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Old 01-26-2013, 01:13 AM   #1 
bettacrazygirl86
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Lazy and not eating, yet making a bubble nest?

I got a betta the other day, and since then, he hasn't eaten. I drop a pellet in front of him and he just ignores it every time. Granted, I've only had him for two days so far, but he seems to be happy. He made a bubble nest, at least.

He's in a 4 gallon heated and lighted bowl, temperature is 76 right now, but my room is really cold. I had the heater on in my room earlier, and it brought it up to 78. It's a preset heater, but when I get the money, I'm going to get him an adjustable one.

Does anyone have any idea why he's being so lazy and not eating? Is that normal for a new fish? I don't think he's stressed or anything. He hasn't started tail biting, and he has a bubble nest. He just usually rests on one of the plant branches near the top of the water, and only moves if I tap on the glass beside him. Right now, he's swimming around, but he still won't eat. :( I don't want something to be wrong with him.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:21 AM   #2 
eemmais
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He's probably just getting used to his new surroundings. Maybe you can turn the heat up in your room a little for him? You could even put a damp, warm towel around the tank which might make him a little warmer. Do you have any frozen blood worms or brine shrimp or something similar? Maybe he just doesn't like his pellet food. I would just wait maybe two or three more days and if he still isn't eating try a a different food. Good luck with your new betta!!
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:42 AM   #3 
shellieca
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Definitely get a better heater as soon as possible. My newest guy didn't eat the pellets for 3-4 days & now he gobbles them up no problem. Just let him be for a few days, keep checking on him but don't tap on the tank. What do you have in the tank? Is the tank tall or wider than tall? Does have room to really stretch his fins out?
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:57 PM   #4 
babystarz
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He's not being lazy, he's lethargic because he's cold. With a preset tank heater the water temp fluctuates and it's making him sluggish. He should start eating within the next few days, but get an adjustable heater for him asap.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #5 
bettacrazygirl86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eemmais View Post
He's probably just getting used to his new surroundings. Maybe you can turn the heat up in your room a little for him? You could even put a damp, warm towel around the tank which might make him a little warmer. Do you have any frozen blood worms or brine shrimp or something similar? Maybe he just doesn't like his pellet food. I would just wait maybe two or three more days and if he still isn't eating try a a different food. Good luck with your new betta!!
I have been. Sometimes I need to turn it off because it gets way too hot, but I like it to be warm in my room too, so it helps him stay warmer.

I don't have any foods other than the pellets. I managed to get him to eat one earlier today, but when I dropped another in front of him, he "ate" it and spit it back out and swam away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shellieca View Post
Definitely get a better heater as soon as possible. My newest guy didn't eat the pellets for 3-4 days & now he gobbles them up no problem. Just let him be for a few days, keep checking on him but don't tap on the tank. What do you have in the tank? Is the tank tall or wider than tall? Does have room to really stretch his fins out?
I will. I just need to get some money to afford one first.

I have gravel, a terracotta pot for him to hide in, a fake plant that doesn't take up too much room, and a betta log, plus the preset heater. It's a 4 gallon drum bowl. I think he has plenty of room. He seemed really intimidated at first when I put him in the bowl. He hid behind the plant until he felt brave enough to start checking out the bowl.

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Originally Posted by babystarz View Post
He's not being lazy, he's lethargic because he's cold. With a preset tank heater the water temp fluctuates and it's making him sluggish. He should start eating within the next few days, but get an adjustable heater for him asap.
Every time I check the bowl, both thermometers I have read the same thing. It's been 78 since I've started using a space heater in my room. It was 76 when I first set up the tank, because my room was freezing. I check the temperature really often too, to make sure it isn't fluctuating.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:09 PM   #6 
AyalaCookiejar
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They like a lot of cover and you should have at least one plant that reaches the surface... With plastic plants, make sure they are safe and won't snag his fins.

He could be lethargic because of a new environment, but he could also have a sickness from the store since he's so new... All of my fish were active when adding them to their new tanks, even after three stressful days of shipping from TX to NE. Hopefully he will warm up and start being active quickly, but it is something to keep in mind that sometimes they are sick straight from the store and its bit uncommon for them to pass away shortly after coming home. I'm not trying to scare you, but its a good idea to keep a close eye on him, make sure that you acclimate slowly, try not to stress him, maybe keep his tank dim while he is adjusting. The first few weeks you have him and the initial acclimation process are critical.

How did you acclimate him, btw?

Edit: its also common for even healthy fish not to eat at first so that's not too concerning. But what are you feeding him exactly? He may be a picky eater, which is also very common.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:17 PM   #7 
bettacrazygirl86
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Originally Posted by AyalaCookiejar View Post
They like a lot of cover and you should have at least one plant that reaches the surface... With plastic plants, make sure they are safe and won't snag his fins.

He could be lethargic because of a new environment, but he could also have a sickness from the store since he's so new... All of my fish were active when adding them to their new tanks, even after three stressful days of shipping from TX to NE. Hopefully he will warm up and start being active quickly, but it is something to keep in mind that sometimes they are sick straight from the store and its bit uncommon for them to pass away shortly after coming home. I'm not trying to scare you, but its a good idea to keep a close eye on him, make sure that you acclimate slowly, try not to stress him, maybe keep his tank dim while he is adjusting. The first few weeks you have him and the initial acclimation process are critical.

How did you acclimate him, btw?

Edit: its also common for even healthy fish not to eat at first so that's not too concerning. But what are you feeding him exactly? He may be a picky eater, which is also very common.
He has the pot, plant, and a betta log to hid in. The plant is really soft in and out of the water. I don't know if it's silk, but I know it's not plastic.

He came from a specialty store, and he definitely looked healthy when I got him and even now, so I don't think he was sick. The store takes really good care of their bettas and all of their other fish, and they know a lot about the tanks and stuff too, so I trust them more than I do Petsmart and Petco.

I floated his betta cup in the tank water for a while and gradually added a bit of the new water to his cup until the water temperatures were the same, then I let him swim out into the bowl.

I'm feeding him the typical betta pellets. I don't know the brand, but they're common and I see them everywhere that sells fish food. If I can when I go to buy him an adjustable heater, when I can afford to, I might get him some bloodworms or something. I'm sure the store fed him pellets too though, so I don't know if he's being picky or not. He ate a pellet today. I tried giving him another one, but he spit it out and swam away from it.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:31 PM   #8 
AyalaCookiejar
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Well, there are many different types of pellets. TetraBetta pellets are pretty common and they are horrible quality with pretty much no nutrition. Pellets should be the staple - bloodworms are fed sparingly as a treat. Omega One and New Life Spectrum are both high quality and NLS contain garlic which is supposed to be more appetizing to them. Just make sure you get pellets and not flakes. The food should be only like $5 and will last you forever (you should actually throw anything out after a year and you won't even use half the container in that time for one fish).

It sounds like you acclimated him well. But, even healthy looking fish can be sick, and you may not notice for a couple weeks, but its not always the case, of course. Just give him time to adjust, don't keep his tank super bright, make sure he has a proper day/night cycle, etc... He should warm up and start eating, and if not, you can try different foods as they are notorious for being picky eaters :p I would not get him started on bloodworms because sometimes when they get used to bloodworms they start refusing to eat any pellet.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:12 PM   #9 
bettacrazygirl86
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Originally Posted by AyalaCookiejar View Post
Well, there are many different types of pellets. TetraBetta pellets are pretty common and they are horrible quality with pretty much no nutrition. Pellets should be the staple - bloodworms are fed sparingly as a treat. Omega One and New Life Spectrum are both high quality and NLS contain garlic which is supposed to be more appetizing to them. Just make sure you get pellets and not flakes. The food should be only like $5 and will last you forever (you should actually throw anything out after a year and you won't even use half the container in that time for one fish).

It sounds like you acclimated him well. But, even healthy looking fish can be sick, and you may not notice for a couple weeks, but its not always the case, of course. Just give him time to adjust, don't keep his tank super bright, make sure he has a proper day/night cycle, etc... He should warm up and start eating, and if not, you can try different foods as they are notorious for being picky eaters :p I would not get him started on bloodworms because sometimes when they get used to bloodworms they start refusing to eat any pellet.
I'm feeding him Aqua Culture betta pellets, but the specialty store I've been shopping at has Omega One and some other good brand of food now, so whenever I can get him an adjustable heater, I'll pick up the new food too and see if he likes it more.

He's definitely doing a lot better now though! He's been swimming around a lot more, and he finally noticed he has a reflection that he's been flaring at from time to time. He's still building up a little bubble nest in the corner, too. He's eating like a pig now, and he'll chase my fingers around to get to the food. He actually ate a pellet off of my finger yesterday. :)
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