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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It appears that Oscar, the betta, is on hunger strike. It's been about three days that he has not come out to eat. He mainly floats in amoung the plants, which isn't unusual other than he doesn't swim around all that much. I know he won't starve to death intentionally so either something is up that is not apparent or he's just trying to slim down.

I haven't changed much, a heavy pruning early in the last week with a 30% water change, same food, no new additions. I'll probably change water today, maybe tomorrow. He appears fine, great colouration, fins are healthy, "breathing" is normal, when he does move, it is active and not sluggish.

I would QT him but I feel that would be more stressful than just leaving him be at this point.

Jeff.
 

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I'd say the fish is stressed - fish don't eat when they are stressed.

I'm sure you've tested the water...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd say the fish is stressed - fish don't eat when they are stressed.

I'm sure you've tested the water...
Yah, everything is fine... even nitrates are below 5ppm. Oh, fine for me is when ammonia and nitrites are zero and the pH is steady... for reference.

I just can't think of anything in particular that would be a stressor right now. I doubt that he is missing the dwarf hygros that I removed as that is the only thing that has changed .

I can't see that he has all of a sudden become stressed over the other fish in the tank, there's been no sign of nipping, aggression either way or even any territorial behaviour between him and the barbs... although I am sure it is a possibility I hesitate to move him into a different setting.

I have never found anything that addresses what GH they would be best in. I've seen everything from "adapt to anything" to nothing being mentioned at all... even in the profiles here. This is the only thing that might be a long term issue as my water is hard and the softening of the plants has been reduced so a water change effectively increases the hardness or maintains the high levels. The other fish are OK in the water, they were selected specifically for that reason.

Betta information seems to be notoriously inconsistent.

Not much I can come up with other than wait and see as I don't think that making changes will be of any benefit.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get so used to checking peoples' aquariums in their profile that I forget others don't.

78F
37 gallon
Planted
Cherry barbs
Emerald catfish
Cherry shrimp

Jeff.
 

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yeah i was on the mobile site earlier lol.
hm. doesnt seem like anything environmental. maybe he's just sick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Perhaps. I'm going to isolate him once I can catch him. Pretty darn lively for a sick fish.

I have a feeling that the huge pruning may be a contributing factor and maybe he is just hiding. I know the barbs are active but have not been a problem yet. Now there is a rather large open water area. He is always hanging in the leaves of the floating stems or amongst the vals where the barbs are not.

I will float a isolation tank with opaque sides and drop some of the plants in there and see what happens. If I am correct he may need to be retanked until the plants fill back in or perhaps even permanently. If I am not.... time will tell.

Jeff.
 

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Is his tummy looking normal? The only thing I can think is that he may have caught a shrimp and gorged himself on it to the point of being sick, I've heard about it happening before. He may also have a blockage of some kind, maybe try feeding him shelled peas?

I honestly have no idea but I hope he gets better!
 

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I get so used to checking peoples' aquariums in their profile that I forget others don't.

78F
37 gallon
Planted
Cherry barbs
Emerald catfish
Cherry shrimp

Jeff.
It's not always up to date, I've found. Never hurts to make sure. I know several times I've went and looked and spent a lot of time making a very thorough post, only to hear "I don't have those fish anymore."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, my daughter caught the bugger a couple of days ago and we put him in a floating isolation with opaque sides with some plants. He looks fine. Still not eating but is lively when moving about. I think it is about 9 days so far. I know some say fish will survive a couple of weeks without food...

I'm at a loss as to what may really be up... will a fish intentionally not eat for any reasons that don't indicate a problem?

Jeff.
 

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Have you tried switching up his food to see if he'll eat anything at all? I've never met a betta who can resist a frozen blood worm or two and/or frozen brine shrimp.

If you're feeding betta pellets, try soaking them a bit in garlic water (crush a piece of garlic in a little tank water) and see if he'll take those. Don't throw the garlic into the tank tho ;/
 

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An otherwise healthy fish will last for months, not weeks, without food. Though, if its not eating for a prolonged period of time, chances are its not "healthy".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How's Oscar doing?
Fine, other than not eating. He's still in isolation but I am being pressured into releasing him into the tank again. I've lost track of how long it's been off hand now, got to be two weeks anyway.

Jeff.
 

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Hello:
I must be slow in getting it what will shelled peas and garlic do to help the critter?
Settle digestive issues, invigorate activity or provide perhaps needed minerals or vitamins.

Just a thought somewhat off topic ‘Do fish need light to be healthy’?

pop
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello:
I must be slow in getting it what will shelled peas and garlic do to help the critter?
Settle digestive issues, invigorate activity or provide perhaps needed minerals or vitamins.

Just a thought somewhat off topic ‘Do fish need light to be healthy’?

pop
Today will be day 18, still no change.

Garlic is supposed to be an appetite thing, peas helps in some sort of fish constipation. The garlic didn't work to get him to eat so I didn't bother with the peas. I was going to try some frozen worms or something but when I was at the LFS their freezer was off... lost a boat load of food due to a failure... so no freezies for the fishies.

I am going to collect some insects today and see if he might be interested in some kicking and screaming food.

I gave up on the isolation (family pressure), I put him back into the main tank. He hangs in the floating plants. This is the fist time I have been able to see his profile due to the opaque isolation container... he still looks fine, "breathing" normally, just is more skittish than normal, of me... not of the other fish though.

Jeff.
 

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Change of scenery can make a big difference in fish behavior. My experience has been that you can't have too much cover for bettas. Even alone, they seem more relaxed when they can easily move about in relatively secretive surroundings. Are you sure he's not eating anything ? They don't need that much because of their sedentary lifestyle. Just some thoughts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Change of scenery can make a big difference in fish behavior. My experience has been that you can't have too much cover for bettas. Even alone, they seem more relaxed when they can easily move about in relatively secretive surroundings. Are you sure he's not eating anything ? They don't need that much because of their sedentary lifestyle. Just some thoughts...
He certainly is not eating anything offered and I cannot tell if he is eating anything else. When I put him back into the tank I pulled some dwarf hygros, all my pennywort and fluffed it up to make a large floating mat at one end... the shrimp seem to like it too. He hangs out in that and around where the vals curve up to and head across the surface. With my new spraybar setup the current is far less at the top which should also let him be more sedate up there.

I'm beginning to think that there is really nothing actually wrong with him other than his attitude, if a fish can have an attitude.

Time will tell.

Jeff.
 

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I know a couple of fish that have attitudes, my daughter's Betta is among them! *rolls eyes at Betta attitudes*

Just checking in on your sick friend, any change?

I may have missed it, and it may not apply, but many people recommend feeding daphnia to help with possible constipation issues in these fish. It's less controversial than peas. Won't do any good if he won't eat it, but is a good thing to consider as a part of his future diet, after the shop gets their freezer back up to snuff, anyway.

Hope all is well. . .
 
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