How can you tell whether a betta is very young or just starved? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-25-2010, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question How can you tell whether a betta is very young or just starved?

My mother-in-law gave us another betta today....a beautiful mauve/red/blue VT. No name yet.

I wish I can post pictures but believe it or not, I don't have a camera. (Sorry, I'm not much of a technology buff so I've been lazy about getting an updated cell phone with a good cam.)

He arrived in one of those little cups, not even filled halfway with water....there was just enough water (what is that blue dye stuff in the water anyway??) for him to wallow around on the bottom.

I'm trying to figure out whether he is really young or just starved. He has long, fully developed fins (no sign of fin rot) so he must be mature. There were crumbly-looking waste particles in the cup, so he must've been fed. But he barely has an abdomen! When viewed from the top, there is a steep, angular drop from his head to his midsection. He practically looks like a lollipop! Is this how a very young yet healthy betta looks? I'm hoping someone here can help me figure this out because I did a Google search for "betta age size" but didn't find anything definite or helpful.

Fortunately, I had a spare X-large Kritter Keeper (6.5 - 7 gallons), an extra ZooMed floating betta log, and a backup Hydor Theo heater on hand. I fed him a pellet while he was being acclimated in the cup but when he started exploring the tank, he started eating the BioZyme I sprinkled in the water.

Last edited by RandomFish; 06-25-2010 at 09:18 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 01:07 AM
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A healthy fish should have a smooth declining angle from head to tail. It should not look like a lollipop. It may have been fed etc, but maybe it hasn't got the nutrients that it needs (wrong food). Apparently I'm not feeding my fish properly so I'm not the best person to give advice. But I think frozen bloodworms should fatten it up. Just don't feed it too much.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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A healthy fish should have a smooth declining angle from head to tail.
Yeah, even my husband who has zero interest in fish commented that "the fish upstairs isn't in good shape at all."

It's confusing because his coloring is awesome and his fins are full but his body is just so thin. I came to the conclusion that he miraculously managed to exist in an inch of water for months and his muscles shrank due to lack of exercise. He's been swimming around a lot today and I can see his body just starting to thicken.

I'm calling the little guy Wisp because he looks like a little wisp of purple smoke. He was resting on his little patch of water sprite (he prefers it to his floating log) the last time I looked in on him. Had to double-check to make sure he was still alive.

I'll have to grab a pack of bloodworms on my next trip to the pet shop then. I wanna see him get buff and beautiful!

Last edited by RandomFish; 06-27-2010 at 02:06 AM.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 10:08 AM
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dont feed him just bloodworms feed him a mixed variety of foods get a heater filter a big tank at least 5 gallons and some hiding places

my beta's
female purple vt-grace
blue and white marbled hm-kisame-lighto
white marbled hm-boo
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 12:18 PM
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He's probably just really thin.

I highly recommend you buy some New Life Spectrum GROW. It is high in protein and will fatten up your new baby in no time.
Here's a link to BigAl's.. I think their prices are good. http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...thformula275gr

That's the big can, you can get the smaller for cheaper.

Since your fish is so thin you need to be extra careful about what and how much you feed him. You don't want to overfeed or constipate him. I suggest 1 pellet 3times a day, you can also do the same with frozen blood worms (1 per meal). Make sure you soak your pellets before feeding so they don't expand too much when he eats them. It may also be helpful to soak them in garlic juice (from freshly cut garlic) to help kill and prevent parasites. Stay away from freeze dried foods until he is more healthy.

Novice.. She said in her original post that the fish was already in a large tank with a heater and a cave.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
He's probably just really thin.

I highly recommend you buy some New Life Spectrum GROW. It is high in protein and will fatten up your new baby in no time.
Here's a link to BigAl's.. I think their prices are good. http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...thformula275gr

That's the big can, you can get the smaller for cheaper.

Since your fish is so thin you need to be extra careful about what and how much you feed him. You don't want to overfeed or constipate him. I suggest 1 pellet 3times a day, you can also do the same with frozen blood worms (1 per meal). Make sure you soak your pellets before feeding so they don't expand too much when he eats them. It may also be helpful to soak them in garlic juice (from freshly cut garlic) to help kill and prevent parasites. Stay away from freeze dried foods until he is more healthy.

Novice.. She said in her original post that the fish was already in a large tank with a heater and a cave.
Thanks 1fish! This was incredibly helpful. I never had such a thin betta on my hands before so the advice is really appreciated. I'm gonna order the food you recommended in the link fo sho.

I got some bloodworms just now but he just ate a pellet late this morning so I'll give him a worm later.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 06:33 PM
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+1 what 1fish2fish said.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2010, 07:43 PM
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The food should definitely help :) If you can I would try to feed 3-4 times a day, that will help get his metabolism going faster and he'll absorb more nutrients. But if you can't then two meals a day should be fine, it just might take a little longer :)

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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3x a day isnt' a problem for me at this point. He has an appetite though. He would snap up each pellet and then look at me like, "so where's the rest of my meal?" He really liked the bloodworm too.... I don't want him to get too used to them though because I once had a betta who refused to eat anything but bloodworms once he had a taste of them.

I ordered NL Spectrum Growth from ebay yesterday so I hope it'll get here this week. Too bad Petco doesn't carry it. =/

Update on Wisp - he can raise his dorsal fin now! I don't know if it's because he's feeling more comfortable or because the muscle was atrophied before.

And the cutest thing....he's trying to blow a bubble nest and his bubbles are SO TINY!! It's funny how some bettas can have their own signature bubbles. I've had ones that would blow nests that were composed of identically-sized bubbles. Fishbert (my red VT)'s nests are of huge, globby, monstrous bubbles of varying sizes. And now Wisp blows these delicate, barely-there ones that are starting to line the edges of his tank.

He's still small and waif-ish but not so deathly-looking anymore..he already lost that steep drop from his head to his abdomen.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 06:10 AM
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My betta was literally a head down to his tail when I got him (triangular). Now he's a little fatty; loves his food and has muscles :), it's amazing what a few weeks of swimming around can do lol
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