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Old 01-12-2011, 02:10 PM   #1 
mp0912
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My Betta doesn't eat

Let me start by saying that I am completely new to the fish world! My two year old loves fish, so we bought her a fish tank for Christmas. I decided to go with a Betta since I have no experience in caring for fish and they seem to be somewhat hardy. We have the fish in 2.5 gallon aquarium with a light and filter. My concern is that the fish doesn't seem to be eating. When I place food in his tank, it just floats around him and eventually sinks to the ground. Once in the gravel, he doesn't seem to notice it at all. I have even watched the food hit him on its way down, but he seems oblivious. I tried both pellets and flakes. I wondered if something was wrong with his vision, but he always seems to notice me when I walk by the tank. He swims around and seems to be happy and active. No noticeable color changes in the fish. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:39 PM   #2 
scootshoot
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I see you mentioned light and filter but no heater?

Do you at least know the temp of the water? At least get yourself a Thermometer for 2-3 bucks.....which will last you a lifetime
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:53 PM   #3 
mp0912
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No I do not have a heater, but I do check the water temperature with a thermometer on a regular basis. The temperature stays around 78 degrees. We live in Florida so it stays pretty warm in our house. So far, the light seems to be supplying enough heat, unless I am wrong about the appropriate temp?
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:15 PM   #4 
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78 is just fine. I take it's only been a day or two since the tank was setup? He may require a few extra days to get acclimated. Some posters here have had their newly purchased bettas not eating and hiding for up to a week or more....before snapping out of it.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:31 PM   #5 
mp0912
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Well, he's actually been in the tank for about 10 days. Maybe he is still just adjusting. I guess I will just wait it out....
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #6 
Adastra
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10 days is a bit too long for an adjustment period. Have you ever seen the fish pass feces? Is there any way you could show us a picture of the fish? Based on the abdomen and body shape we may be able to tell if the fish is starving or has internal parasites. Fish with internal parasites often lose their appetites and some develop a distended abdomen.

Can you tell us a little more about your maintenance routine? (water changes, water additives, etc)

It may help if you pre-soak the pellets in a little tank water before feeding. You should also try out some different foods. Bettas, like other animals, need variety in their diet and cannot get complete nutrition from a single pellet. Most keepers, myself included, alternate between different pellet brands ( I use Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets and New Life Spectrum) and supplement those with frozen foods, like brine shrimp, blood worms, and daphnia. You can find frozen food in the freezer at the fish section of your pet store. They are quite easy to use, I simply cut each cube into small pieces as needed and only thaw as much as I need for one feeding at a time. One package of cubes will last you quite awhile if you are conservative.

Freeze-dried foods are tempting to buy because of the price and "ease of use"--but they do not give your betta as much nutrition as frozen food due to the freeze-drying process and they can cause serious constipation, especially if not used properly, so you should avoid those.

Last edited by Adastra; 01-12-2011 at 03:43 PM.
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