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Old 05-24-2011, 10:57 PM   #1 
Romina
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Fish stopped eating

Hi,

I have a betta that is less than a year old (I believe.. I purchased him in August). I have been feeding him pellets (4 in the morning, 3 at night, as per package instructions) and up until now he has been gobbling them up greedily and never had an issue with not finishing his food. A few days ago he only ate one pellet and now he'll bite one, spit it out and completely ignore his food. I tried switching to bloodworms and it was the same story. His water is regularly changed and looks clean and he hasn't had any change in environment.

On the bright side, other than his eating habits, his behavior has remained the same.. He doesn't hang out at the bottom or top of his tank for any irregular amount of time and still swims around actively.

I love my betta very much and this is really saddening. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

I found these questions on another thread, if it's relevant:

Housing
What size is your tank? About half a gallon I think.. It's a "dual tank" that I took the partition out of:



What temperature is your tank? Room temperature.
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? It has gravel, that came with the tank...
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Typically pellets. Tried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day usually.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 90%, if not all.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Top Fin Betta water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? .. I'm ashamed to say I'm not sure what this means.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No, except for not eating.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I don't know how..
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Less than a year, I'm guessing.


Thanks again in advance for any help or advice!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:14 PM   #2 
copperarabian
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Welcome to the forums, I"m glad you came here for help with your Betta fish :D

That's a tiny aquarium, it's really only good for holding bettas temporarily and needs 100% water changes everyday. Also when a tank isn't heated it's actually below room temperature.

My guess is the aquarium built up ammonia and it's been hurting your betta. Colder waters that aren't consistent(cools down at night?) can also lower your bettas immune system.

Also how do you transfer your betta to the aquarium after you do a water change? Try not to just pour him into the new aquarium, transfer over a little bit of the water over a 15 min time period before placing him in the tank. Usually you would also float the container in the aquariums water to make them similar temperatures.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:48 AM   #3 
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also try live foods, or frozen to entice him to eat something
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:31 AM   #4 
SillyCone
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Copper is right, your tank is rather small, but you don't need to change, since you have nothing on the other side just take out the divider and you will get a 1G.

For an 1G tank, you should do daily 100% water change, at the veeery least 50% every 2 days then 100% after 2 days.

The best way we can help is if you can show us a picture of him so we can look if he has any other illnesses, at the mean time;

Buy epsom salt because you probably will need, is the cheapest and best treatment for betta sickness most of the cases, you can find them easy at pharmacies.

Buy a thermometer, if the water is too cold or too hot the fish might get his immune system to drop.

Other than that, get us a photo and we will be glad to help you further.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:30 PM   #5 
Romina
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Hi, thank you so much for the advice!! I read Copper's response right before going to bed last night and realized that about a week ago I turned off the heat in my apartment since the weather's been getting warmer and to save on electricity, but I never thought about how it might affect him. I turned the heat back on before falling asleep, and this morning he was making bubble beds again and ate his food! Thank you so much!

I realize this is a temporary solution though. For his tank, I took out the divider when I first bought it so he has the whole thing to himself, but I didn't realize he needed water changes so frequently. My poor fish! Is there a tank you recommend that would need less water changes, or is that pretty typical? I've also read about some bettas becoming stressed- sometimes to death- from environment changes.. Is there a way to bring him to a new tank and avoiding that? And is there something I can get- in addition to a thermometer for monitoring- that can regulate the water temperature?

As for how I transfer him, I take a plastic bag and scoop his existing tank water in it and sometimes I can get him to swim into it without having to use the net, and then after I've changed the water I'll let the bag float for about fifteen minutes before scooping him in the net and dropping him in. I've been trying to avoid pouring the bagged water into his tank because it's dirty, but I'm not sure if it's an actual concern.

I'll take some pictures of him tonight and post them in case he might have any other diseases or infections I'm unaware of.

I know these are a lot of questions but I appreciate your help so much! I just want my fishie to be healthy :) Thank you again!
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:57 PM   #6 
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You could look on craigslist for a 2-5 gallon tank, maybe someones throwing one out. What i did with an unexpected betta was buy a kritter keeper. Some people go to Walmart and buy big cookie jars, or sterilite showoff bins even. Basically the bigger the better, less often water changes, and if you throw a filter in there that lessens the need for 100% water changes, so you could just use an airhose and syphon a tank without having to remove him. Most keep their bettas on 2-5 gallons for them to be happy :) I have a tank holding 3 gallons with a filter and i only have to do 1 50% water change and 1 50% water change with gravel vacuuming a week. It takes very little time compared to daily 100% and keeps the fish less stressed not having to be netted. You can buy a heater for him, i believe walmart, petsmart, petco ect all carry them in the fish sections, just be sure to get one for the right size tank you end up using. When you do get him a bigger home, set it all up, and if you have a filter, let it run a couple days first, some people dont but it stressed my fish when i first added him, When you move him to his new tank its good to put him in a small container floating in the new tank, like the cup he came in clipped to the edge of his bigger tank, so the cup water can become the same temp as the tank water and then you slowly add the tank water into the cup so he can get used to that, maybe putting a tbsp of tank water in with him every few minutes, then let him go :) Make usre he has hiding spots, like plants and a cave, some people put a washed and thoroughly rinsed mug in there and their fish hide in that. Theres many options depending on your price range but the cheapest in my area is basically
3 gallon clear showoff sterilite bin 5 dollars
heater from walmart 13 dollars
fake plants from walmart 2.39 for 3 plants
and if you can afford a filter or would like one to lessen water changes they arent too expensive either, the heaters seem to cost the most for me. But if you get a filter you may have to baffle it with a sponge since bettas don't like strong currents.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:00 PM   #7 
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It is wonderful to hear he is feeling better!

There are tons of different tanks that would be perfect for your betta. The larger the tank, the less you have to clean it. A 2.5 gal tank requires 2 50% water changes per week. A 5 gal tank only requirers one 50% water change per week. I would still do a 30%-50% water change every week on any tank larger than 5 gallons but it's pretty easy. Petco/petsmart sell all sorts of glass aquariums, anything 2.5 gallons or more will fit your needs perfectly. Plastic aquariums like Kritter Keepers are also good as long as they are 2.5 gal or more :)

To regulate the temperature you can get him a heater. There are heaters preset at 78* which are nice and simple but there are also ones that you can change the temperature on. The ones that allow you to choose the temp are nice because sometimes (like when your fish is sick) it will be necessary to raise the temperature. That is totally up to you though. Just make sure you get a thermometer so you can monitor the temp and get a heater that has the right # of watts for your tank size (google or a petstore employee should be able to help you with that).

It's good that you were floating him for 15 minutes after water changes. You should also add some of the tank water to the container after 10 minutes so he can get used to the new water. As long as you give him time to get used to new water and new environments he should be just fine :)
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:20 PM   #8 
Romina
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Wow- thanks for all the great ideas!! I'm going to check out craigslist, and print these all out and bring them with me to a walmart or petco. Time for some shopping :)

This forum is really amazing, I didn't realize until I came here that there would be anywhere with so much support. I'm going to tell my other betta-owning friends for sure.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:50 PM   #9 
Punki
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Have fun with the shopping! We love pictures also *hint* :))
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:25 PM   #10 
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You're welcome, glad he is better now, sorry I couldn't respond earlier =D
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