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Old 08-27-2012, 02:23 PM   #1 
LHARTWICK
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Question Newbie - Betta won't eat

I bought a gorgeous red betta 2 days ago. I've placed 3-4 pellets in the tank over the course of these 2 days. He just looks at it and follows it to the bottom. He looks very healthy and seems to act normal - very quiet, peaceful swimmer. The tank is 5 gallons with a filter and a heater. Should I just wait a few days before I try again? Maybe he's just adjusting? Should I add a small catfish to clean up what he doesn't eat? This is my first betta. I also have a 72G tank with tetras and a pleco, so I'm not new to the aquarium hobby. I've had my 72G for several years now. Thanks!
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:29 PM   #2 
lelei
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Most of the time it depends on the food, bettas tend to be picky, and need something with flavor, and has to be the right size for thier little mouths, I use the Hakari Gold micro pellets and all my bettas love them, next would be the Omega One, or New life Spectrum, they have the best nutrients and easier for bettas to eat..what kind are you using?
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:14 PM   #3 
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Actually, Hikari Bio-Gold is one of the worst recently, the ingredients are cheap fillers now. New Life Spectrum Betta Formula or Attison's Betta Pro are best. Omega One is 3rd best. ;)
The catfish won't be able to go in as the bioload will be too much. If you had the aquarium for several years now, I think you're experienced enough to not be a newbie to the passion. Temperature? Ammonia level? And did you acclimate him to the tank once he 1st came?
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Old 08-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #4 
LHARTWICK
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Food: Aqueon Betta Pellets
Yes - I acclimated: floated the bag 15 mins, added water to bag, waited 15 minutes; repeated; then gently netted him out of bag and into new tank.
The heater I have maintains a 78 deg temp.
I can check the ammonia tonight. He's only been in there about 48 hours.
I do have a can of freeze dried blood worms I can try.
Instead of throwing away my current can of Aqueon pellets since my betta doesn't seem to like them, is it okay to use them in my community 72G tank?
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:27 AM   #5 
LHARTWICK
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Checked the ammonia last night - sure enough, it's registering 2-3PPM (middle color on the color chart in the test kit). I didn't think it would be that high yet, but then it is only 5 gallons and still cycling. I did a water change and added AmmoLock and an aerator. I'll hold off on trying to feed for another day or 2 I guess. I still learn something new every day in this hobby!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:38 AM   #6 
teeneythebetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHARTWICK View Post
Checked the ammonia last night - sure enough, it's registering 2-3PPM (middle color on the color chart in the test kit). I didn't think it would be that high yet, but then it is only 5 gallons and still cycling. I did a water change and added AmmoLock and an aerator. I'll hold off on trying to feed for another day or 2 I guess. I still learn something new every day in this hobby!
WOW. that is dangerously high. You shouldnt let it go over .25 ppm.
Does your tap water contain ammonia?
I'd reccomend doing fairly large frequent water changes until you can get the ammonia down to at most .25 ppm. Seachem prime water conditioner is great- it detoxifies ammonia, nitrite & nitrate.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #7 
LHARTWICK
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He had only been in there less than 48 hours so I hadn't tested it until last night. Maybe I have the 2-3ppm number wrong - I just remember it was the middle color on the color chart that came with the test kit. Not the bright yellow but the brownish yellow. I've already done a water change and added Tetra AquaSafe when doing so. I always use such a product when doing a water change! I don't believe our tap water has ammonia, but I'll check. I will check the ammonia in the tank again tonight and do another water change.

You know what I don't get? Why my neighbor's daughters both have the same betta set up and I don't think they ever check for ammonia and rarely do a water change and their fish thrive! Go figure!!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:25 AM   #8 
teeneythebetta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHARTWICK View Post
He had only been in there less than 48 hours so I hadn't tested it until last night. Maybe I have the 2-3ppm number wrong - I just remember it was the middle color on the color chart that came with the test kit. Not the bright yellow but the brownish yellow. I've already done a water change and added Tetra AquaSafe when doing so. I always use such a product when doing a water change! I don't believe our tap water has ammonia, but I'll check. I will check the ammonia in the tank again tonight and do another water change.

You know what I don't get? Why my neighbor's daughters both have the same betta set up and I don't think they ever check for ammonia and rarely do a water change and their fish thrive! Go figure!!
Are you sure they are thriving? Thrive and survive are different...
Once a week water changes are needed for even massive tanks, any tank size to maintain good water quality.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:48 AM   #9 
LHARTWICK
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Good point! They may only be surviving.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:43 PM   #10 
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It could just be that they were feeding him something different at the pet store and he's being picky because the food is new. Eventually he'll be hungry enough to eat :) Just drop one pellet at a time for now, if he ignores it don't try giving him more until the next feeding. To spice things up, check out the freezer at your pet store. Hikari has some great frozen products, including bloodworms (frozen bloodworms are much better for bettas than freeze-dried).
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