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Old 02-08-2012, 01:38 AM   #1 
Enkil's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Hannibal troubles...

So I seem to be having a bit of difficulty with Hannibal again...

He still refuses pellets. I've tried a few brands and different methods of getting him to eat them. Still nothing. So I thought maybe he'd eat flakes..
No such luck. He wont eat those either. Chomps them up and spits them out. Just like his pellets.
This leaves him on his freeze-dried blood worms. He's done ok on them. Even put weight on. No bloating and no constipation.

Now.. He gets stress stripes if his filter is off/gone. We had it out for a few days while I was hunting down new cartridges for it. He was very stressed, but the filter being gone allowed him a bubble nest. I'm going to try to baffle his filter so he can bubble nest all he wants but not stress over his filter.

I'm having trouble with his light now. He has one of the 3.5 gal tanks from PetSmart that has a 4 color 12 setting LED lighting system. He gets angry and gets stress stripes if his light is not set to the "normal" (1st) setting. This makes his tank look like moonlight is hitting it. Now, if I turn this off at night, I find him stressed the next morning and he wont eat. If I leave it on, however, he goes into his decoration to sleep and greets me in the morning. Should I worry over the light?
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Sounds like you have a very picky betta!

I don't know his history with eating- continue offering the other food, stopping the freeze dried while doing so. Don't get discouraged as he won't starve in a week or so while doing this. Have you tried the New Life Spectrum pellets? Those are one of the healthiest pellets to use, as well as one of the most favored by very picky bettas.
Freeze dried isn't a bad food to feed, but it lacks in other nutrition and vitamins that pellets and flakes give. So keep doing it, giving him nothing but the flakes or pellets- just keep in mind if the pellets aren't the greatest in quality, the taste could be off putting to him.

For the filter- long finned males do need them baffled (usually a sponge in the outflow held on by a new/clean rubber band is sufficient), I would highly recommend not turning it off/removing it when looking for a replacement cartridge- the charcoal ones require monthly changes, the sponge ones only when they are deteriorating, cleaning a couple times a month by swishing in a bucket of tank water you removed during cleaning. Make sure to clean out any sponges that you still have with the filter before replacing as all the beneficial bacteria that was alive in them before is now dead and you don't want it to be pushed into the tank.
As for the stress stripes- it could be from the change of not having the filter, or from something else entirely.

How long have you had him?
How often and the % of water changes are you doing?
What is the temp of the water?

Anything under 5 gallons it's easy to maintain without a filter- just do weekly 100%s (along with a water only 50%) to keep it safe and clean for him. So having no filter is an option as well for him as males with long fins are best with no current/water movement.

The lights could easily be stressing him out- sometimes they are very bright when different colored. Why I hate those tanks with different colored LED lights- they are made to make the tanks more decorative then what is better for the fish.
He honestly should have the light off during the night- they need a night/day routine to keep them healthy and to allow them to get the proper rest, just like us.

How is he stressed in the morning? Could be you wake him up and he isn't eating right away because of that? I always give mine a bit of time after I turn on their lights before I feed them to make sure they are fully aware of everything. I have one boy that sleeps with his head in his cave and even after turning on the light it takes him a bit to fully arouse and swim about/eat.

It just seems as if he is very unsure of his home/surroundings and isn't adjusted.
I suggest getting into a routine and sticking with it so he can adjust easier..
Turn on tank light for 8-12 hrs a day, turning off in evening (keeping room light on for a bit so it's not too sudden for him).
Offer him pellets twice a day for the next week (removing any uneaten within a reasonable time- if you leave them in there he most likely will eat them once they are on the bottom later one, but not a habit you want him to have). Force him to become hungry and eat the pellets when offered. Make sure it's a good brand such as New Life Spectrum, Omega One Betta Buffet are excellent ones to use.
Either keep the filter in, baffled, or out- even if the monthly cartridge change needs to be done don't remove the filter as it will disrupt the tank removing it, just keep it in there until you find the replacement cartridges.
Weekly water changes are a must- filter in you would want to do 50% water only and 50% with substrate vacuuming per week, unfiltered 1 50% and 1 100% per week.

Good luck on everything, sounds as if he just needs some sort of routine.. or if pretty new, then a little more time to adjust.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:36 PM   #3 
Enkil's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Portland, OR
We've had Hannibal for a month today. He's always been pretty odd for a betta, at least compared to those I've had in the past.

I do a 50% water change every week while keeping an eye on the water params to make sure all is well.

I haven't been able to find NLS pellets in any of the stores near us. I've been to several. Next time I get out, I'll pick up the Omega One Buffet pellets and see if he might eat those. I worry about not feeding him because he was very emaciated when we got him and still hasn't put all the weight back on. The bottom of his cup was littered with uneaten pellets.

He's liked his filter as is really. I just feel bad that it doesn't allow him to build a proper bubble nest. So I will definitely baffle it better. It came with a sort of baffle, but that doesn't do a good enough job really.

As for his light.. When I turn it off, he is awake and swimming when I wake. He'll have stress stripes and just generally seems unhappy. It takes hours to get him to eat after that. After he finally eats, he then goes into his decoration and sleeps which he doesn't normally do during the day.
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