I purchased a halfmoon betta at Petsmart Friday night. He is in a 2 gal tank with undergravel filter and heater. Water is 80 degrees treated with conditioner and aquarium salt(1/2 teaspoon per gallon). I don't see anything visibly wrong with him, no white spots or anything. He isn't a voracious eater(doesn't seem to like pellets), but he has eaten a few freeze dried bloodworms. Sometimes he seems normal, but i've noticed that he also seems to get between his cave and the side of the tank where the fit is close and rubbing fairly often. He also seems to rub against the heater cord. Last night he was also just hanging out around the top of the filter tube. I was worried he would tear his fins so i disconnected the air hose until he moved, but saw him doing it again this morning. Do you think there is something wrong or is this just his norm?
Last edited by kapeterson24; 12-16-2012 at 03:22 PM.
Reason: additional information.
The filter could be too much for the size of tank & then again he may just like the spot, some will do that. You've only had him a few days so he's probably still adjusting. As for feeding, remember blood worms are only supposed to be a once or twice a week treat so do your best to get him eating pellets. Also do you about cycling a tank? If not you'll want to read about it otherwise you'll probably lose him. When a tank is new it needs more frequent water changes. There are some stickies on the subject on this forum.
Thanks Shellie! I've had bettas before that didn't mind this same filter, so I think he may just like the spot. I haven't had any for a couple of years though. Yes, the bloodworms are supposed to be just treats, but he will not eat the top fin pellets I have on hand. I've given the bloodworms a couple of times because I don't want him to go hungry. I so appreciate your feedback :)
The most important thing at this time is to change out the water and replace it with new water and NO aquarium salt.. bettas are freshwater fish, overexposure to salt will cause health problems such as kidney/liver failures, bacteria that causes fin rot or fungus, or even some parasites will become immune to the salt which in turn will make treating an ailment that would normally work with the salt, not work. Brackish water fish do best with some salt in it, not freshwater. No health benefits to using it, just deadly side effects.
Try Omega One Betta Buffet, or New Life Spectrum for his pellets - even the pickiest of eaters love them and they are a bit healthier than top fin. If the food doesn't taste or "smell" good to them, they won't eat it, and some have a more "refined" taste for food lol.
Otherwise it sounds like you have a good set up for his home.. he may just be trying to find a comfortable spot to spend his sleep time in. May want to look for a broad leafed silk plant that reaches up to the top - it may be a better alternative for him then getting stuck by the filter heh.
Good luck, I hope it helps :) Also, if he doesn't eat the pellets right away, don't give up - continue to offer them daily, and only them.. eventually he will get hungry enough to eat. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks after they arrive to their new home to start eating properly. And don't worry - he won't starve himself, it takes a couple of weeks before lack of food starts to affect them.
Ok. Last night, before I went to bed, I offered a couple of pellets again. I still only had the Top Fin. He ate a couple, but he doesn't eat them right up. He chews and spits them out a few times before actually swallowing them. Today I got the Omega One pellets, but several of them didn't float at all, and the ones that did sank as soon as he did the chew spit thing, so he didn't eat them at all. He did eat a couple of the Top Fin. Not sure what to do. I don't know how I'll get him to eat the Omega if they won't float, but I don't think the Top Fin is as good for him. Do the flakes float? Would they be a better option? He doesn't seem to be rubbing on things as much, so that's good. He seems pretty happy today. I did try turning the filter off, just to see how he'd react. I think he actually likes the column of bubbles. As soon as I turned it off, he went right to it and stuck his head in a little way. He watched a little longer, then the little goober swam straight down the tube. I had to wait for him to come out before I could turn it back on. I don't think I'll turn it off again :) I would appreciate your thoughts on the food.
They should float - never had mine sink. May have a slight film to the surface of your tank which coated the food and caused them to become a tad bit heavier. Plus once submerged in water (from chewing/spitting out) they can easily sink.
They do the chew/spit when the food is slightly too large for them to swallow whole - so they try to bite off pieces of the food (they have small teeth), so what you are seeing with him taking it in and spitting it out, and repeating, is him trying to chew it. He may give up quickly as he is still getting used to pellet food.
I would try cutting the pellets in half (I have to do this with some of mine) - I usually just use my thumbnail as it's easier than with a knife. The smaller pieces should help him swallow the food a bit easier allowing him to eat.
Flakes float, but you have to be careful to not overfeed, and to remove any uneaten shortly after feeding.
LOL how funny.. as long as the bubbles don't create too much of a disturbance at the surface of the water, then I say let him have fun :)
The tank has a feeding hole in the top. I discovered that if I drop it in through the hole, it sinks immediately. If I pull the top off a bit and lay it gently on the water, it floats until he does the chew, spit thing. I'll defintely try cutting it in half. If that doesn't work, I think I'll see if I can exchange it for the flakes. The bubbles don't seem to create much disturbance, but I've never had a betta build a bubble nest, so I don't know if that has something to do with it. Actually, my son has been bitten by the betta bug, so I think I'm going to let him have this tank as a starter set up, and I'm going to use the Christmas money my dad sent to buy a slightly larger set up and better heater.