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Old 11-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #1 
Perdue
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hello betta experts!

so i am new to this forum but have been scanning if for a couple days.
after watching my mom have bettas throughout the years i decided to get one to keep me company while my girlfriends away at college haha.. so me and her went to the local pet store and i bought a red veiltail.. so, i know they are really picky eaters and ive tried two foods: the flakes and the pellets.. he wont even touch the flakes and with the pellets he will grab one, chew it, spit it out, chew again and spit it out and never finishes one. and now its almost been two weeks and im starting to worry. also, idk if its my imagination but his belly seems to be growing even tho he's not eating, what could that be? and ive read about soaking pellets and using garlic and all that but do you think hes still just getting used to his new home?

i probly have way more questions but this was top of my list.. thanks for any help i can get :)
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:57 PM   #2 
MabelKMc
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My first female betta did the exact same thing to pellets. I went back to the petstore and got some frozen blood worms. They come in little blocks you have to cut up into tiny sections (because bettas should only eat a few of the worms a day) and then thaw and rinse in tank water. Then you have to either lower them with a shot glass and see if you can get them to stay on the surface of the tank (or you can just pour them in, my fish ate them while they were falling).
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:00 PM   #3 
Adastra
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You should read through this thread: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=49160 -- it will be a good jumping-off point for more specific questions about betta care and will give you a basic idea of whether or not you're doing everything right.

As far as his reluctance to eat, most fish will not eat for a few days after you bring them home while they adjust to their new environment, so there is no need to be alarmed. I would use the flakes sparingly if at all, flakes are typically low quality and are more likely to cause bloating. Before feeding your fish dry food, you should soak it in tank water so that it is fully hydrate it to prevent it from swelling with moisture in the fish's gut and causing problems. Let us know if you have any more questions.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:08 PM   #4 
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Welcome to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....

Since you have had him for two weeks and he has eaten a limited amount and his stomach seems to be swelling....I have some questions to make sure everything is okay with your new wet-pet....

How big is the tank, how much and how often are the water changes and when was the last one, water temp, filtration, live plants, additives used?
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #5 
Perdue
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thanks for the replies :)

well i dont have room in my bedroom for a large tank like everyone says you need for a betta but i have a fairly large bowl (maybe a gallon or more) with rocks and a nice plant for him to swim around and hide in.. the waters about room temp but a little warmer.. sorry if this sounds cruel to a betta but im just going on what my mom always did and her bettas always lived a year or more and were always healthy.. ive changed the water twice within the two weeks and i pull out any food that isnt eaten so it doesnt cloud up the water..
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:30 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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No worries.....I am one of the few folks that believe that there are more than one right way to keep a Betta......however, you can have a thriving healthy Betta that will live longer than a year- by adding a heater at least to maintain a stable water temp in the 76-80F range and maybe a 2gal tank and adding a filter will help with the number of water changes or live actively growing plants instead of a filter (that is what I use)....just a thought.......

In a 1gal unfiltered container I would recommend that you increase your water changes to 1-100% and 1-50% a week to maintain water quality-you need to get a thermometer and keep tab on the water temp and keep it in the 76-80F range-you may need to look into getting a heater at one point if your house is cold-Betta don't do well in too cool of water since they are tropical fish and may be part of why he is not eating and his stomach is starting to swell along with possible water quality issues-good that you are removing the uneaten food

When you say plant is this a live plant? if so, what kind is it?

At this point I would make a 100% water change for a couple of days-make sure you try and keep the water temp within a couple of degrees between new and old water and use dechlorinator with any new water added to the fish if on city water supply
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:44 PM   #7 
Perdue
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its just a soft plastic plant. not a live one

i have been doing 100% changes but after reading a bunch im pretty sure i need something for the water because it is city water..
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:47 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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Yes, a good dechlorinator to cover chlorine, chloramine, heavy metal....like Seachem Prime.....pretty important with city water...those additives to treat water to make it safe for us to drink can be deadly for fish.....
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:56 PM   #9 
Perdue
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ok gotta save my money till payday (friday).. then this weekend probly pick up some dechlorinator. i can get this like at any pet store right?
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:59 AM   #10 
Adastra
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Yep, you can get it at any pet store, it's not very expensive at all. Most grocery stores actually carry cheaper brands in their pet aisle (not necessarily ones I would recommend purchasing, though), so you should have no trouble finding it. Seachem Prime is the best value for the money, Amquel+ is comparable, but not as concentrated so the bottle won't last you as long. You should really get this stuff sooner rather than later.

As for how you're keeping him, sure, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Some ways are easier than others. :) If you look at this from a long term perspective, with proper care your betta may live to be as old as 7 years old. The typical lifespan is 3-5, but it's certainly not unheard of for bettas to live well beyond that. Consider how much all these water changes are going to affect your lifestyle for the next 3-5-7 years--doesn't it make sense to invest a bit more money into your setup if it means drastically cutting back on maintenance?

If you upgrade later to a tank that's 3G or larger (the bigger the better and the further you'll stretch your dollar) with a filter and some live plants, you're looking at one partial change a week versus frequent 100% changes. From that point alone it's totally worth it. Also consider that you'll have a much greater error margin in case an emergency arises and you can't do your water change on time--god forbid your betta gets sick, and then you have to drop money on expensive medications, too.

A bigger, filtered tank doesn't have to be expensive either. You can get a 3G critter keeper for a few dollars and add a $4 sponge filter and a $6 air pump and you're good. A proper 25 watt adjustable heater will end up running you about $15. I highly recommend ordering online--trust me, pet stores jack up prices to the point that I don't even buy cat food in a store anymore. I purchase all my fish supplies here: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/ the product variety is great, flat rate shipping is totally reasonable, and the customer service is very quick to correct any mistakes. Sometimes they'll send you little freebies with your packages, too. ;x

Excuse the fact that I missed that you'd had the fish for two weeks--somehow I came away from reading that post thinking you had just gotten the fish. I should really try to skim less, lol. Based on what you're saying there is a definite possibility that the fish has internal parasites. A distended belly and loss of appetite are both symptoms. Have you seen him pass any feces during this time? Can you describe it? Luckily, if this does happen to be the problem, fish respond extremely well to treatment and the medication seems to be quite easy on their systems. If you decide to treat him, I recommend a dissolving tablet medication with the ingredients praziquantel and metronidazole--I have had some success with Jungle's Parasite Clear tablets.

Last edited by Adastra; 11-04-2010 at 01:04 AM.
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