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Old 12-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO
Unhappy Sick Fish? HELP!

My friend bought me a beta fish as a Christmas present about four days ago, and he hasn't been eating. I am a first time beta owner, and I don't know what's going on.

The directions on the food say to feed him 2-3 times a day, with 4-6 pellets. I have been doing so, but he doesn't eat it. The food just stays in the bowl until it sinks and makes the bowl dirty. In the 4 days I've had him, he's only eaten twice.

When I set up the bowl, I didn't rinse off the gravel (Didn't know I was supposed to until I read the bag) so I thought that might be causing him to not eat, so I cleaned the bowl, rinsing everything thoroughly (and yes, I add something to purify the water), but he's still not eating.

He seems to act fine, swimming around all merrily, so I don't know what's going on, or what to do. I'm really worried, I don't want anything to happen to Mr. Christmas Fish
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:35 PM   #2 
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I wouldn't be too worried about him not eating. Its pretty common for bettas to be picky about their food for the first week or two after you bring them home. The stress of being moved to a completely knew environment can make them not hungry. I wouldn't worry though. I once had a betta that went two weeks without eating when I first got him. Fish can go quite a long time without food, and four days is nothing to a healthy betta fish.

I would suggest putting a couple pellets in there and watch him for a while. Leave the pellets in their long enough for him to see them, but take them out before they sink to the bottom and dirty up the bowl.

Also, a lot of betta food recommends feeding them more than they need. I wouldn't feed a betta more then 2-3 pellets a day (and definitely no more than 3 pellets at a time). Their stomachs are deceptively small and just one pellet is a pretty good meal.

I would also recommend getting a bigger tank for him. Bettas will survive in bowls, but they do much better in at least 2.5 gallon aquariums with a heater. They have a lot more room to swim around in , and with a heater they are way more active.

So, bottom line, I wouldn't worry about your betta. Keep offering food, but also keep in mind that sometimes bettas don't eat for a week or so after being brought to a new home.
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:36 PM   #3 
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Yeah it can be normal and they usually take some time settling in just like any other pet. Always make sure also, when you change the water, that it is the same temperature as the water your betta is already in. Usually means letting new water sit for a while before or after treatment. Changing the water temperature too quickly can cause a lot of stress for the fish.I usually pick a cup or bowl he will be comfortable in overnight and scoop him out of his tank , change the water, and let them both sit overnight so temps will be the same.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:23 PM   #4 
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Location: Arizona
Please answer these questions:

Are you using any type of water additives such as a water conditioner? Water, purified or not, has chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals in it, which can poison and kill a fish. What water conditioner does is that it eliminates these things in the water, making it safe for your fish to live. Many people suggest using Prime water conditioner because it lasts so long and you don't need very many drops in your water.

Is your water heated? Betta fish are tropical fish, requiring tropical temperatures from 76F-80F. If he's sluggish and not eating, this could be the reason why. Just to let you know, you should not heat a tank smaller than 2 gallons. For a tank smaller than 5 gallons (but at least 2 gallons), it is recommended to get a heater that is 25 watts to avoid any dangerous temperature spikes. Any smaller and the temperature can spike and boil your fish alive. That leads to my next question:

How big is your tank? It is recommended to have a betta fish in at least 2.5 gallons of allows you to have less water changes a week than a cruel, inhumane cube that's maybe less than half a gallon. Fish create a waste product called ammonia, which slowly builds in the tank. In a small tank, it builds quickly, and your fish can be poisoned with his own waste and get ammonia burns. In a 2.5 gallon tank, only need to change his water twice a week - 1-50% change and 1-100% change. Anything smaller, and you really need to change his water pretty much every day at 100%.

But for now, please answer the questions in the thread I have posted, as well as the ones I have just asked.

Last edited by Tsuhei; 12-19-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:09 AM   #5 
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What size is your tank? 12 Gallon
What temperature is your tank? Between 72-75F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes Black diamond activated carbon
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Biofilter
Is your tank heated? No - waiting for heater in mail.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Betta bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-4 pellets twice a day


How often do you perform a water change? N/a
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner to water of same temperature

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Hey grew a white spot in front of one eye some months ago and is starting to grow another in front of his other eye. Gills (black) seem slightly swollen, and in the first days in his upgraded tank he was opening them randomly.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?Not really! He's seemed to like scratching more in past week but normal for the most part. Eating regularly, happygolucky.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Spot months ago and other week or two ago. He looks a little pale on his belly and is slightly bloated. I'm also seeing him under a new lamp so it could be just me.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I've added two tsps on uniodized salt to his new (uncycled) 12 gallon.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He's had fin rot before that cleared up easily. Before even the first white spot appeared.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for a year. No telling how old he was when I got him.
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