I put Flair in his new tank two weeks ago with an ADF (named Webster). They get along well, but they're not eating, either of them. I got Webster specifically as a tank mate for Flair, so I can't speak for him, but I never had this problem before with Flair; he was such a happy, fiesty boy that always ate whatever and whenever I put in there. He seems happy (can't tell with Webster, as he spends most of his time lying on the bottom and occasionally coming up for air, which I think is normal for ADFs?) but I'm kinda worried about him. I know it's normal for a fish to not eat sometimes when you put them in a new tank, but two weeks? I'm feeding him pellets and tropical fish flakes for Webster, which is what I've always fed my bettas and the one other ADF I had a long time ago.
I've heard of bettas taking two weeks to fully acclimate, so it's not entirely uncommon, but two weeks is pretty dangerous. Try feeding him treats, just to get him to eat something. ANd sometimes they just get plain desperate for food.
What is your water quality...water pram numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH
How much and how often on the water changes and when was the last one, what size tank and the water temp...filtration, cycle, additives
I have found when ever I see behavior changes especially change in appetite it can be water quality issues and making a water change will fix it.
You increased the bioload when you added the ADF so you will need to change your normal water changes, also, are you removing the uneaten food...as that decomposes it can foul the water.....
Wow, my head hurts. Bear with me, as I'm new at this. Here goes (deep breath):
The tank is a 5gal, with a pretty strong filter--I've attached a sponge to it with a rubber band because it used to really freak him out. Not sure what you mean by cycle. The temperature stays at a pretty steady 78 degrees Fahrenheit. I have no set cycle of water changes, but I try to do at least a 50% every four days or so. The last one was a 50%-60% around nine o'clock this morning. Webster went into the tank the day after Flair did, so I don't think that he had an effect on him not eating . . . although Webster isn't eating either, as far as I know. (How do you tell with a frog??) Also, I have no idea about "water pram numbers"--it's not something I worried about before. Someone on this forum told me to get some sort of kit to test, but I couldn't find one, and I don't know how to go about changing the pH or anything else, and then someone else on this forum said that since the water didn't have chlorine, I didn't need a test. I thought he'd be okay, since I couldn't find anything and had never done it before. I use ordinary tap water; however, we live in the country and have well water. My other bettas have always been fine in it and usually live on average 4-5 years. He's never had anything other than the pellets: I tried halving dried baby shrimp and also bloodworms, but he doesn't eat those either. (Actually, it's only Moss, my brave and beautiful female, that will eat those; my other, who is getting old and slow, gave them a valiant try and spit them out, so I went back to pellets.) Anyway, he seems fine, despite the fact that he won't eat anything. I'm starting to worry about him. Hope I answered all of your questions. (Exhales). Any advice would be welcome!!
When I say cycle I am talking about the nitrogen cycle, in short, this is something that happens when ammonia convert to nitrite and then nitrite converts to nitrate, this process starts once livestock or ammonia source is added in a tank of water with oxygen source, pH and temp can cause this process to vary.
Good, well water, most likely no chlorine or other additives
It is really a good idea to get a master test kit to test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, you are right, you don't want to change the pH, but these numbers (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH) can help you keep the water safe and to help you with water changes as far as amounts go and will help you know when your cycle is completed and this can take 4-8 weeks.
Poor water quality is the number one reasons we have problems in the tank, health issues, appetite issues...etc.....
So, you have a betta and an ADF in a 5g filter tank, temp is 78F, uncycled, 50% water changes every 4 days and the betta and ADF are not eating. my recommendation are daily water changes 50% with substrate vacuuming 1 time a week with a water change, swish the filter media in old tank water only if the water flow has slowed to keep the NB intact and colony thriving, remove any uneaten food....IMO/E the poor appetite is related to poor water quality due to uncycled tank and livestock adaptation.
Sorry if I made your head hurt......it is not as difficult as I make it sound...so sorry for that...this is a really fun and awesome hobby and would love to see pic of your set-up.....
OK, I'll keep an eye out for a master test kit and try the daily changes, but what's substrate vacuuming? Also, I'm not sure that it's the tank, although it could be . . . I just moved Moss into another 5gal exactly alike today (and by that I mean same size, same brand) that's been cycling and heating for almost a week. I tested by giving her 1 pellet of fish food (she'd already eaten). She ate it with no problem, and although she's older and slower, I don't think that she's old, exactly. It's hard to say because I don't know how old she was when I got her (around 2 years ago). Flair doesn't seem uninterested in food, he just doesn't seem to notice it, even when he's right at the top and I drop it right in front of his face, to the point where I got out the jamming jar I use to make 100% changes and tried to put him in that, in the hopes that he'd eat. (Man, that little bugger is fast! I couldn't catch him, lol) Webster appears to have disappeared, though I'm admittedly much less worried about him than Flair because . . . well, I like Flair better. (ADFs don't really have much personality or, well, flair like bettas do.) He'll show up eventually though, I'm pretty sure. He likes to hide.
I tried a 50% change today but he started looking kind of sick, so I evacuated them both and cleaned the whole tank from the gravel up. Right now it is filtering and heating and I'm trying to get Flair to eat something; he's getting excited by his reflection and won't calm down, so I wrapped his jar in a towel, set it on a dresser, waited a while and dropped some food in. It remains to be seen whether he'll oblige. I may not put Webster back in if that's such an issue . . . I never even thought about that when I got him.