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Old 11-22-2012, 08:25 PM   #1 
LugiaChan
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Question New rescued fish wont eat or too scared of me to eat?



My new fish freaks out when I put my hand over his tank OR if I open his tank. He swims to the bottom and tries to hide. How do I feed him if he does this and when he does surface the food passes right by him without him doing anything?

He's brand new so he may be under going a whole lot from being a rescue. And this guy is nearly impossible to catch, I don't want to stress him further by getting him into a small container just to eat every time o.o And the food falls past him to the bottom. He likes to swim near the heater and rest on it or on the bottom of the tank.

Tank: 3.69 gallon, heater, filter, declorinator.
Foods: Pellets, flakes, freeze dried brine shrimp and bloodworms.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #2 
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One of my guys was perfectly healthy and still wouldn't eat for about a week after I first got him home. Give him time he will eat eventually. Maybe you could tempt him with some live food?
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:57 PM   #3 
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One of my guys was perfectly healthy and still wouldn't eat for about a week after I first got him home. Give him time he will eat eventually. Maybe you could tempt him with some live food?
I thought he'd turn around eventually. He is pretty active, not constantly sitting around. I don't really have any live food though, not really much room to keep it unless it can be done in minimal space :3
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #4 
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Originally Posted by LugiaChan View Post
My new fish freaks out when I put my hand over his tank OR if I open his tank. He swims to the bottom and tries to hide. How do I feed him if he does this and when he does surface the food passes right by him without him doing anything?

He's brand new so he may be under going a whole lot from being a rescue. And this guy is nearly impossible to catch, I don't want to stress him further by getting him into a small container just to eat every time o.o And the food falls past him to the bottom. He likes to swim near the heater and rest on it or on the bottom of the tank.

Tank: 3.69 gallon, heater, filter, declorinator.
Foods: Pellets, flakes, freeze dried brine shrimp and bloodworms.
Ok. Go buy a $2.50 packet fo Hikari Betta Bio-Gold pellets for him. They float for a good long time - you can drop a few in (you're supposed to feed five of them, two to three times a day - they're tiny) and walk away for a while so he can examine and eat them in private.

One of my new bettas did exactly what yours is doing. He didn't eat anything for me until I switched him to the Hikari pellets and walked away to let him discover. It took him weeks to decide that I'm not going to eat him... and then one day abruptly he blew a bubble nest, started doing the happy dance for me, stares at me, etc.

One thing that seems to be helping get my bettas un-afraid of me is to put them on my desk by my computer at home. (One at a time of course.) Not in the back, but in the front, right by the keyboard. After a day or two of enforced proximity to me, they seem to catch on that I'm the bringer-of-all-good-things, not the eater-of-bettas, and get interested in me instead of hiding from me. Soon they start staring at my face, watching my hands use the keyboard and mouse, they get excited when a hand happens to pass near the container of pellets, etc. He's staring at me right now, as healthy and well adjusted as I could hope for.

In summary: switch to the pellets that float longer, give him privacy to discover and eat, but be around him a lot when he's not eating. He'll get over it pretty soon.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:12 PM   #5 
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After a while he will accept you. Staring at him not moving might work. Kind of sounds like. Neophobia
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:15 PM   #6 
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Just let him get used to his new territory, he should come out of his shell soon. Hikari Bio-Gold is a bad quality brand, they switched the ingredients and now it's full of cheap fillers. Get Omega One or New Life Spectrum, best brands in stores.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #7 
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I love new life spectrum. I feed Carter many brands.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #8 
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Hikari Bio-Gold is a bad quality brand, they switched the ingredients and now it's full of cheap fillers.
I am recommending it because:
  • It meets a particular need of this discussion by floating well so it can be left for a while for the betta to find, and
  • My rather picky bettas, having rejected a number of other foods, all accepted it, and
  • They're apparently thriving on it, including a baby betta which is growing rapidly and getting good color.
I haven't tried the brands you recommend. Do they float well?
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #9 
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But inbredants are more important. Picky Bettas are easy to fix.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:30 PM   #10 
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But inbredants are more important. Picky Bettas are easy to fix.
As I said above, my bettas are apparently thriving on it, and I recommended it for the very specific reason that it floats a long while, so LugiaChan could drop some in the tank and walk away.

The problem we are trying to solve here is the obviously temporary problem that the fish is too frightened of the human to eat, so we want to help it successfully eat until it is socialized to cope with human presence. I have proposed a solution - using a food that floats long enough that the human could walk away for a while and leave it to be found and eaten - and I have proposed a food that meets that criterion. If you have a better idea or can recommend another food specifically that floats well, please propose it instead of just complaining.
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