I have had BeBe since May 16 (a birthday present from a friend). He is my office buddy, and is generally a happy boy and very good eater. I feed him freeze dried blood worms daily, and he usually skips at least one feeding day on the weekends (a co-worker usually feeds him on Sunday). He's in a small globe tank and I had aquarium gravel and a small, fake plant for him to hide behind - I removed the gravel today, just to make sure it wasn't causing any tank problems and he seemed to perk up a little. He ate last Friday (one week ago from today). When I came in to work on Monday, he didn't do his usual happy dance when he saw me (he wiggles and swims back and forth from me to his bloodworm container, as if to say "I'm hungry"). He also usually swims over when I call his name, but he is not doing that either and is hyper sensitive to any movement of his tank. I think he may have gone blind and deaf for some reason, but don't know why. I had his water tested three times during the week - everything was at safe levels, either zero or extremely low. I changed his water at about 50% on Monday, then took out small amounts each day and added conditioned Betta water. Today (Friday) I did a 100% water change and took out the gravel, but cleaned and put the fake plant back in, so he would have somewhere to hide and rest (he lays on the leaves). I have tried to feed him several times each day, but ended up scooping it out of his tank because he is not sensing that it's there. I also tried feeding him brine shrimp, frozen blood worms, and pellets, but he doesn't seem to know it is there and the water movement freaks him out. I don't see any white on his eyes, but he isn't recognizing me, so I think he can't see. Oh, his fins have also been crumpled, but have not changed color, and after the 100% water change today, his fins did seem to perk up (but he still didn't eat). I'm really worried about him and could use some help - he's my first Betta (and first fish of any kind since I was a kid). Please help me save my little BeBe. Thanks for your replies.
I would be concerned the water is too cold. How big is a "small globe"?? I would not keep a betta in anything less than a gallon (factoring in that plants and gravel take up space too)
As MRBF noted, bloodworms are a once-weekly treat. And the freeze dried ones can cause bloat because they're filled with air. If you want to keep feeding those it is recommended to soak them in water first. But if you tried feeding the frozen ones, stick to those.. Much better protein content.
A week off food will not hurt him but it is important to find out WHY he isn't. What is the temperature of the water?
Thanks for your reply MyRainbowBettaFish. It's a small globe tank, IDK how much it holds (a quart or so?). BeBe never liked the pellets - he would put them in his mouth, shake his head up and down, then spit them out. A pet store recommended the freeze dried blood worms - I didn't know they were candy like and not a staple food - thanks for telling me that. The plant isn't plastic, it's silk. I changed his water 100% a couple of hours ago, and he did seem to perk up, but didn't eat. I'm not sure how to feed him if he can't see. Any suggestions you can provide, as well as tips on another type of food that I should purchase, would be greatly appreciated.
Laki, thanks for your post. I don't know the water temperature, but I left my heater on at work to keep the room an even temp. I will buy a temp. gauge tomorrow to see what it is. Can you tell me any tricks to get him to eat if he can't see or smell his food? I'm willing to buy new/different food, and a larger tank - I just need some help since I'm new at this. I really want to save him. Thank you.
A quart? Like... 4 cups?
Not enough space for the fish. Bettas require at least a gallon and even then I would prefer 2.5 gallons. These are cheap, you can get a 2 gallon kritter keeper (acrylic reptile keeper) for like 10$. A small heater costs about 12$ and the silk plants/caves can be found at a dollar store for cheap but also in pet stores and craft stores for cheap. You can also check your local classifieds for people selling tanks. Whatever size is optimal for you, but he NEEDS a larger tank.
That's first and foremost in getting him to be happier.
Secondly, you want to see the temp of the water, bettas need 78-82F to be comfortable and have their metabolism running right. If this cannot be maintained by the room temperature (and my experience shows me it's difficult for the temps to not fluctuate dangerously this way- night vs day) then you'll want to pick up a submersible heater to keep it stable.
:) It's okay. We all start somewhere. (My avatar fish Lakitu spent months in a .5 gallon 'tank' before I realised he needed more) Pet store employees often don't know, are ignorant, don't care or simply want to make a sale. Take what they say with a grain of salt.
Laki, Thanks again. He might be in that .5 gallon tank, like the one you had. I will buy a larger tank tomorrow for him. Do you have a recommendation on a heater? Where would I get one? Do you think the new tank and heater would improve his appetite? What if he is blind? How do I get him to know the food is right in front of him? I really appreciate your help - thanks so much!
Show him a mirror, you'll know if he's blind! lol
A heater will probably induce apetite, IF the problem is cold water. For a small 2-3 gallon aquarium I reccomend the 10 watt heaters you can get. Mine is Aqueon 10w works great Keeps water about 79-80F, my mom has a 10w from walmart and it works okay. Keeps the water about 77-78F. Those are non-adjustable so they can go awry. A 25w heater works fantastic in a 2g but don't let it come in contact with the plastic (If you're using an acyrilic) and it will last longer too since it doesn't need to work hard in the volume of water. My 25w is Topfin brand from PetSmart, it cost me like 16$ and it keeps my 5g heated up to 82F (it IS adjustable so I control the temp).
Thanks so much for the information. I'm getting ready to go buy him a 2.5 gallon tank and will probably get the 25 W adjustable filter for him (will set it at 78-80, if you think that's good). I will try the mirror and will shine a light on his eyes because they don't look cloudy to me, but he doesn't recognize me anymore or follow my finger on the outside of his bowl.
I have another question, since he's been in the small bowl since I've had him, I'm not sure how to change the water and get the temperature right (I don't want to add any more stress on him). I'm sorry for sounding stupid, but I really don't know how to do this and I need help from someone who knows. Thanks so much for your help!
Hi Aqua Betta its so great you getting him a bigger tank and heater ! 78-80 would be fine, you could fill up the tank put water conditioner in and put the heater in and let the water warm up, you should also get a thermometer so you can check the temp of the water. If you have a small bowl that will float put some of the water he is in now in the bowl and float it in the new tank and every 15 mins add a small amount of the warm tank water in the small bowl and keep doing this for and hour or till the small bowl is almost full and then tip the bowl over to release him into the new tank. Good luck I hope he will start to eat !