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Old 06-11-2012, 03:13 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Unhappy Betta hasn't eaten in a week

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon (want to upgrade soon).
What temperature is your tank? 76 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Bio-Gold pellets daily, and freeze dried blood worms once a week.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 twice daily, 1-2 pellets at a time. She's never eaten a lot.

How often do you perform a water change? Weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime/aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Yes.
On 6/8/12 according to PetSmart: Ammonia = 0 / Nitrite = 0 / Nitrate = 0 / PH = 6.8 / Alkalinity = 40 / Hardness = 150 / Chlorine & Chloramine = 0
On 6/8/12 according to PetCo: "Perfect," though I received no hard numbers
On 6/10/12 according to LFS: "Perfect" and the numbers I received are: Ammonia = 0 / Nitrite = 0 / Nitrate = 0

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Been the same since bringing home. However, she may have become a little more translucent

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Clamped fins about 60-70% of the time though less now than previously; stays at bottom or top occasionally coming to the front or coming out when I'm looking for her.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? Tuesday, June 5th.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. A gal at PetSmart recommended BettaFix. I only did two treatments thus far then stopped because I wasn't sure that was the route to go. Last night I added 1/2 tablet of Tetra Lifeguard when I did a 25% water change.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I'm aware of.

How old is your fish (approximately)?6 months? She's just over an inch long and was marked as "Baby Betta" at the LPS.

I have poured over many, many posts on here before I decided to go ahead and post. I just want to make sure that I can do all that I can and I realize my brain and experience are limited.

We got her (according to my Little Ones it's a girl!) from PetCo four weeks ago. She did just fine. After I did a 100% water change last Monday she seemed to deteriorate - perhaps I traumatized her while removing her??? [I know now instead of using a soft net to capture her in a cup instead.] On Tuesday she would not eat the food I gave her in the morning - though she tried (spit it out repeatedly). I removed the food later and my Dear Husband tried feeding her when he got home from work. She gobbled up one pellet, but would not eat the second one when offered. That night I noticed her caudal fin was clamped.

Wednesday morning she would not eat, nor that night she would eat. However, she did come up to the surface and seemed mildly curious when it was feeding time. I removed the pellet and tried the freeze dried blood worms, but no bite. Caudal tail still clamped.

Thursday morning same thing though she was either hanging out at the bottom or the top. Temperature inside tank same as usual. I unplugged the filter after reading about current/flow/etc. and she seemed to not hide as much.

Friday morning same thing as Thursday. We went to a couple of pet stores and had the water tested. Neither of the store employee(s) could offer a satisfactory solution. I bought a leaf hammock for her. Early evening I did about a 40-45% water change and added the hammock. She seemed to like the hammock. I offered a teeny, tiny pea part to her. Not interested.

Saturday morning I checked on her first thing and found her resting on top of the gravel. That really freaked me out, but she moved about when life began to start in our household. Still won't eat. I did a 40% water change early evening. She hovers around towards the top of the filter. I offer her pea and a pellet soaked in garlic juice for about 10 minutes. Not interested.

Sunday she still won't eat. She's either hovering on the bottom or hiding towards the top of the filter. Fins aren't constantly clamped. We bought the AquaClear filter, but hesitate to install it. Don't know if the filter is bothering her. Don't know if the incandescent bulb is bothering her. We bought and added another thingy for her to hide in/around, and I added blue construction paper to the back tank wall (on the outside of course!) thinking it might cut down on reflection and/or refraction. I did about a 25-30% water change early evening.

Monday morning (today) she came up when I turned on her light and opened the top, but she's still not interested in eating. Light swimming, but mostly hanging around towards the bottom. Occasionally will hover near the front of the tank, mid-way. I offered her a regular pellet, a pea, and then a pellet soaked in garlic sauce - not interested. I plan on doing a 25% water change even though on Mondays I do 100%.

Ever since we've had her she's had two noticeable black horizontal stripes down the length of her body. I thought it was just her markings until I read that it could be stress indicators. She's also had an overall brownish coloring to her with blue showing mostly on her fins. She would get a little blue'ish after eating her pellet(s). And sometimes she looks a little translucent. On the very first day we had her we noticed a white/silver'ish "pouch" near her ventral fins, and a white/silver dot near her pectoral fins on both sides of her body. All these "markings" have been noticed since the first day we got her.

I have not noticed any indications of ich or velvet or popeye or droopsy. No white, cooper, red or gold flakes on her. No laboring breathing. Her "pouch" seems to have gotten bigger (unless my eyes are deceiving me). I'm not totally ruling out Swim Bladder, however that seems dubious given her dainty appetite previously and her not eating for a week now.

I am curious, is there something that can be added to the water for her nutrition at least? Should I be adding any beneficial bacteria?

We would like to get a 20 gallon, add LED lighting, and a better filter. However, I do not wish to move her to a new environment when it's obvious something isn't right with her at the moment.

One more thing, I took pictures of her to share and that's when I noticed a reddish hue just southeast of her face.

Thanks in advance to any who respond. Sorry for the length - just wanted to provide enough information for y'all to analyze.
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Last edited by ImBlessed; 06-11-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:14 PM   #2 
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A couple of more photos:
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #3 
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And the tank/environment:
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #4 
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She's so little. :) Mine's not eating much either. It could be from the movements and changes you're putting on the aquarium. Causing her stress. Could the current from your filter be too strong? There are ways to fix that. I'm no expert. I hope it gets better.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:43 PM   #5 
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i'm no expert, either, but i'm tempted to say just give her a little time. let the tank stabilize a little, & maybe she will, too. if your readings are good then i doubt it's anything in the water, & i'm not sure i'd do any water changes for a bit (keep testing it, but maybe give it a week or so b/f doing any more water changes).

since you have a filter i don't think you need to do 100% water changes on a weekly basis. i have the same tank & heater as you, & i do major water changes only when the tank starts to look a little rancid - for example, a lot of debris in the gravel - & even then it's not a complete 100% change; i make sure that i still add a little of the old/cycled water back in so that there is a good base of beneficial bacteria to propagate.

what's the little one's name?
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:48 PM   #6 
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Thank you for taking the time to send your replies. I got home late and didn't want to freak her out by doing any water changes. We got some Epsom salt tonight. Here's what I'm thinking of doing in the AM:

100% water change so as to clear out any remaining meds. Add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt for each gallon, along with Prime conditioner. Thorough cleaning of toys in tank (warm to hot water only along with some light cleaning with a toothbrush). I would remove the filter (I turned it off for now), however I believe it gives her another place to hide (comfort). Perhaps I need to move her to another location in the house altogether.

Tomorrow night, I will do a 50% water change.

I will continue to offer her food. Does anyone know if there is something available that I can add to the tank to provide her some nutrition? And does anyone think I should add any beneficial bacteria? [Is that even possible?] Please excuse my ignorance as this is my first betta - first fish ever, in fact.

PAMILOV - Thanks for asking! Her name is Freedom :o)
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:44 PM   #7 
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Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
I would just keep a good eye on her for any changes and offer her food morning and evening . Just give her some time I bet she is just stressed from the move and all, I have heard Betta can go weeks without eating . You might want to try some Life Spectrum Betta pellents they are very tiny and thats what I give my little boy and he loves them and are perfect for their tiny mouths, it cost more but worth it and they have garlic already in them . Best Wishes for you and your little one !
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:08 AM   #8 
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Location: NYC
strange for a baby betta not to eat. both of mine are king kong pigs in mini betta form....from day 1. And mine was yours or even smaller size when we started (see photo album for pictures). has your children been feeding it without your knowledge?
...did you try crushing the pellets?

Oh and don't worry about the stripes, It just means that she has a dark coloring when she colors up.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:59 AM   #9 
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Hey! Sena Hansler told me to grate garlic and put the pellet in the juice to absorb it. My fish ate it! You should give it a try. I may look into what Perseusmom said about Life Spectrum Betta pellet. :)
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:05 PM   #10 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
When mine was new he didn't eat for 5 days. Persistence, lots of company, and feeding at the same time every day helped him.

Then a few weeks ago he stopped eating for 3 or 4 days because he got cold. Perhaps double check your temperature, and maybe even increase it? Mine seems to prefer it around 80 or 81, and around 78 he begins to hang around the heater a little bit (Thankfully thats when my heater switches back on to heat it back to 81 I'm pretty sure). Although MOST bettas like 78 - 80, some prefer a higher temperature, especially if they're small (mine is really small, even though he's full grown).

Also try spending more time with her, because she may feel as if she's lacking stimulation and therefore is bored.

And those are definitely stress stripes. So I'd actually just return the water to its normal state, as changing water parameters and temperatures may stress her more.
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