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Old 02-09-2008, 07:33 AM   #1 
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Location: Central NY
Betta is acting different

In the last two days, I have been trying to feed my betta. I use the pellets and I feed him one at a time.

Last night and this morning, he would take a pellet and then he would spit it back out. Sometimes when he does this some other stuff whitish is coming up too.

Can you tell me what is wrong with him and what I should do? I am very worried and I would be crushed if he got sick and I lost him.

Please help.

Thank you, Lis.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:20 AM   #2 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado
Bettas do this a lot. They are pretty picky when it comes to food, so that is a sign he wants something new. Try using frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms or brineshrimp.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:41 AM   #3 
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try different food.
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Old 02-09-2008, 04:40 PM   #4 
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Betta acting different

Thank you! I will try to get some freeze dried bloodworms.

I tried new pellets today (different brand) and he still wasn't eating. Still spitting them out.

I did fish all the pellets he didn't eat out of his little tank - it's a plastic tank that is about 1/2 gallon.

He had been doing so well up until now. I changed his water which I had been doing every week - and I put in new gravel (Pro-V) the first night and day he ate, but Friday night he was not buying it. Didn't want anything and this morning the same thing. I was pretty upset because I'm really getting attached to the little bugger (His name is Major Minor)

I also bought a therometer (sp?) today too to check the water but I think the water is fine. I've been using spring water (bottled from Wal-Mart) just to make sure there isn't anything in our city water that might hurt him.

I change his water once a week - he gets mad at me for a day or so but then he builds his bubble nest and I know he's happy again with me. I talk to him when I get home at night from work, wave at him and we sort of walk back and forth along his tank together. Well he swims I slide my finger and he seems to like that. He follows my finger to get his food too when he can't locate it.

I just don't want him getting sick on me and leaving me, my heart would be broken.

I appreciate your ideas and I'll keep trying different things until he starts eating again, I hope!

Thank you! Lis.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:44 PM   #5 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: North Carolina
Did you rinse the gravel in your local water? Do you use water conditioner?

You can use your local water if you use a water conditioner. Save money on buying water for his tank and buy a bigger tank. I keep a gallon jug (4 actually) full of water with the lids off going "stale" at all times and use that for water changes with Stress Coat water conditioner. There are lots of different water conditioners that will work. Everyone has their favorites.

You mentioned spitting out white stuff? Is that still happening?

What is the temp. of the water?

How do you know he's mad at you? Does he act different? Or are you basing this on the bubble nest? I ask just because I'm wondering if there is something about the water affecting him.

I'm thinking you should do a complete water change, take out the gravel (since the problem started after adding it) and see if he perks up. Since he's in such a small bowl, you might consider doing more frequent water changes until he's back to normal.

Yes, bettas are picky eaters but it is of concern if he's just gone off food that he was eating before. And spitting out white stuff, whatever that could be.

How long have you had him?

I'm hoping someone with more experience wanders on by.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:59 PM   #6 
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Major Minor's Eating Problem


Yes, I did rinse the gravel in local water! I never even gave it a thought when I did this!!! Dah...

No I don't use water conditioner for his water. I should probably go and by some tomorrow. Currently right now I have some regular tap water sitting out next to his tank getting 'stale' seeing if changing his water tomorrow will help at all. Tomorrow after church, I'll go back to the fish store and buy the water conditioner.

The water is about 73 -74 degrees right now.

No he is not spitting out white stuff anymore. That was this morning or last night I cannot remember. I was so sick with a migraine last night I don't remember which time it was that he did it but he isn't doing it now.

I don't know if he's mad at me but he hides from me down at the bottom of the tank behind one of the plastic bushes. Or he'll keep his back to me. He's happy to see me when I go to feed him though and he usually perks up then. I'm going to replace the gravel too and not rinse it with tap water this time.

I got him on December 22, 2007 - he's my Christmas present to me. I lost my niece this summer to cancer she was only 37 years old so I've been feeling so desolate that I thought getting a fish would help me as she always had fish at her house and when I would sleep over when she was getting chemo treatments I would sleep on the couch and leave the aquarium light on at night and have the fish to keep me company in my time of sadness. Now that I don't go up there as often since her passing, I thought Major Minor might help me through my sad times. I'll be very sad if anything happens to him so early on.

I so want him to be better. I'm going to try the water change in the morning once the water gets more stale. Although he was doing fine with the spring water (bottled) from Wal-Mart before.

Thanks, Lis.
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:12 PM   #7 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: North Carolina
I'm so sorry about your niece and your migraines. I suffer from them as well.

If you use a water conditioner, rinsing the gravel in tap water isn't a problem. It just might have been that one time because of the chlorine/chloramine/heavy metals. The water conditioner will take care of that in the future.

I'm glad he's not spitting out that white stuff any longer.

I think Major Minor is a cool name. I'm glad he's able to bring you solace. I spend lots of time staring at my betta and my snail, lost in thought.

If you can afford it, you might want to consider purchasing a larger tank. Give him more space to swim plus he'll be less susseptible to water changes (like the little bit of chlorine that might have been in with the gravel-if that was the issue). Mine is in a 5 gallon tank (that I got from freecycle) with some silk plants, gravel, a sponge filter, and a small heater. He's on the bar that separates the kitchen from the family room, so I get to spend lots of time watching him. You don't actually need the filter since they like still water. The only other expense was a $10 gravel vaccuum and a $2 bucket from home depot for water changes.

Keep us posted on how he's doing.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #8 
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Or you could go for craigslist. I see 10G tanks all the time with filter, gravel, etc. for $20. It would keep you totally set, and you could even get a friend for major minor. He sounds like a really intelligent fish, I hope he does well.

If you're going to the fish store to buy water conditioner, you could bring a sample of the water to the pet shop. Usually they'll test your water for free, and that way you can find out if there's anything wrong with the water in his tank and we'll help you fix it.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:51 PM   #9 
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Thank you Susan and all others that have replied. I am truly baffled. I have tried everything...

New water. I tried flakes, he does just like with the pellets. Sticks it in his mouth, spits it out. I tried bloodworms (freeze-dried) did the same exact thing.

He is acting more perky today for the first time and looking at me but I think he's hungry and he cannot tell me why he is doing this!

Does anyone know what it could be? How about constipation? What happens when a betta is constipated? Any clues and any ideas, please I am so worried about him now. I took a half day off today to go out and buy him all this stuff and he won't eat anything. I couldn't locate the brineshrimp except for the frozen kind and I just wasn't able to deal with that right now.

I didn't really want to get him a bigger tank. He's been happy for over 30 days in his living arrangements. What's going on with the spitting out or throwing out of food is beyond me. But he's breaking my heart looking at me like he wants to tell me something but I just don't know what.

I've asked the pet stores around here. No one has ever heard of a betta doing this. Of course, I have to have the one betta that does this and no one else knows about it!

HELP! Anyone... please.

Thanks, Lis.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:54 AM   #10 
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Hi Lis,

First, I read on this forum that a fish can go a week or longer with out eating and usually be just fine, means there is still time to try to get this solved. I hope this will easy your worry a little bit.

Try crumbling some of his foods into smaller pieces, flakes,bloodworms, and try pre-soaking til soft all foods before feeding.

Do continue to try to find the freeze dried brine shrimp, call ahead to the stores to find who has it in stock.

Are any of the foods that you are feeding the same as what he was being fed at the store where you purchased him?

As suggested in a prior post, did you get the results of your tank water parameters= ammonia,PH, nitrites, nitrates.

Is there any possibility that he has now or could have had any thing lodged in his mouth or further back?

Is there any possibility that he might have gotten any thing in his mouth that might have injured his mouth even if he spit it right out?
Might explain the white stuff you at one point were seeing and his not eating. Injury that got infected.

Were there any pieces of gravel that were in his bowl that were small enough to fit in his mouth? What is the texture of this gravel.

Ref. constipation, you could try feeding him some small pieces of a pea, wont hurt him if hes not constipated. Thing is, he has to eat it for it to do any good. Take one frozen pea, completely thaw, remove and discard outer skin, only feed in side portion, pinch off small piece, squish between fingers,and feed either by placing in his bowl, between your fingers, or with a tooth pick carefully.

You could also do the following,I know I would, remove all the gravel from his bowl, and leave it out for a couple of days, watch for evidence of fish manure. If you should find some, it would rule out constipation, and indicate that he is getting some food in.

As was suggested in an earlier post, did you get the results of his bowl water parameters= ammonia,PH, nitrite, nitrate.

When you are able to deal with the frozen brine shrimp, also try frozen daphnia, the daphnia I feed is very very tiny. Very easy for them to get down.

And last but not least, try to PM bettababy.

Hang in there, and don't give up.
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