same manner and with the same materials I have everyweek for the last 2 months.

Thoughts? Thank you.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-10-2007, 01:02 PM
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How muh#ch water do you change when you clean his bowl weekly? If it's 100% then may I suggest you stop doing this and start doing smaller, more frequent changes. Perhaps 20-25% twice a week.

What temperature is his bowl? Do you have a heater?

How many gallons does he bowl hold?

What are your water parameters?

I've posted the link to another thread because, although the symptoms are different, I think the cause may well be the same. When bettas are depressed they often become lethargic and/or stop eating.

*Edit* Sorry, here is the link:
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-10-2007, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Betta Not Eating - Reply

Thank you.

I do a 100% water change weekly. I assumed fresh, clean water was preferable.

He's in a 1/2 gallon tank. Santa has a 1-gallon coming in two weeks (assuming fish lives that long).

Next time I get out I can get something to check the water quality.

Bowl is at mid-70's. No heater. This is the starter bowl he was gifted in.

So, in the mean time, what am I supposed to do 'bout/with fish that won't eat?
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-10-2007, 02:06 PM
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changing your tank maintanence routine should help in the long run. It will allow the beneficial bacteria to build up.

it seems unlikely that he's bloated since you gave him an epsom salt bath and it didn't help.

What is it that you are feeding him just now? Bettas can be a bit fussy. Sometimes bloodworm can tempt them into eating again.

It's great that you've decided to upgrade the tank. If you haven't already bought the tank yet, may I suggest a minimum of 5g tank. Usually I find at pet stores over here that there is very little price difference in tanks under 10-15g regardless whether they're 1g, 5g or 10g. 5g is the minimum tank size I'd recommend keeping a betta in. Again the small tank could be making him depressed and hence his lack of appetite.

Mid 70s temperature should be alright. Ideally high 70s is great but mid 70s isn't really a problem.

When you get a test kit I reccomend a liquid one. The test strips are very inaccurate.

Hope this helps, I've got my fingers crossed for the little guy.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-10-2007, 02:32 PM
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my betta just passed away showing these symptoms... RIP Metallic, and this is not the first time that this has happened to my bettas... unfortunately, I , like the rest of he unaware society, thought bettas were fine in a small bowl... this proves wrong. Bettas go under depression where they seem very lethargic and unattentive. I put a mirror in front of him to taunt him, and it used to work... but not recently. He became depressed and stopped eating altogether, I even blow on the water to taunt him to look up to his food... but that didn't work. Then, an hour later, I found him on the floor, sunk :( WAHHHHH!!!

Like Falina suggested, try moving him into a larger tank. I just recently bought a 2 gallon tank for one of my bettas, and he is THRILLED, for only $20.00 at petco... Unfortunately, I can not afford to give him any larger... SO EXPENSIVE! and some plants and a heater... This HOPEFULLY should help.... I suggest doing this IMMEDIATELY... my Metallic showed the same symptoms about 2 days ago, and just last night he passed away. :(
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-10-2007, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Betta Not Eating - Reply II

Thank you. If my son was actually showing any interest in being a pet owner I'd agree with upgrading a few steps. In the mean time little fishy will have to be satisfied with 1 gallon, a new castle to hide in, and some lovely gravel.

I'm feeing him Top Fin Betta Bits. He has a (annoying) habit of getting finicky after 'bout 2 weeks on any food. However, he's shown a consistent preference for the bits as opposed to flakes and bloodworms. Interesting, the blood worms were his least favorite. I tried the Hidoki (sp) and he pulled the same routine of loving 'em for a few days then zip.

I'm not a heartless soul. I gave my kitty companion enemas on an almost daily basis rather than put her down. But I have 2 children, a now-senior cat, a husband and house to maintain. I'm just not up to dealing with fishy depression on top of it all.

Oddly, he doesn't seem depressed. Swimming about, doing all the normal fishy stuff 'cept eating and pooping.
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