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Old 04-01-2010, 06:49 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Unhappy Maybe mouthrot? Betta is inactive and not eating...


I've had my betta Ophelia for a year and a half. For about a week she has been much less active than usual, and for a few days she hasn't been eating. (I changed her water this Sunday. There's a heater in the tank and the thermometer is reading at just above 80- as usual.)

For the past few days, I've been putting in betta fix and trying to feed her a pellet every day (by putting it in right near where she is swimming). At first she ignored it completely. Yesterday she tried snapping at it but didn't get anything. Today she is looking more active but ignoring the food again.

I haven't noticed anything that looks like fungus on her body. Her color is very pale at the moment, probably for lack of food. I can see a gray spot around the top of her mouth, but it's not big or raised. Could that be mouth rot? I've read that tetracycline or other antibiotics can be used to treat this- but is there any risk if that's not it?

She did have one bout of not eating this winter, but I think that was because I didn't have a heater. After getting the heater and giving her betta fix she recovered.

Please help! Thank you.

Last edited by jadorebettas; 04-01-2010 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:07 PM   #2 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Could you take a picture of her mouth? It could be that the pellets are too big for her and she just gives up trying to eat them. I would try crushing them into smaller pieces for her. I would lay off of the bettafix until you know for sure what she has. I use medication as a last resort because some bettas are very sensitive to it. Also, bettafix is a very controversial medication...I've heard good and bad things about it, but mainly bad. I've heard that it makes the fish lethargic. Had it started happening when you were giving the bettafix?
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:46 PM   #3 
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The pictures I took didn't come out very well, I think because of the lighting and the size/ material of the tank (it's plastic, hard to get the camera to shoot very well through that). I can try again though...

The pellets are pretty small, and I can't chop them up any further. I didn't give her any betta fix today and she is still fairly active, but not eating. Should I try to give her blood worms? I know those are not as nutritious as pellets, but that first time she wasn't eating a few months ago she ate those instead after a few days. I'm just worried about how long I have left to try out other treatments, because she has to eat at some point to stay alive.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Bettas can go a while without food, at this point you need to get her active again, I would start by making water changes every day and lower the water temp some to about 76-78F until you know what is going on.
If she doesn't perk up after 2 days of daily water changes try adding aquarium salt 1tsp/gal along with the daily water changes, this is best done while in a small QT container and pre-mix the salt water so you can safely make 100% daily water changes with the proper dose of salt.
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:08 AM   #5 
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Thank you so much for the advice. My heater does not appear to have a setting to change the shut-off temperature. Is there some type of device I can buy to do this? (For now I have been unplugging/ plugging it in periodically to keep it lower.)
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