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Discussion Starter #1
My betta fish seems to be having a very strange problem - he is unable to grasp his food!

I have a 2.5 gallon tank that my fish has been in for about 6 months now. He has been perfectly healthy except for an episode of fin rot about 2 weeks ago which I cured with proper antibiotics.

He has always been very excited and happy to eat with a healthy appetite. I feed him pellets and blood worms. He normally lunges at his food and chomps away on it happily but within the past 5 days, he lunges for the food but completely misses it. He has better luck occasionally with a pellet here and there, but he can't grasp the meal worms at all. He eventually gives up and swims away. I feel so bad for him struggling and I don't know what to do!

Does anyone know what could be causing this and what I can do to fix it? Thank you!
 

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I don't know what the problem could be unless he has something wrong with his mouth that prevents him from grabbing and eating the food properly. You could try crushing up the pellets and bloodworms. Maybe the smaller pieces would be easier for him to get a hold of.
 

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Is it the same food as you have always used?

Like has been said, crushing it up into smaller pieces may help. Is his eyesight ok (although I do have several that will get so excited that they miss several times before calming down enough to look before they leap)?
 

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It's the same food he's always eaten. He literally tries 7 and 8 times before he gets one little kibble. I can pretty much forget about blood worms, he doesn't even try to get ahold of one of them any more. After lunging for the food, he actually starts to take his time and try to grab one slowly, but he still can't seem to get it! I feel so bad for him, it makes me so upset to see him struggle. I've been sitting there watching him every day to make sure he's getting at least 2 kibbles. I don't know what else to do!
 

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I'm not sure flakes would be any easier for him but I'm willing to try anything.

The best way I can describe it is those toy claw machines. The claw always lands on the teddy bear but it can't seem to grab it and just slips over it. That's exactly what happens with his food. He sees it, and his mouth touches it, he just can't seem to hold on to it.
 

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Have you noticed any abnormalities around his mouth/gill area?
 

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No his mouth and gills appear to be fine. The only even remotely odd thing I can find is that he seems to have his mouth partly open 24-7 and I'm not really sure if that's how it always was or if I'm just looking too hard. Also, he seems to stay toward the top of the water. He doesn't float, but sometimes when he's trying to get the food he seems as if he's having a little trouble staying under water - nothing extreme like swim bladder though. He also doesn't build a bubble nest anymore.
 

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Our office betta is having the same problem! We have had him for two years and within the last few days he has stopped being able to eat. In his case, he seems to be overshooting the foot pellet slightly and even when he is o target he never can grasp it. Sometimes the pellet will land on his head or drift to the bottom and he will eventually give up. He has not gotten one at all in two days! Although who knows for sure, his vision appears okay because he comes up to the surface when food is placed on it and his eyes aren't cloudy or anything. I see no problems with him physically except perhaps an indentation behind his top lip, like a shallow trough. Not sure it that has always been there or not but the other two younger fish (in their own bowls) don't have it.

Have you had any luck with your betta, yet?
 

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No, I haven't had any luck yet. I've tried freeze dried blood worms, flakes, and pellets. Althought it's been two weeks or so, I'm not quite sure why he's still alive! I think he may be dying though... he's just sitting at the top of the water holding very still, and if he starts to swim, he turns onto his side and has to work hard to correct himself to upright and then just sits there. He doesn't even try to eat anymore. Good luck with your betta. I hope you find out what's wrong before it's too late.
 

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My Betta is having this same problem! He has been fine for years, no issues, no changes in tank, surroundings, then suddenly he had trouble aiming and getting his food, he would make many attempts and miss, when he did finally get it in his mouth he couldn't swallow it, it would just sit in his mouth. Poor thing is exhausted after eating and trying to swallow. So I would put my fingertip in the water and he would bump his mouth on my finger to help pop the food in, sometimes it would work and sometimes he would just tire of trying. Usually he could get it on his own but lately hes just stopped trying to eat altogether :( he just sits/lays all day, moves around every now and again. never plays anymore. now hes starting to get pale and one of his gills looks a little funny the past week or 2. This has been ongoing for over a month but just the past 2 days has he stopped trying to eat. Did you ever get an answers for your betta on this?
 

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feed sinking food like flake

It happened to my fighting fish. My fighting fish had rotten fins and suddenly he cannot grasp floating food like blackworms. Later I figured out that he could catch sinking food like a piece of slow sinking flake. Now I feed him everyday using this method.
 
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